Oh come on, you know those hicks don't really matter

It really is nice having your culture be the laughing stock of the nation. I remember someone remarking that he was amazed that actual NASCAR fans were loving the movie Talladega Nights. Apparently the thought that they might find the stereotypes as funny as everyone else was beyond him. And that it was a movie making fun of stereotypes must have really eluded him, because, you know, all those southerners are really idiots, right?

Well, Amber Rhea links to Le Débris est Blanche, who has a little something to say about that:

However, it’s still beyond me why otherwise intelligent, supposedly open-minded and tolerant people, who stand against all other forms of prejudice, have no problem openly mocking anyone and everyone from the south. You’d never laugh in someone’s face for talking “black” or “gay,” but someone who has a southern accent? All bets are off. Because, they *must* be a complete idiot for talking that way. Just like @BowlingAlleyLawyer said, the first thing any ed-ja-ma-cated southerner must do to be considered even remotely intelligent is to learn how to talk right.

And then Ellie (have I mentioned Ellie? I have a mad internet crush on Ellie, especially when she says things like this) brilliantly adds

I’m a Southern transplant myself but I still bristle when I read crap like this. Pretty easy for Northeastern folks to call poor Southerners racist, etc when those poor Southerners have NO INSTITUTIONAL POWER TO PERPETUATE RACISM.

At some point I’d like to write about growing up white and male in a culture in that teaches you that white males are in control, yet feeling none of the control yourself. I’ve seen different ways that the men in my life responded to that, the ways I responded to that. But I’m honestly afraid of the scathing backlash something like that would bring about. Any time I see someone even approach the issue there seems to be a shouting match revolving around “BUT YOU’RE PRIVILEGED!” as though privilege discounts the reality of someone’s experience.

The whole thing reminds me of one of my favorite songs about being a Southerner, “Good Ole’ Boys Like Me” by Don Williams.

lyrics

3 Comments

  1. First, crush right back at you (hell, it isn’t even “internet” anymore – like, my actual *body* would love to make out with you!)

    Second, I started reading a bit in the whiteness studies literature recently (particularly as it relates to composition pedagogy) and this shit blew my fucking mind. I have started really interrogating my ideas about the South and racism in a very real way. I’ll dig up some article titles for you, if you are interested.

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