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Old 09-25-2019, 08:40 AM
Location: OC
11,086 posts, read 7,399,946 times
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Fascinating topic. I’ll add my thoughts later
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Old 09-25-2019, 10:21 AM
Location: OC
11,086 posts, read 7,399,946 times
Reputation: 9117
First of all, thanks to the OP for posting this. I think this is a very complex and fascinating topic that really does not have one answer.

As most of you probably know, I grew up in Texas, and most would consider that the south or it has elements of stereotypical southern traits. But before I start, I want to point out that mine and everyone else's experience is anecdotal. My experiences may be different than yours and no region is so homogenous or monolithic that everyone is the same.

So, imo and from my experiences, 95% of the people Ive come across are not racist, in the south. Of course, who knows what's said when you're not there? I've heard people say bad things about blacks when they aren't within earshot, who knows if they don't say the same about Asians. Growing up, did I have some tense moments? Absolutely. Were there times I felt unwelcome, sure. I'll acknowledge a lot of this stuff is just light joking, but I've heard a lot of racist (overt or covert stuff) from southerners. I'll list them if needed, but again, we're talking 20+ incidents over a lifetime,is that really a lot?

My friend lives in Michigan, kind of small town and he said it's more racist than any part of the south he's lived in. I've lived out of the south for a total of 5 years. There's been one negative incident involving my race, and that was from an African American. But other then that, nothing. Not one iota. Of course, the sample size is tiny right?

Racists can happen anywhere. The dog that mauled and killed that lady in SF were owned by racist lawyers in SF. Yes, even educated big city folks are racist. One of the fellas arrested in Charlottesville was a waiter in Berkely. You always wonder why a militant conservative would want to live there, but I guess that's another topic.

To me, the split in this country is more urban/rural than south vs north.
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Old 05-14-2021, 02:01 PM
Location: On the "Left Coast", somewhere in "the Land of Fruits & Nuts"
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Old thread, but for what it's worth, still got kin in AL & GA we keep in touch with and visit every few years, and my sense is that much of the former overt racism in the South has largely been driven 'underground' now, or survives mostly thru the 'older' generations. Like my great aunt who retired to the GA 'burbs, from being a Manager at AT&T Corporate in Atlanta for >30 years.

And while she's usually a very charming and gracious lady, still whenever we'd go for a drive and occasionally happened to encounter the inevitable 'bone-headed' sorta driving that we all deal with everyday... she often seemed to have a 'Special' level of irritation if the errant driver happened to be one of what she refers to as 'Those People'.
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Old 10-31-2021, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Southern Soul Bro View Post
As an African American man, I've always thought this was weird. The rural south seems to be the poster child for intolerance. You know the stereotype, dominated by white guys in overalls with pick up trucks with a strong dislike for "minorities." I've even heard blacks from other regions say things such as, "Yeah, I wouldnt get caught dead outside of Metro Atlanta while I'm in GA. I'm not trying to have the KKK coming for me"

It's weird to me because the rural areas and small towns down here are usually anywhere from 25%-65% black, as opposed to the 90%+ white in other regions.

Sure, you have some people the "stereotype" applies to, but most of these towns are a bunch of blacks and whites who've grown up together and get along just fine. As a black male, If I travel through these southern rural towns and make a stop, there's no problem or discomfort. Half or more of the people working at the stores and the patrons are black themselves and the rural whites are used to being around blacks so they dont act strange, I feel comfortable.

In contrast, when I travel through the rural areas of the Midwest and Northeast, I receive awkward looks, mannerism, and there usually isn't many other black people around.

I've just always thought beliefs and comments like the one I mentioned above, particularly by other blacks from places like NYC or Philly, was pretty weird because those 90% white rural areas in states like those sure seem less "accepting" than the ones down here.

Have any of you other AAs ever felt like this while in rural areas outside of the south? Is this a common belief, that the south's rural areas are "worse" and "less tolerant?" I dont see it, and have experienced the opposite.
Your experience is more typical, and represents the hidden reality that the media tries to ignore: bigotry is often as prevalent or more prevalent in the "blue" states than it is in the red states. I think it's probably a dynamic, ever-changing sort of thing though, that goes on the demographic ratio in the area. The rural South is definitely absolutely more balanced racially than the North is, right now. Yes, it also was in the 1950s too.... but the South has made some progress in a positive direction since then. Much of the North is still looking like what it looked like in the 50s... and with not so much change in attitudes that accompanied the flip flop in voting patterns.
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