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10 Things Everybody Gets Wrong About The South

Dixie is the most misunderstood region in America.

by
Chris Queen

Bio

June 18, 2014 - 2:00 pm
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I don’t believe it’s a stretch to say that the South is the most misunderstood region in the United States. Everywhere I go (even sometimes here in the South!) I run into misconceptions about this area. I’m proud of the region I call home, and I wish everybody could know the South that I’ve experienced my whole life. So I’m glad to get the chance to clear up some of the stereotypes and generalizations. Here are the ten things that everybody gets wrong about the South.

BattleOfChancellorsvilleReenactment

10. White Southerners Still Haven’t Gotten Over The Civil War.

There’s a notion that we Southerners still carry a grudge over having lost the Civil War. It’s a fascinating historical era and a huge part of our heritage (like it or not), but we’re not all sitting on our porch swings with sour grapes lamenting that it didn’t go our way.

We do tend to lionize our Robert E. Lees and Stonewall Jacksons – let’s face it, there’s a certain romanticism about that gallant and gentrified culture, the ugliness of slavery notwithstanding. And yes, you’ll see folks flying the Stars & Bars from time to time down here, along with the “heritage not hate” arguments that go along with that emblem, but those people are increasingly in the minority.

Even though we’ll never forget the Civil War — and Reconstruction — we Southerners have moved on. The South truly has risen again, and modern Southerners are vastly more interested in improving the present and creating a better future for our beloved region.

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Top Rated Comments   
No. We really don't want any more damn Yankees down here.

Y'all go home and stay there.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
Dixie is what's left of real America.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
but today’s hunters and fishers tend to do so responsibly, rather than wantonly killing animals for the thrill of it

And Southerners of earlier times went around wantonly killing for the thrill of it? Does the author himself have misconceptions about the Old South?
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (196)
All Comments   (196)
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Southern courtly manners are a direct result of something that Alexis de Tocqueville encountered when he toured the South in the mid 18th century...that every Southerner of whatever station was addicted to duelling.

In such an environment, you either minded your manners, were a remarkably good shot/swordsman/brawler, or you DIED.

Which leads me to my point about something that IS NOT a myth about the South.

We're nice to you right up until we decide that you need killin'...
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
About the generic "Southern Accent", a friend of mine was traveling in the North, and someone he was talking to said, "Hey, are you from Plant City?" It turned out that they both were from Plant City, Florida.
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
WRT R. E. Lee, when my Grandma was in her eighties I was recording a little oral history and she dropped the bomb that her grandma, who was a Lee, was a second or third cousin to R. E. My dad was surprised that all this time she'd never mentioned it to him, but she replied, "well, we never talked too much about it because some folks still felt he was a traitor for surrendering when he did."
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Regarding the honor given to leaders like Robert E. Lee, over 25 years ago I was giving a tour of Dallas to two Chinese engineers. When we drove past Lee Park in Dallas which has a large bronze statue of Lee astride his horse, even though I hadn't mentioned it, the engineers asked if we could go back for a photo. They had recognized Lee and knew him to be a genius military leader and wanted a photo standing next to the statue. They were also puzzled by the fact that we had a statue of him since his side had lost - a concept unheard of in their culture.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Thank You For Reminding People That Florida Is Part Of The South. And Go Gators :-)
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
I grew up in the North and moved South when I was in my early 30's. First, I want to say I love it here. I started out in Charlotte, NC (great city) and now I'm in Atlanta. In the past 25 years I have lived in both the north and the south. One misconception I have seen clearly is the people I work with up north think southerners are stupid. I have warned them repeatedly not to underestimate their southern colleagues.

I will say that the perception of Yankees (anyone not from the south) is pretty accurate. While my neighbors here are nice to Yankee tourists, they prefer that Yankees go back home. The only thing worse than a yankee is a liberal from California.

As for the racism, it has been my experience that older southerners are more likely to be racist than younger ones, just like the folks up north. And frankly, I saw more overt racism in Michigan and Wisconsin than I ever have in the south.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Concerning #10: The South may have gotten over the Civil War, but every election cycle we witness a slew of otherwise conservative southerners voting Democrat because Lincoln was a Republican.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Now see, I always hear about how all those old southern democrats moved to the "racist" republicans and the parties switching. Which one is is?
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Green Acres is not about the south. There is actually a city in California named Green Acres, and Pixley is one of its neighbors. As for the accents, Texans sound quite different from South Carolinians. I could listen to a woman from South Carolina talk for hours.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Trust me.... Marry one and you will.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Forgive me if someone has pointed this out already, but the "Stars and Bars" and the Confederate battle flag are two different things. Bad mistake for an author to make while pointing out popular misconceptions.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Quick, alert James Dickey!

Places in the South are--like places in NJ (Absecon), CA (Crescent City), UT (Magna), IL (Joliet) & MI (Flint), provincial, pedestrian and prejudiced. No one region in the nation has a monopoly on the bovine.

However, unlike those other places, most Southern state & local governments are semi-inclined to leave their citizens the Hell alone unless said citizens are actual criminals, rather than manufacturing criminals out of those in business and industry.

And you're as likely to find a raging racist in South Central LA or the Bronx, as you are in Jackson, MS.

Indeed, as time passes, more likely.

Finally, though FL is geographically in the South, only parts of it are actually Southern in the negative sense (red necked, bigoted, ignorant, etc.), with TLH, FL, as the epicenter.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
I've lived in the south twice now (military) in NC & 16 yrs later GA. I must say that the ONLY place I have heard raging racist language is where I was born and raised and it is still used to this day. Detroit, MI.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
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