McLoughlin column helped perpetuate Southern stereotypes

Saturday, October 13, 2012
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McLoughlin column helped perpetuate Southern stereotypes

I chuckled my way through John McLoughlin’s Oct. 5 column, “Honey Boo Boo, Cable Star.” I have never seen the show to judge for myself, but his comments are in line with other [things] I have read in the print media.

In Mr. Loughlin’s column, the words “Mississippi” and “disdain” appear in the same sentence; therefore, before I make my comments I need to introduce myself. I am a female senior, born and raised in Mississippi. I am well educated, and for 12 years had a professional job as a physicist and mathematician.

I left my professional career to raise three children, all with the same father and conceived in wedlock. I speak the American version of English with correct grammar but I have never been able to lose my Southern dialect. However, I can be clearly understood when speaking.

Now, about the shoes and teeth he mentioned. I have worn shoes since I could walk. Have you ever heard of hookworms? As for teeth, mine are beautiful and the real deal. I trust Mr. McLoughlin and his sister know that a good percentage of the people in the South are like me, and became successful. To look at the people of Mississippi with disdain seems to be a bit harsh and snobbish. However, his sister is correct about there being many examples of what he labeled red-necks. These families can be found all over the United States.

If the truth be told, the citizens of the United States are bombarded with an unrealistic view of reality in all forms of media. Even though I laughed at his article because it was indeed written in a clever funny way, I was also saddened to realize that the Learning Channel show, along with other media comments about the show and family situation, paint a negative picture of a region of this country. The information presented in this type of entertainment show contributes to the formation of the negative stereotypes that are formed over time about different ethnic groups or regions.

Honey Boo Boo’s family, and the small percentage like them, do not define the South anymore than a few rude, pushy, aggressive people define New York.

All citizens, along with all forms of media, should be sensitive to the negative picture we often paint of various groups or regions in this country. No state is immune to problems. As a civil society, we should all work together to rid our country of hurtful negative stereotypes.

Anna S. Hershey


How about equal time and cash for prostate cancer?

While watching my football games Oct. 7, I couldn’t help but notice all the pink. Ah, yes. It’s October. Breast cancer awareness month. And I started wondering about prostate cancer, and why there is no similar awareness for that disease.

It turns out, after doing some Internet research, that prostate cancer, like breast cancer, has its own color — blue. And its own awareness month — September. And the number of victims are similar, though breast cancer does kill more women.

However, only prostate cancer is completely gender-specific: There are a small number of men who die from breast cancer (about 5 percent).

But I didn’t notice a sea of blue at football games last month (except for the New York Giants game). I don’t notice 5K races being run by men and women. I don’t see blue magnetic ribbons on cars.

Most tragically, however, is not the lack of awareness but the lack of funding. Federal funding for prostate cancer is less than half of that for breast cancer.

Judging by the number of men who run these 5K awareness races, and by the pink at football games, I get the impression that many men care just as deeply about breast cancer as do women. But women seem completely uncaring about prostate cancer. So how about it, ladies? Don’t you care about your sons, husbands, brothers and fathers?

Peter Frank


Romney ran roughshod over rules at debate

With all the praise being heaped on Mitt Romney’s [debate performance], did anyone notice that he was obviously rude to the moderator? This reminds me of the “stories” told by his friends from school that he was a bully.

Several times when being told his time was up, he continued to rattle on. He actually spent a fair amount of time repeating himself, and still was extremely short on specifics. In my opinion he was ignoring Mr. [Moderator Jim] Lehrer and his allowed speaking time, and still had no understandable “solutions” to the nation’s problems.

I do not defend President Obama; he was certainly not as aggressive as I would have liked. But at least at the end of the debate, he took the time to say “thank you” to the moderator, the University of Denver, etc.

Which takes me back to my original thought — Mr. Romney appears to think that it is OK to ignore the rules, and that doesn’t impress me at all.

Pat Bruschetti


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October 13, 2012
12:31 a.m.
Fritzdawg says...

Pat Bruschetti:
Mr. Romney appears to think that it is OK to ignore the rules"

It's unconsionable that he was never called out for cheating by bringing notes.
So much for the whole neocon "teleprompter dependant" mantra.

"No props, notes, charts, diagrams, or other writings or other tangible things may be brought into the debate by any candidate."

There was already writing paper on the lectern, so I don't want to see anybody try to justify it, or make lame excuses for him.

October 13, 2012
3:24 a.m.
janesjoys says...

Fritzdawg: Not a Romney fan, but I believe it was determined that he brought a handkerchief from his pocket, not note cards. After all, if you are not going to present any facts, you really don't need any notes.

October 13, 2012
7:14 a.m.
wmarincic says...

Pat Bruschetti
It is a fact that Obama had more than four minutes of speaking time than Romney did. Fritzdawg, just as Romney told Obama that night, "you can't make up your own facts"

October 13, 2012
7:18 a.m.
wmarincic says...

Peter Frank,

lung cancer kills more people than breast and prstate cancer combined but gets only about 1/3 off the funding. After seeing my wife die last week and having time to reflect I believe there is a cure but cancer is such a big business that they don't want the cure because they can't make the money on it.

October 13, 2012
10:41 a.m.
cfield says...

To all regarding the debate--
Obama's 4 minute advantage in speaking time. Reason never got to the point of the questions asked.President steered away from the questions and talked about nonsense.
Never once did he mention his "Mother" why is that? Or if my memory is correct even his father....WHY?

October 13, 2012
4:13 p.m.
bostonredsoxfan says...

@wmarincic- I'm sorry for your loss. I think that perhaps there is still a belief that most lung cancer cases are due to smoking, and therefore somewhat self-induced. Many, many people, of course, die from lung cancer who never smoked in their lives, but I think that the smoking connection shapes some people's view of the disease.

October 13, 2012
4:13 p.m.
bostonredsoxfan says...

@cfeld- He didn't mention his dog, either. Maybe it's because none of that had anything to do with being President of the United States.

October 13, 2012
5:31 p.m.
Will1960 says...

Peter Frank,

Your letter encompasses a message that needs to be heard. Your choice of words were eloquently stated and conveyed the frustration that many of us feel, but never bother to take the time to write a letter to the editor. However, this particular cancer never seemed to capture the attention of the media, which you pointed out so well. Good job!

October 13, 2012
6:06 p.m.
Fritzdawg says...

wmarincic: Sorry for your loss, and yes, there is more money to be made by not curing things.
That's just one of the many problems that is encountered when health care is considered as business, and not a basic human right.

October 14, 2012
6:32 a.m.
wmarincic says...

Fritzdawg, thank you and bostonredsoxfan for the condolences. What about Canada and Europe, they have socialized medicine and offer no cure.

October 14, 2012
9:42 a.m.
SnowGrinch says...

The Cure for 90% of lung cancer is DON'T SMOKE.

October 14, 2012
9:45 a.m.
seawitch1313 says...

So very sorry to hear of your loss :(
I know many people feel the same as you do. Cancer IS big business, and big bucks.

October 14, 2012
9:56 a.m.
seawitch1313 says...

Anna S. Hershey,
Both my parents were born and raised in the Carolina's. And I swear, every time the commercial comes on for "Honey Boo Boo" they roll in their ashes, and I can hear my Mothers voice saying "trashy, just trashy!". Hopefully, people that watch the show
( I cant bring myself to do it, it makes me cringe) know they play off the stereotypical Redneck, actually more Hillbilly IMO, to the max for ratings. It is in no way a reflection of true and proud southerners.
As for rednecks, Mr. McLoughlin, Y'all need to step out of your comfort zone and visit some upstate towns :)

October 14, 2012
11:47 a.m.
wmarincic says...

snowgrinch, now if only we could fix stupid we would no longer have to read your posts.

October 14, 2012
1:19 p.m.
Fritzdawg says...

wmarincic: True, Canada and Europe offer no cure, but the disease doesn't bankrupt you as well.
Maybe if we put more of our efforts into honest research, and less into nonsense and waste, we might have a cure.
Though as stated earlier, they make more money by keeping us sick.

October 14, 2012
7:25 p.m.
wmarincic says...

I agree fritzdawg, what really got me was the doctors, they gave me no information and I feel that they convinced me to give my wife chemo for the lung cancer while knowing that it would be the cancer that mastecised to her brain that would take her.

By doing this I feel that they made my wife much weaker and sick for five out of the seven months she lived after the diagnosis. I believe that even if she did not survive longer that she would have had a much better quality of life during her remaining time.

If I took anything away from this I would tell people to without a doubt get a second or even third opinion and find an oncologist that will explain everything to you.

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