Ahem. Correction.

As you know Rep. Murtha called us all a bunch of racists not too long ago:

“There is no question that western Pennsylvania is a racist area,” he told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

But I’m here to tell you that you don’t need to be mad at him anymore.

Murtha said the history of southwestern Pennsylvania is teeming with racism. “This whole area, years ago, was really redneck,” he told WTAE-TV Pittsburgh.

See?  We’re not racists, we’re just a bunch of rednecks who can’t look beyond the color of a man’s skin.

Got it.

Also, I’d like to clarify that when I called Rep. Murtha a “bloviating nincompoop with delusions of relevancy” what I REALLY meant was “asswipe.”





78 Comments


  1. Miss Lee
    October 21, 2008 3:53 pm

    I can only toss my hands up in defeat.. Apparently I’m niave and/or an incurable optimist.

    I’m a Pittsburgh local who lives on a mixed-race street, where I’ve never felt or experienced any tension among my white and non-white neighbors. In fact they’ve been nothing but friendly. I’m fortunate to work with a group of people that come from a multitute backgrounds and ethnicities. I even brought this up to my boss (who is black and has lived in several US cities); he said that, while racism certainly exists here, he’d never noticed it to be more prevalent than other places he’d lived and worked. I go to a city church where Blacks and Whites, Hispanics and Asians are all worshipping under the same roof.

    However, so many of you seem perfectly willing to accept that the stigma we’re being handed – yup, we’re all living in an area mired in bigotry. We’re accepting of the national opinion that our friends, co-workers, neighbors are a bunch of close-minded racists.

    And by extension, we accept that we ourselves are racist, too.

    Sorry. I for one refuse to accept the label Murtha is giving to my community. You may call me blind to reality. But what I’ve seen with my own eyes and heard with my own ears says otherwise.



  2. minutes from the mall
    October 21, 2008 4:00 pm

    I grew up in the east suburbs of Pgh., in an extremely racist family, had racist neighbors, racist classmates in school, pretty much all of my frame of reference was filtered through the lens of “white people have to watch out because everyone else thinks they’re as good as us.”

    So from my point of view, my western Pa. is as racist as Murtha’s. But that can be anywhere. And it’s just an unsavory slice.

    Obama’s going to take this thing. The racists are going to come out in full force, they’re going to vote their skin tone, and we are going to see just how few and how irrelevant they are.



  3. John
    October 21, 2008 4:22 pm

    Are their pockets of racism in Western PA? Absolutely. But there are pockets of racism everywhere in this country. It’s unforutnate, but it’s true. Yes, our fair city can come off as very backward and redneck at times, but for Murtha to paint such a broad picture is both wrong and stupid, yet unsurprising know Murtha’s reputation.

    #37 Christine – You are 100% right. If Obama loses, it’s because the country is full of racists. If he wins, it’s because he’s the chosen one.

    God… I hate politics and can’t wait for this election to be over.



  4. Kelley
    October 21, 2008 4:40 pm

    Hey now, let’s not drag the Stars and Bars into this. While a loaded symbol, it is also a historic symbol. And until I know otherwise I’m just going to assume that all the people flying it are doing so because they are civil war / 19th century / US history buffs. To assume anything else would be akin to, say, broadbrushing an entire region of Pennsylvania . . . just, for example. Ahem.

    And, while I do not wish to attend Camp Murtha by negating my entire above statement re: tolerance, I will say: “Rednecks”??? Seriously? I invite ye who think Pittsburgh and environs to be thusly populated to swing on by rural Georgia. Prior to moving down here, I didn’t know what a redneck *was*. Eeesh.



  5. Phil Morris
    October 21, 2008 4:45 pm

    F**k that bullshit corn pone banjo picking flag



  6. VISA
    October 21, 2008 6:42 pm

    Miss Lee, I also live on a mixed racial street but racism slips in and out of our homes like the mist. I have also lived in 8 different states and abroad and it is/was prevalent there. Not only Caucasian/Black, Caucasian/ Mexican, German/Turkish, Turkish/Kurdish and could go on and on. I do believe Representative Murtha is correct. But do I take offense. No, because I know that I am not. It is good to hear that in your world being different does not matter but unfortunately, it being racism is here.



  7. quisling
    October 21, 2008 6:54 pm

    Kelley, I know just what you mean about being a history buff. I’m a WWII man myself, and you wouldn’t believe the crap I get every time I hoist the Reich flag.



  8. Still A Fan
    October 21, 2008 7:10 pm

    so dad, you’re saying he’s a pig farmer?

    he is just remembering people his own age being so racist. when i was growing up in the second poorest county of the state, a lot of my older uncles and their friends talked like that. guess what? they’re all 80 or deceased. i think with each generation, it gets a little better. now, all that being said, if the man wants to see some real racism….go visit south philly, land of the rocky “Yo’s!” and see how much they like north philly.



  9. Kelley
    October 21, 2008 7:24 pm

    quisling — gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah. Utterly different inherent implications. :P



  10. bucdaddy
    October 21, 2008 10:07 pm

    Try that “racist” crap on me cause I won’t vote for Obama? Bite me, I voted for Alan Keyes.

    Hi, Summer. Someone else here who can appreciate the fact that Democrats have run West Virginia for 80 years, which is why we’re living in Utopia.

    Oh, wait …



  11. Steelman
    October 21, 2008 10:22 pm

    The polls indicate that Obama is leading McCain by double-digits in PA which is a bigger margin than Kerry had over Bush in 2004. So where is the systemic racism?



  12. HillaryorMcCain
    October 21, 2008 10:48 pm

    Pitt Girl you ROCK…nincompoop… delusions of relevancy… I love it!!!



  13. Steeler_tom
    October 21, 2008 11:56 pm

    Murtha is a tool
    Just like 99% of all politicians are Tools



  14. Blacks are Just as Racist
    October 22, 2008 7:37 am

    My question is why is it okay for Blacks to openly hate white people because of their skin color? And what about the fact that the majority of Black people are voting for Obama because he is black? I live in a city with a large black population and every person of color that I know has said they are voting for Obama and when I ask why they say “Because he’s black” Stop pointing the finger at white people, the Racism street goes both ways.

    Also – before everyone starts celebrating Obama’s victory, research the Bradley Effect.



  15. JamieO
    October 22, 2008 8:23 am

    Kelley,

    The majority of those flying the traitor flag in Pennsylvania are not history buffs. If this is the case, maybe I should wear a Nazi flag shirt and tell people I am a WWII buff. Also, people who think terrible thoughts often do not have the guts to hold those thoughts when challenged, so all sorts of excuses are made.

    I think part of the deal with western PA is the average age. It’s still a fairly “old” area. Many people who grew up during a time will become products of that time. I work at Penn State and have observed that younger people tend not to care either way about race.

    I love Pittsburgh, love it more than the place I was born, and miss it daily. But, it’s not perfect. No place really is perfect. The people are fantastic, but I have heard some pretty heinous things come out of the mouths of Pittsburghers (and yes, black and white mouths). It happens. I believe that things will continue to improve as they have been.



  16. Role Reversal
    October 22, 2008 8:45 am

    Just a final thought, before I stop reading this trail of comments: Sigmund Freud was an Anti-Semite. You don’t need to be a “redneck” to be a racist piece of garbage. Freud revolutionized the realm of psychology and no one can claim that he was unintelligent or backward.

    Also, there is no such thing as “reverse racism”. There’s just racism. And voting for Obama because he’s black would be akin to voting for McCain because he’s white. Or voting against McCain because he’s white. Look at the truth and stop hiding behind skin color. Say what you mean and mean what you say.



  17. Kelley
    October 22, 2008 8:49 am

    Equating the Confederate flag and the Reich flag is a fallacy. Whereas the former is the symbol of an internationally recognized belligerent power with no state-sanctioned racist ideology (you did not have to be pro-slave to be a Confederate, only pro states rights and pro upholding the constitutional laws of secession previously put forth by the USA), the latter is a symbol of a state with sanctioned racist and anti-semitic ideologies. So, while the people flying the Confederate flag *may* be completely irredeemable asshats, they may also just be pledging their allegiance to a different opinion of governance. Just sayin’.

    I know there are racist morons in SWPA. Unfortunately, they’re everywhere. I just do not feel that an argument can be made to suggest that the *tenor* of SWPA is “racist.”



  18. Summer
    October 22, 2008 8:55 am

    @bucdaddy — I am so disgusted with many of the state level politicians (I would rather chew my right arm off than vote for Manchin).

    Open for business my tookus. There are huge reforms and infrastructure shakeups that must be done if WVA is ever to crawl out of the stone age.

    That being said, no place is as beautiful and few people are as resilient. I guess you can leave the holler, but the holler doesn’t leave you.



  19. bucdaddy
    October 22, 2008 9:01 am

    Story a guy from Johnstown once told me. Said he went to see the Johnstown hockey team play the Roanoke Valley Rebels, and there was a kid who liked to travel with the Rebels and every time his team scored he’d wave a big Confederate battle flag. So this particular game Roanoke is kicking the stuffing out of Johnstown, it’s like 7-0, and the kid is waving his flag again, and someone up in the seats yells:

    “Put down that f***in’ flag.”

    Crowd goes quiet.

    Kid turns around. “What?”

    “I said, ‘Put down that f***in’ flag.'”

    From another part of the arena a voice yells, “Don’t listen to him!”

    Crowd grows tense.

    Kid says, “What?”

    Voice says, “I said, ‘Don’t listen to him.’ We got a lot of nice southern boys up here.”

    Kid bites. “Yeah? Where?”

    “Gettysburg, asshole! Now put down that f***in’ flag!”



  20. bucdaddy
    October 22, 2008 9:02 am

    Summer, A holler holla from Mo’town.



  21. Summer
    October 22, 2008 9:11 am

    And back. My husband remembers his couch-burning days fondly, although I’ve heard that sort of activity has decreased.



  22. Phil Morris
    October 22, 2008 10:13 am

    That state’s rights argument and the confederacy is such crap. If you and the rest of your mouth-breathing ilk were really concerned with state’s rights, there are literally dozens of other causes to celebrate and symbols to take up throughout the history of this nation. But instead you choose the symbol of a state’s right to sanction human bondage. Real classy.



  23. Sofa King
    October 22, 2008 11:20 am

    I tell you what, JP, Pittsburgh is a hell of a lot more like the Neighborhood of Make Believe than the sh*thole in which I currently reside–Washington, DC.

    As a few people have mentioned, the relatively insular nature of some parts of SWPA adds to racist attitudes. Our ideas about others are formed through our interactions. However, in the absence of interaction, the media plays a much larger role in forming our attitudes, especially with impressionable youth.



  24. JP
    October 22, 2008 11:58 am

    Sofa King I hate that attitude because people love to talk this place up as somehow different or better, when in many aspects its worse. People here never want to address the ugly truth when it is smacking them in the face. If Pittsburgh is so great why are the racial disparities here so strong? I mean if racism here is about the same as anywhere else as many people claim, how do you explain this kind fo stuff. http://forum.fxopen.com/archive/index.php?t-2401.html
    Doesn’t it stand to reason that there is something going on here? I am willing to bet dollars to doughnuts that the income disparity in DC is smaller than here.



  25. Former Burgher
    October 22, 2008 12:51 pm

    JP – sadly you make a good point.



  26. Barrister Jubril
    October 22, 2008 7:51 pm

    “Just a final thought, before I stop reading this trail of comments: Sigmund Freud was an Anti-Semite.”

    Uh…Freud was Jewish, folks.

    “Sigmund Freud was born on 6 May, 1856 to Galician Jewish parents in Příbor (German: Freiberg in Mähren), Moravia, Austrian Empire, now Czech Republic…In March 1938, Nazi Germany annexed Austria in the Anschluss. This led to violent outbursts of anti-Semitism in Vienna, and Freud and his family received visits from the Gestapo. Freud decided to go into exile “to die in freedom”. He and his family left Vienna in June 1938 and moved to Hampstead, London.”



  27. Liz
    October 24, 2008 8:45 pm

    I, for one, am very glad I’ll be able to cast my vote for an actual Murtha opponent this election instead of having to write in a name.

    Murtha was an idiot before he stuck both his old wrinkly feet in his mouth with the racism/redneck comments. His comments are just the icing on what’s left of his slowly melting cake of a brain.

    Yeah, he might bring home lots of pork for Johnstown, but apparently, that’s the only place in the 12th District that sees any of it. Those of us who live outside of Johnstown have yet to benefit from his supposed federal largesse. He just confirms my opinion that many of PA legislators or PA US House Reps are by and large worthless pieces of dead wood.

    I certainly can’t understand why these morons keep getting voted back in either.



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