Date: May 10, 2019 03:52PM
I presently live in Mississippi, which is about as Deep South as you can get. I've lived here for 20 years, came here for a job, after growing up on the West Coast.
I haven't seen anything like what macaRomney describes, lots of ladies work, lots of ladies are addressed by their first names, and I don't see any white trash or blacks and immigrants acting any differently or being addressed differently from anyone else. In my workplace and neighborhood of mixed races, everyone calls everyone by first name, hugs and greetings are affectionate, there is no barrier of class that he speaks of.
Where I work, two of the top three leadership positions are held by blacks and you can believe they will look at anyone directly, and they are called, and are accorded, titles and positions of respect, by everyone.
I'm not sure when macaRomney was here but I have not seen those behaviors and descriptors; they are not representative of any reality I have seen. My workplace and neighborhood are about equally made up of blacks and whites and they are not treated any differently by their race. Some advance, some don't, advancement is by merit.
As far as the Mormon church, which I attended as a convert for around 18 months, that was the least integrated place I have been in the South. There were only two mixed-race families there, all the rest were white.
The large Baptist churches I have visited, and other churches such as Episcopalian and non-denominational that I have been to here, have all had an integrated congregation.
I chatted with the Pastor of the large Baptist church, which is a few blocks from the little Mormon ward chapel. Ward had around 250 families, of which around 100 attended regularly. The Baptist church (one of many in this neighborhood) had arena seating for all 4 morning and evening Sunday services, of 1800, each service I ever attended was full, sometimes people were standing at the back. The ward never ran out of seating in the one Sunday service.
In addition the Baptist had a professional choir, a professional band, televised services, huge, beautifully designed (stained glass, etc) premises, many paid helpers (child carers and armed security were all paid, as well as paid janitorial). Income for the Baptist church was publicly discussed in regular meetings open to all, that church reported around $10M per year in donations according to the meeting accounting I attended. Of course I never knew any numbers for the Ward. Donations were voluntary at services. I know any comparison (what you get for your money) that Baptist church, probably most of them, would shine compared to the small Ward chapel.
When I mentioned to the Baptist pastor once in casual conversation (he invited everyone to speak to him after services) that I had recently been a member of the Mormon church, it was clear he'd either never heard of it, or at least, knew nothing about it.
My sense, and of course I wasn't a born-in member of Mormonism, but I felt that they mostly kept pretty low key because in the South, religion is not just lip service.
These Baptists, really, really know their Bibles. Many are true scholars, and read their Bible and attend study groups, and could debate anyone about anything the Bible says. If Mormons took on these Baptists in a discussion of God or the Holy Ghost or any facet of the Bible, my bets would be on the scholarship of the Baptist against anyone who has spent most of their time studying the so-called 'scripture' of the BoM.
That is my view as a current, long-time resident of the Deep South, and a sometime Mormon convert (got out last year).
Thanks for listening to my thoughts!