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August 13th, 2011
01:00 AM ET

U.S. Muslim comedy tour hits Deep South

By Summer Suleiman, CNN

(CNN) - The Muslims are Coming is a comedy tour that is traveling to small towns throughout the South in hopes of opening up a discussion about Muslim stereotypes.

The tour started in Gainesville, Florida, home of Terry Jones, the pastor who attracted international headlines by burning a Quran, and stopped in Lawrenceville, Georgia, outside Atlanta, on Tuesday night. It will continue to Alabama and conclude in Tennessee.

The shows feature comedians Dean Obeidallah, Negin Farsad, Maysoon Zayid and Omar Elba. They are targeting small, conservative towns in the South where controversies over Islam have erupted.

“We came to the South because it has this reputation of being intolerant. It has this stereotype of hating other groups, so we wanted to see,” Farsad said. “We have a feeling that they’re not actually uniformly sitting around hating Muslims.”

Obeidallah, who performed with the recent Axis of Evil comedy tour, and Farsad, producer of the 2008 movie Nerdcore Rising, are producing a documentary about The Muslims are Coming. The shows on the tour are free, they say, because they want to reach as many people as possible.

“We really wanted to make this tour a chance to reach out American to American, people of different faiths coming together, laughing together,” Obeidallah said.

He hopes the tour will start a candid dialogue about Muslim stereotypes - and that it will simply make people laugh.

And laugh they did, at least on Tuesday.

The Lawrenceville audience was receptive to the performance, even when it veered into sensitive territory. At one point, for instance, Zayid joked about meeting her husband in a Gaza refugee camp and telling him to “pack up his tent”.

The shows also feature a question and answer portion with the audience.

In Lawrenceville, many of the questions gave voice to stereotypes. “Is it true if a group of women get naked, that Muslim men must kill themselves?” one audience member inquired.

“We want to answer the tough questions, we encourage people to ask the tough questions, talk about the stereotypes that are lingering in your mind,” Obeidallah said.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Interfaith issues • Islam

soundoff (1,214 Responses)
  1. KP

    I find the hypocrisy of talking about all the blood on muslim hands, slavery, etc., very funny. Christians really shouldn't throw any stones. Thank god atheism is on the rise. It's about time to stop all this religious nonsense anyways. Time to grow up and quit living in fantasy land

    August 15, 2011 at 6:51 pm |
    • JAG

      "Thank god atheism is on the rise."
      lol

      August 15, 2011 at 7:57 pm |
  2. AlexMack

    THERE'S NO HEAVEN, NO HELL, JUST SCIENCE! STOP BEING IGNORANT. JESUS IS THE EASTER BUNNY.

    August 15, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
    • Kira

      People like you make me embarrassed to be an atheist. Let people have their beliefs as long as they're using them to build a better life.

      August 15, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  3. Usaywha?

    Farsad said. “We have a feeling that they’re not actually uniformly sitting around hating Muslims.”
    Farsad you will see how wrong you are when the guys in white uniforms with matching pointy hoods show up at your show.

    August 15, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
    • The Lionly Lamb of The Gods Does Roar

      KK & K narsicism at its' finest of points, get a few more and I'll sharpen your horns,,, NO, I'll cut em off for ya so you blend in with normality and contritness! You'll be left with the nubs of degradation!

      August 15, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  4. Muneef

    http://www.onislam.net/english/reading-islam/my-journey-to-islam/contemporary-stories/453397-american-professor-converts-to-islam.html
     
    US Professor of Comparative Religion Finds Islam
    James Frankel's Journey to Islam..

    August 15, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
  5. CW

    I would love to debate with a Muslim..maybe they will see the error in their thinking and ask Jesus to come into their hearts.

    August 15, 2011 at 11:20 am |
    • Laughing

      Something tells me you're more likely to convert to islam then they would be to convert to christianity.

      August 15, 2011 at 11:24 am |
    • JayZ

      Muslims believe in Jesus you dolt.

      August 15, 2011 at 11:26 am |
    • Htx

      Ignorant comment. Muslims believe Jesus to be a prophet just as Muhammad. You dont seem knowledgable to debate with anyone.

      August 15, 2011 at 12:05 pm |
    • Keith

      Jz and Htx, Islam's "Jesus" is NOT the Jesus of the Bible. Not even close.

      August 15, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
    • N.O. Masseoud

      I am an old Muslim man. There are concrete proofs that the Qoran is revealed to Prophet Mohammed word by word. Mohammed was not a magician. He was a normal man chosen for revelation. Reading Qoran makes you feel you want to be closer to God. The Qoran can make you a better loving human. Islam is a submission of destiny to God. Islam is a better choice to lead and enjoy life. You need to spend times to study Islam to understand it. Or at least get in touch with a Muslim Sheik who is more knowledgeable. Best regards and good luck

      August 16, 2011 at 12:06 am |
  6. amel miladi

    ok so i think what the Muslim American comedians did is very "awesome" but i wanted to correct something that they said the revolutions in the middle east did not start from Egypt but from my country Tunisia and the fact that they did not even mention that makes me very angry because by that the are giving the credit for something that my country did to an other country and i am not saying that they did not do anything but the fact that this happened it just makes me feel like we did nothing that is worth mentioning and the fact that we are still supporting the Libyans it just makes everything that we did and we are still doing seems like nothing and i would like theme to correct this comment even if it is a joke

    August 15, 2011 at 10:37 am |
    • JayZ

      not one period in that whole comment? I'm not even mad, Im impressed!

      August 15, 2011 at 11:28 am |
    • Joe Huddleston

      Epic sentence.

      August 15, 2011 at 12:51 pm |
  7. DumbDhimmi

    Laugh Dhimmi. Laugh while you can...

    August 15, 2011 at 8:49 am |
  8. Methusalem2000

    Or is it Ali Baba is coming, open sesame?! Ishmael doesn't know humor. Have you ever seen a Muslim laugh, unless hyterical / mad laugh?

    August 15, 2011 at 8:37 am |
    • Kira

      Yeah, I have seen Muslims laugh, and cry, and giggle, and any other emotional state you want. Do you think they're not human or something? Of course they laugh.

      August 15, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  9. South is ok mostly

    You know what I like about what most people would call "rednecks"? They are generally frugal and independent people who care more for the environment than a typical big city person from the northeast. They seem to enjoy nature and tehy like to have a good time.

    And all the islamic people that I know have been civil and have cared for their families. They are decent and honest and tend to have a modern outlook.

    If you look, you can find ways to divide people, but if you really want to take hate out of your heart, you can find common ground and common cause with anyone. I never met a man I didn't like. The trick, I guess, is taking the trouble to meet them.

    August 15, 2011 at 6:13 am |
    • English Gent

      Well said.

      August 15, 2011 at 10:37 am |
    • *SIGH*

      That is a great perspective.

      August 15, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
    • shelbyrn

      I grew up in a rural delta town, but moved away when I was 18 to California for 6 years. That was the turning point for me. Most people raised in the south just have never really had to work day to day around people from other cultures. The marjority of southerners my oilder relatives for instance, have never been too far from the small towns they live in. and those town are not very diverse. I have took it upon myself to attempt to educate my family when I recieve thes type of hate email disguised as "humor" about Muslims and have been treated with disrespect from family by doing so , I even had an uncle tell me that I was full of hate because I could not take a joke, even though I said nothing hateful to him at all. I was also asked by the same uncle if I was still a Christian because of my tolerance I guess it is more Christian to be intollerant? I was also told by him "We will pray for you".. It is so sad that that my older uncle that is a good person and has always been a good hearted person could be so full of fear and prejudice that he would just put up a wall to educate himself, Small town southern AMeriica needs this tour like yesterday!!!! This will hopefully educated the people in thiose areas. Inshallah!!

      August 15, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
  10. Faith

    I mean, the human creativity is great, and a true gift from God. But humans as creatures should have the proper reverence in thinking of God and mentioning of God. Common people tend to expose the abuse rather minimum, but artists with wrong att-itudes just maximize the depravity. Just as all humans are sinful, all human cultures are evil and need redemption by the Truth and await for the full, final Redemption.

    August 15, 2011 at 5:58 am |
    • AndyB

      No.

      August 15, 2011 at 11:20 am |
    • shootmyownfood

      Wow – talk about assuming! Some of us humans don't believe in an invisible man in the sky, or any other omnipotent being. I appreciate the depth of your feeling, but it is the choice of each individual.

      August 15, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
    • MrSarcasm

      In intarsia, there are large blocks of single colors, that make an abstract or representative picture. It is not practical to carry the yarn across the back of large areas without using it, so a separate small ball or bobbin of yarn is used for each area of a color across the row.

      August 15, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
  11. Brno

    @inflatedKarma
    The 'nanny dog' is not the Pit Bull but the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Pit Bull's were bread only to fight (the clue is in the name ffs!), whereas Staffy's are the best family dog you can get. Don't tar them with the same brush

    August 15, 2011 at 4:27 am |
  12. Rick

    Metro Atlanta here. I wish I'd heard about the show in time to go see it. Instead, I'll have to check them out online. It's tough for a stand-up comedian to gain acceptance from mainstream audiences if the comedian isn't also mainstream, so I'm interested to hear what these comedians have to say. I can only think of a small number of culturally unusual comedians that American audiences really like, and only three or four who are central- or east Asian. If their tour has gone this well so far, then they must be pretty funny.

    August 15, 2011 at 2:07 am |
  13. Origami

    Saying all Muslims are terrorists is like saying all Christians are KKK members. Please stop this madness.

    August 15, 2011 at 1:45 am |
    • Faith

      Yes, it's wrong. It's like saying all American men are gays or all Ja-panese businessmen are perverts.

      August 15, 2011 at 5:28 am |
  14. jpeditor

    "In 2011 Southern state governments are reinforcing the stereotypes you guys hate. Putting religion into science texts? LOL"

    Hows that taking the Ten Commandments out of the schools working out for you, eh? Doesn't seem to be working IN LONDON, PHILA, or any other of the "progressive" DUMPS where secular-socialism has destroyed the most basic moral teachings of our children.

    August 15, 2011 at 12:53 am |
    • Matt

      CNN comment sections make me weep for America's future.

      August 15, 2011 at 2:41 am |
    • Martin T

      Taking the Ten Commandments OUT of EVER public building and public doctrine works out JUST FINE for me and for the millions like me who feel that religon has no place in the PUBLIC SECTOR. Not sure what you are rambling on about, but get over it. I'll THINK about religion in a better manner when they stay out of government and start doing what they were founded to do; take care of the masses – or so that is what one is led to believe.

      August 15, 2011 at 8:12 am |
    • Keith

      Martin T, You want religion out of gov't? It's already been tried...It was called the USSR.

      August 15, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
    • Kira

      @Keith: You're right. All government should have religion and prayer should be allowed in schools. Now, let me go get the amulet of Isis off my altar for my child to use tomorrow in class. By the way, what are you doing with your government-mandated Beltane holiday?

      Government represents us all: Christian, Muslim, Wicca, Jewish, Buddhist, and more. That's why it needs to remain neutral.

      August 15, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  15. Austin

    There is a portion of the human race that transcends racial bounds. It's called the crazy portion, and every race, religion, country, or region has approximately an equal amount of them, and they tend to be the most vocal. Then there's the vast majority who are mature enough to accept people for who and what they are.

    August 14, 2011 at 9:52 pm |
    • Johnny

      : |

      August 14, 2011 at 11:22 pm |
    • Delmonte

      Well said!

      August 14, 2011 at 11:29 pm |
    • Reality

      “John Hick, a noted British philosopher of religion, estimates that 95 percent of the people of the world owe their religious affiliation to an accident of birth. The faith of the vast majority of believers depends upon where they were born and when. Those born in Saudi Arabia will almost certainly be Moslems, and those born and raised in India will for the most part be Hindus. Nevertheless, the religion of millions of people can sometimes change abruptly in the face of major political and social upheavals. In the middle of the sixth century ce, virtually all the people of the Near East and Northern Africa, including Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Egypt were Christian. By the end of the following century, the people in these lands were largely Moslem, as a result of the militant spread of Islam.

      The Situation Today

      Barring military conquest, conversion to a faith other than that of one’s birth is rare. Some Jews, Moslems, and Hindus do convert to Christianity, but not often. Similarly, it is not common for Christians to become Moslems or Jews. Most people are satisfied that their own faith is the true one or at least good enough to satisfy their religious and emotional needs. Had St. Augustine or St. Thomas Aquinas been born in Mecca at the start of the present century, the chances are that they would not have been Christians but loyal followers of the prophet Mohammed. “ J. Somerville

      It is very disturbing that religious narrow- mindedness, intolerance, violence and hatred continues unabated due to radomness of birth. Maybe just maybe if this fact would be published on the first page of every newspaper every day, that we would finally realize the significant stupidity of all religions.

      August 15, 2011 at 12:32 am |
    • jpeditor

      Stop peddling that "every group has some crazies" lie. NO "religion" is NOW nor has been as CONSISTENTLY violent as "islam" (which means "submission" in arabic, not "peace") and anyone who tells you otherwise is uninformed or lying.

      The entire koran is a manual for cultural and "religious" imperialism. NO nation has become muslim by choice, only by violence, and islam TODAY kills more people (including MUSLIMS) than all other religions/ systems.

      Read the scorecard here:

      http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/

      August 15, 2011 at 12:50 am |
    • inflatedKarma

      @ jpeditor are you serious? when Christianity was about as old as Islam is now they were rampaging Europe converting or killing everyone in their path. they almost completely wiped out Paganism and Wiccan and branded them with an association to satanism that still exist today. Crusaders killed women and children in the name of god because were not christian. and lets not forget that the Nazi's were conservative christians and used that as catalyst to turn people against the jews. it will be a long time before islamic terrorist can match those numbers. I also find it odd how the site you mentioned failed to list the recent Norway incident.
      I served in Iraq and Afghanistan, fought against and along side muslims. @Austin is dead on, there are crazies in every group. but the vast majority of muslims that I know do not fit that mold, nor do they have any desire to destroy Christianity or America.
      I have a friend that works for Animal control, they alert the media to any dog attack on a human. the media will only report on them if there was a death involved or the dog was a pitbull or pitbull type.
      the effect: public opinion sees pitbulls as vicious killers who can't be trusted
      the reality: pitbulls score better than golden retrievers on temperament test and until the 1970's were nicknamed the Nanny dog because of how good they were with kids.

      As a soldier and a patriot I have no tolerance for anyone trying to harm my country family or friends. to effectively do that I need to know who the real enemy is not who the media or hate groups want me to think the enemy is.
      Right now I would say that congress is the worse threat to America.

      August 15, 2011 at 2:00 am |
    • Reality

      The Twenty (or so) Worst Things People Have Done to Each Other:

      http://necrometrics.com/warstatz.htm#u (required reading)

      The Muslim Conquest of India ======

      "The likely death toll is somewhere between 2 million and 80 million. The geometric mean of those two limits is 12.7 million. "

      Rank <<<Death Toll <Cause <<Centuries<<<Religions/Groups involved*

      1. 63 million Second World War 20C (Christians et al and Communists/atheists vs. Christians et al, Nazi-Pagan and "Shintoists")

      2. 40 million Mao Zedong (mostly famine) 20C (Communism)

      3. 40 million Genghis Khan 13C (Shamanism or Tengriism)

      4. 27 million British India (mostly famine) 19C (Anglican)

      5. 25 million Fall of the Ming Dynasty 17C (Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Chinese folk religion)

      6. 20 million Taiping Rebellion 19C ( Confucianism, Buddhism and Chinese folk religion vs. a form of Christianity)

      7. 20 million Joseph Stalin 20C (Communism)

      8. 19 million Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C (Islam)

      9. 17 million Timur Lenk 14C-15C

      10. 16 million Atlantic Slave Trade 15C-19C (Christianity)

      11. 15 million First World War 20C (Christians vs. Christians)

      12. 15 million Conquest of the Americas 15C-19C (Christians vs. Pagans)

      13. 13 million Muslim Conquest of India 11C-18C

      14. 10 million An Lushan Revolt 8C

      15. 10 million Xin Dynasty 1C

      16. 9 million Russian Civil War 20C (Christians vs Communists)

      17. 8 million Fall of Rome 5C (Pagans vs. Pagans)

      18. 8 million Congo Free State 19C-20C (Christians)

      19. 7½ million Thirty Years War 17C (Christians vs Christians)

      20. 7½ million Fall of the Yuan Dynasty 14C

      *:" Is religion responsible for more violent deaths than any other cause?

      A: No, of course not – unless you define religion so broadly as to be meaningless. Just take the four deadliest events of the 20th Century – Two World Wars, Red China and the Soviet Union – no religious motivation there, unless you consider every belief system to be a religion."

      Q: So, what you're saying is that religion has never killed anyone.

      A: Arrgh... You all-or-nothing people drive me crazy. There are many doc-umented examples where members of one religion try to exterminate the members of another religion. Causation is always complex, but if the only difference between two warring groups is religion, then that certainly sounds like a religious conflict to me. Is it the number one cause of mass homicide in human history? No. Of the 22 worst episodes of mass killing, maybe four were primarily religious. Is that a lot? Well, it's more than the number of wars fought over soccer, or s-ex (The Trojan and Sabine Wars don't even make the list.), but less than the number fought over land, money, glory or prestige.

      In my Index, I list 41 religious conflicts compared with 27 oppressions under "Communism", 24 under Colonialism, 2 under "Railroads" and 2 under "Scapegoats". Make of that what you will."

      August 15, 2011 at 7:38 am |
  16. Rumblenuts

    Basing their tour on what the media says is ignorant in itself. Did they stop to think for one second that alot of people in the south are from the north or other locations, duh! How insulting. I lived in Indiana and Ohio before I moved to Texas. I guess it's ok to lable southerners but don't label muslims for Christ sake. If they come to Austin I will be sure to go to one of their shows with a bag of rotten tomatos.

    August 14, 2011 at 9:15 pm |
    • Alex

      I look forward to seeing you bringing rotten tomatoes to throw, because then I get to see your ignorant self shot for assault.

      And that, my friends, is comedy gold in weird Austin.

      August 14, 2011 at 9:52 pm |
    • SZ

      Yea, but being from Indiana or Ohio is not much better than living in Texas. I can't speak for Ohio, but Indiana is loaded with ignorant bigots.

      August 14, 2011 at 9:58 pm |
    • Delmonte

      As a native Austinite, I'm happy to "label" you as a close-minded moron and hope one day you'll move away. Until then, I hope we never meet. So book your ticket carefully.

      August 14, 2011 at 11:28 pm |
    • Dobro

      Funny, you sound like somebody from the South.

      August 14, 2011 at 11:59 pm |
    • Sidewinder

      Somebody missed the point. Stereotypes vs stereotypes. Classic understated theme. Good for them. Try southern Missouri where I'm at, if you guys really want a tough bigot nut to crack.

      August 15, 2011 at 12:05 am |
    • AndyB

      How dare they acknowledge an existing stereotype about southerners being violently intolerant. That makes me angry enough to throw things at them. That will be sure to teach them how wrong that stereotype is.

      August 15, 2011 at 11:51 am |
  17. justsaying

    I think its a good idea. Two of the most stereotyped People in America are Southerners and Muslims. Southerners are seen as ignorant, racist, gun carrying, cross holding, inbred rednecks. Muslims are seen as camel owning, oppressed, hatefilled, no sense of humor, American hating, Arab terrorists. In both cases it isn't true. I was born and raised in the south. The town where it closes for Friday night football, teens ride around and party in the woods or swamps. Everyone goes to church on Sunday and everyone knows everyone type of place. I am Irish American, served my country, want to see the world a better place yet I am Muslim. I know both sides of the stereotype and on both sides its wrong. We know there are ignorant racists. And we know There are Muslims who hate America. But do we ever stop and ask why they do or ask are they all the same. No we as a society generalize groups of people based on what media and movies want you to Think. Southern people hold firm to their Christian values and beliefs and so do Muslims. Muslims believe in family and community above all else. So do Southerners. You know my mother asked " how can you be Muslim Your not brown?" Is she ignorant or mean. No she really didn't know. Just like some Muslims see me as an outsider because I'm American with no ancestry to the middle east or Asia. The south is the ideal place for this conversation To take place. Not only will People laugh but be able to ask questions they might not other wise ask. The place where racsism is still high and religion is the corner Stine of the community. Where People are stereotyped for being ignorant because They have a southern drawl. A place where two very different yet similar cultures can truly find out more about one another. Southern people aren't going anywhere and neither are Muslims. Both values are based on the Abrahamic faith. Each side has aspirations for their children and the future. Each side fed up of being looked down on because of a small percentage of others That Claim to reprsent the whole group. Will this work? Who knows but we wont ever know until we reach across those lines. Its time America has this discussion about race, religion and stereotypes and What better groups to do it than Southerners and Muslims. Peace be with you all.

    August 14, 2011 at 8:21 pm |
    • edmondjg

      So, are you going to marry four of your cousins?

      August 14, 2011 at 10:20 pm |
    • Frank Miller

      God bless you justsaying.

      Based on these comments people like you (open minded) are a small minority but sometimes a small spark can start a mighty blaze.

      August 14, 2011 at 11:47 pm |
  18. Awkward Situations

    Okay. But what about the stereotype that comedians of a certain race can make jokes about their own racial stereotypes but said comedians can't make jokes about other racial stereotypes... or else they'll come across as racists.

    Stop the stereotyping of comedians I say!

    August 14, 2011 at 8:16 pm |
    • Collective

      Are you a comedian?...because I'm not sure whether I should LOL or be enraged!

      August 14, 2011 at 8:42 pm |
    • Simkatu

      I don't know if you seen Lisa Lampanelli or any of hundreds of other white comedians that frequently use humor about race. There is a way to do it and an inappropriate way. People know the difference.

      August 14, 2011 at 8:58 pm |
    • Awkward Situations

      Rage!! Then LOL!

      The next logical step, of course, is to answer back with a 'THE REDNECKS ARE COMING!' tour spanning several Muslim countries in the hopes of opening up a discussion about Redneck/Deep South stereotypes.

      (btw, Lampanelli is hilarious)

      August 15, 2011 at 1:15 am |
    • ?

      Larry the Cable Guy tours the Middle East, awesome!

      August 15, 2011 at 3:04 am |
  19. JR

    Translation: We're going to go check out if our own bigoted stereotypes are actually true.

    LOL, I think that this is whole thing is fine and basically harmless. It's just amusing that people with stereotypes of their own, are going on a quest in an attempt to observe stereotypes of others.

    August 14, 2011 at 7:22 pm |
    • Awkward Situations

      Pots are going on tour making black jokes to an audience of Kettles.

      August 15, 2011 at 1:18 am |
  20. Dorie

    I say more power to this group. Americans in the south are a different type, They need exposure to "others" so that the discrimination and crazy stops. On the one hand you experience southerners as congenial types who treat guests with much hospitality. On the other hand you experience southerners who have some deep seated thoughts about "others." Will the real southerner please stand up?

    August 14, 2011 at 6:49 pm |
    • Brian Gage

      As a real southerner, I can tell you we are subject to the as vicious and incorrect stereotypes as these Muslims are–which is why I find this article so ironic. You want racism and hatred of "others"? Go to Boston.

      August 14, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
    • Ed

      I AM a real Southerner, born and raised in Georgia. We show great hospitality to our fellow Americans and to others provided their culture doesn't include violence and death threats toward our children. The reason for your view of us is simple , we have COMMON SENSE! muslims have made it clear they want us dead. They have called us evil and compared us to satan. So NO they are not welcome and had best stay out of the South.

      August 14, 2011 at 7:10 pm |
    • Keith

      Brian, You mean you don't look like the in-bred, toothless guys on "Deliverance"? C'mon. Be a sport and play your role for cnn and the muslim world. cnn-you are a joke.

      August 14, 2011 at 7:11 pm |
    • Jeff

      As a southerner I'd like to say to you 'look in the mirror." In your comment you are criticizing and labeling a group (southerners) for being critical of and labeling others (muslims). I'll admit, yes there are some ignorant people in the south when it comes to accepting other cultures. However, ignorant groups of people exist ALL OVER AMERICA, not just the south.

      I'm a white male. When on a group trip to Philadelphia with friends of a different race, we were all on the receiving end of obscenities. I am white. My friend is black. Who was doing the yelling? Blacks in Philadelphia were. It happens everywhere.

      Watch any movie that comes out of Hollywood. How do they portray southerners? They portray us as ignorant, back woods types who haven't completed junior high school, and speak with a long, slow, drawl. We laugh at those assumptions and portrayals. Most of the people "down here" will do anything they can to help a neighbor or even a stranger on the street, regardless of skin color or religion. You wouldn't know that based on watching what they put on television.

      August 14, 2011 at 7:13 pm |
    • Matt

      @southerners: I think the problem is you guys fought a war to extend slavery, then after you lost enacted laws that basically amounted to the same thing as slavery and then fought like hell to keep those laws in place. History does tend to bite you in the rear end when you're fighting to consider people property.

      August 14, 2011 at 8:22 pm |
    • Dave Foltz

      If you're on this thread, Yoooooouuuuuu might be a redneck. "Yall aren't welcome in the south"?!? Classic! Thanks for protecting the swamp skeeter!

      August 14, 2011 at 8:22 pm |
    • FatSean

      As an east-coast elitist ivory tower bourgeoiser higher education having liberal...I gotta laugh at all the faux outrage. In 2011 Southern state governments are reinforcing the stereotypes you guys hate. Putting religion into science texts? LOL

      August 14, 2011 at 8:31 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.