You are no better than the people in the South

Collage of remarks against Florida and Southerners. Via Mariantonia Mejia/PantherNOW

Mariantonia Mejia | Staff Writer

A worrying trend always cropping up during times of civil unrest is resurfacing. 

Northerners, even those in any liberal state, always equate the morality – or lack thereof – of those in government with the morals of the people living there. Often, non-Southern liberals will claim to care about the well-being of minorities and advocate for Florida & other Southern states’ secession from the union in the same breath, as if we are nothing but a nuisance to discard.

What these people do not understand, regardless of the joking nature, is that the people who have to endure living in Florida are the ones who suffer most from these policies. 

In treating Florida, and the South in general, as a throwaway place, we tell trans teenagers, immigrant families, pregnant people, anyone who fears gun violence and vulnerable minorities in general that they are inconvenient to the rest of the country.

With this toxic mindset, it’s easy to forget the nightmare it has become to live daily life as a minority in Florida, constantly fearing that your rights will be taken away from you. 

Let this serve as a reminder and a wake-up call. 

Florida has, as of now, restricted gender-affirming care and loosened gun laws, as well as immigrant and abortion rights. With these heinous bills in mind, Florida is incredibly dangerous for its minority citizens.

Antagonizing us does nothing but worsen the problem. 

Suggesting that Florida and other Southern states are beyond help is a dangerous rhetoric to spread. That leads liberals to disconnect entirely from issues affecting Southerners, which leaves us even more vulnerable than before. 

This attitude is also particularly enraging because we feel attacked from all sides. 

The people meant to keep us safe are actively putting us in danger. Plus, we can’t seek solace in those who claim to be fighting for our rights. 

Not to mention how deeply insulting it is to insinuate that the only thing Florida and the rest of the South contribute to the United States is human rights abuses. 

Florida is a beautiful, vibrant state with an eclectic mix of cultures that contributes significantly to social development and the economy, which benefits the entirety of the United States. This is true of many other Southern states as well. 

It is important to acknowledge the evil that is brewing in the Florida government. However, vilifying and demonizing the people living affected is absurd and does nothing to further the goal of expanding human rights. 

Those who slander Southerners do not get to act as if the South is worthless when many of them won’t dare step foot in it and experience it themselves. 

You are not better than the people in the South. 


The opinions presented on this page do not represent the views of the PantherNOW Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.

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