Back in 2004, because of personal issues and family ones as well; I had to move to my birth home of Georgia. At first, I thought it would be good for me--my mother had moved back in 1988, but I chose to stay in Chicago, where I had lived since I was two years old. However, it didn't take me long to realize that I was not prepared for the reality of living in the south. Not only is the town where my mother resided backwards; it was as if everyone that came to her house was only there to check out her Yankee daughter and find a reason not to like northerners.
I had made a mistake.
Not too mention, some of my family members didn't exactly embrace me with open arms. Once upon a time we had been close. I didn't know what had happened. It disappointed me deeply to be treated that way.
I learned quickly that there are just some places where you should just visit--and not choose to live. Everyone wants to get in your business. Some folks don't have any problem asking where you work, where you live, are you so and so's ....daughter, etc, etc. And to the casual neophyte; I have this warning: southerners speak two languages>>>what they say...and what they actually mean. Believe me, you'll spend many moments trying to figure out what the hell they are truly saying. And when they are agreeing with you; it's not because they actually, well...agree with you; it's just a gesture to hide the fact that they really don't understand a word you're saying...but their innate pretentiousness won't allow them to hurt your feelings by telling the truth.
Then...there is the culture. Southern culture is for southern folks who are white, slow in the brain and can't get past the fact that the north won the Civil War--GET OVER IT!
I've been contemplating moving back to Chicago(I miss it terribly!!!).
Most of my days are spent working...and during my leisure time; I'm plotting to get the hell out of this place.
As solice, I came up with a list of why I really hate this place:
1) The Racial Divide
People may have marched in the 60's but in many counties down here you might as well have Jim Crow inacted all over again. Confederate flags are sported proudly. The craKKKas that do this say that it represents their heritage. Uh...I guess they are proud of that this flag also represents slavery, racism and white bigotry, second only to the white sheets of the KKK. Whites live on one side of town and Blacks live on the other side of the tracks--literally. It's repressive. There is a general disdain for anyone that isn't southern or white. As if this is something to be proud of. Blacks seem to still be afraid of white people and if you're not living in a major metropolitan area; only whites are visible in most of the businesses that are available. What really angers me is that there seems to be an innate since of superiority of whites here and some think they can talk to Black people anyway they choose(that is...until they make the mistake of talking to the wrong one and getting more than their feelings hurt).
2) Welcome to...the past?
Yup! If you're looking for ATM's at most banks--typically, southern banks are private owned and you won't find one. They're big on talking about heritage, but typically, that means...if you're family can't trace at least 4 generations back in any southern state, YOU'RE NOT SOUTHERN. Sorry Immigrants. Progress skipped most parts of the south and the mindsets of the people rival the script to Gone With The Wind. Only they know what they're talking about.
3) No Diversity in The Town
The white folks in the south control its culture and image. For those who live outside the south; you'd think that everyone down here has oversprayed hair, bleached blond hair, talks with a drawl...and square dances and shoots deer on the weekend. Hearing foreign languages being spoken in public scares these people and seeing anything that doesn't remind you of Driving Miss Daisy is just plain bizarre to these folks.
4) The Environment
Guys really are named Bubba, they drive Big gas guzzling trucks, they don't recycle down here and going green to most southerners means that you're eating more spinach.
5) Neglect of Public Health
I've seen fat people ok...but down here, southern fat scares the hell out of even tourists. I had a West Indian friend ask me out of horror was everyone in the south obese. You can't even go to a Wal-Mart without almost hearing the door greeters getting cussed out because some of these shoppers are so damned fat, paramedics would have to be called if they even tried to push a cart around those big supercenters. They love BBQ, fried food and the only physical activity most southerners get these days is when they click the remotes to their HD's.
6) They drink light beers
Is this an oxymoron, given what I said in number 5?
7) The Redneck Factor
Could someone please explain to me why people would be proud to be REDNECKS? I don't get it. Could it be that well...I'm not a Redneck. They love being Rednecks so much; they have written books about it and many of these people advertise it on t-shirts and bumper stickers. To the casual observer, these folks were born to be made fun of and one thing for sure...the producers of The Jerry Springer Show will never run out of guests as long as Rednecks exist.
8) The Bible Belt
Everybody down south goes to church, but many couldn't even quote 5 of the Ten Commandments. I'll tell ya a little secret folks; most southerners only go to church because it's socially correct. Some feel that people will assume that they are respectable if they are members of a popular church headed by a community approved pastor. It's not about love, joy or giving--being a "church goer" gets you a wink from the "accepted folks" in town and doors will open for you.
9) Learn toTalk
Although I can appreciate colloquialisms; I'd appreciate it very much if southern people would not hold it against people if they actually know what's coming out of their mouths and can even spell the words they speak.
10.) The Truth Hurts Them
Someone once told me that they felt sorry for anyone who had to live in the south. Well...I've been in Georgia for six years...and it's one thing to have something said, but it's another thing all together to prove them right. I grew up in Chicago and we hate fakes. Southern people are the only group of people I've been around who take offense if you tell them the truth. It's considered a faux paus to actually answer a question directly. And God forbid if you are caught being direct. You'll be ostracized, talked about and the ultimate punishment: you'll be labeled as BIGGIDY(meaning insolent). Whatever....
So...if there are some here who have been thinking about moving south--I'd really do some deep pondering if I were you.