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Old 11-28-2014, 01:20 PM
 
Location: Mishawaka, Indiana
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Chatting with someone at work the other day we got on the topic of where I had worked prior to hear, I mentioned spending 4 years living and working in Mississippi. The guy I was talking to later discounted Mississippi as a "hillbilly" state as well as a coworker who had spent some time in Georgia. This guy is an Illinois native I believe, but his views are largely synonymous with that of most northern born Americans, that the south is full of racists and hillbillies.

From the 4 years I spent in Mississippi, I can tell you it's quite a bit different from the north, but it's not all hillbillies there. Aesthetically many southern cities look very much the same as northern cities. The south has really rebounded from being the dirt poor trailer park image that people envisioned it as, especially in the middle 20th century. Not saying the South is an extremely wealthy area by any means, but just like the rest of the country it has its shining beacons.

My main question is when will Americans in general begin to stop looking at the south as a bigoted, backwards, racist, and hillbilly area? If ever?

 
Old 11-28-2014, 01:25 PM
 
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Well Northeners have been moving South in droves the past few decades, so probably not too long.
 
Old 11-28-2014, 01:28 PM
 
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Mississippi is, quite easily, the poorest state in the U.S. So the stereotype of Mississippi as a poor state is 100% accurate.

Obviously there are tons of people in Mississippi who are middle class and some are wealthy, but in a comparative analysis, no state is poorer.

It's like saying "when will Detroit shed its reputation as a rust belt declined city". Detroit is, relative to other U.S. cities, quite rust belt and declined. Obviously most people in Detroit are no different from people anywhere else, but taken as a whole, probably no big city in the U.S. is more challenged, hence the stereotype.
 
Old 11-28-2014, 01:35 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
5,286 posts, read 4,211,094 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColdAilment View Post
My main question is when will Americans in general begin to stop looking at the south as a bigoted, backwards, racist, and hillbilly area? If ever?
When people start educating themselves. Simple as that.
 
Old 11-28-2014, 01:44 PM
 
Location: The South
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I'm always fascinated by the attention the South gets from folks in the more enlightened areas of the USA.
 
Old 11-28-2014, 01:46 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mega man View Post
When people start educating themselves. Simple as that.
The current stereotype is accurate, from a comparative perspective. So if the south shed its current image, that would evidence of ignorance, not education.
 
Old 11-28-2014, 02:34 PM
 
Location: Who Cares, USA
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I think certain areas of the South definitely live up to the stereotype, but stereotyping the South as a whole in this way is really inaccurate, and much of it is generated and reinforced by the media.

My experience with Mississippi was that of all the Southern states, it's the one state that most accurately fits the bill. However, states like Virginia, Texas, Florida, and North Carolina really don't... and a few others are growing out of the stereotype but still have a way to go.

The South is a huge region. Some states have made more progress than others.
 
Old 11-28-2014, 02:48 PM
 
Location: Jacksonville, FL
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In the eyes of a New Englander, this is how I feel about the southern states (I've been to them all except AR):

Stereotype doesn't apply
Maryland
Delaware
District of Columbia

Stereotype sometimes applies
Florida
North Carolina
Georgia
Texas
Virginia
Tennessee
Oklahoma
Kentucky

Stereotype almost always applies
West Virginia
South Carolina
Alabama
Mississippi
Louisiana
Arkansas

But even in places like the Jackson, MS metro area, I didn't really see the stereotypes that much, other than noticeable obesity rates. With regard to Florida, the stereotypes typically apply only to the panhandle. And within Texas, the stereotype doesn't apply much in the major metro areas, as well as Atlanta metro. West Virginia and eastern Kentucky is *extremely* backwoods from what I've witnessed in person.
 
Old 11-28-2014, 03:23 PM
 
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Maryland, DC, DE, and Northern VA aren't the South, in the context of 2014. Neither is most of Florida. No one thinks of Bethesda, MD as "the south".

Maryland is more similar to the NYC, Philly and Boston suburbs than anywhere in the south, so unless Long Island and Connecticut are "the South", no one should be using Maryland to disprove the stereotypes about poverty in the South.
 
Old 11-28-2014, 03:41 PM
 
Location: Mishawaka, Indiana
6,515 posts, read 9,146,524 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobloblawslawblog View Post
I think certain areas of the South definitely live up to the stereotype, but stereotyping the South as a whole in this way is really inaccurate, and much of it is generated and reinforced by the media.

My experience with Mississippi was that of all the Southern states, it's the one state that most accurately fits the bill. However, states like Virginia, Texas, Florida, and North Carolina really don't... and a few others are growing out of the stereotype but still have a way to go.

The South is a huge region. Some states have made more progress than others.
Alabama is probably light years ahead of Mississippi in modernized thinking and progression, but it still receives a lot of backlash, as does Georgia and North Carolina, and they're even further along than is Alabama. When will those states get rid of their down trodden image?

Quote:
Originally Posted by NOLA101 View Post
Mississippi is, quite easily, the poorest state in the U.S. So the stereotype of Mississippi as a poor state is 100% accurate.

Obviously there are tons of people in Mississippi who are middle class and some are wealthy, but in a comparative analysis, no state is poorer.

It's like saying "when will Detroit shed its reputation as a rust belt declined city". Detroit is, relative to other U.S. cities, quite rust belt and declined. Obviously most people in Detroit are no different from people anywhere else, but taken as a whole, probably no big city in the U.S. is more challenged, hence the stereotype.
While that may be true of Mississippi, people will still think of Georgia, Texas, and North Carolina as backwards and hillbilly states even though they have some of the fastest growing cities in the country.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason_show View Post
Well Northeners have been moving South in droves the past few decades, so probably not too long.
This is true. But mostly to Atlanta, Tampa, Charlotte, Raleigh, Houston, and Dallas, and to a smaller extent Greenville, Birmingham, and Nashville. Cities like Montgomery, Jackson, Little Rock, Baton Rouge, and the rest of the small city and rural south aren't receiving northerners.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NOLA101 View Post
Maryland, DC, DE, and Northern VA aren't the South, in the context of 2014. Neither is most of Florida. No one thinks of Bethesda, MD as "the south".

Maryland is more similar to the NYC, Philly and Boston suburbs than anywhere in the south, so unless Long Island and Connecticut are "the South", no one should be using Maryland to disprove the stereotypes about poverty in the South.
I think he only included Maryland, Delaware, and D.C. because technically they ARE south of the Mason-Dixon line.
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