Thursday, February 15, 2018

A Reason for Unflattering Stereotypes About Alabama

The difference between stereotypes and reality is often jarring: let's consider the case of Alabama. The stereotypes of the state are highly crude; depending on the venom it can include it being a place of dumb, backward, incestuous rednecks with a proclivity towards violence and a predilection for football.

Alabama in real life isn't that way. The reality is that it's warm and partly rural; but mostly like the other states. There are areas within the state that look pretty much like those elsewhere. Especially shopping malls and residential areas.

I have a theory of stereotyping: they are due partly to conveniently categorize places or people, to simplify things for minds that don't want to work too hard.

But some stereotypes are also used to bemerde possible rivals. For example, Alabama has successfully attracted large-scale scientific and manufacturing activities. The spinoff from Redstone Arsenal greatly impacted the Huntsville area (where I'm working!). And car and airplane manufacturing has impacted several areas, notably Tuscaloosa and Mobile.

Yes, having Airbus manufactured in Alabama can impact Boeing in Washington state. And if a car plant opens in Limestone County, Alabama, it isn't being opened in Butthole County, Massachuetts!  There's only so many planes or types of cars that are really needed in any given year.  And I wouldn't mind our people getting a piece of the pie.

Promoting those stereotypes can be an attempt to handicap the opposition. (Alabama, in this case.) Some people might deliberately do this.

So, financial writer for the Seattle newspaper, go piss a rope! Big Bad Alabama is going to eat some of your pie, with a side order of grits!


  1. Usually the jokes about a state can be found with (fill in the blank) states name in them. And I think the jokes are more prevalent along the borders of states. Missouri and Arkansas for instance.

  2. Nost of that kind of humor is pretty lame.

  3. Most all states are reduced into stereotypes.