awfulhorrid: (Caffeine Molecule)
[personal profile] awfulhorrid
I just returned home from a trip to North Carolina to visit family. This is the first time I've done that by myself in more than ten years and I promise it will be the last. Frankly I just can't take visiting there anymore without someone from the civilized world to ground me. I understand that NC isn't the worst of the Southern states, but visiting there is very much like stepping back in time several decades. More aptly, it's like visiting another country.

This is more or less how I survived the trip without screaming at people or just saying "fuck this" and packing up and leaving. After a few days, I finally decided that the best way to handle the situation is to think of the South as if they'd managed to secede back in 1861. I wasn't visiting the Southern states of the United States of America, I was visiting the Confederate States of America! That made things so much more understandable. The cultural differences suddenly made a lot more sense, as does the language differences, the shoddy education standards, the failure to understand some common facts about the United States ... even the relative technological failings, differences in laws(*) and customs. If we figure the CSA as teetering on the brink of being a third world country (as evidenced by the poverty and unemployment rate) much of the rampant social injustice and backwards social norms which often accompanies this state is explained quite nicely.

This view isn't perfect, of course. Many of the things associated with travel to an actual foreign nation aren't there - currency differences, passports, an actual separate government, and other things. Of course there are plenty of countries where you can freely spend US dollars without conversion and you didn't need a passport when visiting Canada until fairly recently. The most glaring problem with this idea is, unfortunately, that the CSA gets to vote in our elections and has many painful candidates running for office at this very moment. I guess I should just be thankful that it was so easy to immigrate out of there when I did!

--

OK look, I love my family there; I really do. I am just very much aware of the fact that NC is no longer my home and hasn't been in many decades. My mother simply cannot grasp this and therefore I cringed every time she said something about me being 'home.' Of course I also cringed every time she spouted forth with her increasingly racist language, something else she seemed incapable of grasping.



(* - Apparently there is a state law that televisions much be turned on anytime someone is in the same room with one.)

Date: 2012-03-14 11:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tarrestrial.livejournal.com
*hugs* She's not perfect, but she's basically a good person. (just like my father can be a Republican and still be basically a good person.) I think that applies to most of them, really. It's just hard to hear someone you care about spout ignorant bullshit. (I totally understand - see above.) You don't want to believe that a family member is capable of racism or homophobia or bigotry like that. But we're all capable of it. We all have something or someone we pre-judge. That doesn't make it okay; it just puts it in perspective.

And I'm glad you escaped. And I'm glad you're home - your real home. ;)

Date: 2012-03-15 02:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] awfulhorrid.livejournal.com
It's not just mom, but I'll freely admit to being really disappointed in her for that crap. She didn't used to be that bad or perhaps she was just hiding it. I'll tell you about as much of the rest of it as you want to hear this weekend - some of it is not my story to share in public.

Date: 2012-03-15 02:02 am (UTC)
ext_13043: (Default)
From: [identity profile] andyhat.livejournal.com
I'll point out that NC itself is quite divided now; the Triangle (and to a lesser extent Charlotte) don't feel anything like the South (or the rest of the state) at this point.

Date: 2012-03-15 02:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] awfulhorrid.livejournal.com
Yes, I noticed that last fall when we were there. Visiting some friends in Pittsboro really helped me then, as did having some of my family from home with me. I honestly think as some parts get more progressive, the other parts go farther and farther into wing-nut territory. (Which is much like the USA as a whole, really.)

Date: 2012-03-15 02:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] delazan.livejournal.com
Welcome home - the real home. Hugs.
-L.

Date: 2012-03-15 01:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rileybear67.livejournal.com
I'm glad you are home safe.
I've missed you.

Date: 2012-03-16 05:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] isolde-deely.livejournal.com
sorry love. I'm glad that I escaped too. Mind you, it wasn't quite as backward where I was but still... hugs. It was so nice seeing you :)

I didn't log in. this is Melissa, BTW

Date: 2012-03-16 03:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] awfulhorrid.livejournal.com
I don't think it was as backwards as it is now when I left - I honestly do think they're socially regressing! The theory I have is that as some parts of the state (specifically the Triangle area, some of Charlotte, and Asheville) become more progressive, the rest of the state is worsening.

I'm also glad I got to see you. That really helped!

(You apparently were logged in, btw.)

<3

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