Anti-Southern Bigotry


Category : General, Politics

In these days of political correctness and diversity training, some bigotry remains.  Too many Americans have a prejudice against International Medical Graduates.  But they one I cannot understand is the open prejudice against the South (and by extension Southerners).

Periodically I will read an op-ed that criticizes my state – Alabama – specifically or the South in general.  The Wall Street Journal has an interesting book review criticizing a book with an outrageous title – Better Off Without 'Em: A Northern Case for Southern Secession.  The review – A New Turn in the South: Northerners may hate its culture, but they at least ought to try to understand the nation's fastest-growing region

On the first page, the author wonders why the American electoral system must be "held hostage by a coalition of bought-and-paid-for political swamp scum from the most uneducated, morbidly obese, racist, morally indigent, xenophobic, socially stunted, and generally ass-backwards part of the country." You expect him to let up, to turn the argument around, to look at the other side of question. But he never does. For more than 300 pages, Mr. Thompson travels through the South observing customs, outlooks and people and subjecting them to an unremitting stream of denunciations.

"A Northern Manifesto for Southern Secession," says the subtitle. Although Mr. Thompson tries hard (often too hard) to be funny, he doesn't seem to be joking about secession: He really does want the U.S. to be rid of the South.

Think of an ethnic group.  Can you imagine a description similar to that in the first paragraph?  Can you imagine the outrage?

Why does this writer think that he can stereotype Southerners?  Why is this blatant prejudice different from other prejudices?

The reviewer does a wonderful job critiquing a book that I will never read.  But I remain angry since first reading this 12 hours ago.  Why is such trash even published?  Why do we not hear outrage from others who shout whenever other groups have such criticism? 

Having lived in the South since the age of 5, I love the people.  I love the attitude.  We Southerners look each other in the eye.  We are nice and polite to each other.  We show each other respect.

But not everyone should move here.  Please do not come to the South if you are so close-minded as to try to characterize all Southerners with a stereotype.

If you are open-minded, y'all come on down.  You will be surprised.  Living here allows you to daily have a pleasant quality of life.  Perhaps the writer does not like us because we are generally happy.

Comments (5)

What I have found is the south has a stronger work ethic, race is not an issue, and they are politically conservative, while still caring about their neighbors. Think Atlanta.
In the north you have liberal politicians, unions, and academics all worried about what the other guy is doing. Race and income is used for political gain. Think Cleveland.
I have always felt the south had a larger selection of good small colleges than the north and even the poorest southerner has manners.
I think the author is just jealous of a society he cannot correct and is finding fault to satisfy his need for attention.
Steve Lucas

A person can find trash in any location and of any size or color, if he choose to spend his time looking for it.  The author of this book would be living proof.
Hope he has a real nice day.
Shirley Love

It's unclear whether this guy is a parochial dope, a disgruntled Oregon Ducks fan, or both.
This, from a Northerner.

Many Americans are not well acquainted with the different parts of our country. Our nation needs them all! They make us who we are and contribute mightly to our national character. 

I'm a native Southerner and spent most of my adult life there. However, for the past 12 years I've lived in a small state in New England.  I remember asking a friend from this area, who had moved South, what I should expect. I wondered if I would be ridiculed or mocked. She said moving South was one of the best decisions of her life and advised me upon going North to just not arrive with a chip on my shoulder. I have always remembered that advice and appreciated her remarks. My experience here has been one of acceptance and friendliness for the most part. However, I do have my "general American" accent for public and business and allow my occasional Southern accent to leak out when I'm most comfortable.  I think for the past half century or more the media has often portrayed Southerners in an unflattering light. This sets the stage for prejudice. I remember as I grew up I was not even aware that there were poor people in the North outside of those who lived in the inner city and were divided mostly, and unfortunately, along racial lines.  This, too, was partially formed by the media. To my surprise in my rural area of New England I have encountered some very poor people with missing teeth and lacking in education.  They would fit the stereotype that *some* people see of the South.  Reality is that there is much more in common than there is different between the people of the regions. There are rich, poor, educated, uneducated, friendly, rude people everywhere. I have come to find this to be true through my own experience. Therefore, it is discouraging that people don't see the best about humanity wherever they go regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, REGION or any other aspect that distinguishes us from each other. 

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