Stereotypes About the South

Go read this article, NOW. No, now. Do it.

I’ve been saying this for ages,and I am so glad to see someone else talking about it:

“The common perception that Southerners are stupid obscures the generations of progressive activists who have fought, sacrificed and sometimes died to make this a more hospitable and inclusive place. But progressive media outlets too often imply that we are an undifferentiated mass of ignorant bigots. In a 2004 Slate article, for example, novelist Jane Smiley wrote that “ignorance and bloodlust have a long tradition in the United States, especially in the red states.” Her conclusion? Progressives should just write them all off as potential political allies and marginalize these states as much as possible. But this is extremely ineffective political strategy – and almost certainly would have prevented Obama’s 2008 wins in swing states North Carolina, Florida and Virginia.”

The sooner every fucking progressive and Northerner reads this piece, the better. Please and thank you.

We’re not going to go anywhere divided. We’re not going to make any progress if Southern states keep getting dismissed and ignored.

So pay attention, ‘kay?


About Brittany-Ann
Brittany-Ann is a proud, self-identified feminist with fictional tendencies. She currently writes for and moderates at My Fault I'm Female. She smokes camels, reads Dumas, and navigates a conservative state as "one of them darn liberals."

One Response to Stereotypes About the South

  1. They even miss incredible subtleties like: total right winger Jessie Helms becomes gay-rights advocate (sharing a platform with Bono, for goodness sake!) because in the South, family will — in the long run — trump politics.

    I think the biggest challenge people from outside the South have with Southerners is that the communication style is so different Northerners never know whether they’ve reached agreement or even, for certain, what they’re discussing. And on the other hand, Southerners think they’re in wild chaotic disagreement when Northerners think they’re having a perfectly ordinary conversation. (My husband walked down the hall to find out who was having an argument in the break room one day to find out it was just two guys from New Jersey chatting over coffee!)

    Everyone ends up grabbing their blocks and going home because no one teaches classes in how to talk Northern and how to talk Southern — and I’m not describing the accent, I’m talking about the relatively direct or indirect approach to communication.

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