This is my birth state. I have many family members and these are my roots, but when I chose to finally move here from Chicago (place where I was raised since the age of 2); I thought I’d be happy here.
From the word GO; I’ve had nothing but irritation and disappointment.
You think you know people, particularly family members, but frankly, you really don’t. Some of my closest relatives have literally turned into strangers. I can’t figure some of them out. It’s my guess that perhaps bad relationships have a lot to do with it. When you spend a lot of years with “bad people” in dysfunctional relationships; it literally taints you and retards all other relationships. What’s in those people get into you. Some of my cousins are guilty of this very thing.
My mother moved to Georgia in 1987 and honestly; she’s done nothing but help out down and out relatives who’ve payed her nothing back in return. Her heart is always in the right place, but it makes me angry that people often take her kindness for weakness. This has made me lash out on many occasions, and even have to fight someone physically for disrespecting my mother.
No family is perfect. And some of my relatives need Dr. Phil for real, but it’s very hurtful to have to deal with this, particularly when you’re going through a separation of sorts from everything you know and starting over new someplace else.
The friends that I’ve made are mostly transplants like myself–most from the Northeast. The one thing we have in common are the perceptions that we’ve made about the native born people of Georgia: we all agree that Georgia is a beautiful state–blessed with natural resources and wild life, as well as a bounty of flowers and trees to admire, however, the people are another thing all together. They are not friendly to outsiders. Extremely xenophobic and nosy as I don’t know what. We all agree that many of the people here are emotional liars. Southerners don’t tell the truth–it’s feared. Why? I think it has to do with the status quo down here. There seems to be some covert subliminal threat over the people. You’re not to rock the boat. Go with it…don’t talk back. Smile and move along. Very condescending. More or less, it means, particularly for Black people: STAY IN YOUR PLACE. “We’re still running thangs down here.” The White Oligarchy that is.
I guess some folks would say: how can you live in a place where they proudly display the rebel symbol in its state flag?
I learned quickly that there are just some places where you should just visit–and not choose to live. Everyone wants to get in your business. Some folks don’t have any problem asking where you work, where you live, are you so and so’s ….daughter, etc, etc. And to the casual neophyte; I have this warning: southerners speak two languages>>>what they say…and what they actually mean. Believe me, you’ll spend many moments trying to figure out what the hell they are truly saying. And when they are agreeing with you; it’s not because they actually, well…agree with you; it’s just a gesture to hide the fact that they really don’t understand a word you’re saying…but their innate pretentiousness won’t allow them to hurt your feelings by telling the truth.
Then…there is the culture. Southern culture is for southern folks who are white, slow in the brain and can’t get past the fact that the north won the Civil War–GET OVER IT!
I’ve been contemplating moving back to Chicago(I miss it terribly!!!).
Most of my days are spent working and writing…and during my leisure time; I’m plotting to get the hell out of this place.
As solice, I came up with a list of why I really hate this place:
1) The Racial Divide
People may have marched in the 60’s but in many counties down here you might as well have Jim Crow enacted all over again. Confederate flags are sported proudly. The craKKKas that do this say that it represents their heritage. Uh…I guess they are proud of that this flag also represents slavery, racism and white bigotry, second only to the white sheets of the KKK. Whites live on one side of town and Blacks live on the other side of the tracks–literally. It’s repressive. There is a general disdain for anyone that isn’t southern or white. As if this is something to be proud of. Blacks seem to still be afraid of white people and if you’re not living in a major metropolitan area; only whites are visible in most of the businesses that are available. What really angers me is that there seems to be an innate since of superiority of whites here and some think they can talk to Black people anyway they choose(that is…until they make the mistake of talking to the wrong one and getting more than their feelings hurt).
2) Welcome to…the past?
Yup! If you’re looking for ATM’s at most banks–typically, southern banks are private owned and you won’t find one. They’re big on talking about heritage, but typically, that means…if you’re family can’t trace at least 4 generations back in any southern state, YOU’RE NOT SOUTHERN. Sorry Immigrants. Progress skipped most parts of the south and the mindsets of the people rival the script to Gone With The Wind. Only they know what they’re talking about.
3) No Diversity in The Town
The white folks in the south control its culture and image. For those who live outside the south; you’d think that everyone down here has over-sprayed, bleached blond hair, talks with a drawl…and square dances and shoots deer on the weekend. Hearing foreign languages being spoken in public scares these people and seeing anything that doesn’t remind you of Driving Miss Daisy is just plain bizarre to these folks.
4) The Environment
Guys really are named Bubba, they drive Big gas guzzling trucks, they don’t recycle down here and going green to most southerners means that you’re eating more spinach.
5) Neglect of Public Health
I’ve seen fat people ok…but down here, southern fat scares the hell out of even tourists. 300 and 400 pound people everywhere you look. Once, a West Indian friend ask me out of horror was everyone in the south obese. You can’t even go to a Wal-Mart without almost hearing the door greeters getting cussed out because some of these shoppers are so damned fat, paramedics would have to be called if they even tried to push a cart around those big supercenters. They love BBQ, fried food, and the only physical activity most southerners get these days is when they click the remotes to their HD TV’s.
6) They drink light beers
Is this an oxymoron, given what I said in number 5?
7) The Redneck Factor
Could someone please explain to me why people would be proud to be REDNECKS? I don’t get it. Could it be that, well…I’m not a Redneck. They love being Rednecks so much; they have written books about it and many of these people advertise it on t-shirts, bumper stickers; and have their own version of the Georgia state flag: http://www.theonion.com/articles/georgia-adds-swastika-middle-finger-to-state-flag,8998/To the casual observer, these folks were born to be made fun of and one thing for sure…the producers of The Jerry Springer Show will never run out of guests as long as Rednecks exist.
8) The Bible Belt
Everybody down south goes to church, but many couldn’t even quote 5 of the Ten Commandments. I’ll tell ya a little secret folks; most southerners only go to church because it’s socially correct. Some feel that people will assume that they are respectable if they are members of a popular church headed by a community approved pastor. It’s not about love, joy or giving–being a “church goer” gets you a wink from the “accepted folks” in town and doors will open for you.
9) Learn to Talk
Although I can appreciate colloquialisms; I’d appreciate it very much if southern people would not hold it against people if they actually know what’s coming out of their mouths and can even spell the words they speak. When I want to get even with an annoying local, I just start using words with 3-4 syllables. The looks they give you are priceless.
10.) The Truth Hurts Them
Someone once told me that they felt sorry for anyone who had to live in the south. Well…I’ve been in Georgia for nine years…and it’s one thing to have something said, but it’s another thing all together to prove them right. I grew up in Chicago and we hate fakes. Southern people are the only group of people I’ve been around who take offense if you tell them the truth. It’s considered a faux paus to actually answer a question directly. And God forbid if you are caught being direct. You’ll be ostracized, talked about and the ultimate punishment: you’ll be labeled as BIGGIDY(meaning insolent). Whatever….
So…if there are some here who have been thinking about moving south–I’d really do some deep pondering if I were you.