“I live here, BUT I’m not FROM here.”

Have any of you heard a statement like that before? I was on a conference call the other day with some very highly educated people and we were taking turns introducing ourselves. Before we got to me, a lady said she lived in west Tennessee but she wasn’t from “the South” and she wanted people to know that upfront because of what they might assume about her, you know, because she lives in the South. When I heard that, I started frowning.

When it was my turn, I told everyone where I lived and that I am proud that I’m from Tennessee. I even showed off the TN flag that hangs in my office. I hope that statement wasn’t lost on her.

So, I’m guessing we had 2 assumptions going on. First, the lady assumed that no one in the group call was from the South even if they lived there, which made her statement perfectly fine, you see. She assumed we were all in the same club. Wrong. Second, she assumed that if she made the statement about Southerners that everyone in the group would get what she was implying, that Southerners are dumb and backward, etc. and possibly agree with that. Wrong.

It’s 2017 and people who are highly educated are still making these types of assumptions about Southerners and it makes me upset. And it’s one thing to think bad things about us and to play into the stereotypes; it’s entirely different when you voice those conclusions.

What do y’all think?

TETH

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