I have a friend in California that thinks that because I live in North Carolina, I’m a chain smoking, fried food eating, racist rebel flag flying Redneck. She starts sentences with “People in the South…” and there’s usually some belittling description tacked on at the end.
She thinks we’re all pretty darn ignorant.
Excuse me, but I want you to know that I am a short train ride away from one of the most culturally diverse, metropolitan cities in the world; New York City.
I do love collard greens doused in vinegar and I adore anything fried, but I am not fighting the war anymore. I might live below the Mason Dixon line, but there’s no rebel flag flying in my yard. I might drawl out some of my vowels when I speak, but that doesn’t mean I’m stupid. I guess if having an accent affects your brain in adverse ways, then everyone in England is just as slow as you think I am.
Since when did geography determine your intelligence?
This stereotypical cataloging of people has lost it’s steam over the years. With travel and transience on the rise, people are moving and shaking in more places than the zip codes where they were born. But hey! If you want to pigeonhole me, go ahead.
I am proud to be a North Carolinian!
Do I have a problem with friendly neighbors? Am I annoyed when I get invited to more than one Pig Pickin’ in a week? Does it upset me that rather than applauding in a sedate manner after a performance, some audience members like to express their happiness with a “WOOOOOOOOHOOOO!”? Do I think it’s wrong when a community comes together to help one of it’s members that might be down on their luck instead of looking the other way?
No, because it’s the Southern Way.
Southern folks are some of the happiest people I know. I don’t know if it’s because of the weather, the landscape or the food, but they know how to live a good life. Even folks that weren’t born here, race to move here before they die.
Southerners aren’t the narrow-minded, uneducated, barefoot, Bible-thumpin’, overweight rednecks of days past. We do have a history steeped in opinions that differed slightly from the rest of the world, but that’s because everything that you take for granted in California was all won for you here on the bloody backs of the Southerner.
We were here long before California, and guess what…most of your ancestors were *gasp* SOUTHERNERS!!!!
The oldest city in America is within a 2 hour drive from my house, Bath, NC. Bath is right down the street from the nation’s original Washington, the first town to be named after a President. And while we’re talking about Washington, NC, guess who grew up there? The father of motion pictures, Cecil B. DeMille. Isn’t film making one of California’s biggest claims to fame? Well, it wouldn’t have happened for you without North Carolina.
While you’re busy flapping your jaws about ignorant Southerners, try to remember where your freedom of speech originated. In case you didn’t know, Washington, DC also sits well below the Mason Dixon line.
While you’re still trying to figure out what makes you so much smarter, or greener or more culturally diverse, I’ll be sitting on my veranda sipping a tall, cool glass of sweet tea and thanking my lucky stars that in my ancestry is the solid backbone of a good Southern family.
I’m made of some good stuff.