Liberal, coastal, urban elitism is absolutely a real phenomenon in the United States, and it has been my entire life. My highly educated, Southern born, university professor momma waas the first to point it out to me, decades before this administration. We were watching some TV show and they’d brought in Southern Christian characters to be the backwards bad guys of the week for the northern hero to talk down to, and she didn’t want to watch. It was too painful.
She told me then that about a third of our nation lived in the south but at the point in time Designing Women was the only show set in the entire region. Meanwhile New York City had less than ten percent of the population but more than half of TV shows were set there. Just as she’d taught me to notice the way I was overly exposed to boy characters and meant to empathize with boy points of view, she taught me to see how overrepresented New York and LA concerns were.
And when Southern characters did appear, they were almost always portrayed as mentally and morally deficient. Bible thumping hypocritical preachers and incestuous rapists aplenty, but not one kind hearted country singer like Dolly Parton on made-for-city-folk TV and certainly no black people from Southern states. Beyoncé must be from Detroit to them, no matter how many times she reminds us she is a Texasbama woman.
Face it: before “Get Out” WASP suburbanites weren’t a monster movie type. A haunted house, cursed object, or another supernatural explanation was necessary to turn them into horror movie killers. But country folk living isolated are already assumed to be man hunting subhuman monsters: their children deformed products of incestuous union it’s perfectly moral to shoot and kill. Certainly not people. We poor whites, less educated whites, trailer denizens, lose our human status. We are just monsters and trash.
Don’t tell me there’s no liberal elitism while you laugh at Mama June and despise hunters and hicks, while you crack jokes about illiteracy and cousin fucking.