June 16, 2003

Rural South

This is absolutely amazing to me. Even though I have now been out of school for over a year, I am still informed on an almost regular basis about the ongoing soap opera that is my high school. I'm not sure why some of my friends still follow what is happening there, but I really don't want to know who is going with who, who is cheating with who, and, in this latest case, who got who pregnant. (That last sentence probably should have had a few "whom"s in it, but I don't care at the moment.)

Do you live in a rural southern area? Are you surrounded by self-proclaimed rednecks and hicks? Do you think of yourself as a slightly more open-minded person than most of those around you in your hometown? If you answered "yes" to those three questions, you might be able to understand the constant frustration I get when trying to carry on any political or religious discussion with the majority of the people here in Hicktown, Texas. I am so tired of hearing (in a Texas drawl) that people protesting the government should be kicked out, that all homosexuals should be shot, that black people are the cause of many problems, that there is a God because He exists, and other ignorant things that the person spouting it hasn't even thought about.

Now, all of those views aren't carried by everyone, but it seems more and more that everyone here has at least one of them ingrained into their mind. Every time I come home I am reminded once again of the typical stereotype about Texans and southerners and become outraged that these people are helping to make that stereotype look more and more like fact. Why does this make me so upset? Because I hate it when a person hears my accent, identifies me as a Texan, and then stops listening to anything I have to say. I hate my background causing other people to make assumptions about my intelligence and how I will behave. I hate people rolling their eyes when I say something that they disagree with and simply ignoring it because I'm just an "ignorant Texan."

I know that I have my own stereotypes that I sometimes catch myself using, but at least I am trying to not stereotype every single person that I meet and trying to stop using those stereotypes. That is more than I can say about a lot of people.

Posted by Randy at June 16, 2003 11:50 AM