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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by sleuthiness View Post
    Tackling rural class prejudice, one Myers-Briggs Typology internet forum thread at a time.

    World Renowned Historian and Typology Expert Marm, author of well over 20,000 outstanding internet posts on multiple forums that have forever changed the lives of millions around the world, and pretty fucking good source of wisdom on everything you'd ever want to know:

    Another one of my broken record yearly responses because my political beliefs are too simple for bumper stickers, but are you suggesting people, as human beings, who "clump" information (see: "all") should be told to end their demeaning and often very funny stereotypes that destroy their neighbor's feelings while generating billions in revenue for five companies who employ em all, simultaneously advertizing and endorsing profitable behavior with propaganda.

    I understand your arguments are always self-fueling, like a dog after its tail like a separate entity, (interesting because what are pets but hairy, human infantile-level quadrupedal mirror-servants -- "Having entirely surrounded herself with images of herself, Forum CatLady votes to continue looking inward in her relentless search for Truth) public self-therapy to exercise your restless imagination, but I don't know, I hear Bill O' Reilly wants his corpse stuffed under a pyramid.

    I'm just here to put everything in perspective by saying that we are all dumb and should subscribe to this thread to educate themselves and discuss rural class prejudice and its global implications on my forthcoming half-hour struggle to rip my face off.

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    You must be a really miserable person.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by chana View Post
    definitely. i lived in what is barely considered the south (maryland) and the amount of confederate flags i saw was astounding. my across the street neighbor had a confederate flag bumper sticker that said "BITCH" on it . and it's still very segregated compared to other places i've lived. the most blatantly racist people i've been around were from michigan though.
    The only people I've ever heard who actually said the N word like it was absolutely NOTHING were from Las Vegas. That's one of the many reasons I think Vegas is probably the cultural deadzone of the entire country; and it is no small wonder that the anarcho-capitalists and Objectivists and other forms of stupid evil have been able to gain a foothold in the vacuum of history and culture that is Las Vegas, NV.

    No one in their right mind talks like that in the South, unless they dropped out of the eighth grade and huff paint for entertainment.

    The South, kind of like Mexico, is very classist. Probably my awareness of class comes from being a Southerner, but where as my family was probably considered solidly middle middle class in the South, we'd be considered working class (like the second tier, upper working or lower middle) in other parts of the country.

    I've also had Mexican people tell me that they, as Mexicans, are more racist than any American they've ever encountered.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by msg_v2 View Post
    I'm not denying that there is prejudice against Southern people, but there does seem to be a weird culture of nostalgia in the South for the confederacy that kind of squicks non-Southerners out, to be honest. To be fair, though, this can be found in rural regions of other areas of the country.

    This exists, doesn't it? It's not just something in my head?
    Southern people just as a general rule have a deep sense of history. It was passed on to me by my grandfather, and has nothing to do with the confederacy, seeing as that he grew up barefoot in a log cabin in the mountains of Richwood, West Virginia.

    My maternal grandmother's family was probably a little more religious-snooty, really weird long-skirt, no-make-up wearing evangelicals from coastal North Carolina in my mother's childhood, I think that's where any sense of deep Southern snottiness in my family comes from, and there's not much of it, honestly.

    I can't say I've ever seen ANYONE in my entire family fly a confederate flag. Ever. Not even once.

    However, I must admit that I am fascinated by the confederate graveyard in Raleigh, NC.

    I am of course fascinated by the Civil War, too, as it is a fundamental part of the culture in which I was raised.

    I am not one of those people who re-enact it though. I think those people might need professional help.

    But then again so do the people who play WoW or DnD every day, so ya know, it's just the same thing with a different face in other parts of the country.

    Nerds will be nerds, and I've noticed that a lot of nerds are more concerned with their intellectual fascination than with humanitarian ethics or what other people think about it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    Its a socially acceptable form of prejudice (and often, outright bigotry) that permeates popular culture so much that people within the United States itself usually don't even notice it.

    Edit: As for media portrayal, I'm usually pleasantly surprised when the South or Southern characteristics is not a.) villainized b.) ridiculed or (my favorite) c.) are unexceptionally normal and decent people who are explicitly portrayed as exceptional cases within the broader South.

    I'm not pleasantly surprised very often....I actually remember this forgettable, now canceled TV show (Eleventh Hour) solely on the basis that they had an episode occur in a Georgia town, and none of the above happened. I was actually so grateful that I continued to watch the series long after I had lost any real interest in it.
    THIS.

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    Quote Originally Posted by msg_v2 View Post
    I think it's in our nature to stereotype people different from us. It's kind of the way our brains our wired. Most people appear to do this, to some degree. The important thing is to be aware of this, and catch ourselves when we find ourselves thinking this way. It can definitely distort perception if we aren't careful.

    I've just seen members of every group engaging in this kind of behavior. Northerner, Southerner, city folk, country folk, white person, black person, nerd, jock. I've caught myself doing it, too.

    I think it's better to acknowledge areas where you fall short, rather then letting it grow into a blind spot, where it can cause serious damage. Keep your mind open, and try and observe others as they actually are, and not as you think they are.
    I do think this is true. Whether it's people from other countries, races, religions or artistic subcultures.

    However, I do think that Southern people are seen as particularly "low" in the U.S. which dovetails quite nicely with the discrimination against Irish immigrants and the working class amongst the upper classes in the U.S. historically.

    I saw a shocking photographic panel of Irish children working in a factory in North Carolina, when I was in college in West Virginia.

    No one talks about that. How many Southerners are Irish, and how the Irish are the (for lack of a more coherent terms) the N___ of Europe.

    Some people say that it's the Jews, but really the Jews are extremely proud of themselves. Being total racists themselves and thinking they're God's chosen people, though I'm horrified by the holocaust, they seem to do QUITE WELL for themselves financially and globally and think so much of themselves above "Gentiles" that outside of WWII I don't have a great deal of compassion, and I think this is where a lot of people get uncomfortable like "OMG THE JEWS" and it's like "yes, they're largely richer than you, and think they're better than you if you aren't a Jew. Tell me why you feel sorry for them again?"

    The Irish in the U.S. are historically poor, working class, and looked down upon, with not a great deal of social power.

    The Southern accent actually has been traced to sound similar to a warped Irish accent. Most people in the South are at least partially from Scots-Irish or Protestant Irish stock.

    It's interesting the whole thing (hating white Southerners) is justified by slavery, but come on, that isn't the crux of Southern culture, and anyone who thinks it is doesn't really know much about the South.

    They also don't realize that being a white slave owner in the South was about the equivalent of being Donald Trump today. Are all white people also Donald Trump?

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmotini View Post
    Are all white people also Donald Trump?
    Quote Originally Posted by Marmotini View Post
    but really the Jews are extremely proud of themselves. Being total racists themselves
    Quote Originally Posted by Marmotini View Post
    [Those] people might need professional help.
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    I dunno, Marm, I have to be honest, I live in the Carolinas and was raised in an urban area, but have been to rural areas a fair amount during my lifetime, and I've been impressed by the level of xenophobia and resistance to new information that I have encountered. On the other hand, of course, I have met some lovely, welcoming, warm and humble country families who characterize Southern hospitality. I'm not particularly Southern myself because my parents were Northerners and I've been treated like crap by strangers and even by people I thought were good friends who have told me I "don't belong here" and I'm not a "true" Carolinian because I don't have a family that's lived here for generations and I don't have any trace of an accent. Even urban residents in the older circles around here still treat the nouveau riche like they're inferior. I've heard it in particular from older relatives of wealthy family friends, grandparents who own summer houses and hold society gatherings and whatnot. I'm not saying bigotry isn't ubiquitous, of course, but there really is a particular variety of xenophobia that is often found in the South.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmotini View Post
    Thank you for the verification. I know it I didn't imagine it, I attempted to change my accent for a very good reason (so that people would take me seriously outside of the South, IRL) and even my upper level English professors at university in WV told us "hey, the Southern dialect is a dialect. That's it. It's not wrong, it's not incorrect, it's just a dialect just like American Standard English is a dialect; it's just that the media accepts ASD as the standard in this country."
    It's even more than that to me - it's interesting. There can be too much of an effort among Americans to homogenise yourself to fit this bland concept of 'Americaness'; and it's boring as hell. What I really enjoy in American cinema, for example, is when the story gives such a strong sense of a place and a people. A distinct landscape, cityscape, climate, culture, accent or vocabulary is so much more compelling - especially if it really feels meaningful. The same thing applies to the Americans I meet. An accent tells a story of a place, a culture, a way of life that's special and different. People shouldn't diminish that uniqueness; they should own it.

    I do know what it's like to be shamed for your accent. When I first travelled (properly) I went with the intention of proudly owning the weird and goofiness of my NZ accent and vocabulary. However, it's a different when you actually get there. When you're regularly mocked for it and have to endure all the little comments. Nothing's more irritating than eagerly trying to tell people something and they mock every second word that comes out of your mouth, to the point they're not even listening to the content at all. It also doesn't help when some people can't understand half (or any) of what you're saying either. I get why people choose to tone it down.

    I mean the self-hatred of educated Southerners is almost like internalized racism.
    There also seems to be this sort of internal hierarchy among Southerners; where there are some that are 'superior' to others and they look down on those that aren't. This happens among any culture but it's worrying how vocal Southerners can be about this to outsiders.

    I once met two young people from Georgia when I was overseas. I asked where in the US they were from and they said, "Georgia". There was a brief pause , and I went, "really?" because I thought this was interesting. They then said anxiously and hurriedly, "But we're from Atlanta! Atlanta is different to the rest", as if they had to distance themselves from all these negative things that must come to mind about Georgia (that somehow don't apply to Atlanta). They then proceeded to make fun of all the non-Atlantans, just to make sure I see how much more sophisticated and worldly they are than them. In actuality, the first things that came to mind when I heard "Georgia" was: the romantic south; Gone with the Wind; southern manners and hospitality; Ray Charles songs; hot, humid, summer days; the green, rolling Appalachians; men in white suits, the civil war. They seemed to think I was imagining Deliverance.

    Furthermore, all white Southerners aren't racist, all Southerners aren't white (many are African-American, some are now Mexican and Asian American) and all white people in the South didn't own slaves or have relatives who owned slaves. It was completely unheard of in the Appalachian region, a region too rocky and independent to be populated by the huge plantations of the wealthy deep South; the Appalachias were populated with small farms from independent families, and this is part of the reason why West Virginia separated from Virginia during the Civil War and joined the North; that's why it was literally brother against brother.

    Even in the deeper South, "white trash" the most villified strata of white people in the South, are actually the least likely to have ancestors who owned slaves; why? Their families were too goddamned poor. I mean if they're sub-standard in terms of civilization in the 21st century, just try to fathom where their family was in the 19th century. Here's a hint: it wasn't owning a plantation.

    Southern people in the popular American imagination are either asshole racists or complete morons. I too am pleased when the South is represented with realism, integrity, and fairness.
    Yes this is an unfortunate burden Southerners have to carry. I think the negative aspects shouldn't be ignored but they shouldn't have to be constantly apologised for. When you meet a New Yorker they don't have to apologise for: the traffic; violent crime; the filthiness of the subway; the asshole taxi drivers; the cold, aloof people; the lack of greenery; the poverty; the gangs; the property prices; the selfish, career-obsessed jerks etc etc. They don't have to acknowledge all that before you can have a reasonable conversation with them - to explain how they're not like that or how they don't approve of that stuff. You just accept the good with the bad - the negative stuff doesn't completely taint the positive. I don't know why the same can't apply to the South

    Thanks again for your post. There are many beautiful things about Southern culture. It shouldn't necessarily be destroyed because there are some bad things about it. There are bad things in the history of most human cultures.
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  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmotini View Post
    You must be a really miserable person.
    Yeah, what's that all about? It's comments like these which make me wonder why people take the time to not only read but comment.

    Thanks for this thread. I've learned a lot and broadened my perspective. Maybe I'm odd, but I actually fall into the category you mentioned. I've been from East Tennessee since I was 6 (before that we lived in Maryland and then Virginia in the DC area) and haven't lived anywhere else; not because I'm not cultured or don't want to, but just because I've been scared to leave home. I know, it's lame. I always thought I didn't belong in the South. I thought I should have been born in New York City, and my life would have been so much cooler if I had been. I thought Southern culture was inferior to Northern culture. I honestly did. In recent years though, I've started liking the South and my heritage a little more. Background: my mom is from a smallish town in East Tennessee, my dad is from New England, my mother's mother is from Mississippi, and my mother's father is from here. My parents are both computer programmers and my grandad was a civil engineer.

    I lived in a small town for a few years and had to go to school there for two years, and I will tell you it is an abysmal place. Most people there are ignorant rednecks. I felt like a complete outsider; almost no one had anything in common with me. 99.9% of them are fundamentalist Christians and made fun of me for being pagan, telling me I was going to go to hell. And there were no black people. I learned to get along with them though; I have to admit they are probably nicer people than the people in Vegas. My stepmother was like Harry Potter's aunt Petunia and constantly made fun of me for being weird. So this experience with the worst of the Southerners of course made me think most of them were worthlessly ignorant people who hated educated people, and I was ashamed to be from the South because of the Bible belt, slavery, NASCAR, trailer parks, Republicans who only vote on religion and abortion, and all of the other things I dislike. I longed to be surrounded by diversity, creativity, industry, intellectual activity, high fashion, and liberal snobbery.

    But I've grown to appreciate the South. I visited New York City with my cousin one year, and there were things I didn't like about it. The energy was all imbalanced. It is chaotic; there is no silence. There aren't enough trees. I like looking outside my window and seeing trees, and opening the windows at night and hearing the frogs in the pond and the insects. In the past couple of weeks I've seen I don't know how many small birds, crows, a hawk, a mourning dove next to my door, groundhogs, a duck in the pond, a bat, and a turkey crossing the road. I've seen opossums, coyotes, rabbits, raccoons, and about a million squirrels. The Great Smokey Mountains actually is one of the places with the most biodiversity in the world. I feel at home here in the temperate rainforest. I love that I can drive to the mountains from my city apartment within 2 hours, and hike, camp, and cave.

    I live in a city which is small enough that there is a lot of nature within it, but it is big enough to contain a large university with a lot of diversity, and a small amount of liberal progressive culture. I feel like as long as I stay near the college I will be in the kind of intellectual environment I need. Plus, I live near Asheville, NC, which is full of groovy hippies. Southern progressive people are so awesome. The Southern perspective lends the progressive movement a unique set of advantages, I think. Southern people in general seem to be more in touch with nature, which I respect. People here are also connected with their Native American heritage, even the conservatives. The progressives I have encountered really understand the value of a natural lifestyle, and have the resources with which to live it. We can live off the grid. We can build sustainable eco-houses; we can have slow food, wildcraft, feral forage, eat wild mushrooms, find and use medicinal herbs, and grow our own food, bypassing the food industry. Because a lot of liberals here are not exactly rich, I think we have a good sense of "class" unity. I've never looked down on anyone for being poor; money doesn't buy class. I've always been comfortably middle class, but I'm aware of the financial stratification in this country. I'm sure all this is true of people in other places, but each place has its unique perspective with associated advantages.

    Also I am proud of my Celtic heritage. There is a lot of Celtic culture which survives here, which has evolved into an interesting blend of Southern paganism. I think it's really sad that Irish people aren't more in touch with their Celtic roots. The pagans I've met have their disadvantages, but they are genuine people who have true magic and are very connected to the Earth. I've felt a strong sense of community with them, and a lot of love. I've learned to be a lot less judgmental, because some of the people who I would have criticized based on trashy traits have been the most kind and supportive to me. It's ironic that a large concentration of pagan culture is in the middle of the Bible Belt. And that most pagans I've met insist on living in the middle of nowhere. But that's another story.

    And there are what I call good country people, who are distinct from rednecks because they have class and education. There are many kinds of knowledge, and some of them don't come from formal education. If you have knowledge of how to treat other humans and living things, you have an appreciation for diversity, a connection with the Earth, and practical living skills, I consider you educated and having class.

    I have some Southern pride now, and I can admit it to myself after reading this thread. I like the Mountains, grits, going barefoot, silence, some folk music, organic farms, hospitality, and politeness. I admire and respect the pioneers who lived independently and in peace with the Native Americans. I also think Southern accents can be quite charming, even the uneducated ones (though I don't think I have one). I am happy where I am for now. I want to try living other places, but I'll probably come back here.

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    Oh yes, and lest I forget my precious professor killjoy, closet ISFJ, @Magic Poriferan I never see you complain about my thinking or posting style when I agree with you or tell you what stellar arguments youre making for social class or economic concerns.

    You admitted yourself that youre sheltered. That doesnt mean all people from rural areas are sheltered or that all people from cities are wonderfully open minded from life experience.

    In my observation, the most sheltered people tend to be the upper middle class from the suburbs, neither urban nor rural.

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