I’m a Southerner, NOT a Freak

I just saw something on Facebook that has made me snap. So pardon me, but I’m going to have to go a little Julia Sugarbaker on y’all.

I am a Southerner. I drink iced tea, fry chicken just like my momma used to, have a big and loud family, wear flip-flops in the winter and even I even wave to strangers on the street. I’m also a seven-time published author, former teacher, college graduate and I can complete the crossword puzzle in the newspaper in ink. But apparently the people at The Learning Channel and their affiliates think that I’m some kind of adorable moron that should be paraded in front of the masses.

Lately, there has been an explosion of “southern-fried” reality shows on TV. “Hillbilly Handfishing,” “Lizard Lick Towing,” “My Redneck Vacation,” and the now-infamous “Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo” are just drops in the proverbial pond. I admit that I find Ronnie, Amy and Bobbie on “Lizard Lick” amusing. They’re like folks that I would know. And though they get up to some interesting antics, they do show some intelligence and savvy with their chosen profession. But come on, people. Is this how you really think Southerners are?  Many of us are articulate, well-educated folks that go to a real job every day.  Most of us don’t make up names for our friends and family like Nub, Bubba, or Huggy Bear.  Most of us aren’t trashy, toothless rednecks that live in broken down trailers.  I am personally offended by the stereotypes perpetraited (see… I even know some big words) upon viewers by the Honey Boo-Boos of the world.  And not just at TLC, but at the Southerners that have cashed in by appearing in these atrocities.  Have some pride and self-respect, please!

Bad form, TLC.

9 thoughts on “I’m a Southerner, NOT a Freak

  1. dellanioakes says:

    I won’t watch those shows. They’re demeaning and offensive. Just because someone is from the South doesn’t mean they have a low IQ, a battered pickup and they sleep with their cousins. My father was a genius and was born and raised in Tennessee. He graduated at the top of his college class and did his Doctorate at Harvard.

    I have carpet on my floor, air conditioning AND indoor plumbing! I don’t drive a crap car nor do I live in a trailer park. My children aren’t aspiring beauty queens and we have all our teeth.

    Get real, y’all. Not all Southerners are dumb hicks.


  2. Okay, as a fellow author with multiple contracts and one of your best friends in the world, I’m opening up my big, loud Southern mouth too…

    Anyone who believes the complete and utter bullshit reality television is spouting about people who live south of the Mason-Dixon line needs to be kicked in the teeth. As an intelligent, educated Southern woman I take offense to every single one of those shows for more than just the fact that they demean an entire culture of people. They make Americans as a whole look like idiots because those are the “entertaining” things with stupidly high ratings that the networks package and syndicate internationally. These shows also give kids the impression that it’s perfectly okay to be an uneducated dumbass because you can just get a TV show and get rich that way.

    But back to the point…being Southern does not mean being a moron. It means being part of a culture unlike any other in the world. It means deep-fried food, Sunday dinners, family reunions, trips to the beach, Disney World, HAVING MANNERS (which is something the rest of this country is SEVERELY lacking), and having the decency to offer nasty insults in a mildly positive manner,, while either preceded or followed by the phrase “bless your heart.” We can deliver insults with the best of them, but we’re also loyal to a fault and loving in a way no other culture knows how to be.

    Anyone willing to open his or her mouth and spout off some inane something-or-other about how Southerners are idiots based on something they watched on television deserves a sound tongue lashing for being stupid enough to believe everything the media says.

    End of Rant.

    For now.


  3. Well said, baby sis and all other commenters. My in-laws are Australian, as many of you know, and I shudder to imagine how they think we live based on these shows. Of course, their earlier point of reference was The Dukes of Hazzard . . . . .


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