Thoughts On Southern Identity

Southern identity is one of those things most people think they can define without too much trouble. After all, there are so many southern stereotypes popularized by Hollywood that you are spoiled for choice. If you think poorly of the South, then you can go with the snaggle-toothed redneck in overalls and no shirt. If you hold romantic notions about the South, then there is the smooth and courtly southern gentleman, who makes the ladies blush. Of course, there is everything in between.

In reality, those types we get from popular culture are caricatures of old realities, more than anything based in present reality. In the major population centers in the modern South, you will be hard pressed to find the snaggle-toothed redneck or the courtly southern gentleman. Instead, it is mostly middle-class suburban people living better than most of the country. The quality of life in the modern South is much higher than most of the country, which is why so many are moving there.

Of course, the South has never been monolithic. Georgia has a different culture than South Carolina, because it has a different origin story. Parts of North Carolina are more like Virginia, while other parts are more like Appalachia. Again, this is due to the people who settled these areas. While Southern identity has largely been bordered by slavery and the Civil War, even within that framework there was a great deal of diversity in the South, going back to the beginning. Southern culture is diversity.

Then there is the fact the South has always been home to a large black population with its own identity and origin story. Despite what northern historians claim, blacks have always been a part of Southern identity. In the rest of the country, blacks are a tolerated add-on population. A black person raised in Boston would never call himself a Bostonian, while a black raised in the South is going to identify as Southern. It is a different sense of identity than a white person from the South, but not alien.

Compounding the natural diversity of the South in the current age is the large number of foreigners that have moved to the South in the past few decades. From the perspective of the natives, it is hard to say which is worse, the migrant laborers from over the horizon or the economic migrants from the rest of the country. The former seems to have more respect for the locals than the latter and they generally have the decency not to vote in local elections. Still, both are now a part of the South.

Unlike white identity, Southern identity, as a cultural and political movement, has another problem. There have been prior efforts to forge a politics in the South, all of which have failed for various regions. As a result, Southern identity carries with it a stigma that is hard to shake. Efforts to organize today, inevitably have to deal with the old guys from the past showing up wanting to revitalize their thing, rather than embrace something new and based in present reality. The South still has ghosts.

All that said, the South is going to be on the cutting edge of identity politics, even if it struggles to forge a new identity. Georgia is 55% white, with a large black population spoiling for a chance to hold the whip hand over whites. Florida is 56% white with a swelling population of Caribbeans. Texas is already minority white and the flood of migrants is making it more so. It is in the South that white identity, regional identity and identity politics will be the defining issues in the very near future.

How this breaks out is hard to know. There are people with ideas about it, like the folks at Identity Dixie, with whom I did an interview recently. They are in many ways the New South, in that they are college educated, middle-class guys. As I like to put it, the new Southern man has a pickup truck, but it cost sixty grand, has leather seats and the bed has only ever seen his kid’s toys and his golf clubs. If it has a bumper sticker on it on, it is for parking at his office building or maybe his golf club.

When thinking about Southern identity, a good place to start would be the world of William Faulkner. A century ago, the changing nature of the South was the displacement of the old gentry with the decedents of white plantation workers and dirt farmers. The old aristocracy was giving way to a cruder, more cunning and less culturally ambitious breed of Southerner. The Snopes family was the new South, not invested in any romantic notions of the past, beyond what could profit them.

What seems to be happening today is a reverse of that. The people in the new Southern identity movements are like the guys at Identity Dixie. They are smart and educated, working in the modern economy. They have a connection to that old sense of Southern identity like the Compson family in the Faulkner novels, but they are not haunted by it. It is in the South where a native archeofuturism is forming up, where the past informs the present, as they develop an identity for the future.

It is hard to know where this goes. It is in the South where the homogenization and financialization of America is most obvious. Vast developments of identical houses, with Potemkin “town centers” populated by strangers from all over the earth, is just as much a part of the New South as anything else. If someone had moved away from the Charlotte area thirty years ago and returned for the first time today, they would be in a foreign country. Even NASCAR is different from the recent past.

How a Southern identity grows out of that is hard to know, especially one that is not reactionary. If the new sense of Southern identity is going to avoid the fate of prior efforts, it will have to be positive, rather than negative. When a group identity is based on opposition to some other group, it is not something to carry a people forward. It is their long retreat into the oblivion of history. Whatever comes next for Southern identity will have to avoid that mistake and be forward looking and independent.

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151 thoughts on “Thoughts On Southern Identity

  1. What will save Texas is, most people who move there become Texans in thought and action. The land makes the man, and Texas land has a history not even close to any other part of the US.

    • And another thing. A couple of weeks ago I read an interweb story of chefs with new, delightful recipes for grits served in high-dollar restaurants. Good Lord, grits in Yankee restaurants? Not our recipes, biut still…

  2. Zman, I have a serious question for you. The South is a source of fascination to me, Southern Gothic in particular. I am very pro-South and find it exotic and mysterious 🙂 But it seems like it has a ginormous murder rate. I know most of that is the negroes, but unlike most other parts of the country, they are everywhere in the South. So my question to you, is: does the South really have an extra high murder/violence rate?

  3. I’ve always found people not raised in an urban enviroment, I mean real city life, to be soft.
    Country lane life doesn’t prepare one for confrontation like Boulevard life.

  4. It’s impossible to discuss Southern culture, or any other culture, without reference to religion. Religion is one of the defining characteristics of any culture.

    Broadly speaking, Southerners historically have had a shared religion, which I will call Protestantism. Protestants understand that their religion is divided into lots of different sects, but ultimately they view these sects as different apartments in one large apartment building. Separate, in a sense; but in another sense, very unified.

    When the South still had an identity per se, a protestant interpretation of the Bible was the universally agreed upon standard of belief and behavior. I know; I was there.

    Yes, I’m painting with broad strokes here. Bear with me as I try see the overall lay of the land.

    In the North, a very different picture emerges. In the 19th century a huge wave of European immigrants brought Roman Catholicism to the U.S. in numbers never before seen. A look at Catholic populations by state reflects this fact. Today, the three states with the highest percentage of Catholics are Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and New Jersey. The five states with the lowest percentages are Mississippi, West Virginia, Tennessee, Alabama, and Utah.

    Across the South, Catholic populations range from a high of around 10%, to a low of around 5 per cent. In the North, the numbers are much higher, ranging from around 40% to 30 per cent. Source: worldatlas US States by Population of Catholics.

    Although Catholics and Protestants have much in common, there are huge doctrinal and other differences. In many ways, they simply don’t speak the same language.

    This leaves the North culturally fractured (relatively), and the South culturally intact. There are a great many consequences that flow from these facts, many of which go a long way toward explaining Southern cultural identity.

    I can begin to explain this, but it will be quite lengthy and controversial. Unless you happen to be, thank the Lord, as Southern as I am.

    I once worked on a loading dock where truck drivers arrived from all over the nation. A driver from Boston said that he was always very happy to drive to Chattanooga. I asked him why. He looked at me with a startled expression as though I should have known the obvious answer. He said, “The people!”



    • As an example of Protestant belief and behavior, I would cite the case of Jimmy Swaggart. He was an Assemblies of God preacher who was involved in a sex scandal. He is usually thought of as an example of Christian – let’s say Protestant – hypocrisy.

      On the contrary, he’s an example of Protestant sincerity. Why? Because when the scandal was revealed, the Assemblies of God kicked him out. He was defrocked, fired. The whole affair was very public. Even today, decades later, most Americans know the sad story of Jimmy Swaggart. Yes, he has bounced back, but that’s another story altogether. As far as the Assemblies of God are concerned, he’s out. Nor is he associated with any other denomination.

      Traditionally, other Protestant churches would take the same line as the Assemblies of God did with Swaggart. That is, egregious sexual misconduct would result in defrocking.

      The behavior of the Roman Catholic hierarchy toward grotesque child abuse rampant among its clergy tells a very different story. Fundamentally, it depicts a different religion.

    • “Across the South, Catholic populations range from a high of around 10%, to a low of around 5 per cent.” True if you don’t count Florida, Texas and Louisiana. Catholic populations in those states range from 21-23% or 22-26%, depending on who you want to believe. But it certainly ranges higher than 10%. Did you mean averages around 10%? Sorry, I’m not a statistician.

      The oldest churches in those states are also Roman Catholic, so a high percentage of Catholics in those states is not a recent phenomenon, although immigration has shifted more Catholics currently to the South and West than the Northeast.
      “The geographic center of Catholicism is shifting gradually from the Northeast and Midwest toward the South and West. In 2007, a slim majority of Catholics (53%) resided in the Northeast or Midwest. Today, a slim majority of Catholics live in the South or West (52%).”

  5. Time to stop and look at the effect of the arrival of television,
    (or perhaps more correctly, Visual media) on culture, language, society…

    Accents are almost gone. Most regional differences are almost gone… Why?

    I have never seen any thought or discussion on what “the box” has done to any society it touches.

    Start thinking…
    (and turn off the video)

    The South is dead.
    The North is dead.
    The West is dead.
    Logging towns are dead.

    Sit in your box and watch the tube,
    YouTube, Netflix… whatever the video

    The (video) box defines reality.
    What is “normal”
    The “correct” way to speak (NOT Southern)
    The “correct way to act/interact.
    (I’m thinking out loud)

    Whatever you see on TV is the defined “normal”
    (especially if you are a kid), but,
    EVERYTHING in any media is an artificial creation.

    Every photo is framed to present a desired image.
    Even with no editorial intent, any picture is a selected subset of reality.
    “I’ll move over just a bit, so the NO PARKING sign doesn’t show up in my selfie…

    Don’t get me started on Disney…

    As long as we are consuming and paying for the stuff… (don’t feed the beast)

    Please, think.
    Please discuss.


    • yes, but the pendulum is/has swung back. I can learn a lot more (everything, actually) about any place I am interested in, now, than before the internet. look at Zman, he is international *and* Southern. I see regional differentiation going on now, as people are open to (and looking for) new things.

  6. I grew up in the mountains of eastern Kentucky in the 60’s . many relatives still there.
    It was a very different place then. the area is emptying out . the mine a re closed, the us forest service fights logging and the sawmills have closed . What little tobacco farming there was is gone too. now rich people are building estates in the mountains. the mining companies have donated their vast forests to the eco SJW’ who donate them to the state as ” nature preserves” . soon the are will be Yellowstone east . where a few rich have enormous “cabins” next to the wilderness you cannot do anything in.

    • One niner six three, why would Heartiste be gone for good? A person can still exist on the web if they do it right. Unless they literally kill you.

      I think it’s a good thing in a way that people have a break from him. Because when a guy with a certain style gets popular, masses of people start sounding like him. Mimicking his thought modes, writing style, and overall vibe. It gets weird.

      • You’d be surprised how thoroughly TPTB can scrub someone from the net it they want him gone.

        Still sorry for asking about the fella. Guess it’s a verboten subject.

    • Fuck Heartiste, he was always black pilling on Trump, even worse than Zman. I told him to put on a dress and take up knitting.

  7. Massive immigration is the south’s penance for being so rabidly militaristic over the decades. I forgot who said, “Invade the world invite the world” but most of the south is right there on that subject. The fact that Lindsey Graham is a U.S. Senator and not some dainty little flower shop owner in Charleston is everything I need to know about the place. It’s mostly repulsive and hypocritical.

    By the way, side note, given the weather of the South, is it really white people weather anyway? Should white people really live south of the 40th parallel? Having been to Atlanta, Florida, etc., I find it to be weather for tropical people. In most of the country you practically have to hug the Canadian border, or live right on the Pacific to get a cool breeze in the summer. Mid latitude countries are traditionally brown people. The sad thing is, Canada, which has white people weather, is letting tropical people in at the same rate.

  8. Grew up in northern Ohio. Used to visit mom’s family down south every summer. I knew I wasn’t in Ohio anymore when I found myself in a bedroom with a bunch of cousins playing spin the bottle.

  9. As a Southerner, I appreciate the article very much. It gives this old geezer pride and quite a bit of renewed faith. But as I talk with young Southerners, I have to wonder if there’s anything left to save. Maybe. We’ll soon find out.

  10. I have to laugh. I was born and raised in the Peoples Republic of Massachusetts and besides 4 years in Vermont in school (military college) I have been stationed in the mid West, South or in Texas aside from visiting our muslim brothers. As a kid in MA, anything south of Conn was “the South”. After years outside New England….everything blends together. The cities are mostly the same…same shops etc. The minorities change…more blacks or hispanics….they generally hate us about the same. In Texas, we tend to find a middle group, atleast for now. You don’t see a ton of blacks outside of Houston. I have firmly embraced life in the Republic. I have plenty of guns, a truck….horses…boat…ride a bike 12 months a year. No better place to be when everything goes to hell.

  11. The Southern politeness and greeting chitchat thing caught me unawares when I spent some time in Charlotte, on business, years ago. Here in California, it is a more perfunctory “how are you?” before proceeding, and in NYC, it’s even less, more of a “whadda ya want?” kind of thing. So it is all calibrated for the place and the culture, but it all gets you to roughly the same place. You just have to roll with the locals.

    IMO, it’s all better than “Minnesota nice”, which is less honest.

  12. The Booby’s only firsthand experience with the South was a brief time spent in Western Kentucky.

    There was a noticeable dichotomy: the white Kentuckians were some of the friendliest people the Booby’s ever met. Most black Kentuckians – while not outright hostile – seemed to have a lot of simmering resentment and dispositional anger which came across as unfriendliness or worse.

    While the blacks have some historical grievances there also seems to be an unwillingness by many to let go of the grievances, as though grievance is part of who they are. They’re not willing to see that by painting all whites with the same brush they’ve become the very things they purport to oppose.

  13. All southerners are white. Both negroes and Jews, even those born in the south, do not identify as southern. For proof of that I give you the voting history of the 2012 presidential election.

    In South Carolina, the only state I researched, every county with a majority black population, voted for Obama. That’s EVERY county with a majority black population.

    That’s all anyone needs to know about identity politics down here.

  14. The first time I visited Texas, I was really quite struck with how attractive most of the women were. Part of it was good genes, that Alsatian/Germanic mix with the more traditional Southern types. But it wasn’t so much that Texas women were noticeably more beautiful, it was that they were more “attractive” — friendlier, happier, funnier, more at ease with themselves and the people around them. I really like Texans as a people, the men, too. Maybe some day we can gather up all the white Texans and white Australians, and move them to some territory carved out of the borderlands of Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary, and seal the whole thing off with land mines, a giant dome, a mile-high electric fence, and atomic Jew detectors, and just live happily ever after while the rest of the world turns to slurry.

    • Robert Penn Warren, Eudora Welty, Walker Percy, and Flannery O’Connor must all be read, as well as Faulkner, to round out one’s image of the “South”. No harm adding – horrors! – a negro, Ralph Ellison.

      In fact one could toss Faulkner from this list and still get a good introduction to the “mind of the South”.

      ‘Children of Pride’, a massive set of journals from a Georgia planter family through the whole CW era, remains essential for anyone who actually cares about the mind and heart of the people liquidated by the northern aggressors.

      If you aren’t exhausted by reading that, you can tackle Mary Chestnut’s diary, also massive. Good stuff, though.

      Sorry, one more observation – Henry Miller’s ‘Air-Conditioned Nightmare’ is still fun to read, because of his chapters about traveling the South in the early 1940s.

  15. I am from Texas and went to college in the Northeast about 20 years ago. The biggest stereotype of all of my classmates was that the south was full of wandering lynch mobs out looking for a target on the street. And the biggest proponents of this idea were Korean kids from California and the midwest.

    I was a little offended but didn’t realize until after a couple of years of living there that race relations “up north” were way worse than anything I had ever witnessed at home.

    Talk about projection.

    Live in Houston now and the race relations between whites and blacks are not nearly what all of the SJW’s and politicians would have you believe. But that’s how the SJW’s and politicians keep and hold their power, by convincing the rest of the country that the minorities are oppressed.

    Stacey Abrams as governor of Georgia is a scary thing, but it’s also inevitable.

    Kurt Schlichter is in many ways a clown, but there is some prescience in his Kelley Turnbull novels that show the chaos of an identity-politics ruling class. Hell, look at South Africa and Rhodesia after the blacks took over.

    Guess my point is, I don’t think Blacks and Whites – on average – are equal, but a white-majority society like the south (used to be) that benignly tolerates blacks and builds good things is better for everyone than a black-majority society that demonizes whites and uses it all up and destroys it.

    • When it comes to blacks, and generally speaking, southerners like the people and hate the race; northerners like race and hate the people.

  16. The South is the antidote to the black pill. In many cases minorities make up over 40%+ of the population and yet they are solid red states. Why? Because whites vote in sizeable blocs there. Yet Wisconsin is usually blue with 88% white population. What has happened in the South is creeping into other demographically similar midwest states. You can only shout “hate Whitey” for so long before everyone starts noticing. I’m not sure how the final change will happen, but I think it’s coming. Trump is simply a manifestation of a massive movement that has been bubbling under the surface for sometime. The Dems are going full loon. I think it will end badly for them.

  17. I grew up in a college town, and indeed in the “college community”–a sort of Judeo-Puritan-Foreigner enclave–in the Deep South, and had essentially zero substantive contact with real southerners.

    Looking back, I kind of regret that in itself. I also marvel at how the south doesn’t have its “own” schools, essentially ceding extraterritorial control of campuses to Globohomo, a profound enemy of the white south.

  18. there’s sort of a bifurcation in the south between VA, the carolinas GA and FL to the east and Texas to the west – and the states in between (MS, LA, AL, TN and AR). The former is becoming sort of an extension of the east coast on one hand (and in Texas a sort of west-mex culture). The latter states have a sort of insular culture and is what I tend to think of when I think of “the south”

    • “…and the states in between (MS, LA, AL, TN and AR)….have a sort of insular culture and is what I tend to think of when I think of ‘the south.'”
      South Louisiana is mostly a different thing.

    • We found North central/east AK (just south of the Missouri border) to be lovely and very much more “southern” than the DFW area (obviously). Tons of small towns with people who all wave to anyone who drives by, whose ancestors trekked up into the Ozarks from Kentucky or Tennessee or further east. Folks with roots going back many generations. It’s where we desperately hope to move if we can ever afford to get out of Texas.

    • On extended visit in Southern Virginia — surprisingly remote and rural county, as are many here in “southside”. Been looking around quite a bit and there is still alot of Virginia that doesn’t buy into the DC / Norfolk / Richmond (Charleston) transformation. Western Virginia — the Appalachian region, is even more resistant and seems to be preserving some Southern character.

      Spent early years in Southern state; mothers family from NE Alabama NW Georgia since late 1700s. Other family strain located in mountains of central PA. Left recently transformed to hard blue western state … sold house and pulled up stakes after 40 yrs residence. I have some recency of experience looking hard at various places in America. Iwould say that Older America is still out there; it lives outside the city limits of urban America; regional differences do exist, but yes, there has been some blending for all the reasons mentioned by others herein.

      But I believe enough is still out there to rekindle some unique and American culture …. IF we can produce the leadership, and the will.

  19. Southern identity is being rapidly homogenized to the rest of the country. I moved to mississip about a decade ago. It struck me as very behind the times. I was from a cosmopolitan city, and it seemed mores that were prevalent back in the 70s elsewhere were standard. Eg, muscle cars, tank tops, rates of smoking, crude language. However, Mississippi seems to have rapidly converged with the rest of the country since 2000. I think it’s because of the internet.

    • Oh and chewing tobacco. I was working with a subordinate one day and this pretty little painted cup appeared. It was a little warm and I thought “Oo he brought me coffee!” Took a sip—-it was his spittoon!

      • Yeah and you can’t take a sip from a spit cup. It tends to slide down in one gulp:) I still dip on air trips cuz can’t smoke. I have acclimated myself to swallow the spit to avoid nasty spit cups. It can be done and then it is a pretty clean habit.

  20. Despite my Avatar, I am in rural Appalachian Ohio. The feel here, in the hills, among the old coal-mining towns, is much more Southern than Northern, however.

    • There’s a significant difference between Ohio north of US 30, and south of it.

      I was in Columbus recently, and I was amazed at how different it was from even 10 years ago when I was there last. It is becoming much like London is to the rest of the UK.

    • Tragic that it was Rural Ohioans who played such a key role opposing their cousins in the War of Northern Aggression.

      • The goal of Confederate political leaders was to resume the importation of slaves. We shouldn’t lionize them as anything other than talismans of their time.

        Appalachians were noticeably less supportive of the Confederacy than other Southerners. WV broke off from VA, E Tenn supported the Union, and parts of N Alabama were also pro-Union. By contrast, the last general to surrender was Stand Waite, a Cherokee from Oklahoma.

        • From the CSA’s Constitution:

          “Article I Section 9(1)
          The importation of negroes of the African race from any foreign country, other than the slaveholding States or Territories of the United States of America, is hereby forbidden; and Congress is required to pass such laws as shall effectually prevent the same.”

          • So imposing an internal monopoly on the African slave trade is somehow exculpatory? Breeding the best farm equipment with just the right concoction of European DNA is surely the epitome of capitalism, you can even pat yourself on the back for bringing God to the savages; while slighting him for the imperfection of his works.

            If only the people knew tractors and mechanization were on the way and real capitalism is only for plantation owners, I don’t think most of the South would have been fighting for the confederacy.

            All that said, the War of Northern Aggression was a color revolution imposed from the outside. Evidenced by the simultaneous French invasion of Mexico which nobody ever talks about as the concurrent event it was.

  21. NASCAR has changed, no question.

    But the parking areas around Daytona, Talladega and Darlington?

    Hard to imagine a better venue for “It’s OK to be White” flyers, decals, etc.

  22. Can only speak for Texas, but I think you are really describing more of the southeast vs. southwest. At least in Texas, it has always had a significant Mexican and Meximix population, which seems to get along just fine with everyone else. It’s identity is as much Tex-Mex as it is “Southern”. As long as I can remember (mid-70s) the Tex-mex joints outnumbered most other establishments with only BBQ keeping pace. Whatever it will be, Texas’ group identity cannot avoid its Mexican component, which will make it differ from other parts of the south. If that’s good or bad, I don’t know.

    • c matt – there’s a significant difference between the historic Texicans – Mexicans whose families have been here since Texas was a nation – and those who arrived later. Heck, a Mexican who has been here since
      Reagan’s damned amnesty is vastly better than the squatemalans and mixtecs who’ve been pouring in for the last 20 years. Add in all the NY, NJ, Chicago and California transplants, and it’s rare to meet a native Texan any more. This state is toast.

        • I have family that was in the SW when it was New Spain, then Mexico, then the US. Gus Gomez listening to Rush Limbaugh in his pickup truck is a real thing—partly why WN 1.0 was a dud. The amount of Bavarian phenotype sperging alienates probably half the Whites in the country.

  23. Southern identity depends on your type of ancestry (if any), carpet baggers need not apply. Mine is gentile coastal South Carolina (saltwater in my veins), which is of a completely different characteristic than the sharecroppers. From what I gathered from my grandfather, life in the pre WWII era there was a little like living in a Tennessee Williams play, lots of work, heat, and drama.

    The new South is completely artificial, just like the denizens of Lagos who were sharecroppers bussed up there in the fifties. I’m convinced redneck culture exists for the same reason ghetto culture exists for the melanin enriched.

  24. One of Z’s main themes is the failure of past groups with a negative identity. The main issue is how the media portrays a group. A group with a positive identity that excludes anyone can be interpreted as negative. I see the old segregationists/white nationalists as having positive white identity but because they wanted to exclude, they were interpreted as “haters.” The real issue is who controls the media because they largely control how a group is viewed. A group that is classified by the media as “haters” will lose, but the issue is the media more than the identities.

  25. I used to laugh at guys that sounded like I do today. But – I see race wars. Liberals, normies and even some dissidents refuse to see that these vibrant and diverse guests we are importing – really would love nothing better than to kill us and take our stuff. Settling that issue will change us again. It will change the vibrants and those that would culturally enrich us. The tides of history will rise and fall, but as one of the bloggers just said the other day – these are the good ol’ days. Right now.

    Enjoy them, but prepare for what’s coming.

    • It’s difficult to imagine the economy getting better than it is at present, other than some miraculous technological innovations.

      The long term trend of the economy is towards more automation, which means reduced employment, and either increased concentration of wealth or increased welfare statism.

      The silver lining of an economic collapse is that all the foreigners would scurry back.

  26. Here is my anecdote about the South. I have a good friend who grew up in the Midwest, but moved to Houston in the 80s to work in the O&G industry and has been there ever since. He is White of German ancestry, professional, successful, wife, 3 sons; about as traditional as it gets. I visited him for a week last year and we spent most of the time riding mountain bikes (he used to be a top athlete in his younger years, and we usually ride pretty hard despite him being about 30 lbs. overweight now). I do not exaggerate when I say that about 90% of the people we saw walking around Houston were seriously overweight and at least 50% were clinically obese. No matter what you may think about the coming identity movement or future demographics, white Southerners are now killing themselves off in slow motion, and that is not a trivial matter.

    • Agreed although my unscientific observations while traveling the Midwest are the same there.

    • Where the hell do you ride mountain bikes in Houston??? I’ve been through there umpteen times on business; unless you’re riding up freeway on-ramps, the nearest hill is 200 miles away.

      • All kinds of rough and wilderness terrain along the bayous, especially Buffalo Bayou through the middle of town. Very steep hills and ravines from downtown out to about 10-15 miles to the west.

        Thing is, none of it is higher than the surrounding prairie, but the water way is much lower, so the mountain biking is along the banks where the hilly terrain is.

        • Yes, we rode Buffalo Bayou and I saw a lot of neighborhoods that were devastated by the flooding. My friend actually lives in Katy, so we mostly rode in the western part of the city. As a side note, we ran into a women’s triathlon team doing bike training, and all were said to be top competitors in their age group. Every single one of them was sporting cellulite saddlebags, but they still looked good in Spandex.

    • He’s already had replacement +1 and if they are adults and share his better values, his job is done. Its best he be here for the long haul but its not essential

      That said Houston is a diversity city, only half White so a lot of those obese people are not ours

      Its also hard to avoid fatness without the State intervening , mandating sidewalks and pushing public transportation for example something Texans hate

      The presumption that everyone has the discipline to avoid all that delicious reasonably priced food is risible

      If you want a healthy population you have to push it with government otherwise people will do what”s fun

  27. My son is getting ready to start college in South Carolina (we live in northwest NJ). As he’s going through the roommate selection process he seems to be finding lots of other guys from NJ like him – kids who play sports, lift, shoot, and generally have the proper testosterone levels for an 18-year-old young man. I’m not sure if it’s some kind of a national trend – where kids going into college are purposely choosing schools in order to associate with their like-minded peers or if this is just a local anomaly.

    My advise to him is to do well in school then stay down there. He’s already politically conservative and will assimilate far better there than I ever did here in NJ.

    • Several of my nieces/nephews went south from NJ (Clemson, JMU) and had great experiences. Good luck to your son. He’s made a good decision.

    • I’ve heard that in Virginia, certain public universities are known for being a “white school” (JMU) or an “Asian/Indian school” (GMU). I suspect that kids do look at the vibe of the school and, whether they consciously know it or not, that vibe heavily depends on the racial make-up.

      Sailer has talked about something similar going on with UC schools.

      • We had a few college tours where the guide was a flaming SJW. He immediately lost interest in the tour and the school.

        • Don’t let that be the only thing that turns you off, though. The kind of student who volunteers to be a tour guide is the kind of rump-smooching toady all the other undergrads hate. They only do it because it counts as “service” for their sorority. A much better metric is to cruise around the gym etc,. to see if the kids look normal there.

    • As a Charlestonian, folks around here refer to Duke as University of New Jersey at Durham.

  28. I’m a transplanted California native living in the rural South the last 35 years. I’ve watched the urban/suburban South turn into East California. Asheville, NC could be any SF Bay Area town. Charlotte, NC is on its way to becoming just another crime-ridden, overcrowded rat-hole.

    The cities are where liberty goes to die. South, North, East, West – it makes no difference.

    Get out of the cities while you still can.

    • “Get out of the cities while you still can.”

      Preach it, Brother! Exactly the sermon I’ve been repeating ad nauseum.
      For Heavens sakes, Z folks….start making your ToDo list to GetOut!

      Many of you are going to be mighty mighty sorry you got stuck where you are! You can do it!

      Here in Utah, by moving here, yes I changed the culture, yes I changed the demographics. Yep…I’m the problem and not the solution. Everybody everywhere is picking up and moving into someone else’s territory. And that’s the way it is in this moment of history.

      PS: More Mormons in southern than northern Utah. And don’t fuss at my Mormons…. except Mitt Romney. You can fuss at that A-Hole all you want ’til the cows come home. (I’m not a Mormon). At least when I go to kick-the-bucket-buy-the-farm and go to an old folks home, I won’t get hit over the head with a truncheon by a Filipino nurse and my chump change stolen. Reality!

    • I constantly warn any Southerners today living in the Atlanta metro area the same thing.

  29. I’m sure the South is a very nice place to live, and that is exactly what will destroy it — like all the rest of America, it is what lawyers call an “attractive nuisance”, a global hobo magnet. In another 30 years or less, it’ll be nothing but bindis, Latinos, Muslims and Chinese as far as the eye can see, an unending ocean of brown sludge and the ugliest women on earth. Even the Southern blacks will get paved over. Enjoy your halal BBQ curry tacos, Southerners! The foreigners have already hoovered up California (the most pleasant place and climate on the entire Earth, left completely undefended — imagine!), and the South will be next. In another hundred years, Appalachia will simply be known as Brown Pauper Storage Unit 15-C.

    Even as recently as 20 years ago, it still would have been so easy to save America, but instead we got George W. Bush. Can you imagine how easy it would have been, after 9/11, to simply seal and militarize the borders, end even legal immigration, and deport all the H1-Bs and foreign students? But instead…

    Well, at least we’ll still have our Holocaust Museums.

      • Not for me; I live in Cornwall in England.

        Sounds a bit American with a mostly Cornish accent.

      • The Tidewater always struck me as the American equivalent of the Anglo-Norman Pale in Ireland.

    • Postcard – I look back on GW Bush with greater and greater dislike and anger the more I learn about him and his family, but his refusal to close the borders and instead DOUBLE our intake of Mohammedans earns him a place on my “little list” – except I cannot specify what I’d like to do to those on my list because I’m not ready for re-education camp just yet.

    • This should be put on bronze plaques and placed in every courthouse square in the South.

  30. Agreed that a group identity based on opposition to some other group doesn’t work in the long run; however, it can be a great motivator in the short run. Think of a kid who keeps getting pushed around by a bully so he decides to start going to the gym to work out and learn to box.

    Over time, he discovers that he loves the feeling of being in shape and the self-confidence of being able to defend himself. The gym and boxing become a positive part of his identity to the point that years later, he can barely even remember the bully’s name. But it was that bully that got him off the couch and into the gym.

    • My bully was a football player. I wasn’t allowed to play football, but got permission to work out with the team. My bully quit the team and the workouts when I got to benching 50 lbs more than he did.

    • The jews have survived for 3000 years largely defining themselves through negative covenants. This has been both the source of their long survival and the source for all their self-made conflicts with non jews.

      • Yeah, I was thinking about the Jews. They combine positive and negative identity, which seems to work pretty well.

      • Again with the Joo’s. Where did that come from ? Oye veh. Jiminy Crickets! Meanwhile the price of tea in China has taken a … …

        • Yeah, stop noticing things! What’s wrong with you people. Jews are absolutely no different from any other group and they certainly don’t have an inordinate amount of power in this society. And if you say differently, they’ll have you fired and your life ruined.

  31. Seems like the abortion laws passed by Alabama and Georgia could be a positive part of a new identity even if they do not go far enough. They will also be a good test of Kavanaugh and Gorsuch too.

    • It’s said that the U.S. black population would be *double its current size* if not for all those aborted black babies. Maybe it’s OK to let the abortion issue rest. The last thing we need are twice the number of blacks costing us all kinds of money and making all kinds of crime. That said, would love to see a program dedicated to helping white women keep their babies along with a push to get our white children back in the churches (home church if the local ones have been corrupted by the SJW’s). Not an abortion ban.

      • Obtaining our own land and then criminalizing both those who provide and procure abortions is optimal.

        Maybe it’s because I am a Christian, but I still find the concept of abortion utterly deplorable whether or not the child is black or white.

        • Yes, abortion is horrifying and wrong. No argument there. Here’s hoping we can bring more Christianity back into people’s lives so that they choose to wait on sex and babies until they’re married and start a family with their spouse. I don’t see how it makes sense to create laws banning abortion when the surrounding society in question is completely degenerate, secular, nihilist. Perhaps more urgently, I see the population of white people on earth dwindling, while the black population is exploding. Much of this black population came to be through charity of white nations. Crazy. It’s an existential threat. We need more white people and fewer blacks.

          • The orchestrated rise and timing of the abortion issue is a great boon to both the anti-whites and the GOPe.

            It is designed to dilute and deflect attention away from immigration, the wall, white displacement and the corporate war against traditional white American culture.

            The abortion debate, how we will govern ourselves, what sort of economic systems we will favor, etc…are a debate for another day.

            We cannot take our eye off the ball: anti-white immigration, anti-white policies from both the gov and corporate spheres. These are the only things that matter right now. Anything else plays into the hands of our enemies.

        • Its very much because you are Christian. I just can’t see a piece of fetal tissue as a person. And yes there is a point of development where its a person this has been understood basically forever.

          The abortion issue is one where the religious right basically runs on feels like the Left does

          Worse if you win the abortion issue, its a Pyrrhic victory, doubly so if many of the current gun laws are overturned by the Supremes which they may well be,

          Not only will you increase the number of poor Blacks and Latinos , roughly 400,000 per year with 200,000 Whites you’ll also suck the wind from the sails of the Right since these are the only issues that get people fired up

          So more poverty, more crime, more non whites and less political energy

          Brilliant strategy , self immolation so you can feel good about yourself.

          • Mind telling us what that point of development is?

            SCOTUS will overturn gun laws if the court was stacked accordingly. If Roe v. Wade was overturned, I cannot fathom how the disappearance an illogical and immoral decision with no basis in the Constitution would affect my gun rights. Assuming of course the justices based their ruling on the law instead of their feelings.

            Sucking the wind from the GOP’s sails would be good. With the exception of Trump, they are spineless cucks who sold us out. Without the ability to exploit an easy wedge issue, they would have to come up with constructive and relevant ideas.

          • Sure.

            Save Jersey Article



            2A Attorney: 70% of N.J. gun laws could go away if SCOTUS takes up this case on May 23rd.

            As for Roe, its on very solid 9th amendment ground ,

            immoral is a “feels bad man” word, its not rational

            If you in any way believe your body belong to you and is sovereign to you than you must be pro abortion to a point where the fetus can live with reasonable care

            The only logical party to determine when a fetus is a person is a doctor or someone similar not a politician or a religious person and the only rational approach is scientific

            Otherwise its all about emotions as witnessed by the world immoral

            If we allow birth control which precludes a fetus from developing it also makes sense that abortion of a fetus that cannot possibly survive outside the womb, within the first trimester is fine

            Same effect

            All that aside, eliminating abortion won’t help.

            The abortion rate isn’t that high around 600k per year and has been in decline for decades.

            Its also mostly poor, non Whites that would be effected so over say a ten year national ban you’d add 2 million Whites and 4 million non Whites every single one unwanted and mostly to single moms

            You’ve just added around 11 million more Leftist voters or 8 if every single White is somehow a Conservative

          • Well, I can’t see a person as just piece of fetal tissue, as you do. So it is a question of perspective, isn’t it?

          • Sure,

            For me concern over early term abortion is kind of a litmus test

            Anyone overly concerned about it and unable to answer the policy questions raised or who gives a religious answer to them is unfit to have power

            In many respects I’d rather not share a polity with them

            I feel much the same about Christian Scientist and anti Vaccine people, caveat that some skepticism of medicine or of sp[specific vaccines is certainly warranted

            I may not have much of a choice mind you and I think the religious people are still preferable to clown world but frankly its more Reverend Sad Clown and his Faithful Bunch vs. Clown World and neither party has the common sense of a goose.

          • Being opposed to abortion has nothing to do with religion. It is a constitutional issue. When does the fetus have rights? Gestation is a continuum. To pick a spot on a continuum and say “that is when the fetus is a person” is illogical and an absurdity. Logically and legally speaking, personhood can only begin at conception.

          • A.B Prosper–” I just can’t see a piece of fetal tissue as a person.” Hey, AB, I once upon a time met a very pretty, nice smile, hot girl. An easy 9. Best part was, she was looking for someone to get close to at that particular time! In getting to know her I learned her daytime job was injecting puppies at the Humane Society. You might have liked her. Anyway, I would like to nominate you A.B Prosper, as the coming utopia’s Dog Catcher. At day’s end, ” you can feel good about yourself”.

          • I don’t believe in utopia or human rights I’m afraid . I don’t believe in a personal deity either and my view of morality is “ingrained instinct to follow tribal rules” whatever those rules are

            I have much respect for ladies like your friend, putting down dogs like many other jobs is ugly work and someone needs to do it.

            If there is a revolution someone will have to be the hangman and that person will probably have to be awful enough to hang rather young people, maybe even kids

            And note the US only abolished killing kids like that in 2005 . Its perfectly moral by this societies standards

            Now I don’t think outside of medical necessity, life of mother, severe fetal deformity we absolutely need abortion however its damned useful

            Its reduced the number of future enemies by near a 3/4 a million per year , lowered the crime rate , nearly eliminated Down’s syndrome as well several other genetic diseases and has been both politically and eugenically expedient

            I think maybe some regulation is good, once the baby can live on its own but such abortions are super rare.

            I concur that on the whole while abortion is icky and Planned Parenthood creeps me out but overall abortion is an unmitigated social good and IMO anti abortion people are well intended virtue signalling idiots

        • I second that. I actively support and encourage anything that preserves European and white American culture and values but I will have to answer to God someday and there is no way I can justify advocating abortion for any reason. It is one thing to go on the offense in advocating for western values and culture and to aggressively defend ourselves. It is another thing entirely to support the destruction of innocents.

          • I don’t think anyone is asking her too.

            I’m not a Liberal and can disagree utterly with someone and have a completely opposed world view and still recognize the other party is moral and the views are well intended

          • A.B., you may not think you are a Liberal, but the sum of your posts over time suggests you have some of the same racist and totalitarian impulses of Liberals. Perhaps you are more of a realist than I am, but I have a difficult time telling other people how to live their lives or imposing my will on others. I am adamantly opposed to violence, but when the inevitable financial and social collapse occurs and someone tries to impose his will on me, I will defend what needs to be defended.

          • Liberalism at its core is giving people freedom , its not Right wing at all and in fact under this Leftist regime you have more freedom, with a few caveats than you did in the past

            Libertarian individualism like you and much of the Militia Right espouse is a Liberal creed

            Me? I not a Liberal but I am an Authoritarian and am happy to use force for the common good

            Where I differ from the Left us in so defining that good in certain social areas

            I want strong patriarchal families as default and expected and an end to and reversal of immigration as a few other minor things

            I don’t care much about the rest nor do I care if the West decides to be post Christian

      • You are hitting on an issue that will be key, solving the Dissident Right’s problem with women. I am not sure we have a silver bullet but many little things will be helpful.

        1. Early influence is key. I have several adult female relatives. 2 are feminist career types. I am trying to prevent my teenaged sister from turning out like them. I make sure to spend time with her as often as possible while pointing her in the direction of personalities like Lana Lokteff.

        2. Teach our sons and brothers to be masculine and winners. Women find that irresistible.

        3. Stop white knighting for women who do not deserve it. If Becky prefers Jamal and Shaniqua, let her live with the consequences.

  32. I’m afraid that we’re in for Stacey Abrams as governor next time with all the Blacks, Hispanics, immigrant Democrats and Atlanta (all of the above). My grandparents were dirt farmers while I am a retired mainframe system programmer and my brother is a Ph.D cancer researcher. We are those people you speak of. In retirement, though, my accent has come back and I’m becoming my dad. That’s OK.

    • She is enough to give me pause when searching for my retirement destination. As a proud Appalachian, I see southern culture as my cousins descended from the same Scots-Irish stock.

      With the NJ influx I am more at come surrounded by strangers in the rural than in the places I grew up and used to call home.

      • There doesn’t seem to be any place left to go. We lived in my wife’s home town in East Tennessee from ’04 to ’11 when we moved back to Georgia. In some ways that area is some years behind Georgia in cultural decline and diversity but Tennessee as a whole is a risky proposition. I don’t understand why they keep sending RINO’s to the Senate. Nashville and Memphis I guess.With my few remaining years, I’d move back there in a heartbeat but our son and grandsons are here and my wife won’t.

  33. I think you will see an extension of the Southern identity within the whites and its hybridization with other regional white identities. The South was allowed to develop its own strong identity prior to its deluge by immigrants. Northern White anglos have seen their identity as the Ethnic Americans taken from them, deconstructed and redistributed. They will be drawn towards many elements of the southern identity, fusing them with the remnants of their own identity and forging new hybrid identities that will have real power.

    Ethnic Americans no longer have an urban culture. Neither do Southerners. Waves of immigration and black violence have seen to that. This is nothing new..many conquered nations have seen their cities swell with imported foreigners while they are pushed into the countryside. So the new identities will look to to the countryside.

    They will emphasize a lost greatness. They will be less optimistic. But there will be a rising sense of injustice as the boot of colour presses on their necks and strips them of their rights and their wealth. This sense of injustice will fuel the re-consolidation of their identities and provide a new myth to drive them when the time comes to overthrow the social justice police state.

    • “They will emphasize a lost greatness. They will be less optimistic. But there will be a rising sense of injustice as the boot of colour presses on their necks and strips them of their rights and their wealth.”

      Look at what’s already been lost and at how many people still refuse to even admit to themselves that something is rotten in Denmark.

      I’ve seen this movie already in California. 50 years ago California was 75% white (unlike the south, very few had deep roots there). LA and SF were white except for a few small communities of blacks who had migrated out here to work in the shipyards during WWII. Most Hispanics lived in small towns.

      Then the floodgates opened.

      At first whites in California built and moved to the burbs. Most of it former farmland. Marin County still had a number of dairy farms when this all started. The west side of Silicon Valley was mostly citrus farms and horses. The LA beach communities were quiet small towns.

      Another decade or two passes and these bedroom communities begin to become enriched so whites build and move even further out…and even a lot further out. During this time we vote twice to limit handouts to wet backs. We win but they don’t pass the approval of our benign rulers. Bad goes to worse.

      Today we are less than 40% of the population and the drop in that number will begin to accelerate rapidly.

      Because the USA is a big place you can now find Californians in every corner of the West. They had somewhere to escape to so they did.

      In 1980 California was still paradise. Today it is a hellhole. The nice parts are living on borrowed time.

      The South seems to be headed for the same fate. At some point most whites will simply leave if that is an option. Flyover country is still largely white…but if we simply keep moving away from diversity, diversity will simply keep following.

      We’ve been handling our dislike for diversity in this manner for 50 years.

      ‘We’re nice until we’re not.’ Really? For just how long can this go on?

      • I live in California and while I’s much rather be in a White state, the boot of color in my heavily Latino area is not a thing. Its far from ideal but its not some South African choking hell and in fact some of us even get along rather well.

        Its basically like being in a wealthy part of Latin America.

        Now as for fighting back, this won’t happen till the Boomers are mostly gone from power if at all The very youngest are 55

        They still grossly outnumber the other White generations though and the earlier more Boomer like Gen X’rs had higher fertility rates. The youngest were well over replacement whereas those born after 1970 or so were well below

        The most important thing though is that other than abortion and guns, nothing gets people riled up enough to fight for in any “collective” fashion

        Unless you have an Iron Dream (reference quite intended) whatever that is to ignite and unite an atomized people you can’t achieve anything

        Worse said people are terrified and maybe rightfully so of the responsibility of victory. You have to do every good thing the other guy did as well or better

        • “the boot of color in my heavily Latino area is not a thing. Its far from ideal but its not some South African choking hell and in fact some of us even get along rather well.”

          For how long? When we’re 25%? 15%, …

          I live in an upscale neighborhood also. It’s a lot differ than it was 25 years ago. In another 25 it will be walled-off with a security gate with lots of guys with automatic weapons just like the nicer parts of Mexico City or it will be overrun.

          Everything in clown world that hits and destroys working class neighborhoods finds its way into the more upscale ones. Borrowed time.

          Family formation and extended families (a topic we’ve discussed in the pass) will only get harder and harder for whites of any class.

          • I live in a middle class neighborhood actually. Your points are otherwise true especially for the working class.

          • The nice parts of Mexico City aren’t walled off with security gates and don’t have guards with automatic weapons.

            The private luxury homes’ inner yards and gardens are surrounded by 2.5m high walls (broken glass embedded in the top layer is optional), but the streets and parks are public. That’s how it is in San Angel, Coyoacán, Chimalistac, Lomas de Chapultepec, and the various lake estates and mountain hideaways around Cuautitlán and Huixquilucan.

            A few narco-compounds around Santa Fe do have the guard thing going with security gates, but that isn’t how Mexico City is.

          • I was in Coyoacan 6 months ago. Armed guard were stationed on the main road into the neighborhood. We were driven into the city center in cars with armed security. Women and children had to be accompanied if they went out of the neighborhood. The office tower I had business in had guards with military hardware in the lobby. I could go on.

          • I don’t know where you think you went, but Coyoacán doesn’t have and never has had armed guards on any of the dozens of wide-open roads into the neighborhood.

            The center square is wide open with streets on three sides and lined with luxury shops and fancy restaurants. People of all economic classes are everywhere in the square, from rich foreigners to poor indians that don’t speak Spanish. There is no visible security. Cultural centers with expensive art and furnishings sponsored by the local government and foreign (EU) universities and governments and film societies and private galleries line the streets and admit the public for cheap or free.

            You can hire armed security vans to ride anywhere, but hundreds of thousands of families of every economic class take their small children and wives and grandmas into the center on buses and subway cars and on foot without any kind of security every single day. Grandmas and young women and even children routinely travel between downtown and Coyoacán (and most other parts of town) without any worries.

            Though there are neighborhoods where it’s dangerous for outsiders to be at night, they aren’t near the nice parts of town and they are a small minority of neighborhoods. Even in rough places like that, it’s nothing like Detroit or Baltimore.

            Office towers and banks often post guards with rifles, for the same reason that banks in the USA usually have uniformed security with visible guns. It’s the style in Mexico for the rifles to be as large and heavy as possible rather than more subtle handguns carried in holsters. If you examine the rifles, they’re seldom reliable models in well-maintained condition. I wonder how many would be good for multiple shots.

            You can confirm all of this with Google Street View or by reading tourist guides.

        • Its basically like being in a wealthy part of Latin America.

          Try to understand how horrific that is. The poor parts of Latin America are already moving in. You don’t get one without the other.

          • I get it but let me ask you and Yves this

            How are you going to get organize people to get the power to forcefully remove tens of millions of people and to completely alter the face of Americas elite institutions ?

            Once you somehow get power, how do you plan to keep it and what do you p;an to use it for?

            Mind you this is a rhetorical question and shouldn’t be answered on a public forum but frankly, complaining is pointless.

            We know that the US needs new management but its up to the people complaining to do something about it.

            This means you and me not someone else.

            Now my personal feeling is that and its stupid to be reckless when you are starting to win battles bit by bit . Don’t do illegal shit obviously

            It is however a good time to figure exactly what you want and to drop the old habit of many Conservatives establishment and dissident of being non ideological and freedom loving

            learn how the world works which is to be an asshole, give orders, put boots on necks and make society the way you want it .

            Also while you are at, do realize that we live in an urban society and unless there is an utter collapse or some serious state force applied , its going to stay that way

            In fact if the US kicks people out, it will get more urban , not less

            The society of rural freemen and yeoman is not coming back till oil runs out and if we find a way around that, never.

            So maybe the best thing to do is to realize what the material and social basis of the society you actually live in is, figure out how to get it close to what the ideal is or at least more natal for Whites and build an ideology around that

            Do that and you’ll have something to flog down the line and organize with.

            And note don’t be overly concerned how good it is, Mein Kampf is utter trash written by an idiot and yet its ideology was able to start a world war. The Communist Manifesto also the same.

            That’s a hell of a lot more useful than carping perfectly legal and maybe, just maybe you can get something close to what you want without a continent wide civil war ,

          • I don’t think we’re going to do anything meaningful for a long time. Vested interests, especially in the middle classes are too deeply ingrained. These people aren’t stupid, but it is in our nature to not rock the boat and go along to get along.

            I don’t think our tribe will harden up until we’re around 30% and our pleas for fairness elicit laughter.

            Then we’ll “unleash hell”.

            Even if things turn around before that it will be because of the actions of our enemies. This is the source of my frustration. We can’t take our own side until we’re cornered and have no other way to avoid or delay the inevitable.

    • Sad but true. I grew up in smallish mining, fishing, and timber/paper towns in the west.

      My culture is all but gone. Replaced by the sameness that has crept in to fill the void left by flight to the bigger cities, the encroaching suburban ticky tack tracts that gobbled up all the farmland, and a brown invasion that turned the regional mall into a look alike of Dubai international.

      The rugged lifestyle of my homeland was quite literally anchored in the land much like the agrarian south. And it came with a sense of pride in the shared history that tamed that land.

      The wildness of that past was not so distant as much of our free time was spent doing the same things our parents had done.

      There was also a deep sense of belonging to the community that comes, in part, from the long bus ride to the next town over for a sports game.

      But it mostly arose out of what we had in common. Because we were of the same land and largely the same peoples, this meant we got to play up all the little differences while knowing that we were also so alike – and dependent on one another to make it all work.

      In this regard, the communities were like siblings with trivial rivalries that could end in a fist fight as much as a boy scout summer camp. But in the end we were all tied to the same land and the same past. My best friend of 30 years was my biggest sports rival from the next town over. Such a blessing to have grown up like that.

      Now it doesn’t help that environmental and globalism (china ate our lunch in all three industries) decoupled the working class pride from the land and attempted to cattle drive everyone into the New Economy, but what really did us in was devaluing those very things that made us who we are (blood and soil) and replacing them with lies; facades, empty notions, and generic platitudes of economic “success” that can only come via rejecting ones cultural roots and values and donning the yoke of progress and globalism.

      Its all about consumption and our ability to arbitrage in our favor.

      Those who cant are doomed to shuffle the streets of barren towns and soulless strip malls in an opioid daze.

      We don’t have a history, a land, or an identity. So yeah, the only path is forward. To carve out some version of what we had back then in a new way and perhaps a new place.

  34. This is one of the most perceptive and true things I have read about the South in a long time. I’ve only lived there for the last 14 years (another of the MANY who left Ohio), but I regularly see shallow, inaccurate depictions of my state (SC) that don’t show the wide diversity, the fierce pride – Black and White – and, instead, engage in the stereotypical slurs that dominate the Elite take on the South.

    • For example, one of my favorite authors, Paul Theroux’s book: Deep South: Four Seasons on Back Roads. He went looking for the old segregated South and found it in all the old dilapidated corners, but skims over the remarkable changes that has blacks moving back to the South for better opportunities.

      • Another great example: Joe Bageant’s Deer Hunting with Jesus. He’s the NPR version of Fred Reed: “I was a hick growing up, but I have seen the error of my ways; please join me in viciously mocking my former people as we pretend to ‘help’ them.” It was all the rage on campus during the late W. years.

        • The left has its own narrative of the “GOP rural Plantation”, that unlike DR3, grants moral agency and shaming. You never hear anyone in Conservatism Inc claiming that blacks should feel ashamed of their post-Civil Rights crime wave or their avalanche of unmarried births. Afiak, Farrakhan actually does shame his co-ethnics.

      • I have enjoyed some of Paul thoreau’s travel books. He can be insightful and hilarious but his bitterness make him hard to take some time

        • His book, The Last Train to Zona Verde, really opened my eyes to the scam of foreign aid, and particularly, as quoted often here, is that “Africa is the way it is because it is full of Africans.”

  35. Excepting a lengthy (30-yr) abbreviation for military service, I’m a son of the rural south. Best I can tell is that our identity is gone. I see a few Confederate flags around, we still make great BBQ, still hold on to some unique oddities, but that’s all window-dressing separate/distinct from what was formerly southern culture. Seems to me that the primary aim of the Civil War was to industrialize the South – to subdue and stamp out the tough, self-sufficient agrarians and transition them to soft-handed serfs under industrial overlords. Generations later is sure looks like that mission has been accomplished.

    • Completely agree with you, based on my personal observations. The standard bearers of southern culture, the elite, now behave like mid Atlantic suburban faux-sophisticates (the wine and cheese crowd), with the rednecks either emulating them or going full trailer trash.

      Very few traces of the original culture (s) left.

  36. I love the superficiality. My work is solitary and it’s my own business and it’s just me so mostly I don’t deal with people but when I do it’s mostly upper middle-class whites, many of them, like me, are native Southerners and there’s always an ritualistic exchange of pleasantries and I absolutely love it. It doesn’t matter at all it’s just Pleasant. That’s the South for me. And I always notice when someone doesn’t do it. When I say Hi how are you and they respond with good and just start talking. They broke the rules. They go into a different column

    • It’s not just a Southern thing – I lived in rural Ohio, and I always said that a “quick” trip to the post office was a good 40 minutes to 1-1/2 hours.
      I was an urban kid (Cleveland, OH). When I moved with my husband to a small PA town, I heard from my mother-in-law that I was rude. People would yell “Hey!” at me on the street, and I’d ignore them. I had to explain that, in the city, you do NOT respond to people on the street – it’s a good way to get mugged, or worse.
      But, I adapted. I was able to, in part, because I had a rural WV father, who – when visiting his home town – moved at a slower pace, and always observed the proprieties.

    • My favorite pleasantry, which I have observed in southern Missouri, is when a funeral procession goes by and everyone pulls over, gets out of their car and stands silently while it goes by.

    • I moved to Florida from PeeAye. Some would say Florida is not part of the south and I’d probably not argue against that notion. I do know that everyone I deal with responds well when I say “Thanks, I appreciate all your help.” even just at the checkout counter. Up north, lots of people looked at me like I was setting up a scam when I said that.

    • Okay, I’ll be the fall guy to admit to this. Am going to demonstrate from where prejudice comes. The North!

      My folks were lefties into every cell of their body. Went to UCBerkeley 1935 and came out Trotskyites/Commies. I was raised in the hills east of the SF Bay Area in the 50’s. As a kid I was filled with visions of the KKK running around all over the South, that lumped in everyone from Texas to the Carolinas. All Southern Whites hated all southern blacks, killed them with regularity and everywhere one stepped was on the grave of a black man. Southern blacks were sweet, childlike and just needed a loving hand up. All southern whites were rotten to the core…hateful and S-T-U-P-I-D. I mean knuckle-dragging stupid. Southern whites would kill noble northern whites in a NY second. All southern white men leered at northern white women, would kill them and dump in a ditch after brutally raping them to death. All southern white men looked like Bull Conner with thick necks and beady eyes and mean, feral S-T-U-P-I-D. All northern California whites cringed upon hearing any southern accent. The names Triphosa and Annabelle sent us into sniggers of derogatory laughter. My folks would set me down in front of TV to watch Bull Connor hosing down helpless blacks and unleashing dogs on them. Life in the south was “To Kill a Mockingbird.” On and on and on…..

      The Truth: My mother remembered as a little kid taking the shortline train in the 20’s through the Caldacott Tunnel/Oakland Hills to Concord, CA to visit grandparents. A Klan meeting had just concluded and she recognized the town butcher garbed up in Klan outfit.

      Okay….uncle…..I admit this was me until my late 40s. I changed because: I went to work as a Water Treatment Operator at Lafayette Treatment Plant in Orinda. 4 guys and 2 gals, 3 men from Texan-West Virginia-Louisanna….and 1 who was weak and didn’t qualify as a man and would sell you out. I never met such SMART, kind, sweet Gentlemen in my life. Every week we bought meat from Kinders and had a BBQ outside. These men patiently and kindly taught me how to be a Treatment Operator. These men liked women and talked with us. The West Virginian became my boss. One night on graveyard, all hell broke loose in the plant. I dealt with it while squirting blood from my eyeballs and pouring sweat. My boss popped out of bed and rushed to the plant to help stabilize operations, with patience and praise for me. Couldn’t ask for better. They adored me and I adored them. Best work memories ever. My woman co-worker got breast cancer, had surgery, and upon return to work the 3 southern lads told her they would take over her work….to just lie down and rest honey..they’d keep a kindly eye on her and take care of business. Sweet! Wish I had another lifetime for I know who I am drawn to.

      Since then I have had the pleasure of ferociously “correcting” Northern white women who launch right into their bigoted beliefs about “Southerners.” Northerners project their prejudice on the South, default position. No culture is fluffy bunnies and unicorns perfect whether North or South. Yep… I have spread typical arrogant Northerner damage through my ingrained prejudices, and it is a relief to view the world through different angles. Life is messy!

  37. This got me thinking about WJ Cash’s great old book The Mind of the South. It might as well be describing Martians, for all its contemporary relevance, but still fun. Thanks for the memories, from one sorta-Southerner to another.

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