Jerry Dean Pate is a retired trade association president and executive. He spent some thirty years lobbying the Congress and state legislatures on behalf of the telecommunications industry and electric cooperatives. He holds a BA in Journalism and Master of Public Administration degrees from the University of South Carolina.
A South Carolina native, he also worked twenty years in radio and television as a reporter, writer, producer, news anchor and news director covering the state legislature, the Civil Rights, and women’s movements from the mid 1960’s onward.
Pate grew up in a small SC town, was raised on false beliefs about the Civil War and as a child participated in the annual march to a Confederate Monument to praise those who fought for the South. He was taught American Exceptionalism as part of the country’s WW-II propaganda and was unaware the America is the Greatest history imparted to him and other school children never said anything about the trail of tears, nor the near genocide of Native Americans.
His views about what he was taught changed as he began reporting on the civil rights movement and saw how bad beliefs and attitudes about women, African Americans, textile workers and labor unions affected his state.
He witnessed the rise of Christian Conservatives as a political force and watched the Republican National Committee dupe black Democrats into giving Republicans control of Southern state legislatures in exchange for drawing minority-majority legislative districts. As a result, Republicans are empowered to adopt the most egregious laws knowing Democrats can do nothing to stop them.
As today’s Americans retreat into separate communities fueled by disinformation and false beliefs, he worries Americans are losing their ability to govern their country. His book provides examples of what happened to mislead people in the past and hopefully will serve as a warning for what can happen if we continue to believe in things that are untrue.