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  1. #1
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    Default Why Do People Blame Rural People More Extensively For Ignorance?

    So I began watching The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia, and something that has always struck me about these character portraits of poor rural white Southerners, especially those who are clearly generations of people afflicted by addiction or families of petty criminals, is that they mirror the also common portrait of the poor ignorant inner-city African-Americans from places like central L.A and Detroit...as if the American South is the only place where white people act like that..

    As someone who has lived in West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina, but also in Nevada and California, my experience is that there are plenty of ignorant, drug addicted white people there too. I actually found a lot of people in Las Vegas, specifically, utterly appalling. They were like Southern white trash ...minus things like good manners or the "common sense" that many rural people of similar ilk have, who tend to at least have a knowledge of the land or their family history or something besides completely confounded rude, stupid asshole behavior.

    The media absolutely thrives on MYTHOLOGY. All ignorant people are either white people in the South or black people in inner cities according to the media. In fact, I've noticed a kind of LAUGH OUT LOUD IDIOCY of white working class young people in places like L.A. or Las Vegas to falsely believe they are somehow smarter or more savvy than Southerners...any Southerner.

    It's something that makes me want to spit on them truly, but then I have remind myself, they are this laugh out loud idiotic about their own ignorance because of their ignorance, and they believe what the television tells them.

    I've been thinking about this mythology of culture in my own thinking, how sometimes even I like the idea of certain cultures more than actually living in it, and how this mythology is perpetuated in the media, leading to disastrous stereotypes about people of varying regions, cultures, and races.

    It's why I cringe over shows like Buck Wild, almost like I have to take personal responsibility for it. Does every educated person in New Jersey have to take responsibility for The Jersey Shore? Probably not as much.

    I'd like to make some television shows about all of the morons living in U.S major cities like New York, L.A. and Chicago that aren't people of mocked sub-cultures; I'd like to make some shows about stupid white people congratulating themselves about how smart they are for simply being born in Los Angeles.

    /Victor-style thread

  2. #2
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmotini View Post
    I'd like to make some television shows about all of the morons living in U.S major cities like New York, L.A. and Chicago that aren't people of mocked sub-cultures; I'd like to make some shows about stupid white people congratulating themselves about how smart they are for simply being born in Los Angeles.
    Isn't this what Jay Leno's "Jaywalking" segments were supposed to show - how the world, or at least the U.S., is full of ignorant idiots of all stripes?
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  3. #3
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    I'd say it's because rural people grew up in less cosmopolitan environments and were presumably exposed to a smaller variety of things. In other words, it's not about formal education as much as general life experience. The first 18 years of my life I never lived in a place of more than 3000 people, all well outside of suburban range. I can definitely say that I've had more exposure to different races, differentcultures, different arts, etc.. after moving to the city than I did in my entire life previously.

    I don't entirely resent this depiction of rural people, because I grew up acutely aware that I was more aware of the general world than pretty much anyone else I'd meet. As a generalization, it seems accurate, even if there are inevitable outliers such as myself.
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  4. #4
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    The other night at a family gathering my aunt (lives in the country) told my cousin's hispanic wife that she doesn't like swimming because she is Mexican, lol. Don't even get me started on my exploits in Lubbock, Texas.

    My black friend has told me he feels demonized down here, and I don't blame him. Being a racially sensitive white I kind of feel like a spy, people say weird things in the company of others when they don't suspect any flags being raised.

    I equate this world-view, the 'us and them' mentality about race and culture, to be the peak of ignorance.

    The one thing I have not perceived for myself is if it gets any better outside of the south, but I've got plenty of evidence from Texas to Tennessee that white rural living is horrific for the soul.

  5. #5
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    I dunno. I'm a Hoosier and we've got our fair share of both rural and urban prizes. However, I've lived in a small town in North Dakota and a small town in Kentucky and I would live in North Dakota despite my hatred of cold weather and lack of trees before I'd live in a small town in Kentucky again despite it being a beautiful state with mild winters, though I know a lot of people don't consider Kentucky the south.

    The people in North Dakota mostly ignored me, though they were friendly enough once they got to know me, but the people in Kentucky were either sugary polite or openly hostile. Openly hostile after hearing my accent at times, despite my Scots-Irish appearance being freakishly similar to many of the people I saw there.
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  6. #6
    Theta Male Julius_Van_Der_Beak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmotini View Post
    I'd like to make some television shows about all of the morons living in U.S major cities like New York, L.A. and Chicago that aren't people of mocked sub-cultures; I'd like to make some shows about stupid white people congratulating themselves about how smart they are for simply being born in Los Angeles.
    I've never encountered anyone patting themselves on the back for simply being from Los Angeles, and I lived in California for a short period of time, as well as went to school with a lot of Californians (despite the fact that it was on the east coast).

    I have, however, encountered plenty of people patting themselves on the back for being from New York, and wearing it as a badge of pride to simply be from there, while not being knowledgeable or interested in things outside of New York City.

    Oddly enough, I've encountered the same attitude from people from Pittsburgh. Actually, I think the people from Pittsburgh might be worse.

    I'd also argue that idiocy isn't really a class thing. I've known a lot of upper middle class people who were fucking idiots, despite having access to good education their whole lives. Yes, the more money you have is related to the educational opportunities at your disposal, however, it has nothing to do with whether or not you take advantage of it. It has even less to do the possession of intellectual curiosity.

    I've also encountered my share of rural people who disparage others for not being rural. I would say that it isn't a southern thing, as I've known people from Montana and rural Pennsylvania to do it.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Beargryllz's Avatar
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    I absolutely don't blame rural people more

    Where does this actually happen and who is actually making these accusations? I feel like arguing with them.

  8. #8
    libtard SJW chickpea's Avatar
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    I remember a big backlash from Italians and people from jersey when jersey shore came out because it made them look bad by association. I don't think people from rural areas are singled out, there are people from all walks of life getting made fun of on reality tv (mostly).

    I mean that's pretty much what all the real housewives shows are.

  9. #9
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    I've just heard West Virginia jokes my entire life, even in North Carolina (hi I just went further South, but heard jokes about WV, apparently because the "deep South" is a different and more genteel culture than Appalachian mountain culture? I guess? But like, my mom's mom's family is from NC...and my mom grew up there for a significant part of her childhood so....);

    ALSO, my ESFJ ex is half Mexican and half English, but he somehow felt superior enough to make fun of my mother's accent, until one day I called him a racial slur just to prove a point to him, and HE NEVER PULLED THAT SHIT AGAIN.

    I mean, he didn't come from a family of a higher class, and I'm actually more formally educated than him, and at that point I think I'd even lived in more places than he had (he was one of those fairly isolated Vegas rats until I got a hold of him) ...so his prejudice was unfounded. And strange considering his own ethnic background. However, not all that uncommon, like speaking with a Southern accent makes someone stupid; funnily enough, at that juncture, my mother already had a college degree and had lived all over the U.S. and raised four children, and was a grandmother, so his disrespect was so far from anything resembling the reality of my mother's education and experience that I wanted to punch him in the face.

    I just get that vibe from people, like having a Southern accent automatically indicated less education or less life experience (my grandfather had the most archaic accent of all, even saying things like West Virginee and "petrol" for gasoline, and had lived literally ALL OVER THE WORLD as well as being a civil engineer) ...so yeah...I've always found it kind of disgusting that I constantly have to defend where I'm from to people outside of the South.

    Especially since people from large cities are frequently just as ignorant, may have never been outside of that city due to poverty or other circumstances, including smug lack of curiosity, and even just as racist. I've encountered very racist people in large cities.

    Yes, @Magic Poriferan, I can tell you're very sheltered. It shows in your case.

    But that's you as an individual.

    I've also noticed that somehow white people from the South who are "white trash" are somehow supposed to be more responsible in some way for their ignorance? Like ignorant people of other races, better not make fun of them, but it's okay to make fun of dirt poor ignorant people from the South just because they're white, which makes no sense at all.

    That's what I mean in my title about holding these people more responsible, as though they had more choices, and apparently they didn't. It confused me even as a small child, we lived pretty far out on some property my grandfather bought when I was a baby, and at the elementary school I attended there were people from down in the holler who did things like come to school dirty.

    My family was wildly privileged in comparison, and far more educated; never wealthy by any means, but still privileged enough to where their ignorance and deprivation was absolutely baffling to me, just as baffling as any inner city Latino or African-American.

    I think that's why I've had a life-long obsession with social class and related topics.

  10. #10
    Theta Male Julius_Van_Der_Beak's Avatar
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    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.
    [Trump's] rhetoric is not an abuse of power. In the same way that it's also not against the law to do a backflip off of the roof of your house onto your concrete driveway. It's just mind-numbingly stupid and, to say the least, counterproductive. - Bush did 9-11


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