And it's not like this is limited to the South.
The reason why only one state of the old Confederacy has expanded Medicaid is the same reason why people cheer when Scott Walker tries to drug test welfare recipients, and it's the same reason why being "tough on crime" helped Rudy Giuliani get elected mayor of New York City. As a nation, we still think "those people" don't deserve equal rights.
Slavery is gone, but the racial logic that made it possible is still very much with us. So why is that? Why, more than 150 years after the Civil War, do so many people still hold on to the white supremacy death cult?
Ever since Nixon in 1968, the Republican Party has made a conscious effort to capture the white-racist vote using a strategy recapped by Reagan advisor Lee Atwater back in 1981.
Atwater's strategy has worked like a charm, especially in the South. One recent study actually found that even when controlling for other factors, counties in the South with active Ku Klux Klan chapters saw the biggest shift towards the Republican Party between 1960 and 2000.
It shouldn't surprise us that white right-wing racist terrorists have killed more Americans since 9/11 than Muslim terrorists have?
And the simple reason is that politicians from one of our major political parties -- the Republican Party -- depend on America's racist white supremacy death cult to get elected.
Forty-eight percent of Americans people still think the Civil War was a constitutional dispute about state's rights. Gone with the Wind is still treated like authentic true-to-the books history.
Now that we've seen the evil face of this death cult in Dylann Storm Roof, it's time to call it what it is. It's time to say that the pre-Civil War South was a police state, that plantations were concentration camps, and that white supremacy was the guiding belief behind the "Lost Cause" of the Confederacy.
And it's time to admit that we've never really come to grips with the real history of slavery or its legacy.
If we don't de-program ourselves from the white supremacy death cult that has infected this country from its very founding, it will destroy us all.
Taking down the Confederate battle flag is a good first step, and so is calling Dylann Storm Roof a terrorist. But what really needs to happen to de-program America from its death cult is for Republicans to stop pandering to racists and racism and for white Americans to come to grips with the power of white privilege.
And that starts with policy -- like stopping the Republican voter suppression efforts in the South, having those states accept Medicaid expansion for all their people, and beginning to regulate in a rational way our national civilian arsenal.
Only then can we exorcise the demons of our past and move towards a more just and equal future.
(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).