I am a Bitter Southerner

Here’s the thing: I’m still trying to fall in love with the South.

A short time ago, I was dead set on joining the mass exodus of young people who are fleeing the South. My whole life, I operated under the assumption that the South was just a stop along the way. Most people who have grown up here and gotten their degrees take ‘em and run.

And honestly? I don’t blame them for leaving. The South is hard to love. It’s still harder to defend. There’s a tightrope strung between loving the South and acknowledging its many failures, both past and present. That double-edged sword of shame and pride is one that we’re keenly familiar with—you know the one. Teeter to one side, you must have a confederate battle flag or two lying around. Teeter to the other, you’re a de facto Yankee. Go on, git. You probably put sugar on your grits anyway.

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