Are you even going to acknowledge that the region does have very real problems?
I've said before that the region has some very real problems, and I stand by that. Bigotry, anti-intellectualism, etc. It's easy to forget that those are real people that we're talking about there though, and that there are plenty of people that live in the South that are very much against the fundies, the bigotry, and all the other problems down there. It's true that some of those states have a fairly high proportion of Republican leaning voters. IIRC, several of the southern states only went around 37% for Obama, while many were closer to 45%. The states that went less for Obama then that weren't in the South - Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, etc.
You have to consider that in the big cities in the South, that the people tend to much like the people in the big cities all across the country - they lean liberal, like fancy coffee, ethnic food, and so forth. They tend to have a lot in common with people from New York City, L.A., and so forth. As the demographics shift, the South is slowly turning more liberal as well. If the GOP doesn't change, they're going to be in a hell of a lot of hurt as they start loosing Southern states.
It's easy to paint the South as a bastion of willful ignorance. It's a stereotype. Like many stereotypes, there's some truth to it. But a great many people in the South do not live up to that stereotype. Hell, I'd even venture to guess that most
of the people down there don't live up to all of the stereotypes. Those that do tend toward the stereotypes very likely only tend toward one or two of those stereotypes instead of all of them. Sure, if you look hard enough, you'll find a few knuckle draggers that fit all
the stereotypes, but I'd guess that they account for fewer than 1% of the population in the South. It's probably pretty close to the same percentage of knuckle draggers you'd find in any state.
Does the South still have some more growing up to do? Yep. So does the rest of the country too. The difference between most Southern States and most of the liberal states in this country are less than 15% of the populous. In both areas, you find knuckle draggers, and in both areas you find ultra liberals. You find all the same sorts of people in both areas. It's just that the proportions are little different in some areas than in others. Probably in ten years, we're going to have a few Southern States that will have flipped blue instead of red, and a few more that are swing states.
The fault for many of the problems we have in this country, and the problems in the South are more due to some elements of the Republican Party than to intractable and intrinsic Southern Racism. I don't try to deny that Southern Racism is a real thing - hell, I've seen it with my own eyes. But this isn't Mississippi Burning anymore. Things are changing and continue to change. The GOP has molded itself to appeal to racists, and that's how they took the South in the 60's once the Democrats stopped supporting segregation and a racist agenda. But if I had to make a guess, I'd guess that today that a racist agenda is only a small part of how the Republican Party retains its hold. Many Republicans are not racists, and many of them find the racist elements of their party to be repugnant.
It's easy to loose sight of the fact that when you talk about the problems of the South, Southern Racism, and so forth, that you're talking about real people, and painting them with a broad brush that doesn't apply to many of them. It's easy to loose sight of the fact that some of the people that you're painting with that brush are members here. Like all stereotypes, when you paint them with that broad brush, it hurts. It might anger them, and they lash out, or it might make them feel like shit. Probably most of them don't even say anything. Some of them might just write you off as being a bigot, one that's bigoted against them because they come from the wrong part of the country in your opinion.
It's easy to fall into that sort of bigotry. There are certainly problems in the South. There's certainly a lot of ugliness there historically, and even some today. But when you aren't careful with how you think, it's easy to lump all "those people" together, and to fall victim of the sin of bigotry that you accuse them of. When you aren't careful of how you speak or write, it's easy to misrepresent yourself, and to write in such a manner as to make it sound like you're lumping them all together when that's not your intention. I'm not sure which is going on here with Lux. Personally, I don't really care either. I understand where you're coming from Lux. I too have problems with the South. I understand that you intend well, and that you want the same sort of things that I want. But I hope that you'll realize that a great many of the Southerners that you're talking about are nothing like what you've said that they're like. And we probably don't have a single long term member of E that's the knuckle dragging sort. Meanwhile, we do have at least one Southerner posting in this thread that I know, and likely more. And I'd venture to guess that where we have a just a few people that have spoken up here, that there's probably at least a dozen more that haven't said anything. Any one of them could be one of your friends, writing partners, or someone you chat, flirt, or game with. They're real people.