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Old 11-18-2009, 05:36 PM
205 205 started this thread
 
161 posts, read 262,580 times
Reputation: 265

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The amount of prejudice and vitriol towards the South or any other area perceived to be a "red state" never ceases to amaze me on this board. Are people not bright enough to realize that no state is clearly "red" or "blue"? There are diverse ideologies among people in all 50 state and it's amazing how people simplify things so much in order to jab their political enemies on this board and in the public in general. If you're a "conservative" you're a bible thumping, racist, hate-mongering, uneducated dirtbag whose opinion is totally disregarded. On the other hand, you're considered a neo-communist by conservatives if you indentify yourself as a liberal. The division on this board and the general public these days is disheartening.

Having said all that, that's not what my post is about. It's about the general misunderstanding non-Southerners have about the South. I'm constantly amazed at the ignorance, misunderstanding, and outright hypocrisy shown towards that part of the country especially when it comes to considerations of race and quality of life issues. There's a huge 800 pound gorilla in the room that many non-Southerners are either afraid or purposely refuse to acknowledge when discussing one of the many anti-Southern threads that are posted almost daily on this board. That's the obvious demographic difference the South has compared to the rest of the country that causes it to dwell at the bottom of many quality of life issues that have NOTHING to do with political affiliation. The South has demographic issues that affect local and state politics as well as day to day life in ways that Midwesterners and even Northeasterners (with the likely exception of Metro New York City or Detroit) couldn't even begin to understand. The point is that how can a state like (for example) Minnesota, Wisconsin, Vermont, etc. possibly understand the dynamics of living in a state where the racial make up of the state is less than 10% AA compared to Deep South states where that percentage is anywhere from 26 to 33%and those demographics have a MASSIVE effect on local and state politics that most Midwestern and Northeastern cities don't have to consider?? The largest % of AA population in the most diverse Midwestern states are at best 15% and those populations are almost exclusively in inner city neighborhoods in the larger Midwestern/Northeastern population centers. I exclude NYC to a large degree because it's an anomaly being such a large international and diverse city. My point is that outside of metro NYC/northern New Jersey, metro Detroit, and parts of Chicago, the Midwest/Northeast is lily white and couldn't begin to know what living in a heavily integrated region like the Deep South is like. There are 400 year issues/problems (plenty of which admittedly native Southerners caused) and will forever skew quality of life measures against the South. TODAY, it has nothing to do with being "backwards" or a "red state" anymore than blaming for example Michigan's economic woes on it being a liberal, union loving "blue state". 50 or 150 years ago maybe, but not today.

It would be an interesting and I think incredibly healthy topic if people weren't so afraid to talk openly and honestly about it instead of passing the old stereotype of Southern "backwardness" solely on poor white "rednecks" which seems to be so popularly implied among non-Southerners.

I'm not calling out whites or blacks in this post. There are peer pressures that blacks face in the Deep South among their own race that blacks in other parts of the country simply don't face (with the exception of maybe a few inner city neighborhoods in NYC, Detroit, Chicago). There are also major political ramifications living in any area (North, South, East, West) where a traditional minority group has a large enough representation to greatly affect politics in an area. In other words, the nature of the major political parties can be greatly influenced by the demographics of an area.

Last edited by Bo; 11-20-2009 at 12:11 PM.. Reason: Moved from General US after the dominant topic became racism.
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Old 11-18-2009, 06:03 PM
 
321 posts, read 623,688 times
Reputation: 123
Ill be totally honest for the sake of this post, Im really not trying to be negative-
Im from Massachusetts, Ive spent extensive time in the south, and I think that the South is way behind in many, many ways (excluding a few, select places). I find many southerners to be ignorant, and supportive of ideologies that are highly destuctive for our society, and for others around the world- like the hundreds of thousands who have died in Iraq since 2003.
I find most of the south to be crime ridden, and that southern states do little compared to northern states to help poor people- making their problems worse.
I find southern cities often tend to extremes between extremely sterile and often gated- to extremely dangerous and filthy.
I hate the car culture/sprawl way of life.

I know I'm being negative- but Im just being honest about how I feel. Its not the south per se,but trends that are/have been going on there for some time.

And btw, I really dont mind being considered a Communist Massachusetts liberal.
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Old 11-18-2009, 06:11 PM
 
Location: metro ATL
8,190 posts, read 11,847,782 times
Reputation: 2698
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmo1984 View Post
Ill be totally honest for the sake of this post, Im really not trying to be negative-
Im from Massachusetts, Ive spent extensive time in the south, and I think that the South is way behind in many, many ways (excluding a few, select places). I find many southerners to be ignorant, and supportive of ideologies that are highly destuctive for our society, and for others around the world- like the hundreds of thousands who have died in Iraq since 2003.
I find most of the south to be crime ridden, and that southern states do little compared to northern states to help poor people- making their problems worse.
I find southern cities often tend to extremes between extremely sterile and often gated- to extremely dangerous and filthy.
I hate the car culture/sprawl way of life.

I know I'm being negative- but Im just being honest about how I feel. Its not the south per se,but trends that are/have been going on there for some time.

And btw, I really dont mind being considered a Communist Massachusetts liberal.
This has nothing to do with the topic at hand. The title of this thread isn't, "Why don't you like the South," just in case you missed that.

At any rate, regarding the topic at hand, I don't think that the demographic difference is as unspoken here in the South as it might be in other areas of the country. In many cases, we realize that those quality of life indicators that Southern states tend to score low on are due to poor rural areas, many times inhabited by Blacks, particularly when it comes to health and education. The statistics bear this out. However, you've also got to discuss the disinvestment these areas have experienced over the years as well.
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Old 11-18-2009, 06:20 PM
 
Location: where my heart is
5,642 posts, read 7,650,713 times
Reputation: 1661
The South thinks they OWN the USA. They have an overflated sense of their own importance. They are only one small part of America. They have never gotten over losing the Civil War.
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Old 11-18-2009, 06:26 PM
 
Location: metro ATL
8,190 posts, read 11,847,782 times
Reputation: 2698
Quote:
Originally Posted by TANaples View Post
The South thinks they OWN the USA.
Ridiculous.

Quote:
They have an overflated sense of their own importance.
Not at all. We just want our just due, which we don't always get.

Quote:
They are only one small part of America.
We are geographically the largest region of America.

Quote:
They have never gotten over losing the Civil War.
A lot of us are happy that the South lost.
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Old 11-18-2009, 06:29 PM
205 205 started this thread
 
161 posts, read 262,580 times
Reputation: 265
I appreciate you honesty, but it's that kind of misunderstanding and dismissive attitude towards issues that have long plagued the South that I'm talking about. Even though Boston and many other Northeastern areas were heavily involved in the early slave trade, they've never been held and anyway responsible nor have they had to deal with the vestiges of that ugly period like the South has.

"I find many southerners to be ignorant, and supportive of ideologies that are highly destuctive for our society, and for others around the world- like the hundreds of thousands who have died in Iraq since 2003."

Sorry, but this is yet another absurd statement. Southerners aren't just a bunch of Bush loving sycophants. We support our troops even though we don't necessarily agree with every last foreign policy decision that the previous administration made. "Hundreds of thousands who have died" You're seriously going to make that statement with a straight face. You probably believe Bush cooked up the 9/11 plot too don't you? And the Bush supporters are the naive ones. Unbelievable!! (shakes head)

"I find most of the south to be crime ridden, and that southern states do little compared to northern states to help poor people- making their problems worse."

No more crime ridden than inner city areas of the North. We DO help the poor. We just believe in economic development programs that bring jobs to these poorer people instead of free govt handouts that don't really amount to much. We also keep taxes and cost of living much lower to help as well. We're no perfect by any means, but far from the glum picture you paint. This idea that we can completely eliminate something that has been in every culture in every corner of the earth since the beginning of time (poverty) through govt programs is unrealistic. Communism tried this but we all see how that has worked in the past.


"I find southern cities often tend to extremes between extremely sterile and often gated- to extremely dangerous and filthy."

Sounds like every non-lily white area of the Midwest and Northeast to me. You guys love to complain about the crime and unsafe, poor conditions but conveniently blame it all on the white meanie conservative boogie man instead of acknowledging that many people of all races in the South are at fault and that's the whole point of my original post.
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Old 11-18-2009, 06:32 PM
 
7,848 posts, read 17,807,007 times
Reputation: 2762
Quote:
Originally Posted by TANaples View Post
The South thinks they OWN the USA. They have an overflated sense of their own importance. They are only one small part of America. They have never gotten over losing the Civil War.
The South is actually one LARGE part of America - 40% of the U.S. population lives in the South, or about 110 million people. By the way, the South (nor any region for that matter) doesn't think as a collective. Some people in the South may have an inflated (overflated?) ego, but most people don't. You might want to rethink the people you're associating with.

It's always amazing to me which people actually bring up the Civil War first, yet accuse southerners of "still fighting the war". It's funny.
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Old 11-18-2009, 06:36 PM
205 205 started this thread
 
161 posts, read 262,580 times
Reputation: 265
"It's always amazing to me which people actually bring up the Civil War first, yet accuse southerners of "still fighting the war". It's funny."

EXACTLY, but you'll never hear them admit it because their self righteous hypocrisy simply knows no bounds.
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Old 11-18-2009, 06:53 PM
 
326 posts, read 1,018,346 times
Reputation: 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by TANaples View Post
The South thinks they OWN the USA. They have an overflated sense of their own importance. They are only one small part of America. They have never gotten over losing the Civil War.

Oh please thats the snow bird talking in you. I've lived in the south my whole life i'm kinda glad the south lost the war.

Unfortunetely people are very stereotypical in their judgement. So they think southern equals hick and stupidity. That's fine let them think that way. I'll play dumb to see who tries to screw me and see them for who they really are. Jokes on them then who is the stupid one.
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Old 11-18-2009, 06:53 PM
Status: "Even better than okay" (set 9 days ago)
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
51,232 posts, read 50,519,955 times
Reputation: 60110
Quote:
Originally Posted by 205 View Post
The amount of prejudice and vitriol towards the South or any other area perceived to be a "red state" never ceases to amaze me on this board. Are people not bright enough to realize that no state is clearly "red" or "blue"? There are diverse ideologies among people in all 50 state and it's amazing how people simplify things so much in order to jab their political enemies on this board and in the public in general. If you're a "conservative" you're a bible thumping, racist, hate-mongering, uneducated dirtbag whose opinion is totally disregarded. On the other hand, you're considered a neo-communist by conservatives if you indentify yourself as a liberal. The division on this board and the general public these days is disheartening.

Having said all that, that's not what my post is about. It's about the general misunderstanding non-Southerners have about the South. I'm constantly amazed at the ignorance, misunderstanding, and outright hypocrisy shown towards that part of the country especially when it comes to considerations of race and quality of life issues. There's a huge 800 pound gorilla in the room that many non-Southerners are either afraid or purposely refuse to acknowledge when discussing one of the many anti-Southern threads that are posted almost daily on this board. That's the obvious demographic difference the South has compared to the rest of the country that causes it to dwell at the bottom of many quality of life issues that have NOTHING to do with political affiliation. The South has demographic issues that affect local and state politics as well as day to day life in ways that Midwesterners and even Northeasterners (with the likely exception of Metro New York City or Detroit) couldn't even begin to understand. The point is that how can a state like (for example) Minnesota, Wisconsin, Vermont, etc. possibly understand the dynamics of living in a state where the racial make up of the state is less than 10% AA compared to Deep South states where that percentage is anywhere from 26 to 33%and those demographics have a MASSIVE effect on local and state politics that most Midwestern and Northeastern cities don't have to consider?? The largest % of AA population in the most diverse Midwestern states are at best 15% and those populations are almost exclusively in inner city neighborhoods in the larger Midwestern/Northeastern population centers. I exclude NYC to a large degree because it's an anomaly being such a large international and diverse city. My point is that outside of metro NYC/northern New Jersey, metro Detroit, and parts of Chicago, the Midwest/Northeast is lily white and couldn't begin to know what living in a heavily integrated region like the Deep South is like. There are 400 year issues/problems (plenty of which admittedly native Southerners caused) and will forever skew quality of life measures against the South. TODAY, it has nothing to do with being "backwards" or a "red state" anymore than blaming for example Michigan's economic woes on it being a liberal, union loving "blue state". 50 or 150 years ago maybe, but not today.

It would be an interesting and I think incredibly healthy topic if people weren't so afraid to talk openly and honestly about it instead of passing the old stereotype of Southern "backwardness" solely on poor white "rednecks" which seems to be so popularly implied among non-Southerners.

I'm not calling out whites or blacks in this post. There are peer pressures that blacks face in the Deep South among their own race that blacks in other parts of the country simply don't face (with the exception of maybe a few inner city neighborhoods in NYC, Detroit, Chicago). There are also major political ramifications living in any area (North, South, East, West) where a traditional minority group has a large enough representation to greatly affect politics in an area. In other words, the nature of the major political parties can be greatly influenced by the demographics of an area.
Maybe we could "begin to understand" if you would explain what you mean by the bolded sentence. Specifically, what are you trying to say here?

I have visited the south, but not spent enough time of any significance there to make a judgement about the south overall. However, I carry some of the same negative ideas as others because of the types of things that have happened to people I know while in the south that would not be acceptable here (New Jersey). Both of these incidents occurred within the past five years.

1. A white neighbor and her black husband, while driving to Florida, stopped for lunch at a restaurant in Virginia. After sitting there for a half hour and being ignored as if they didn't exist, they realized they were not going to be served, and it doesn't take a genius to figure out why.

2. A black coworker visiting Georgia suggested to his also-black friends that they stop in a nearby coffee shop for lunch. His friends (Georgians) laughed and told him he wouldn't be served there. Being from the north, he decided to be stubborn and went in and sat down. Sure enough, he was treated as if he did not even exist. No one would answer him when he spoke.

This isn't anything to do with politics--it is racism in action, 1950's style and it's apparently OK with everyone else who patronizes these businesses. Now these are just two incidents I know of personally in recent years, and I'm sure that you can give me thousands of examples of the opposite, but still--to answer your question--people hear stories like this and you'd better believe they are going to "misunderstand" the south.
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