I'm gonna throw out a topic that has popped up in popular culture recently. I am a white, southern, male who generally votes republican. Yet somehow it is often deemed discriminatory when I celebrate my culture. It seems that my culture in particular has an extra bad rap amongst Americans. 

I understand that there are some skeletons in my collective-cultural past. But every culture has skeletons. Every culture has savage events in their past, but that does not make it right to deem the entire culture wrong. Somehow it seems that our musical achievements, literary achievements, culinary norms, and values are looked down upon by other parts of America.

One more point, I have no concept of this so called "white male privilege". I grew up in a trailer in a very poor, rural part of Alabama, yet somehow I am already at an advantage in the vocational world?

What are y'alls thoughts on this? Is white southern culture regarded wrongly by other parts of America? If so, why? What can we do to change our cultural stigma besides compromising our values?

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Replies to This Discussion

You can't win.


Well, I guess it's just a stereotype, all cultures have them, no matter what.
The question is if you would want to change them, or get rid of them at all.

That we are all born with different qualities, born under different circumstances is something that makes us unique.
And, I think we might all agree that all of us on this site are always better off then someone born in Mali, Africa for example. 
White men are mostly always better off than any other race, those are merely facts. Asians are getting their 'benefits' too, although it still matters whether you have 'quite some' money. And South-America is still quite divided. Although the same goes for Europe (Eastern-Europe mostly)*.

To address the point of getting rid of stereotypes in general:
I don't think it's necessary. After all, they are stereotypes. Sure, the South-Americans have a stereotype, but would I judge you on being from the South? No, I would not, I would judge you on who you are, and how you present yourself to me, others and the world in general. Stereotypes don't play a role in that.
I think it's a waste of time to try to change stereotypes, or get rid of them at all.

*I'm referring to living circumstances, I am not in anyway referring to political situations.

Stereotypes exist for a reason.

As a white, middleclass southern male myself, I can certainly validate our being the bunt of jokes and disrespect. And there is also a lot of admiration and even envy in our heritage. Along with the hatred and 'red neck/ bubba' perception there is an admiration of our charms and fortitude.

Disregarding different cultures is pretty much the default mode of.. i want to say humans but its other species like apes, too. That we encounter different cultures with prejudice and disrespect is actually a step forward. Historical different cultures normaly apporach each other with clubs.

Some prejudices might be true, some might not but overall we are more or less programmed to distrust other cultures. Thats why this is a thing that cant really be solved unless we get rid of culture itself, which would be horrible.

One more point, I have no concept of this so called "white male privilege". I grew up in a trailer in a very poor, rural part of Alabama, yet somehow I am already at an advantage in the vocational world?

Statistically, yes. Individually - probably doesn't seem that way. 

Ultimately - a few points.
1. As Will said - you can't win. For a variety of reasons, some complex, some no more so than 'that's the way humans are.' 

2. When people visibly and loudly, do or say stupid things, they act as ambassadors of their culture. We all have them - and they give the rest of us all a bad name. Including, but not limited to dredging up the worst of the past mistakes for fresh public critique.

3. All groups are subjected to varying degrees of cultural discrimination. Sometimes it takes a more public role than others. I would just be thankful that it doesn't have legislative teeth, the way that can sometimes manifest. Sure, that doesn't make it ok - but it is what it is, and what it is, is annoying but relatively benign compared to what many groups face elsewhere. 

If you look at America today, whether you compare it to past America or to most countries, women are the greatest beneficiaries of scientific progress, as well as the change in mores.

What Americans neatly call Asians, I guess, are next.

If you think in political terms, blacks had it worst, so they are the biggest beneficiaries. (Except Indians, but they had it so bad, they're not here to look at anymore, to say nothing of the life expectancy of Indian males...)

Contrary to those observations, it seems to me, the thinking behind accusing whites of racism is both apolitical in its purpose & impolitic in its means. It relies on the moral implications of equality--which is part of justice & part of democracy, & so it is political. The problem is that in order to go around accusing whites of privilege, you apparently have to be privileged yourself. I liken this to milionaire NYT celebrities accusing the right wing of being unequal to the democrats--or having Roosevelts & Kennedys & Clintons, even, lecture America about equality. There are a lot of democrats in America, but there are also those ambitious few who are not democrats. Most seem to lie to others--which is politic--& to themselves, too, about it--which is impolitic. The few always fight in some ways, but now the political agreement is under attack--the ambitious liberals continuously try to destroy their competition. They have convinced themselves that their fight for equality in millionaire or billionaire colleges is the same as democracy, & so it justifies anything. In fact, if you ask most college kids what justice might mean aside from equality, I don't think they'd have any idea...

The comedian Jeff Foxworthy (who's a born & bred Georgian) has a bit about stereotyping Southerners.  He's adopts the thickest Georgia accent imaginable, and talks about how when someone talks like that, people subtract about 30 IQ points.  I can say, without qualification, that if you want to see cultural stereotyping in action, all you have to do is hear a number of my older relatives go on about Mexicans, Blacks, Filipinos, etc.  The real irony of being that five generations back, that part of the family actually were Mexicans.  As in native-born Mexicans.

On the flipside, there's another comedian (I forget his name) who has a routine about how people assume that guys with British accents are geniuses. Like, if you want to hire a good narrator for a documentary series, make sure he has a British accent cause everyone will believe what he says. Narrator: "Cocoa comes from the coconut." Viewer: "Oh yeah? I thought it came from the cocoa plant but you're the British guy so you must be right!" 

What's the irony? A Mexican could go to America, become a citizen there, & despise the country he left for the very reason he left it, & admire the country he joined, for the very reasons he joined it.

Sometimes, just sometimes.. there is nothing to say to your detractors but but this ...

 Fuck em'. 


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