First off, I wouldn't worry overmuch about the prejudice that northerners and southerners hold towards each other - it's actually natural and to be expected.

People from different regions are naturally suspicious of each other, and for good reason: for almost all of human history, that suspicion has been a survival trait. Think about it this way: until the latter half of the 20th century, most people in the world walked or (if they were well-to-do or lucky) rode a horse or cart. As a result, most people knew very few who lived more than a few hours' walk away from them. After all, if you and your family are working the fields at some point in the distant past and you see a group of horsemen off in the distance, what are you going to do? Go out there and greet them, or hide your family and hope those strangers pass you by without having their way with you and yours?

I grew up *way* out in the boonies, going to school in the next county over (my graduating class was 42 people), and we frankly looked at anyone who lived outside the MS Delta with a measure of suspicion: "They're just not like us. Be careful." On a side note, I now have a house in a 3rd-world megalopolis w/ 15M people. Go figure.

Anyway, the suspicion between regions is natural, and it's exacerbated by economic inequality. Northern and southern Italy hold each other in suspicion, and eastern and western China certainly don't like each other. Bavaria and Prussia are both now part of Germany, but they're not exactly keen on each other. And in the Philippines (where my house is), the regional rivalries are part of everyday life.

(Note - credit to Dan Carlin's Hardcore History "Wrath of the Khans" podcast for giving me that particular realization of regional suspicion as a survival trait)

But regional rivalries aside, forgive yourself for having thought that way about southerners, because the overwhelming degree of guilt and blame belonged and continue to belong to them. They fought a war to preserve slavery, they pushed for the Jim Crow laws and kept segregation in place for nearly a century, and they built their entire culture around glorifying the days of the Confederacy.

Again, I grew up deeply ensconced in that culture - after all, everyone in my direct family line are buried in the same cemetery by a Southern Baptist church in the Delta all the way back to 1870. I was once so very proud of that. But now, I'll be the first of my line not buried there. Delta gumbo (it's how we referred to the clay-rich soil) will have no more of my family's blood. I'll never step foot there again.

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Retired Navy. Inveterate contrarian. If I haven’t done it, I’ve usually done something close.

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