by Jennifer Bowman
Stereotypes are everywhere. You can't get rid of them, because then we'd have to judge everyone on an individual basis, and that's just SO stupid, I mean, seriously.
However, I really believe one of the most stereotyped cultures is the South. According to television and popular opinion, the average southerner smokes, drinks, chews tobacco, has an old pick-up truck, lives in a trailer, is a racist, thinks the South won the war, and has a branchless family tree. This makes me angry. HULK MAD. HULK SMASH ANNOYING STEREOTYPE.
While some of these accusations may be true, or else the "redneck" label wouldn't have even come about in the first place, it's absolutely not fair to assume that everyone below the Mason-Dixon line are white supremacists with IQs lower than their tooth count.
People really do have a misconception of the south. I'm not sure where it comes from. Maybe everyone's still a little biased towards us. Maybe people think it's our fault for slavery, segregation, The Civil War, and the Dixie Chicks.
Maybe people don't know what a real southerner is. I'm here to tell you, the south is the most beautiful and wonderful place to live. I've moved four times and let me tell you, there is no place more gorgeous than Tennessee. That's why it makes me so angry to see it, and the other southern states, being constantly degraded.
First of all, we are not racist. Yes, a lot of racism did occur in the south, but it happened in every other state as well. Most of the racists today are merely a bunch of wimpy white kids who got picked on at school.
Secondly, we are not stupid. This is what angers me more than any other. I don't like seeing my kin and friends being referred to as dumb because they have a slow accent. We're sorry Al Gore's from Tennessee, okay? But the rest of us have opinions and philosophies just like everyone else.
Southerners have strong morals and strong religion, something the rest of the country seems to be losing. We really do have everyone's best interest at heart when we're being "ultra conservative" as some people claim us to be. We drink iced tea and catch lightening bugs in the summer. We appreciate nature and watch the sunset on the swing on the front porch. The weather is usually mild, but humid. We can balance courtesy and stubbornness, and politely disagree. A real southerner would never degrade their fellow southerners. We go to church because our momma said we should. We have respect for the Confederate flag and the American flag and would proudly raise both any day. So the next time you see another stereotypical hick on television or in the movies, grin and bear it. We know who we are and we don't need to be lettin' no "picture box" git in the way of our culture. We've stayed strong for over 200 years, and we can do it ANOTHER 200 years.