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View Poll Results: Will Virginia one day not be considered southern?
Yes 25 38.46%
No 40 61.54%
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  #1  
Old Posted Dec 23, 2020, 5:05 PM
Dariusb Dariusb is offline
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Will Virginia lose it's southern status?

I know that many years ago Maryland and Deleware were considered southern states and now of course they're not. With the growth and changes going on in Virginia not just economically but also politically, is it destined to follow suit and no longer be considered a southern state?
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Old Posted Dec 23, 2020, 5:24 PM
bossabreezes bossabreezes is online now
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I already don't consider Virginia to be fully southern. There is nothing Southern about Northern Virginia, nor Virginia Beach.

The rural parts of the state probably are still ''southern'' feeling, however, rural parts of New Jersey have a ''Southern'' feel to them but nobody considers New Jersey to be Southern.

I think within a decade or two Virginia will be solidly Mid-Atlantic, joining Maryland, DC and Delaware.
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Old Posted Dec 23, 2020, 5:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Dariusb View Post
I know that many years ago Maryland and Deleware were considered southern states and now of course they're not. With the growth and changes going on in Virginia not just economically but also politically, is it destined to follow suit and no longer be considered a southern state?
Considering that Richmond was the capital of the Confederacy, no.

But then again, despite the fact that the first structure in what became the city of Miami was a sugar cane plantation, complete with slaves, and despite the fact that Florida fought for the Confederacy, and observes Confederate Memorial Day... People will vociferously fight the notion that Miami, or Florida, are Southern. Then again, they do the same with Atlanta, or any Southern city that boasts any diversity beyond the Black and white dynamic.

I think, actually that might be the better determinant of whether a place is Southern. Does it resemble an old episode of In the Heat of the Night? If so, it is Southern. However, if you can reliably obtain a good bowl of tom yum, a decent sushi roll, or if there is an Indian grocery store in the vicinity where one can purchase butter made from water buffalo milk, then it is not Southern.

In case it wasn't clear, I think the whole argument is silly. Is the place in question physically located south of the Mason-Dixon line? Was it a part of the Confederacy? If so, hooray -- it's Southern, no matter the modern demographics. It's akin to arguing up one side and down the other that some crummy suburb of Boston cannot possibly be in New England because it doesn't look like a Currier and Ives print.
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Old Posted Dec 23, 2020, 6:19 PM
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Originally Posted by hauntedheadnc View Post
Considering that Richmond was the capital of the Confederacy, no.

In case it wasn't clear, I think the whole argument is silly. Is the place in question physically located south of the Mason-Dixon line? Was it a part of the Confederacy? If so, hooray -- it's Southern, no matter the modern demographics. It's akin to arguing up one side and down the other that some crummy suburb of Boston cannot possibly be in New England because it doesn't look like a Currier and Ives print.
Many people think that Southern means ‘Looks and votes like Alabama’ so Virginia can’t possibly be Southern anymore. But Illinois certainly doesn’t vote at all like Indiana despite being right next door. It doesn’t mean they’re not both Midwestern.

Being Southern is about how slavery and the Civil War forever changed the trajectory and culture of the region versus other parts of the United States. We don’t talk of a ‘rust belt’ in the South because hard industry in the 19th century preferred to invest capital in places that weren’t at risk of Secession or the political instability of Reconstruction. And without hard industry, the South doesn’t experience the Great Migration and Northern-style urban segregation to the same degree.

In the modern era, the South benefits from the lack of this industrial history with sprawling growth. Though the South has an ongoing rural to suburban migration that sets it apart from the West.

By that metric, Virginia is quite Southern indeed.
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  #5  
Old Posted Dec 23, 2020, 6:27 PM
Manitopiaaa Manitopiaaa is offline
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Originally Posted by hauntedheadnc View Post
Considering that Richmond was the capital of the Confederacy, no.

In case it wasn't clear, I think the whole argument is silly. Is the place in question physically located south of the Mason-Dixon line? Was it a part of the Confederacy? If so, hooray -- it's Southern, no matter the modern demographics. It's akin to arguing up one side and down the other that some crummy suburb of Boston cannot possibly be in New England because it doesn't look like a Currier and Ives print.
By your argument, Spain is forever Muslim because it was controlled by Al Andalus from 711 to 1492. It will forever be part of the Muslim caliphate because cultural lines are static.

Vladivostok is a Chinese city, Algiers is French, and Taipei is Japanese.

The only constant about history and culture is change.
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  #6  
Old Posted Dec 23, 2020, 6:34 PM
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By your argument, Spain is forever Muslim because it was controlled by Al Andalus from 711 to 1492. It will forever be part of the Muslim caliphate because cultural lines are static.

Vladivostok is a Chinese city, Algiers is French, and Taipei is Japanese.

The only constant about history and culture is change.
And all that cultural and historical change churn to make a modern place, but they do not ever physically remove that place from where it physically, geographically is.

You can say all you want that someplace in Virginia does not feel Southern because it does not conform to the -- typically negative -- stereotype that defines what does and does not feel Southern to the average American. You can note that there certainly are a lot of smart people who appear to have all of their teeth walking around downtown Richmond, for example, and conclude therefore that Richmond does not feel Southern. However, unless downtown Richmond has been dismantled brick by brick, transported to upstate New York and reassembled there in a disused part of Buffalo, it's still Southern.

It's amusing though that people spend all this time and effort to convince themselves they aren't where they are. No other region of the country has that same Oh, icky-poo!! factor.
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Old Posted Dec 23, 2020, 6:35 PM
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I think the real question is what will "southern" mean in the future. We tend to think of places in the south as not being "southern" as they urbanize, so does the southern identity just get discarded?
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  #8  
Old Posted Dec 23, 2020, 6:38 PM
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I think the real question is what will "southern" mean in the future. We tend to think of places in the south as not being "southern" as they urbanize, so does the southern identity just get discarded?
The actual, modern Southern identity is that of the most diverse region in the country, where you tend to find the most integrated cities. Southerners know that already, but the rest of the country resists it.
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Old Posted Dec 23, 2020, 6:46 PM
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Originally Posted by iheartthed View Post
I think the real question is what will "southern" mean in the future. We tend to think of places in the south as not being "southern" as they urbanize, so does the southern identity just get discarded?
Depends on who's coming in and what direction culture is diffusing (are the new transplants changing the place culturally, or assimilating to it?). Atlanta and Nashville are both rapidly-growing urban centers that still have a very strong Southern cultural imprint. I would guess Atlanta at 10 million will still feel strongly Southern.

In Houston, the new neighbors are disproportionately Latinos and Western liberal Whites. As it urbanizes, Houston will become less and less culturally Southern. I already don't think of Austin or Dallas as Southern, and I never thought of San Antonio as Southern regardless of what happened 159 years ago.
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Old Posted Dec 23, 2020, 6:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Manitopiaaa View Post
Depends on who's coming in and what direction culture is diffusing (are the new transplants changing the place culturally, or assimilating to it?). Atlanta and Nashville are both rapidly-growing urban centers that still have a very strong Southern cultural imprint. I would guess Atlanta at 10 million will still feel strongly Southern.

In Houston, the new neighbors are disproportionately Latinos and Western liberal Whites. As it urbanizes, Houston will become less and less culturally Southern. I already don't think of Austin or Dallas as Southern, and I never thought of San Antonio as Southern regardless of what happened 159 years ago.
I don't know Houston or Nashville, but Atlanta (metro) feels about as southern to me as Dallas feels Texan. Maybe even less southern in Atlanta. Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham seem even less southern than either Atlanta or Dallas.
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Old Posted Dec 23, 2020, 6:42 PM
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Originally Posted by hauntedheadnc View Post
But then again, despite the fact that the first structure in what became the city of Miami was a sugar cane plantation, complete with slaves, and despite the fact that Florida fought for the Confederacy, and observes Confederate Memorial Day... People will vociferously fight the notion that Miami, or Florida, are Southern. Then again, they do the same with Atlanta, or any Southern city that boasts any diversity beyond the Black and white dynamic.

Leaving the rest of Florida out of it (definitely Southern), Miami is an interesting case. It's a border city, an edge city, and a port city. It was destined to always be different. While you won't find many southerners (except in the AA population) living here anymore it's bones are decidedly so. Segregation and racism are built into the streets and neighborhoods, the schools and institutions, the highways, the sprawl. Will still be many decades if ever to erase all that.

In the same vane, Virginia can no more quickly erase the vestiges of it's past, it's roots, it's bones, regardless of who currently occupies the real estate.
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Old Posted Dec 24, 2020, 12:33 AM
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Why is the 19th century the only part of history that matters? Why wouldn't other (more recent) periods of history also matter?

I think that if in more recent history, Virginia behaves more like a Northern state (culturally & politically), for a prolonged period of time, it will make more sense to group it with the Northeast.

I'm not sure we're there yet. Obviously the borders of any cultural region will tend to be more transitional culturally compared to the heartlands of those cultural regions, and that's true with Virginia.

But while Richmond or Hampton Roads/Virginia Beach are less "Southern" culturally than the rural deep South, that's true of most big southern cities (Atlanta, New Orleans, Charlotte, Raleigh even Nashville).

Last edited by memph; Dec 24, 2020 at 3:40 AM.
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Old Posted Dec 24, 2020, 12:37 AM
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I think a lot of people defining "Southern" by voting Republican or being "backward." The fact is region plays actually a very minor role in US election patterns - it is not Canada or Belgium. They're pretty much "demographic-driven."
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Old Posted Dec 24, 2020, 3:54 AM
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I think a lot of people defining "Southern" by voting Republican or being "backward." The fact is region plays actually a very minor role in US election patterns - it is not Canada or Belgium. They're pretty much "demographic-driven."
"Demographic-driven" in what sense? Although whites tend to vote more Republican a lot of the whitest states are fairly liberal (Minnesota, Vermont), while Republican states like Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana and Florida are among the ones with the most non-whites.

Not that presidential election party preferences are the only things that should be looked at, Mississippi and Montana are both very "red" states but Montana is more about Libertarian small government conservatism while Mississippi is much more socially conservative.
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Old Posted Dec 24, 2020, 8:22 AM
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Exactly!

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Originally Posted by hauntedheadnc View Post
Considering that Richmond was the capital of the Confederacy, no.

But then again, despite the fact that the first structure in what became the city of Miami was a sugar cane plantation, complete with slaves, and despite the fact that Florida fought for the Confederacy, and observes Confederate Memorial Day... People will vociferously fight the notion that Miami, or Florida, are Southern. Then again, they do the same with Atlanta, or any Southern city that boasts any diversity beyond the Black and white dynamic.

I think, actually that might be the better determinant of whether a place is Southern. Does it resemble an old episode of In the Heat of the Night? If so, it is Southern. However, if you can reliably obtain a good bowl of tom yum, a decent sushi roll, or if there is an Indian grocery store in the vicinity where one can purchase butter made from water buffalo milk, then it is not Southern.

In case it wasn't clear, I think the whole argument is silly. Is the place in question physically located south of the Mason-Dixon line? Was it a part of the Confederacy? If so, hooray -- it's Southern, no matter the modern demographics. It's akin to arguing up one side and down the other that some crummy suburb of Boston cannot possibly be in New England because it doesn't look like a Currier and Ives print.
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Old Posted Dec 23, 2020, 5:57 PM
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Even sillier is to think that places are static and can never change based off of their history from hundreds of years ago. You know, cause Constantinople is still a devoutly catholic city to this day..

If you ask any Miami native, they will tell you Miami is not a Southern city. Likely the same will happen if you ask someone the same question in Alexandria, VA.

Richmond is another story, but that could change soon as the demography of Virginia changes.
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Old Posted Dec 23, 2020, 6:10 PM
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Even sillier is to think that places are static and can never change based off of their history from hundreds of years ago. You know, cause Constantinople is still a devoutly catholic city to this day..

If you ask any Miami native, they will tell you Miami is not a Southern city. Likely the same will happen if you ask someone the same question in Alexandria, VA.

Richmond is another story, but that could change soon as the demography of Virginia changes.
Demography can change all it wants, but geography cannot and will not. Geography and history dictate where a place is. How it feels is irrelevant. Going by how a place feels, we can therefore declare that Huntsville is not in Alabama because of the presence of NASA, and that the Research Triangle Park is not in North Carolina because Andy and Opie never stroll through en route to the fishing pond.
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Old Posted Dec 23, 2020, 6:22 PM
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Originally Posted by hauntedheadnc View Post
Demography can change all it wants, but geography cannot and will not. Geography and history dictate where a place is. How it feels is irrelevant. Going by how a place feels, we can therefore declare that Huntsville is not in Alabama because of the presence of NASA, and that the Research Triangle Park is not in North Carolina because Andy and Opie never stroll through en route to the fishing pond.
By geography, Virginia is already in the northern half of the East Coast.

As for history, the State has been actively purging its dark past. This past Monday, they even removed the Robert E. Lee Statue from the U.S. Capitol's Statuary Hall (it has been there for 111 years): https://apnews.com/article/race-and-...1d9a4295b19fcd

It will be replaced by Barbara Johns, the Black woman whose actions led to the Supreme Court outlawing segregation in Brown v. Board of Education.

My city is renaming any highway, school, or park with Confederate ties. This past June, they removed "Appomattox", the Old Town statue to celebrate Confederate soldiers: https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/02/us/co...rnd/index.html

So if a State is actively rewriting its historical narrative, is history also static?
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Old Posted Dec 23, 2020, 6:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Manitopiaaa View Post
By geography, Virginia is already in the northern half of the East Coast.

As for history, the State has been actively purging its dark past. This past Monday, they even removed the Robert E. Lee Statue from the U.S. Capitol's Statuary Hall (it has been there for 111 years): https://apnews.com/article/race-and-...1d9a4295b19fcd

It will be replaced by Barbara Johns, the Black woman whose actions led to the Supreme Court outlawing segregation in Brown v. Board of Education.

My city is renaming any highway, school, or park with Confederate ties. This past June, they removed "Appomattox", the Old Town statue to celebrate Confederate soldiers: https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/02/us/co...rnd/index.html

So if a State is actively rewriting its historical narrative, is history also static?
It's not purging its dark past because that's not physically possible, nor is it rewriting its historical narrative. What's going on here, and what should be going on everywhere, is acknowledging that dark past, and expanding the historical narrative to understand and accept that however hunky-dory things have been for rich white straight men, they pretty much sucked for everyone else, and often still do. It is not a purge, nor a rewrite to basically open one's eyes. I'm happy Virginia is doing so, but that does not change its history or its location.
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Old Posted Dec 24, 2020, 6:54 AM
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Originally Posted by hauntedheadnc View Post
Demography can change all it wants, but geography cannot and will not. Geography and history dictate where a place is. How it feels is irrelevant. Going by how a place feels, we can therefore declare that Huntsville is not in Alabama because of the presence of NASA, and that the Research Triangle Park is not in North Carolina because Andy and Opie never stroll through en route to the fishing pond.
Agreed completely. These sorts of discussions always strike me as absurd, because "southern" is a reference to geography. A southern state doesn't suddenly cease to be southern just because it may not fit perfectly into the box created for it by a non-southerner using arbitrary, rigid, and largely outdated stereotypes. We might as well be discussing whether Staten Island still qualifies as a New York borough because it went for Trump in the recent election. Sometimes I get the impression that some people from the East Coast view their region as some sort of exclusive club that is always looking for new members, and once a place is deemed 'acceptable' by those who think they know better, they start trying to recruit that place into their club, whether that place wants it or not.
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