Three times in the last two days (and trust me, I’ve had time to look) I’ve seen nothing less than wrong-headed interpretations of rural culture and attitudes.
A) People in rural areas don’t value education.
B) People in rural areas don’t value self-sufficiency.
C) People in rural areas aren’t cosmopolitan (i.e. they are unsophisicated in the larger world).
D) Peopple in rural areas are less tolerant of others differences.
Guess where I live? I knew you could figure it out.
I’m normally a peacable man. I hope people realize that. I hope this means more when I say:
In my experience (both rural Virginia, semi-rural Iowa, rural Louisiana, Chicago (the city), Miami (the city), Boston (the city), suburban Maryland, rural Maryland, and Suburban Los Angeles)(Note: Kids, don’t have a hippy mother. They wander.) I have found the folks in the three rural areas I’ve lived in to be the more tolerant group.
In cities (as mentioned: Miami, Chicago, Boston) in which I’ve lived I can agree that there tend to be a greater variety of people. But in my experience most of those people tend to do most of their socialized and experiencing (is that a word?) with others of the same sort. What the value (other than a self-congratulatory “Look how diverse I am. The guy next to me is from Sbu-Saharan Africa.”) of living in a diverse community if most don’t take advantage of it?
Where I live (currently rural Virginia…Purcellville, VA…population 3500) there are few enough people that any sort of isolationist groupings really aren’t feasible. Latino’s, asians (running both dry-cleaners stereotypically enough), blacks and whites all live together. The game ‘Go’ recently swept through town. We have salsa dances (that people from all walks of life attend), the most popular restaurant in town is run by a couple who came here from Naples (Italy you literal-minded folks…not Florida!), and we even have that pinnacle of 21st century American sophistication: A coffee shop and art gallery. It’s called “The Blue Ridge Cafe”.
Ahem. Sorry about that.
Again, my point: just because one is rural doesn’t mean that one is unschooled, unclean, intolerant or just plain mean.
Thank you and goodnight.