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Old 08-19-2008, 08:06 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clt_gator View Post
So true.

But I've grown to loathe many of these folks, as they sometimes tend to adopt the "I liked Charlotte better in 1965" mantra and oppose any sort of development.
In 1965 there weren't so many people that insulted the way we local people ate, spoke, drove and numerous other facets of life. In reality there is about a 50% chance that a local will receive an insult from a northerner within 10 minutes of initially meeting the individual. It is mostly middle and older northerners that seem to be the most ingnorant, those with stereotypes. An intelligent person should understand that local people have been invaded by hundreds of thousands of individuals that think they are better and should be able to rationalize that the locals logically would like it better before the angry ambassadors from the north arrived.
Despite stereotypes, locals judge people by their behavior and character, not by their race, nationally, or region of orgin. If one is nasty and judgmental, they will not be welcomed. If nice and willing to accept their new environment, they will be a welcomed part of the community.

Maybe it would be wise to stop your "loathing" and try some understanding.

 
Old 08-19-2008, 08:34 AM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,004,073 times
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Well, I have my own complaints about CLT . . . and I had complaints about CLT 30 years ago, LOL.

Native Southerners just embrace stuff that people outside this region do not understand, will never understand . . . and may, in fact, disparage. There is no way to really explain it.

I have said it b/f and I don't think anyone much gets the subtle, but important message . . . Newcomers often act very offended or grossed out or put off or superior in re: to things that Southerners find to be part of the environment - and indeed, part of the fabric of Southern life.

If you have spent time w/ Southern writers, you may get a clue about some of these things.

For example . . . this happened to me w/ a family member (married into my very large NC family). She is from a small city near CHI (well, more a town). She dislikes the South, and we have no idea why. She just does. (I think the town she is from is backward, dirty and full of uneducated people, but I would never disparage all of Illinois b/c of that). Anyway . . . Miss Illinois was in my neighborhood, and was offended b/c she saw someone who she whispered "looks like a redneck."

Well here is the way it is, folks. My momma put it very well. "Don't put down rednecks. They are OUR rednecks."

Now maybe that is something no one else will get unless you are from the South. What others consider "redneck" . . . that is just a lifestyle to a Southerner. And not something to put down. If you don't like truck-driving, gun toting, ATV owners . . . who may have three dogs trailing after them while they are popping their Buds, riding their ATVs in mud, or hunting wild turkey out in a field . . . well for heaven's sake . . . just don't participate. These are OUR PEOPLE. Bubba is my buddy. He doesn't care that I have advanced degrees and like designer shoes and I don't care that he likes to play pool and hang out at the local dive and listen to country music. In fact, I will go w/ him to the dive, shoot pool, sing the country songs and do a little Texas Two Step w/ him and his wife. I will enjoy being in his bass boat and fishing in a cove. And he may show up at the golf course w/ NASCAR cap, but he will be respectful and enjoy a round of golf and indeed, may have more expensive golf clubs than I own.

But these crazy stereotypes . . . that is what newcomers so often seize on and are quick to label people according to how they dress . . . how deep their Southern drawl is . . . or what kind of vehicle they drive.

That is what aggravates Southerners - the assumptions. I may be a debutante, but that doesn't mean I haven't called hogs, gone to the rifle range, and gotten out on Junior's ATVs back on Uncle Bill's farm. And just b/c I love a good "fish fry" out at the county fair, it doesn't mean I am an unsophisticated rube.

So it is the stereotypes and the aghast way newcomers act when confronted w/ "things that are Southern" that aggravates the locals. Assumptions. That air of superiority that somehow, Southerners are just not very educated . . . or that we are tacky . . . or that we are just somehow "backwards."

That "good ole boy" that you might see in my neighborhood . . . the one that offended my inlaw relative? He has an advanced degree in mechanical engineering. He is worth more money than my inlaw relative will ever be. But just b/c he likes his Skoal and drives a truck and was walking around w/ a beer in his hand . . . he got labeled "redneck" and my relative said this made the neighborhood seem undesirable - "b/c of people like that." Oh - and she would never live here "b/c she wouldn't want her children exposed to people like that."

That is why Southerners get prickly. Incidents that make us feel anyone outside the South doesn't GET IT. We don't judge people by how much money they have . . . we judge them by their character and integrity. My "redneck" neighbor would give you the shirt off his back!
 
Old 08-19-2008, 08:38 AM
 
Location: CLT native
4,280 posts, read 10,033,005 times
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+1 Ani,

I was in many small towns in New England recently, from NJ to ME.
The South certainly does not have a monopoly on sloppy, educated people...
 
Old 08-19-2008, 09:08 AM
 
54 posts, read 171,501 times
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Well said, anifani821, but I believe your statement applies to the locals everywhere. I currently live in Maine and have seen non-natives in action trying to change everything they insisted they loved. Prime example: people move near a farm to enjoy the scenic view then complain about the odors & noise. The lousy attitudes "outsiders" have towards locals unfortunately also applies to a good amount of the tourists we get in Maine.
 
Old 08-19-2008, 09:24 AM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,004,073 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mullman View Post
+1 Ani,

I was in many small towns in New England recently, from NJ to ME.
The South certainly does not have a monopoly on sloppy, educated people...
So very true, Mullman. But the thing is . . . seems to me . . . there is this "class" thing that goes on in the NE and indeed, in many large cities across this country. The blue collar workers are supposed to stick to their little burgs (or corner of a burg) and the white collar workers stick to their spots - and never do the twain meet. The whole idea is . . . buy into an area where there are gonna be others "like yourself." That is not just a decision prescribed by earning power. People choose where they are gonna live based on cultural background, ethnicity, too. So if you are an Italian, you often will choose to be in a section of town where their are other Italians - same for Poles, Irish, etc.

And then you have whole sections in some burgs that are dominated by professions, such as streets where mostly policemen or firemen live. At least, that is what I have experienced. And neighborhoods that are mostly Catholic . . . and sometimes, the Irish Catholics separate themselves from the Italian Catholics . . .

But here in the South, we mix it up. That is the way it is here. There are no "ethnic" sections (well, there weren't until we we got a surge of illegals who have established barrios). And there are areas where homeowners have had their homes for 40 years, so you have a lot of elderly clustered in one area (but that is changing as people die, move into assisted living, etc and young families move in). And then there have been areas where black folk traditionally have lived, usually in close proximity to a particular church or school that was, at one time, segregated and black.

So for the most part, what you find in the South is - people choosing to live where they can afford to live . . . or if they prefer a rural area . . . choosing to live there b/c they want more acreage or need acreage to farm . . .

Oh, there is more to it, of course. But my point is . . . there is no real CLASS system here as in the Northeast, where people tend to cluster together based on who is a white collar worker, who makes over xx amount a year, who wants to be around their Irish or Italian relatives/friends . . . It is my opinion that neighborhoods in the NE (Philly, NYC, Boston, etc) have more of an identifiable demographic homogeneity than Southern neighborhoods. I am totally willing to listen to other viewpoints on that, but that is my perception.

So when newcomers arrive here, they are often looking to replace that configuration, or at least - find it disconcerting (or maybe just - different) when they find out the South doesn't have these enclaves of homogeneity as the NE does (and add CHI to that to some extent).

When "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" was published, I was living in KS and you would not believe how many people asked me "Is the South really like that?" Uh, yeah. It is. Or should I say, the traditional South is like that. Not the "New South" . . . altho there were hints of the New South in that book . . . And Pat Conroy's books . . . they explore what happens when the Old South encounters the New South (on some levels) . . . and explore the often ineffable relationships we Southerners have WITH EACH OTHER.

There is a thread that runs through Southern literature and for those wondering "what is it that makes Southerners different . . . " perhaps it would help if one were to understand that here in the South, we celebrate eccentricities.

Think about it. We are story-tellers here. We are very connected to our history. Why has the South consistently produced some of our very best writers, actors, musicians, composers? Why is that? It is because Southerners admire and promote individuality. It seems newcomers have this misperception that we are all into conformity. No no no. We are into honoring the traditions . . . but we also are rebels . . . and into individual rights.

Yes, it is complex. And therein lies the conflict!!! Newcomers arrive and see what is on the surface . . . and that is as far as they go w/ the analysis. The newcomers who take some time to listen and learn . . . rather than disparage and condescend . . . they are the ones who will find themselves enjoying it here . . . making new friends . . . and finding out that Southerners are very amusing people, for the most part. And yes, very much like the characters straight out of a John Grisham or Pat Conroy novel . . . and w/ some twists straight out of Midnite/Garden.

But as my DAR friend said . . . sadly . . . most newcomers will not encounter that many "real Southerners."

I like thinking of Charlotte as the New South, LOL. It is what it is! I like seeing us all growing together. For those of us who have family roots that go back 250 years . . . all we ask is . . . come w/ an open mind. And most of all - Don't be so damned self-righteous.

Southerners are, for the most part, "live and let live" people. As long as you are not in our face or disturbing our peace . . . we won't judge you at all. Act condescending and you will guarantee zero cooperation in whatever your pursuit may be, whether trying to come to an understanding w/ a school principal, your HR director, your next door neighbor or your plumber.
 
Old 08-19-2008, 09:28 AM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,004,073 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by repotted View Post
Well said, anifani821, but I believe your statement applies to the locals everywhere. I currently live in Maine and have seen non-natives in action trying to change everything they insisted they loved. Prime example: people move near a farm to enjoy the scenic view then complain about the odors & noise. The lousy attitudes "outsiders" have towards locals unfortunately also applies to a good amount of the tourists we get in Maine.
I agree. I think this would be true in any area that has a long tradition and ties b/n families that go back 200 or more years - and Maine would definitely qualify as one of those places!! Especially - w/ the smaller towns, where everyone has known everyone else for generations.

The same phenomenon you mention re: tourists in Maine is very applicable to what goes on here in NC in our mountains. Tourists are tolerated b/c we need their $$$ . . . but the resentment is often palpable (from residents) b/c of the high-handed attitude that the tourists often bring with them!!! Demanding, condescending, etc . . . funny how people are so charmed by the "quaint" quality of an area . . . and then when they move to that area, seem determined to destroy all that made the area "quaint." And then they wonder why the locals act resentful . . .
 
Old 08-19-2008, 09:41 AM
 
54 posts, read 171,501 times
Reputation: 21
anifani821, you've nailed it exactly. An interesting note: a very well known actor bought a home in a local working waterfront area with a long tradition of lobstering etc. He and his wife went out of their way to meet their new neighbors (locals) and have been nothing but perfect neighbors ever since. If only everone could be so accepting...
 
Old 08-19-2008, 09:48 AM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,004,073 times
Reputation: 22370
Quote:
Originally Posted by repotted View Post
anifani821, you've nailed it exactly. An interesting note: a very well known actor bought a home in a local working waterfront area with a long tradition of lobstering etc. He and his wife went out of their way to meet their new neighbors (locals) and have been nothing but perfect neighbors ever since. If only everone could be so accepting...
Exactly! Paul Newman bought a place in our mountains 15-20 years ago (he may have since sold it) and mingled w/ the natives while there. THe natives were very protective of him and his privacy b/c they respected how he wanted to just fit in.

Met an Italian from the Tuscan region while on a cruise . . .and she told me the Germans (she called them the rich black leather weekend motorcycle crowd) have swarmed in and bought up estates . . . and the locals despise them, Hee Hee Hee. Said they are crude and loud and condescending to the locals. I found this soooooo amusing. Seems people all over the world feel the same way when they believe their area has been "invaded" and the locals are treated badly . . .

Last edited by brokensky; 08-19-2008 at 09:48 AM.. Reason: typo
 
Old 08-19-2008, 10:59 AM
 
743 posts, read 2,024,233 times
Reputation: 231
Very well put Ani --- I experience the whole "who has more, keeping up with the Jones'" mentality in my neighborhood. As well as everyone judging everybody else. Heck, I am a transplant myself and get looked down on for having dirt bikes, 4x4 sitting on my front porch drinking a beer in the evening and riding the Harley with hubby. But all of our friends, were born and raised in Union Co. Go figure, some just fit in and others keep comparing to "where they came from". I can say, I love it here in NC and feel very at home here, just not in my "do Gooder" neighborhood. BTW, anybody interested in buying a house in Union Co, know one for sale, LOL.
 
Old 08-19-2008, 11:07 AM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,004,073 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by md to nc View Post
Very well put Ani --- I experience the whole "who has more, keeping up with the Jones'" mentality in my neighborhood. As well as everyone judging everybody else. Heck, I am a transplant myself and get looked down on for having dirt bikes, 4x4 sitting on my front porch drinking a beer in the evening and riding the Harley with hubby. But all of our friends, were born and raised in Union Co. Go figure, some just fit in and others keep comparing to "where they came from". I can say, I love it here in NC and feel very at home here, just not in my "do Gooder" neighborhood. BTW, anybody interested in buying a house in Union Co, know one for sale, LOL.
ROFL! It is the strangest thing . . . I have several friends who are newcomers and living in new neighborhoods . . . and they tell me they are basically surrounded by people from NJ and NY. . . and they thought they were getting away from the "keeping up w/ the Joneses" attitude. . . but have found things very competitive w/ other newcomers!

Lawsy Miss Mawsy . . . all I can say is . . . everyone should stop making assumptions about other people and their "wealth" or education level or sophistication, based on what neighborhood they buy a house in . . . or what kinds of hobbies they may have . . . This is the South. You can be whatever you wanna be . . . the locals sure don't care, as long as you keep your yard neat and take care of your home. Oh - and teach your kids some safety rules and manners, such as respecting other people's property and being careful w/ bikes on streets and in cul-de-sacs.

I don't care how many plasma TVs you own, but please keep your yard looking decent, LOL. I don't even care if you are practicing Wicca w/ your friends in the backyard, as long as you don't make noise after midnite.

WICCA - as in - worshipping Mother Earth . . . for god's sake . . .don't want anyone to think I meant Devil Worship. Just wanted to clarify that.
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