Provincialism in the United States

I remember growing up in the West.  Out there we thought Southerners were all racists, ignorant, uneducated, crude, bible thumping bigots.  We, of course, were the tolerant ones, and we were quite righteous about it.  Later in life I lived in the South.  I learned to love Southerners, their warm hearts, their generosity, their honesty, their faith and the fact that the races mingled far more than I had seen in the West.  I also learned that Southerners generally considered people in the West to be irreligious, untrustworthy people with loose morals, and loony ideas–especially in California.  Surprisingly, I found Southerners to be more prejudiced against people from other parts of the U.S. than against people of other races.  A generation later, I returned to the West and found people out there calling Southerners bible thumping, right wing extremist, ignorant racist bigots.  And they are quite proud of their own tolerance.  I have heard it said we are all blind to our own prejudices.  The sad part is most of these people have never visited the regions in question long enough to get to know the people.

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