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State Sen. Vincent Fort's Favorite Sign of the New South

Cooperation among blacks and whites in politics

The best of the New South are those intermittent, sometimes inconsistent, but gratifying instances when blacks and whites in politics can come together on issues that 10 years ago they would not have come together on. Issues like hate crimes and the state flag -- when whites and blacks came to a consensus that involved compromise and reconciliation. Those issues are symbolic to a certain extent, particularly the state flag. But symbols are important. And when those things can happen, that's the best of the New South. It's still inconsistent in issues beyond symbolism, like affirmative action and state contracts, when only 2 percent of state contracts go to minorities, and issues like predatory lending, which largely affects minorities. The New South isn't there yet, but in those certain situations, you couldn't have imagined white Democrats and black Democrats and some Republicans coming together on these issues even 10 years ago. That's probably the best of the New South.

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