Saturday, January 07, 2006

Ah, Sweet Tolerance

This article, from Pam's House Blend, points out something I've been struggling with at work since I started there. I'm a native West Virginian, and in NC that means I'm worse than an illegal immigrant. I'm a carpetbagger.

I've had to adjust to this ignorant hold-over from Reconstruction days, but I'll admit that there's some more modern causes for the attitude, as well. WV has a piss-poor economy, but for the longest time, only those who actually wanted something better for themselves and couldn't find it in the Mountain State came down South.

This means that the most motivated were the first into the region, looking primarily for textile jobs. But as good-ol' mountaineers kept draining out of their home-state, the bottom of the barrel kind of dribbled down, too. So, now we have the worst of both worlds: obvious examples of mountain rabble and riff-raff combined with long-term go-getters who show up the lazier of the indigenous population. That's a recipe for intolerance if ever I heard one: threaten the locals and then give them excuses to take out their anxieties on you. The only people who catch more hell in North Carolina than West Virginians is Mexicans.

I guess my half-Puerto Rican high school buddy Joe would catch double the hell here in NC.

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"Loyalty to petrified opinion never broke a chain or freed a human soul..." -- Mark Twain

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Fire does not wait for the sun to be hot,

Nor the wind for the moon, to be cool.

-- the Zenrin Kushu