Until the good and rational and reasonable among them stop being so thin-skinned, and start seeing that a helluva lot of us above the Mason Dixon Line are just as American and just as right as they’ll ever be, the hateful denial that anything is wrong with a region where citizens and civic leaders alike feel justified in forcing their own proudly uninformed anger on the rest of us will persist.
As a Northerner, half of whose family are Southerners, I can say that this feeling is palpable even among said family members. There’s a put-on politeness, with anger and ridicule of us, especially Californians.
Val and I spent a few weeks touring the South in our Airstream a couple years ago, and we were generally treated respectfully, so it’s not all bad, of course. The only people who tried to make hay of our being Californians were Texans who we met in Louisiana. Even in a relatively short few minutes in conversation with them, they managed to remind us that Texas still has the right to secession and that Californians basically suck “present company excepted, I’m sure.” Assholes.
Anyway, it’s obvious that all Southerners can’t be lumped with the idiots that we see on TV all the time, but it does seem that the article’s assertion that the “good and rational and reasonable” have to start reigning in the radical members of their society, or relations are going to continue to get worse in this country.