Imagine a place where the servants know their place and women’s roles are in the home, or on the porch drinking mint juleps. Where Miss Violet infuriates the ever-present Nanny, obsessed with keeping the family name “decent.” At the neighboring plantation Eleven Oaks, Leslie Howard prepares for the festive barbeque and to wed his cousin, Olivia de Havilland. We’ll call this place Beulah Land, even though I blatantly ripped off Gone with the Wind.
Stereotypes are strange and fickle things in modern society. Donald Trump made headlines in July 2015 when he made several comments on illegal immigrants. His words sparked outrage and fury because he seemed to actually support several stereotypes that currently plague illegal immigrants. Apparently, a change has came to stereotypes, because it’s perfectly acceptable, even “intelligent,” to stereotype your fellow countrymen.
Politico recently published a disturbing article written by a disturbed individual. Apparently, the writer is on a personal mission to justify his own prejudices against all people from a region he considers “different.” Of course, he believes all American statistics are horribly skewed since they had to include information from this region, and of course, everyone living in that region is just wrong, in every way. It’s the South. There. I said it. Give me a moment to collect myself.
This writer suffers from a condition we’ll call “placeaphobia.” He fears what he doesn’t know and doesn’t understand. While he claims he is from a remotely “southern” place, he is absolutely clueless of what that entails. He seems to carry embittered assumptions from childhood, which he uses to “prove” why his hatred is rational. This phobia is one of the most common in our modern world. The condition is treatable, but sadly many current professionals believe it to be a sign of intelligence.
Apparently, being a resident of this particular geographic region makes you part of a great conspiracy, by default. In this vast and terrible world, such entities as the “Religious Right,” still own slaves and the Civil Rights movement never happened. Your still “fighting the Civil War” if you hold any interest whatsoever in history. God help you if you aren’t offended by the Confederate battle flag, because all the “cool kids” are on that bandwagon.
If you’re a southern male, you’re automatically pro-slavery. This, contrary to fact, even as PBS states: ” Fully 3/4 of Southern whites did not even own slaves; of those who did, 88% owned twenty or fewer.” Just don’t tell those still believing in our version of Beulah Land, because slavery was the only reason for the Civil War. Since there wasn’t any oil reserves in the Northern States, the war couldn’t have been for the oil. The next best thing is the Confederate army was really fighting for the 1%. Yeah, that’s the ticket.
According to the Left, if you’re a southern female, you’re just as bad. By default, you’re uneducated, illiterate, barefoot, and far too stupid to form coherent thoughts or words. The Left makes no difference between racial lines when it comes to regional affiliation.
According to the Left, minorities didn’t participate in any Civil War battle unless they were on the side of the Union. If any minorities dared to serve in the Confederate army, it was ALWAYS under duress. Of course, Union soldiers always embraced and cared for the slaves they came across, and the Union’s wholesale arson, rape, and murder of civilians (all races) never happened.
Life is not all peaches and wine. There are drawbacks to living in this version of Beulah Land. People are poor, poor, poor. Somehow, the region is populated with uneducated, heathen wretches, but at the same time, they fill the country clubs and honky tonks. Things like Target and Starbucks don’t exist. Schools don’t exist. People only wear shoes for “church and schoolin’.”
Speaking of church, everyone goes to church in the southern states. According to the Left, this is a heretical practice. Now, I ask you, how dare they have a religious affiliation? We need to be more secular, like our European peers, so we can fit in with the popular kids.
It may come as a shock, but a “Religious Right” hasn’t existed in decades, if it ever existed outside the realm of political mudslinging. So many have forgotten that President Bill Clinton was elected in the early 1990s, a documented sexual predator, draft dodger, and serial cheater. Not only did he win one election, he won two. And the Religious Right? Anywhere?
It is unbelievable that current writers, teachers, and scholars are so ignorant as to accept the number of stereotypes currently in circulation. Persons, who are looked to for their powers of thought and creativity, are even more stubborn and gullible than the general population.
This begs the question as to why such large segments of the population need to invent or perpetuate obsolete stereotypes. In the 21st Century, society should be beyond the reach of those negative sentiments formed two hundred years ago. It speaks volumes that fictional places hold such power as to prompt writers for normally respected publications to stoop to their promotion.
Could it be to distract from the racial problems that have been highlighted elsewhere? It seems the non-southern states would be far better served to address their own flaws and imperfections, including racism, than to invent those elsewhere.