Written by Jennifer Fisher
On Tuesday night, political commentator, blogger, and troll extraordinaire Julie Borowski quickly learned not to mess with Texa- errr… West Virginia. Later owned as a joke in poor taste, Borowski tweeted the following.
In suspected fashion, the majority of replies were from miserable, hostile people.
White supremacists? …. No, West Virginians. Yes, they have internet.
Ahem… We. We have internet.
Before moving to the mountain state to live with my now husband and his family, he BEGGED me not to give up my life on the New England coast. Not because he didn’t want me to be with him, but because he fully understood how bad the political, economic, health, social situation was (is), as well as the declining outlook of his home state. Alas, here I am.
You can find us vying for top spots on all kinds of lists and claims to fame such as the most depressed states, most obese, most drug abuse, worst place to live…. the list of lists goes on and on.
I like humor. Humor makes me laugh. Jokes sometimes include stereotypes. Stereotypes are often based in truth. Truth is sometimes funny.
So, when the internet reacted to Borowski’s tweets, they inadvertently proved her point.
Many things about West Virginia are shitty and backwards….just like White Supremacy.
In trying to prove Julie wrong (or something) they acted like unintelligible back woods folks rather than sharing with her the history of the state and telling her about the GREAT things WV has to offer (the minority did however, and I suspect this is what prompted her apology).
This seems to be a common problem with society today. No one is able to have a normal conversation (don’t even CONSIDER making a joke) with one another. When even the slightest of differences present themselves, instead of talking through it, learning, and growing, we get belligerent.
Or we smile, nod, and walk away… and then get belligerent.
If we take the time to examine the things that make us proud, we are often unsure of why, or even times incorrect basing our opinion on what we have been told in the past or historical information.
I call this the ‘MURICA! problem.
Why do we love the good ol’ U S of A so much? Because we are free? Well that isn’t exactly true. Because it is the best country in the world? …Based on which standards?
Just because you had the (good or bad) fortune to be born to a place or situation doesn’t make it automatically awesome. Sometimes things are not awesome. In fact, if we would all acknowledge the things that are less than stellar and put the work in to make them better rather than screaming at each other, we would all actually have things we could be no shit proud of. Stop shying away from discomfort and deflecting it using violent emotion. Yelling at people really loudly (OR IN ALL CAPS) doesn’t hide our flaws. If someone is pointing out that you might suck… use that. Examine it. You don’t have to agree with its delivery. You don’t have to pitch a fit and throw poop.
We make no progress by remaining in our comfort zones. Situations don’t improve. We remain stagnant.
Yeah, yeah. I know. If I don’t like it here, I can leave.
I have left my comfort zone before. I’ve lived all over the country and even all over the world. This may be a foreign concept to some: every place has its ups and downs and when you run around declaring ultimate supremacy (ahhem) to everyone else, you come across as kind of doltish. America is no different….neither is West Virginia.
Blind nationalism and/or devotion looks good on literally no one. Oh, and learn how to take a joke.