I’m from Ocala, FL and living in Boston. I just called my local newspaper in Florida to ask how they were being sensitive to anti-Islamic sentiment in their reporting of the Boston Incident… they accused me of being racist against southern Christians.

I felt hurt, confused, saddened. Wish people didn’t feel the need to defend and were able to listen. Wished people understood racism in its contextual nature, recognizing that stereotyping and feeling violence because of your group membership are different. Made me feel good for addressing it, but potentially hypocritical for not just understanding that people can’t be blamed for what they haven’t had the chance to learn and dissect.

Professor: Where did you go to school to write like this?

Me: In New Jersey.

Professor: No, was it a private school?

Me: No, is something wrong?

Professor: Well you say “ask” versus “ax” and your writing is impeccable.

Me: Okaaaaayyyyyyyy.

Wow. You speak so quickly and you enunciate your words so well!

The first words out of the mouth of a white man in Washington, DC, after my mother gave a presentation. My mother has a very strong Southern accent. It made her feel completely belittled, and like she couldn’t be taken seriously in the professional world.

People with Southern accents always sound so ignorant and uneducated!

This attitude is prevalent all over the U.S., It’s common knowledge in the South that if you want to be taken seriously, you’d better drop the drawl. 

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