Jared Leto on living in the South: ‘We escaped early on… it’s very oppressive’

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Jared Leto and his brother Shannon cover the new issue of FourTwoNine Magazine, which I have never seen nor heard of, but here you are. I’m really not into either brother, but I do prefer Jared to Shannon. Shannon has the eyes of a creepster. I was going to ignore this, but I read some quotes from the interview and Jared’s post-Oscar holiday from criticism is short-lived.

Jared Leto is once again proving how friggin’ cool he is. In the new issue of FourTwoNine magazine, the Dallas Buyers Club Oscar winner says he doesn’t mind if you called him “queer.”

When the mag’s editor-in-chief Kevin Sessums mentions that some of his “straight friends have begun to define themselves as queer without it being a sexual term but a cultural one,” he goes on to ask Leto and his brother Shannon Leto if they’d be “averse” to having the same label.

“I wouldn’t care,” Shannon said. Jared added, “I don’t think we’d care at all. We certainly identify with people who are different.”

That differentness is one of the reasons the Leto brothers’ band, 30 Seconds to Mars, has attracted such a large LGBT fan base.

“I got a note from a kid yesterday,” Jared said. “We were signing a thousand CDs after a show. If you looked at him, he looked like any young kid maybe in twelfth grade or eleventh grade who’d be on the baseball team or something. A nice looking kid. He handed me a note and it said, ‘I just want to say thanks so much for the music. It’s helped me in many ways–especially with coming out this year to my family.’”

And to think the Letos were born in the not-always LGBT-friendly south.

“We escaped early on,” Jared said. “It’s very oppressive.” He further explained, “We would go back for the summers and stay with our grandmother, though. So the culture was always there that we returned to. We moved around every couple of years growing up. Way up to north Massachusetts. Everywhere. But no matter where we were it was a very creative environment around artists. That is obviously an important reason that Shannon and I are pursuing the path that we are now.”

[From E! News]

Is the South oppressive? I’ve lived in the South for most of my life, and I’ve become increasingly sensitive to the prevalent anti-Southern bias exhibited by so many Hollywood-types (even those who were born in the South). The question I tend to ask is this: is the South any more or less oppressive than other parts of the country? And I really don’t think so. There are bigots in Manhattan. There are gay-bashers in Los Angeles. There are corrupt cops in every city. There will always be some neighbor or some crazy family member who has some asinine conspiracy theory about the government, no matter where you live.

I’m also including some photos of Jared at Coachella this weekend. He doesn’t look as douchebaggy as some of the dudes there, but then again… Jared is 43 years old. Maybe he’s too old for this crap?

FFN_Celebs_Coachella_CPPRRO_041114_51381133

FFN_Celebs_Coachella_CPPRRO_041114_51381280

Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet.

 

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220 Responses to “Jared Leto on living in the South: ‘We escaped early on… it’s very oppressive’”

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  1. Nora says:

    People in the south may not be any more oppressive, but the governments of southern states (elected by southern people) sure as hell are.

    • Kiddo says:

      True on the politics.

      I have family who moved to the south, and as someone stated below, secularism isn’t as predominant. Businesses also seem to promote religion as well. I’ll never forget stopping in one of the few supermarkets there, and at eardrum busting decibels, Christian music was blaring in the store. I have never come across that in the north. I think in terms of religion, there is more of an assumption that everyone is Christian.

      Also, those boots Leto is wearing look ridiculous.

      • Alright then says:

        This. It’s always the assumption that you’re Christian and conservative. Unless you’re a Yankee. Then they assume you’re a liberal heathen. I say this as a born and raised southerner with Yankee parents.

      • We Are All Made of Stars says:

        I moved to the not-even-that-terribly-southern state of Florida when I was a young teenager. I will never forget the first time that I went to the dentist. When they jacked the chair back, I saw a “Jesus Loves You” poster plastered to the ceiling right over my face, replete with the obligatory rainbows, flowers, and smiling sunshine of happiness. Yeah, I never went back to that place again.

        And thanks for using the word “Yankee.” I did it a few days ago, and it makes me happy to have proof that people actually do this in seriousness in the south. :)

      • lenje says:

        Was the Christmas song played during/around Christmas time? If so, I don’t think it is a big deal. I come from a country where 80-90% of the population is Muslim. Throughout December (sometimes even November!) the stores play Christmas songs ALL the time, and people don’t really make a fuss about it.

      • aims says:

        I have family in Louisiana and I can say that I have never felt the need to go down and visit them. Sorry folks from Louisiana. I talk to my cousin and it’s hard to believe she’s from Oregon. I’m not Just talking about the accent. Politically, I can’t relate to her. I don’t want to paint with a broad brush here but my interaction with her and all of my family down there just makes my head explode. So, there is a difference. But there are bad people everywhere.

        His boots are so ridiculous.

      • Kiddo says:

        No, it was not Christmas music. It wasn’t during a holiday, it was some song about Jesus.

    • MCraw says:

      I don’t think the state governments are any more oppressive than those in the north. Just different. Gays aren’t legally recognized, but you also don’t live in a police state like NYC. Police stop and frisk all around the country, but only in NYC was it legal to do that and therefore used as justification when it became racist. I lived in Louisiana for many years and felt freer and safer down there than I ever have, especially now being back, in New York.

      Also, those businesses playing Christian music? That’s religious freedom. Something hard to find anywhere in the world and not accepted to practice socially in parts of this country.

      Environmentally, it’s better. Clean air, food and water is easier to find. Don’t have to rely on supermarkets or farmers markets. No worries for smog. You know your neighbors and are part of a community.

      Civil rights and American culture is defined by the south. I could go on. Born in NYC, I can recognize that the south deserves respect and is better than broad generalizations repeated everywhere.

      • Anon says:

        The only reason why “stop and frisk” isn’t practiced in much of the South is because people don’t walk anywhere! Louisiana has the highest per capita incarceration rate in the country (making it also have the highest per capita incarceration rate in the world!) and LA’s neighbors are not far behind it. Texas also executes the most people in the country. Don’t kid yourself on NYC being more of a police state than LA, TX, AL, etc. NYC has issues too, but the South is the worst in lots of respects.

      • MCraw says:

        This entire country has the worst incarceration rates in the world. Mentioning THAT as a reason a place like NY is better is like comparing shit vs diarrhea. It’s all shit! California can’t even lock up their criminals due to overpopulation. If your house is robbed in NYC and the robber hurts himself while inside trying to rob your house, you can be sued and lose. And I might be extreme here, but the NYPD is one of the oldest Police mafias. Police abuse is protected from the top down. Only now with social media on phones have cases been proven.

        My point was not to compare and say which is the worst. My point was that no matter where you live, there are great things and bad things that are different in either place. What the north lacks, the south has. What the south lacks, the north has. So again, I would not say the state gov’t in the south is more oppressing than the north. Just. Different.

      • Kiddo says:

        Bible Belt
        The Bible Belt is an informal term for a region in the south-eastern and south-central United States in which socially conservative evangelical Protestantism is a significant part of the culture and Christian church attendance across the denominations is generally higher than the nation’s average.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bible_Belt

        Bible Belt
        Definition of BIBLE BELT
        :  an area chiefly in the southern United States whose inhabitants are believed to hold uncritical allegiance to the literal accuracy of the Bible; broadly :  an area characterized by ardent religious fundamentalism
        http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bible%20belt

        If you are one in the majority, it feels safe and comforting. If laws are passed reflecting the dogma of a majority, and you are in agreement, you won’t necessarily find the politics, laws or cultural mores oppressive. That there may be a shift away from more fundamental religious beliefs, overall, in the region, I will accept. I don’t know and have seen no studies. But as much as I’m not a Leto defender, he was speaking specifically about the gay community, and under the tenets of fundamentalism, their being is not welcomed. Major cities, at the time that he was talking about, were more progressive and acceptance was more widespread. Is there prejudice against gays in cities, now? Of course there is. Is there bias and prejudice everywhere? Yes, there is. But there is no denying that gay communities sprung up in cities to escape oppression of lifestyle and that they are making headway faster in the north than the south with acceptance via laws, at this time.

        I never intended to lump everyone into the same category, but the fact is that there is more religious adherence in the south. To me, it felt (yes, subjective and there were many other examples) like a given. For someone who doesn’t subscribe to that faith mindset or lifestyle, it can be, at the least, very uncomfortable and jarring. If laws are written that prescribe a particular morality, or limit choices outside beliefs of a religious majority, it can be oppressive.

        That doesn’t mean that all people in the south are terrible, not open minded, or that the south has no value and the north wins. Because the north is replete with issues too.

      • Grant says:

        The south is better environmentally? Have you ever been to Texas? Houston is one of the most polluted cities in the world. The Houston Ship Channel alone is almost completely toxic thanks to all the petrochemical refineries along the shoreline.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        I don’t see how anyone can argue the south isn’t opppressive, especially in light of the laws regarding sexual activity between consenting adults in the south. There are 14 states where sodomy between consenting adults is illegal (and 3 where it is illegal ONLY when it occurs between homosexual adults), and the vast majority of them are in the south.

        I don’t see how you can get much more of a police state than monitoring sexual activity between consenting adults. The Supreme Court said the laws were an unconstitutional invasion of privacy, but the state legislatures still haven’t passed laws to remove them from the books. In Texas and Louisiana, they are still using the laws to stop, harass, and arrest people for things like same sex kissing in restaurants.

        I agree with Kiddo. Yes, there are prejudiced people everywhere, but elections show that there are a lot of them in the south. I am from “the heartland”, and I know that “red states” are not just filled with people of one mindset, but it seems that culturally, the south makes it more acceptable for those who discriminate to voice it out in the open. They know they aren’t alone.

    • HappyDay says:

      As some who was born and spent 24 years living in Illinois….THEN moved to southern Alabama for over two years. I was shocked by everything. I was openly called, ‘the Yankee’ to my face. Lol I kind of laughed it off but I didn’t realize how big of an insult it was, I guess. It’s so different from what I knew, I wouldn’t say it was wrong, just different but man was it really in your face. I was asked on the DAILY “where do you go to church?” And when I said nowhere I’m new…they acted like I was the devil himself. LOL I just brushed it off. Visiting I might not have noticed, but moving and spending a few years really made all the little differences stand out! Over all, I enjoyed myself but happy to be back in the beautiful state of Illinois!!!!

      • Tiffany :) says:

        One of my Jewish friends grew up in South Carolina, and at a sleep over he was asked where his “horns” were. They searched his scalp with a fine tooth comb. They assumed that all Jewish people had horns under their hair because they were sent from the devil.

  2. Sayrah says:

    You’re absolutely right about people bashing the south. It’s the last form of “acceptable” prejudice in this country.

    • lisa2 says:

      I for one and sick of it. I live in the South and love it.. And I’m Liberal for the most part and Black..

    • fairyvexed says:

      Tell that to somebody who’s black or gay or female or fat or all of the above and never STOPPED getting bashed. The South defends and keeps its racist battle flags and elects its racist, sexist politicians who lead others in bashing people who are anything but straight, white, male, and conservative. If they even stopped the anti-abortion campaign people would ease up. If they stopped elected politicians who sound like KKK members with thesaurusi it’d be a step in the right direction.

      • SW says:

        Unfortunately, I agree. I’ve lived in the south, Texas and Georgia, and it IS a bit oppressive. The overly religious folks, the outspoken racists,, the loudmouths who condemn gay relationships…. they all seem louder, angrier, more in control and in leadership positions. I now live in a conservative northern state and don’t see as much blatent hated for anyone “different” here like I did on the south. There are pockets where it isn’t as bad. I dream of living in Austin, TX again. But overall, I have to agree that the southern stereotype is still fairly true, which sucks.

      • Ag-UK says:

        @SW
        Austin is great lived there for 4 years but I have to be in a big city and it’s not big enough for me. Great people liberal and a pretty city just the 100 degrees for months on end is a killer.

      • KB says:

        The problem is the generalizations about “the South.” It spans thousands of miles. Nothing anyone can say is true for the entire area. Those things certainly aren’t true in Texas cities. I live in Houston and have never seen anything that you’re talking about. Small towns? It’s possible. But not in the larger cities, and people who call them home (like myself) can’t stand it when we’re lumped in with Rural Town, AL and Hickville, MS as racist, bible thumpers from “the South.”

      • KB says:

        Additionally, the words I have heard out of family members mouths who were born and raised in Chicago are hands down the most racist and offensive things I have ever heard. I’ve never heard any white person in Houston use the n-word, and I was born and raised here, 27 years. Then I go visit my aunt and uncle in Chicago and they’re dropping it like it’s nothing. My uncle is my father’s younger brother. I’ve never heard my dad say it, but he moved to Houston when he was in his twenties. And my uncle is an intelligent, upper middle class man. You can’t pick your family, and you can’t blame the southern states for all of our country’s ills.

      • gg says:

        fairy – please don’t generalize like this. This is very untrue. “The South” is a huge expanse of states that contains every bit of strangeness as any other expanse of states. It’s attitudes like this that set us back as a country and keep us bickering and denigrating each other. We are all different. If people fear diversity, we are not going to get very far out of our holes of judgment.

      • Lisa says:

        Not everywhere in the South. Stop generalizing. It’s as bad as saying “all blondes are dumb” or “all fat people are lazy”. It’s insulting and worse- ignorant and I hope you’re really not,

        A little about me: I live in Alabama, female, overweight and of mixed race. Hit most your criteria, yet love where I live.

        Have a nice day everyone.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        KB, I think the problem is that it is easy to generalize when you have areas that, for decades, have continued to elect leaders and pass laws that discriminate. Of course any generalization isn’t going to apply to everyone. But at some point, you have to admit there are trends. There are patterns. There are majorities. There are super majorities.

        I think in the 80s, the Republicans chose to double down on social conservatism, not just fiscal conservatism. It is this voting pattern, along with the south’s consistent re-election of republican officials, that has tied them to this reputation.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      I completely agree that’s it’s an acceptable form of prejudice, and would add that it makes people who don’t live there feel good about themselves to bash it. If they’re focusing on our flaws, they don’t have to see their own. I’m leaving the thread now because I don’t want to see all the hate. I’ll just say that I’ve lived all over this country, on both coasts, and there are racists and sexists everywhere to the same degree. They’re just sneakier about it up here.

      • Kiddo says:

        I don’t disagree. In the north with conservative politics, words are coded and euphemisms are often used. There is also outright racism. But in terms of many different lifestyles, most of the conservative politicians in the north have to at least feign being socially liberal (even if they are not), while they may be fiscally conservative. Otherwise, the likelihood of being elected is nil. So, in a way, it does say something about a collective mindset.

      • SW says:

        How is it any different when we “bash” the south then when we “bash” other parts of the country or world? I now live in South Dakota. Yeah, there is NEVER any ridicule directed at the “Dakotas”. Lol. I was honestly asked if we still rode in covered wagons and if we had electricity. SMH. There are idiots everywhere.

      • Kiddo says:

        I wanted to add a caveat, though. I think as a country, we are all kind of screwed with our votes, regardless of the party or politics. He who gets the most money from sponsors/interests, gets the most attention, and gets to play in elections, limiting the field. Afterward, that person pays everyone back with favors and policies, (and unfortunately this benefits the voters least, if at all).

      • Tiffany :) says:

        It is kind of funny, because I see “Hollyweird” bashed on a daily basis on this site, yet no one ever tries to say that it is an unacceptable form of prejudice that needs to stop.

    • Mel M says:

      I would say that prejudice against Christians is also acceptable. I’m a Christian and I’m no bigot and ‘gasp’ am pro choice but if I were to run into a lot of people on this thread and tell them I’m a Christian they would immediately assume I hold some of or the same values as the “crazy” conservative Christians of the south. Maybe you wouldn’t say it out loud but it appears that those would be the first thoughts in your head before I had to prove you wrong. Some people seem to have so much anger towards Christians in general. We are not all alike.

      • Kiddo says:

        I can’t speak for everyone else here, but I have absolutely no problem with people’s beliefs, providing that no one is abused within that belief, and as long as no one is coerced /forced or otherwise legislated to adhere to them.

        My comment, if it was the one you were responding to, was not a condemnation of belief, but rather an observation of the apparent proliferation of one religion and how it was expressed within that region; the cultural acceptance that it was the majority belief, which it may well be.

      • vangroovey says:

        I’m sorry, but the “Christians are persecuted in the United States” argument drives me insane. This country is a majority Christian (73%) — and most people (if not everyone) knows Christians of all stripes and orthodoxies. The Democratic party wouldn’t exist if pro-choice Christians didn’t exist.

      • GByeGirl says:

        Yeah, I’m not into this whole “Christians are persecuted” myth going around. Especially not in the US. Just because some people take offense at Christian symbols/icons in public tax-payer funded spaces, this does not equal persecution of Christians. Not being allowed to discriminate against and bully gays =/= anti-Christian. As Jon Stewart said, “Who knows, maybe one of you people may even become President someday”. How many “out” atheists or secular humanists are there in national government?

      • Trillion says:

        Unlike race or sexual orientation, religion is chosen. I think religion is for suckers. And if a religious person says anything to me about how I am going to hell for not agreeing with them (or am immoral for not being the same religion etc. etc.) I’m going to point and laugh right at their ignorant faces. Because it is deserved. And because they chose it by being gullible enough to believe in that crap. It is not on par with racism or sexism.

    • Seán says:

      @MelM

      Most of the kneejerk prejudice towards Christians comes about because so many Christians use their religion to persecute and judge others, particularly when it comes to sexual matters. They then use God and religion as to why they are “right” and have a high moral ground over everyone else. Anyone who disagrees with them is a Satan loving heathen. Unfortunately, people do jump on that stereotype and mark all Christians with the same tag. I personally have no problem with people believing what they want to believe…as long as it doesn’t involve harming or judging anyone else. I would never judge or be scornful about anyone on their opinions about what happens after we die because none of us can ever really know for sure.

      It’s a shame that you are having a tough time as a Christian. What worries me is that people are being continuously categorised and people seem to have a tougher time seeing that there’s a middle ground in everything and that people are dynamic. It’s rampant on the Internet for example. If you defend say, a famous figure online, you’re labelled a stan. If you criticise them, you’re a hater. If you’re a Democrat, you’re a liberal Obama loving, hyper politically correct heathen who is pushing your gay, pro-choice agenda. If you’re a Republican, you’re a conservative Bible thumping homophobe trying to take women’s choices away. If you’re a Catholic priest, you’re a pervert. If you’re a Muslim, you’re a terrorist. The mass stereotyping or the insistence that everything is black and white is where we really fail in humanity.

      As for the North/South divide, I’m not from the US so I can’t speak to that. I was born and grew up in the countryside in Ireland though and moved to Dublin a few years ago. Dubliners have a tendency to make jabs or jokes about the area outside of Dublin even if they’ve never set foot outside of Dublin. As someone on both sides of the coin, I can say that there’s a certain sense of backward-ness that comes from living in a small town. I found growing up that people are much more conservative and traditional in their viewpoints. There’s certainly a greater sense of prejudice and some of the judgemental things I hear in my hometown from people and how many agree with them is sort of sad. There seems to be less free thinking too…I know some people who just follow political parties or have certain opinions because their families have always held that belief. But that’s not to say, there aren’t more liberal minded people living in rural areas too who have plenty of knowledge. And there’s plenty of benefits too. There’s a strong sense of community and in some ways its more easygoing and relaxed living there.

      Likewise, in the city, people tend to be more open-minded and can think outside the box but I’ve come across real bigots too. The stereotypes do have some truth to them but it’s important not to use those stereotypes as absolute facts. People are more dynamic than that.

      • Mel M says:

        Thank you Sean and I get it, I really do. There are some crazies that give us a bad name as with any group but I’ve seen Christians/Christianity get jumped on on certain threads and that is why I so rarely comment on those or bring up my faith. If you say that’s not happening then you don’t read them all. I’ve seen comments saying that people are dumb if they believe in a creator in this day and age with all of the science we have to prove otherwise. I’m just voicing my personal feeling when it comes to this site and it is that anytime Christianity is brought up I avoid it because it becomes very mean spirited. I also never said I was persecuted, I just said I’ve felt the prejudice and the judgement. I know most don’t have a problem with people of faith but there are those that do and aren’t afraid to talk about it. I on the other hand would rather not start a heated debate because I come to this site for escape and using as little brain power as possible talking about the most shallow things in life since I have 2 under 2 😉.

      • vangroovey says:

        @MelM- I am not “bashing” you, but I am genuinely curious if you have ever considered that certain faiths are inherently prejudiced against certain groups of people? Personally, I think religions (a whole lot of them at least), do more harm than good, but I could not care less what people believe — to each his or her own. But many religions are inherently sexist and homophobic (among other, more nuanced, things). So while I understand that prejudice hurts, it’s also important to remember that religion is pretty inherently “prejudiced” itself.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        “Most of the kneejerk prejudice towards Christians comes about because so many Christians use their religion to persecute and judge others”

        Very well said. I think that sums it up so perfectly.

    • Faun says:

      Sorry, Catholics take that prize. It’s perfectly acceptable to make offensive remarks about Catholics in a way that would never fly with Jewish people.

      • Lauren says:

        Exactly. Although Canadian my sister went to Law School in the USA and she learned pretty quickly in law school about many laws purposely made to exclude people if they were black, Jewish, and Catholic i.e. like owing property in certain neighbourhoods. We are too of those things and although it is not so acceptable to openly discriminate against blacks like it used to be it sure as hell is okay to say stuff about Catholics. I have never had the discrimination from other religions either. In university I usually received it from other Protestant denominations who thought Catholics were backwards, disgusting heathens who think the Pope is a god and infallible.

  3. Thatgirl says:

    I’ve never lived in the south or visited. I have friends though that previously were from the south before they came to NJ. Most of them tell me that the difference is that people in the south are more open about their bigotry, whereas the bigots in the north tend to keep their bigotry to themselves.

    • vangroovey says:

      This. This, this, this.

    • mena says:

      Born & bred Yankee, here & I agree, Thatgirl.

      I have a few friends who are transplanted Southerners & the feeling I’ve gotten is that Southerners are more open when talking about the problems in the South. I think they’re just more open in general.

      So I think a willingness to talk about problems in the South doesn’t mean there are more problems down South, just more of a willingness to talk about them.

      • vangroovey says:

        I’m not so sure it’s “more open about talking about problems.” Personally, I’ve found that more people in the south are “more accepting of open bigotry.” And, I’m just going to say it and suffer the consequences, but I think the “open bigotry” part is directly related to the militant Christianity that seems more prevalent in the south.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        I love all of you. Thank you.

      • Nya says:

        That’s not how it is at all. People in the south are more open about their bigotry. But they’re sure as hell not open about TALKING about how they’re bigots.

      • mena says:

        @vangroovey, I’m not a Southerner, so I can’t say for certain, but I suspect a Southerner might say many of the region’s problems stem from how many were raised, which in the South means in a very strict religious home.

        So what I’m saying is, I think a Southerner would probably agree with you – but might not use the same language or tone.

        On the flip side, I doubt most Yankees would even admit that their country club still discriminates against Jews, African-Americans & other minorities.

        @AllGoodNamesTaken, right backatcha ;-)

        @Nya, First of all, no bigot – North or South – ever talks about being a bigot. I wasn’t talking about bigotry.

        I was talking about a willingness to admit to problems.

        Like I said before, I’m not a Southerner, but the Southern friends I have will admit to the problems in their hometowns way more willingly than me or any of my Yankee friends. I don’t think that means there are fewer problems in the North.

        Like @GoodNamesAllTaken said further upthread, I’m gonna leave this thread too.

      • vangroovey says:

        @Mena – tone? Militant Christianity is an actual thing. And I think most northerners admit that most country clubs discriminate against non-whites and jews. I mean, country club being racist is practically a meme.

      • DottieDot says:

        Really? I have seen and heard more bigotry in New York and in Europe than having grown up in the South. Go chew on that for awhile!

    • Lucinda says:

      Absolutely. Having lived in one of the bluest states my entire life, I agree with you completely. The racism is here, alive and well. It is just more refined so it is harder to see. They throw money at minorities in a way that makes them able to say “I’m not a racist” while ignoring the fact that their “causes” ensure the dependence of minorities and the poor. There is a reason you don’t see many people of color where I live and it isn’t because we are so open-minded.

      • fairyvexed says:

        Problem is, the South rose up in armed rebellion against the nation…..and they still fly the battle flags of that rebellion. The South us where one finds the worst living conditions for people in the country….and certain political and religious philosophies dominate. Oh, yes, and the South owned slaves, which they fought a war over.

      • Kiddo says:

        “They throw money at minorities in a way that makes them able to say “I’m not a racist” while ignoring the fact that their “causes” ensure the dependence of minorities and the poor.”

        What does this mean? Are you saying that there shouldn’t be social safety nets, or are you talking about something else? It’s not clear. Are you against charitable donations? Helping the poor helps them eat and have a roof over their heads, it doesn’t matter what race, there are plenty of poor to go around. And there are so called ‘middle class’ who are having a tough go of it too.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        “They throw money at minorities in a way that makes them able to say “I’m not a racist” while ignoring the fact that their “causes” ensure the dependence of minorities and the poor.”

        The majority of people on welfare are white. Funny that you would take government assitance, and make incorrect generalizations about the race of those receiving it.

    • claire says:

      This is very accurate. People are very open in their bigotry and people often don’t bat an eye about it. If you do, you’re in the minority. I live now on the West Coast in a very liberal city and of course there are some people who are racists, but it takes a bit longer to detect. And the funny thing is that I find my city in the South to be less segregated than the liberal city I live in on the West Coast.

    • lucy2 says:

      I live in NJ too, and just an hour ago was driving behind a truck in my neighborhood with a Confederate flag sticker. I’d imagine he’s a transplant, but either way, I think there are jerks/bigots/racists everywhere, just as there are wonderful/open-minded/loving people everywhere. A region or culture might encourage or discourage it more than others, but I don’t ever think it’s good to paint all people with the same brush.

  4. Dana m says:

    It seems like he’d have a hard time walking at the festival in those unlaced boots. Why would he wear those to a festival where you do a lot of walking?

  5. Jessica says:

    I’m kind of sick of the South bashing. There are a-holes everywhere. Get over yourself, people from other parts of the country.

    Also, get over yourself, Jared, and take a seat; you are so annoying. I’m really sick of Jared Leto, too.

    • gg says:

      I am glad Kaiser brought this point up. In the last several years I’ve become increasingly aware of prejudice against southerners in the west and some in the north against southerners. Particularly those that quite obviously have never heard a genuine SE accent. We all have accents, people. I refuse to be ashamed of mine. If you mock accents and assume things about people, that is nothing but ignorance on your part and it needs to be cured with experience. I don’t know a soul like the duck people. There are folk without a lot of class in every single state.

      I was with a record producer from Nashville in LA and I met a trio who asked where we were from. Just from saying what state I was from had them burst into laughter and ask to check our teeth and see if we were wearing shoes. Maybe they were on drugs or something but I was horrified at this treatment and it sort of wrecked the evening. We were at a fancy event, dressed nicely and were there to accept an award. Two other times the film people I was with were mocked for their accents after saying only a few words and treated like we were stupid. In fairness I am going to assume either these people have personal problems or mock absolutely everything but frankly, it was very hurtful and I’ve never seen the friendly people I’ve known in the South snicker and mock a visitor just because of their accent.

      I just want to say that generalizing everybody is ignorant. People don’t assume anything about a place. Go there and see for yourself and reserve your opinions. If you’ve not been there, you do not know anything about the place. We are not Gomer Pyle, anybody from Deliverance, nor are we klan members. In fact the klan was formed in Illinois, not in the South. You can’t blame this all on a one-off like Honey BooBoo because it has been perpetuated long before.

      I love meeting new people and I am especially interested in differing accents. I am a student of the world and have an open mind and travel everywhere. Please don’t treat people poorly who come from the south, and don’t assume or generalize. There are a lot of very enlightened people here who don’t throw bibles around and are genuinely very current, hospitable and friendly. Give us a chance.

      Gets off soap box. Thank you.

  6. YummyMummy says:

    I totally agree about the oppressive south. I live in Atlanta. Previously spent years in Texas and Canada. It is overwhelming down here. I can really only have superficial conversations with people. I disagree so much with the narrow minded people I am surrounded by.

    • staplergirl says:

      I totally agree. I just moved to Tennessee in January after having lived in Texas, Missouri, and Pennsylvania. The sexism and racism are rampant and DISGUSTING. And the fact that everyone says ‘we’re conservative’ to make it ok? It’s absurd……I’m moving in August and that’s not soon enough. This experience has completely tainted how I view all of the south. And I’m in a college town.

    • mayamae says:

      After a lifetime in the Chicagoland area, I moved to the Atlanta area seven years ago. The culture shock was unbelievable. I’ve never experienced such overt racism – it’s everywhere, even from people of color against themselves. There is also such a smug sense of superiority – no one, I mean NO ONE loves God, Country, or the Military like the southerners (or so they say).

      I’ve actually been asked on the job (I’m a nurse) if I’m “angry with God”. I’ve been told in a job interview I would be expected to pray with my patients (only Christian of course – the “true” religion) if they asked.

      Even though Atlanta is considered a more cultured southern city, the state of Georgia is currently considering a special Confederate flag license plate. I almost fell off my feet when I heard it. They embrace this type of thing.

      There also a big redneck embracing ignorance culture. Now I have no problem with poorly educated people – most of them lacked options. I’m talking about people deliberately dumbing themselves down because it’s cool or funny. Kind of like the fake millionaire family portraying rednecks on Duck Dynasty. There is a fast food franchise called Chik-fil-a. Yes – a deliberately illiterate name. The owner is openly homophobic and the franchise follows religious traditions – closed on Sundays.

      I should have been warned. A US Senator, Saxby Chambliss, ran and won, against a man named Max Cleland. Max Cleland lost three limbs in Vietnam. Saxby Chambliss ran a filty campaign – called Max Cleland un-American and advertised with false images of Cleland with Osama bin Laden. Instead of being outraged, the public nominated him.

  7. Luca26 says:

    There are bigots everywhere but in parts of the South bigotry is a dominant part of the culture that’s taken for granted and at times sanctioned by the mainstream. I’m thinking about things like the segregated prom in Georgia that wasn’t condemned by the governor. I attended an Atlantan public high school graduation for my niece that was held in a church where the speakers talked about Jesus. I know for a fact there were Jewish, Muslim, and other kids who had to step into that situation to complete their milestone and that wouldn’t happen in the North or at the least it would have caused an uproar.
    And if you are a teen and you have to go to high school in a place where bigotry is the norm there is a huge difference. It’s not just the South of course but there is a huge difference being a gay teen in New York City than the backwoods of Mississippi.

    • The Other Katherine says:

      Exactly. I love my home state of Texas; but, damn, there sure are a lot of things that piss me off. I grew up in the northeast part of the state, which is basically the western edge of the Deep South, and it is absolutely true that overt bigotry is socially tolerated to an unacceptable extent. Overtly spoken racism is generally considered lower-class and frowned on as “you’re making the rest of us look bad” (especially if we’re secretly racist ourselves), but overt sexism, intolerance of non-Christian religion, and hate speech towards the LGBT community is absolutely mainstream in my “hometown” (my own family is not like that, thank goodness). If you escape to the larger urban areas in Texas, things are much better there, although you still get an unacceptable number of the Bible-thumping, sexist, homophobic government officials.

  8. mia girl says:

    Those unlaced, open boots coupled with the Hawaiian shirt looks pretty douchbaggy to me.

  9. Joy says:

    As a life long southerner my observation is this: prejudice is everywhere, it just that in other areas they have a tendency to cover it up a little better. Once I started traveling out of the south I realized this fact and I was kind of shocked by it. I had assumed from reading statements like Jared’s that once you got out of the south it was like some giant peace and love utopia. Such is not the case. At least in the south I can more easily identify the bigots.

    • lisa2 says:

      yes.. totally agree.

      nothing else to say here.

    • Yeah, I’d prefer that people be open about their racism. I’ll never forget when my neighbor exposed her true colors. About five years ago, she owned a pet store, and my mom had gone over to look at the guinea pigs for my little brother. They passed by a bunch of baby mice (a huge pile of them), and my neighbor turned to my mom and said ‘they’re n-gger packed, aren’t they?”….and my mom couldn’t believe that she’d said that.

      This is a woman who babysat us when she was younger, was always giving us extra cookies, slices of cake, ice cream–let us play in her yard, and so on. I would’ve NEVER thought that was something that would come out of her mouth. Ever. But she only slipped up once, and that was enough.

    • gg says:

      Thank you for saying this, Joy. I have to say I have not heard anyone say the N-word anywhere in the South since I moved here and literally everyone I know is horrified by it. I just don’t hang out with racist warmongers and have no problem avoiding them. Life in the South, just like everywhere, can be open-minded and great if you avoid the bad spots, just like everywhere. I am disturbed by the hate I see on the posts on this story and find it depressing that so many people assume so much without getting the full picture. Get out and travel.

  10. Dame Snarkweek says:

    Jared Leto on living in ignorance: “I tried to escape but didn’t quite make it out.”

  11. Loubelle says:

    Is he not roasting in that outfit? Coachella is in the desert, right?!

  12. Alright then says:

    Yes, you can find bigots everywhere. It does tend to be more concentrated in the south. As mentioned previously, they seem to be more openly vocal in their bigotry down here. There are pockets of the south where you will find larger communities of open minded, usually arts related people. I actually found the Midwest particularly close minded as well.

  13. GiGi says:

    I’ve lived in the North most of my life with the exception of living in Miami and vacations in various Southern cities. And I do have to say I was shocked at how segregated a lot of the South still seemed to me. I feel that in the North, there is a lot of diversity and people have friends and family of many different races. When I lived in the South – yes, there is diversity, but no one mingles! It was a real eye opener to me. I’m obviously generalizing, but this was my experience.

  14. Dame Snarkweek says:

    There was a phrase used decades ago: In the south white people don’t care how close black people get as long as they don’t rise too high. In the north white people don’t care how high black people rise as long as they don’t get too close.

    In 2014 things have changed/shifted a little in this regard. But only a little. And I get all stabby when people insist that NYC is a melting pot. Maybe if you’re a tourist. But if you live here you absolutely know better.

  15. Merritt says:

    I think it is is easy to dismiss the South as oppressive, but oppressive state governments are all over the country. Just look at several western state like AZ. Maine’s governor seems oppressive and IN has some oppressive leaders.

  16. Alecia says:

    I’ve lived in NC my entire life and while there are people who have mindsets that didn’t leave the antebellum south, there are plenty of open minded and caring people. I say this as a black person. Sure there are some bureaucratic practices you wish would change but it’s not so bad I’d think about moving tomorrow. Every place has something about it you wish didn’t exist so they mentality that there is a utopia outside of the south has become a ridiculous notion.

  17. TG says:

    How are people not laughing their heads off at Jared standing there looking like a douchebag doofus. I can’t stop laughing.

  18. Samigirl says:

    I’m from the sister city of their home town, and I can tell you even now there is still a lot of prejudices against the LGTB community, so I can’t even imagine how bad it was 40 years ago. And, as Nora pointed out, the government is terrible to those people. It’s ok for our representatives to be in the DC Madame’s “little black book,” whilst touting family values *cough* David Vitter *cough*, but God forbid 2 men that love each other be allowed to get married, carry each other on their insurance, etc.

  19. jinni says:

    Yes you can find racism everywhere in the world( yes even in Europe, America didn’t invent it). It’s just that in the South they’re more upfront about it than the rest of the country. Plus they have been branded with that stereotype partly due to truth and partly because Hollywood still wants to spread that kind of image about the South, just like New England is considered intellectual, the Midwest is homey and honest, the West is full of hippy, freewheelers, etc.

    I think he is referring to the South of his youth. We have to remember that Jared was raised in the deep South during the 70′s. He was born in a South that had just started shaking off some of the old ways due to the Civil Rights Movement. Because even though technically slavery ended in 1863 it actually still continued in the form of Jim Crow laws that weren’t really dealt with until about 1963. So he was probably raised around or lived in a community were the hardcore racist were way more abundant and very angry because they were witnessing an end of an era. It doesn’t seem like he is talking about the South of today which isn’t as bad in most places as it use to be.

  20. InvaderTak says:

    For me and some people I know, iIts easier to put up with the obviously small minded people than people who treat you badly because of you’re from the South and then turn around and bash you for being a bigot. The south isn’t the only place with problems people. Real sick of the rest of the sh!t we get.

  21. DenG says:

    I’m a North Carolinian who has survived in New Jersey for 9 years, soon to retire and get out of this mess. Bigots and good ol’ boys/girls are everywhere and I’ve encountered many more Up Here than I ever did in NC.

  22. Giselle says:

    Well, I’ve lived in Florida (not considered “the south” by anyone who knows better) and have lived in Georgia, and there is a huge difference. It’s true that there are bigots everywhere. No matter where you go. But, under the veneer of southern charm & hospitality there is an ugliness that does come out in some parts of the south. There are also the economic issues, which are the fault of the government and exemplify a priority to keep the poor people poor and the rich people rich, along with other social injustices they perpetuate. Not to say it’s like that everywhere, more developed and metropolitan areas are more likely to be progressive to an extent, but there are A LOT of backwoods areas or small towns that operate in their own ways. And the quality of life for gays or minorities is not good in many of those. So, yes, some parts in the south are oppressive and some parts are perfectly lovely.

    • Alright then says:

      North Florida (anything north of Ocala) is considered the south. The rest of Florida is like New Jersey.
      But yes, there are places, especially larger metropolitan areas that are more accepting, while there are still many many places that carry the racist/sexist/homophobic torch. And definitely agree about the poor/rich divide.

      • Lubyanka says:

        I was hoping someone would mention this. So many people assume Florida is ‘not the South’, but a huge chunk of it is. Very much so. Heck, having relatives in Ocala, I might push the boundary to say anything north of Orlando is indistinguishable from Alabama or Georgia.

  23. bettyrose says:

    I grew up in California, where people don’t even really think about the South at all (love to mock the Midwest, though, but obviously California is packed with midwestern expats), but when the south does come up it generally is spoken of as a place so bizarre and so antiquated in its thinking as to be a relic from the dark ages (I’m just reporting on that mentality, not justifying it).

    The news doesn’t really help much with that impression. What always runs through my mind as I hear yet another story about a southern politician wanting to enact Taliban style laws on American woman is that women vote for these tools. Without women, these morons could not get elected. So, I do somewhat question wtf goes on in states where women eagerly tick boxes next to candidates who think we’re less than human. Obviously there is plenty of misogyny that comes out of California in the form of twisted body images and objectification, but our senators are women and even our most recent republican governor (a hollywood star and notorious womanizer) was a social liberal and could be accused of many things but not of supporting woman-hating legislation.

    Racism exists everywhere, but in the circles I travel in people are pretty quick to call out others on ignorant statements. We do value education and justice here, though in many parts of CA it’s money that’s the great equalizer, not any real love of equality.

    • Nya says:

      Exactly. Which states are the ones who most often enact this terrible laws about oppressing women and homosexuals and freak out about Muslims and religion and evolution? Southern states. Who elects Southern politicians? Southern people.

    • Alright then says:

      The problem is that the idea that the man is the head of the house and you don’t question his authority is very prevalent.
      I was at a moms group thing once and this woman was telling everyone that they couldn’t afford a new vehicle, but her husband wanted a new truck. she told him that he should pray about it. Well, what do you know, Jesus told him that he should get that new truck. So they got it. Because he’s the head of the household and she can’t question his authority or his relationship with his lord and savior.
      You think I’m kidding. This is almost verbatim. I wanted to throttle her and check for the twizzler I knew was standing in place of her spine.
      This is how sexist chauvinistic males get voted in.

  24. Longhorn says:

    He looks like Jesus ransacked a touris shop on Hollywood blvd before heading to Coachella.

  25. vangroovey says:

    I’m feeling a little punchy/stabby today and am just going to blurt out my opinion without concern for politeness. So, ready yourself for offense.

    I can’t stand when people twirl themselves into a fit of high dudgeon about dissing the South’s more “al fresco” bigotry (they still have segregated proms in some southern towns, people!), but then will turn around in an Atlanta second and accuse black people of “playing the race card” for pointing out casual racism.

    Racism definitely exists everywhere — but it’s a little “extra” in the south (And Arizona. Yeah, no, Arizona is straight up scary).

  26. bridget says:

    I don’t agree at all the south is prejudice and think its hilarious that he “escaped”- how dramatic. Back in the day perhaps but not today. In fact many “southern” places like Miami, Austin, Tx, etc are known for their forward thinking, art/music and of course gay friendly. New England could be considered stuffy and conservative, the west could be considered country and conservative (farming states- Utah,iowa) so I don’t agree with a label being put on the “south”- in fact the state of florida is what got Obama elected.

    • Kiddo says:

      Florida has an abundance of NYC transplants and retirees in and near the major cities.

    • We Are All Made of Stars says:

      Miami is so Hispanic you’d be forgiven for wondering what country you were in if you were dropped there by a spaceship after a hard night out on the town. It is no reflection on any part of the south. Moreover, the Hispanic vote in the Miami-Dade area is what won him the vote. I was a field organizer for him in 2012 in the state.

    • Suze says:

      Both Miami and Austin are outliers when it comes to southern living, though. As is Atlanta. And of course New Orleans is a whole different world. So the south is diverse.

      Go to Belzoni, MS, and you’ll find a different world.

      That said, plenty of places would be too oppressive for Jared Leto. And most of the U.S. has their share of ghosts when it comes to the history of racism.

  27. Seriously For Real says:

    As an African American from Indiana, currently living in Atlanta, but spending time working in NYC, Northerners are delusional. There is no way Stop and Frisk would ever get by in Atlanta. Was it not just discovered that the LAPD disabled listening devices in black neighborhoods? I had a doorman at a Manhattan hotel stop me and quiz me about staying in that hotel like I didn’t belong. If you ask me, the North is much worse than the South; same practice, far more segregation (Chicago is the most segregated city in the country), but holds on to and perpetuates the myth that they are different and open.

  28. Beth says:

    I hate living in the South, I’m here because my husband is stationed here. I’m in a really rural area and while the culture and the people are a little weird sometimes, nothing compares to the bugs. I’d take bigots over biting gnats any day. I can’t wait to leave.

    • Alright then says:

      Amen girl. Roaches and mosquitoes are the bane of my existence. And the fire ants. Yellow flies. It’s making my skin crawl just typing this.

      • Nicolette says:

        +1. I moved from my home state of NY to Texas, and lived in Houston for 4 years. The amount of water bugs down there was astounding, and to add to the nightmare they fly (and yes my skin is now crawling as well). Trying to kill one of those suckers is bad enough without having to freak out that it’s going to fly at you! I literally saw a swarm of them buzzing around at night. And the fire ants! They found their way into my apartment and I found out I had them when one found it’s way into my bed and bit me in the ass. Ugh!!!! Didn’t miss the bugs when I moved back up north that’s for sure.

    • gg says:

      Correction: You hate living in the rural area you live in, not the entire south. There is a huge distinction.

  29. sarah says:

    Johnny Depp’s fiancee makes comments like this about “escaping” from Texas. I just roll my eyes. There is bigotry and racism everywhere. Saying you wanted to leave your small town or whatever, that’s one thing, but making broad generalizations like this just makes them sound like asshats.

  30. Jess says:

    I live in north Alabama and it can be oppressive, but it’s getting better and I recently read that the younger generation is becoming more accepting of the LGBT community. I’m as liberal as they come and most of the time I can handle living here, it’s home! I have gay neighbors on one side and an interracial couple on the other, there are no bibles being thrown or crosses burned in their yards and everyone gets along great. I love when people from other areas are surprised that Alabama has actual paved roads and we have teeth and don’t all live in trailers, pretty ignorant to think that way. There are lots of good folks down here:)

  31. Ag-UK says:

    I was born and raised in Texas and the politics and the mega church thing is a bit much. I moved to NY as soon as I could but I say to people I am a Texan by birth a New Yorker by choice now I live in London. I do appreciated the niceness of Southerners but I do think a lot of smiles up front hide a diff agenda.

  32. Suze says:

    It sounds as if he was talking about moving from the south some 35 years ago, which was a way different time. The rest of his statement sounds more like a compliment in that during visits, he was surrounded by creative people. Maybe I’m putting a Pollyanna read on it.

    • Ag-UK says:

      I agree I think he is referring to years ago as he said he escaped early on. Plus on the foot wear I have seen people at this festival in Wellies phuleeze when do you need heavy rubber foot wear in the desert? Maybe he doesnt want people stepping on his toes.

  33. The Original Mia says:

    The narrative that the North is so much more enlightened than the South and that everyone is treated equally up there is a crock. I’ve had Northerners come down here for school, who spouted racist crap to my face and think nothing of it because…although, I’m black, I’m not that kind of black. I’m more white. Oh really. Please explain what makes me a white black. Is it the fact I don’t live up to your stereotype of how black people should act? Hmm…

    Yes, there are loud, bigoted Southerners, but there are just as many enlightened, non-judgmental, unbiased, accepting, inclusive and loving Southeners out there. And as the older racist crowd dies out and loses their influence, the new South will emerge. It will take time.

  34. GeeMoney says:

    Well, I think that we can all say, ignorance, of any kind, is everywhere. Regardless of where you live, regardless of who you know, people are ignorant. Period.

    The best thing we can all do is surround ourselves with people who love us for who we are and not for what we look like, believe in, our gender, etc. And then keep it moving.

  35. Renee says:

    Maybe moving out of the South was less oppressive for Jared because he is white. He is not going to be subject to the same sorts of discrimination that racialized, queer or non-Christian folks are.

    The South is very conservative, and perhaps this is what he is referring to when he stated that it was oppressive. And we do need to remember that he is 43, and that even 20 years ago society overall in the U.S. was less open about several things including interracial relationships and sexuality in general never mind discussions of queer sexuality. We seem to have this tendency to act as though homophobia and racism have disappeared or were prevalent centuries ago, when in reality this is not the case.

    I too live in the South and as a person of color who has also lived in Canada on a day to day basis I don’t find it to be any more racist than the north. But a large part of that is because I spend a significant amount of time with other people of color. I do find that the South is still extremely segregated, shockingly so, and it is still very much haunted by the histories of racial violence that shaped it, and that they still emerge on a daily basis. So while I do find that other locations/regions to be oppressive, I find that the South is oppressive too, and in a way that is tangible that is tied to its particular history. I also find that it is also extremely oppressive in terms of gender, it is still very traditional in terms of gender roles…

  36. Winterlady says:

    Generalizing Southerns as racists, religious nuts, and conservative fanatics is just as bad as saying all ‘Yankees’ are cold, rude, nasty, and disrespectful. In other words, it is ignorance on both sides. And anyway, racism isn’t just a part of Southern culture. I’ll never forget a black lady from the North telling the story of how she was walking back to her college campus (in Mass., I believe) and being confronted by a burning cross. Or the fact that the North had a huge amount of ‘sundown’ towns, even more then the South I think. I have lived all over and have met bad people of all kinds, so I don’t bother bashing anymore.

  37. shannon says:

    It annoys me as well, the assumption that everyone in the South is ignorant, racist, bigoted, etc. I was born and raised in the South, although I’ve lived elsewhere as an adult, but ended up moving back. I can’t speak for every area, and maybe I got lucky because I was a Navy brat and a military base brings in all kinds of diversity, but I’ve never found living here oppressive. Are there dumbass rednecks here? Sure. But they’re the minority, and honestly, they’re everywhere I’ve ever lived, including Seattle. I once had someone tell me they knew in the South that the Civil War was called – in public schools – “The War of Northern Aggression.” Bullsh!t – not in this school system at least, not in the schools my sons attend, not in the college I attended. We actually have one of the best school systems in the country where I live (again, possibly the result of living near a military base). That being said, it may be more “stereotypical Southern” in more rural areas.

  38. Renee28 says:

    The only difference is racists in the South will generally say things to your face. Racists in the North will say things behind your back. Some of the most homophobic and racist things I’ve seen have happened in NYC. There are racist people everywhere. Period.

  39. Liz says:

    Jared’s pose on the cover is very feminine – those boots and the way his left leg is off to the side. LOL!

    Racism does exist all over, but it’s mostly southerners who keep electing politicians who openly denigrate gays, try to abolish critical services for women, etc. It’s the people who keep them in business, so how can one argue that it’s an untrue stereotype? Politicians who openly bashed gays and women don’t stand a chance in most western (except Arizona) and northern states.

  40. BrownGirl says:

    The South is still oppressive in many ways, such as, race, education, job pay, etc. , depending on what parts you live in. However, the North, East or West is not that much more superior to certain old thoughts in my opinion. Racism is alive and well all across America, still in 2014, some just mask it better than others. I live in Arkansas and there are certain parts of this state I would NEVER go to as a black woman. Harrison, AR is one of them. The KKK protested a Black History month event there lol! Really? They also have 2 openly racist billboards currently welcoming you to their city as you enter. All I can do is SMH at things like that. I don’t waste my energy on getting upset on other humans being idiots. We also have a school here named David O. Dodd and he is treated like a hero here and all I can do is laugh at that as well. We have a long way to go still but so does a lot of places.

    So, I will agree that the assumption that most of the oppression lies in the South is extremely absurd. The South earned that badge because of the Civil War but it is not just here. It is all over America!

  41. Southerner says:

    I sure am glad there are so many people letting everyone know how horrible it is to live in the south.

    Now maybe ya’ll will stop moving down here.

    • InLike says:

      Hahahahaha! ^5 @ Southerner

      The media really has it out for southerners, yet many rich Northern people who are retiring are going to Texas, Virginia, Florida, Georgia and North/South Carolina.

      I know my hometown of Virginia Beach has been utterly DESTROYED by retirees from other states. They are tearing down everything, drove out the entire farming community, bulllied out all the mom & pop shops and turned the local culture into a CRAP-STAIN of commericialism, chain restaurants and walmarts. They didn’t leave a tree standing.

      There is zero local culture left at the beaches, and it has become a weird sanitized, camera-surveillanced militant atrocity where you can get ticketed at the oceanfront just for swearing in public. Why anyone would ever vacation there anymore is a mystery.

      And like a disease its spreading to all the surrounding cities.

      Southerner, I applaud your statement.

      • vangroovey says:

        Not disagreeing with you or anything, but I think the whole country is being attacked by the mini-mall. It is sad, as it really is getting harder to find local shops. But I suppose the trend won’t end until we all stop craving more, more, more!! The more we want, the cheaper it has to be, and so the big guns (like Walmart) win. Again, not disagreeing with your comment, just thinking about the decimation of the “mom-and-pop shop.”

  42. TheCountess says:

    Towns in Massachusetts will often take credit for a celebrity even if they lived there only a split second; I’ve never heard anything about Jared Leto living anywhere in the Commonwealth. We don’t want him.

    Ugh, why couldn’t Barkhad Abdi have won the Oscar instead of this pedo-friendly tool?

  43. LaurieH says:

    As someone who has lived in the south for the past 37 years (but was born in NY and raised in New England), I can honestly say that I am sick of non-southerners in general (and Hollywood specifically) caricaturizing the South like it’s some sort of bigoted cesspool. Listening to them, you’d think people are wandering around in overly-starched, pointy sheets, clutching their bibles, guns, and rebel flags and burning crosses for the heck of it. Good gawd. This isn’t the 60′s and the South is not Deliverance or My Cousin Vinny.

  44. Doublesteff says:

    All I keep wanting to scream is “Purple Jesus, Purple Jesus, Purple Jesus…”

  45. Liz says:

    “Masking” is a sign that an individual feels their thoughts or actions are wrong on some level. Living in a state where people receive a pass for not hiding their feelings of hatred towards certain groups is worse. Electing politicians who don’t mask their hatred or bigotry helps maintain the status quo and all lingering stereotypes.

    • vangroovey says:

      This comment made me think! Great point. Masking does signal some awareness on the part of the “masker” that X or Y is wrong. I never really thought of it that way, I guess. It’s really neat way of saying it. I have to wonder which is worse, though. Masking or Outright? Because, like, when B.S. is “masked” — it’s never really fully “masked.” As such, “maskers” can often pull the “who me, [insert *ism or *ic]? No way. You’re just playing the *X card.” Which is frustrating as all get out. Also, at least when its “out in the open” its easier to figure out if it’s “you” or not…if that makes sense…lol. Like, if a person doesn’t like you because you’re not straight, not white, not christian, or whatever — that has nothing to do with you, but with “maskers” you don’t know if its “you” or “them”.

  46. nean says:

    Native South Carolinian here:

    Hell yes it’s oppressive! Now I can only speak for my own experience growing up and living for 38 years in the upstate SC/border of Georgia area, but the general stupidity level here is depressing! Even if we eliminate the topic of racism (I can’t really compare that to other places) the fact is that people here are totally terrified of change. A majority of the people I know think that creationism should be taught in schools, and they believe that the theory of evolution teaches that “we came from monkeys”. Two thirds of the voters in this state voted for an anti-gay marriage amendment less than ten years ago. Almost everyone assumes that you have the same conservative christian republican views as they do. People that I genuinely love spout some of the most ignorant and insane viewpoints I have ever heard. I know they are capable of being so much more, but they are so scared to “sin” against the rigid religious views they’ve been taught they can’t let themselves really question any of it. Some of y’all are saying that the south is only different because racist people here are just more open about it, but let’s think about that for a minute. The reason racist people here are so open about it is because they feel like it is acceptable to be open about, because there aren’t enough people around who would be angry enough to tell them to shut up! Most people here assume they can spout the most hard core right wing bull crap in public because they are (unfortunately correctly) the majority. There are indeed pockets of liberal cities throughout the south, and there are some very open minded southerners ( I am one of them). But the only reason I am still living here is because a.) My mama is here and b.) the rest of y’all have comparatively crappy weather or earthquakes. lol I often entertain fantasies of living elsewhere. There are many things I love about this place, but yes yes yes – I feel that it is an oppressive atmosphere for anyone that doesn’t fit into the right wing christian mold.

    ps: I think Jared Leto almost always looks ridiculous.

    • lambchops says:

      love part b.) love Southern weather. You cannot deny the sunshine in the South is awesome. The South is varied. Texas is perhaps more New South and SC more Deep South. Too bad because it (SC) seems like a totally gorgeous place geographically. Sad to hear it’s still really entrenched in Old South ways.

      • nean says:

        I will be the first to say that some places in SC are more entrenched than others, and parts of SC are very beautiful. I just get fed up sometimes. Recently a little girl petitioned her SC state legislators to designate the woolly mammoth as the official state fossil. The bill passed easily in the state house, but the state senate held it up because two of the senators insisted that the bill needed to state that God created the woolly mammoth “on the sixth day”. That’s the kind of stuff that drives me batty and makes me want to leave.

      • LaurieH says:

        And then I am in Florida, which people in Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee and Louisiana don’t really consider “the south” (despite us being the furthest south). Virginia is part of the south, but most notheasterners don’t consider it part of the “south”, despite it being below the Mason-Dixon line. We have become so mobile and transient as a society that the differences between the north and south are growing fewer. Generally speaking, southerners are more friendly, our food is more fattening, our taxes are (way) lower and we have better weather. That’s about it.

    • jackrabbit says:

      I had a chance to visit S. Carolina (Columbia & Charleston) for work a few years back and the first thing that struck me was how some of the people still talked about the “North” as though the revolution was still taking place and they have yet to realized the south lost…….it was a little funny. The second thing was how jobs seemed to be segregated – for example, at a gas station the fellow working inside handling the money was white, but the guy pumping the gas was coloured. Same thing at a restaurant or in a hotel – the waiter/waitress or clerk was always white but the person clearing the table or carrying the luggage was always coloured. I wasn’t looking for it nor am I overly sensitive or notice such things normally but it seemed very blatant. Also, when I visited the state building the guard working in security, upon hearing my accent (or lack of one), asked if I was “a Yank”….I said “No, I’m Canadian” he looked at me with dead eyes and said “That’s even worse.” All else aside, what a gorgeous state!

      • lambchops says:

        That sounds pretty depressing. So much for the plan to retire and write novels by the SC beach. I couldn’t stand that kind of nonsense all the time. Are the college towns the same, but just with young dumb dumb conservative types?

    • LouLou says:

      That was my experience of NC.

  47. littlestar says:

    As an almost 30 year old here, yes, he’s too old for that shit at 43! Leto seems to be stuck in his early 20s, I find him very immature for his age. Of all the 40 year olds I know, I just cannot picture any of them dressing like that, going to a known drug scene music festival and being taken seriously. I have a cousin who is 34 who goes to Coachella every year and dresses like that – I feel like Coachella is a place for people who don’t want to face the realities of adulthood.

    I’m not trying to be a people music festival basher here (I go to our local folk music fear every year, with my lawn chair lol), but damn Coachella pisses me off. Lol.

    • don't kill me i'm french says:

      Leo Dicaprio was there also.
      Michelle Pfeiffer and Melanie Griffith together also

    • TheOneandOnlyOnly says:

      I posted this up top the daily beast has an article by Marlow Stern about why to avoid Coachella at all costs, what started out as a protest against industry practices has turned into another money making celebrity fest with everyone deluded into thinking they are at a latter day Woodstock.

    • Mazunte says:

      You may realize when you reach 40 (as I did) that mental age is quite subjective and the expression “behaving according to someone’s age” ambiguous. Yes, with life experience we learn how to recognize and deal better with situations similar to those we lived before, we try to behave in a more evolved way regarding how we treat other people and ourselves, we may become wiser regarding certain aspects (or bitter due to the accumulation of traumatic life situations), etc. But that does not mean that we change that much. Our personality doesn’t change that much. I haven’t. My tastes in clothing, music, etc are ageless. I wear often what a 20 year old would wear. People think I am much younger because I look younger and also because I dress and express the enthusiasm of a 30 years old woman. I go to music festivals sometimes and I have taken my 5 year son with me.

      And I find it ridiculous that people find ridiculous that Jared wears what he wears (including those unzipped boots) because he is 42. He has a body that allows him that privilege and, in my opinion, looks quite hot in his eccentric outfits.

      I live in London, so I can only say that some friends of mine from Texas told me that they felt the need of escaping what they described as an extremely conservative and oppressive environment.

  48. It'sJustBlanche says:

    I’ve lived in the south most of my life and I sort of get the criticism but I wouldn’t live anywhere else. I love the Pacific Northwest and parts of California but this is home. Also, sorry but southern men are just better looking. I don’t know what it is but when I’m elsewhere, I just think that the men aren’t as cute.

    I realize that sounds ridiculous.

    • claire says:

      HaHa. Well I will definitely say that I find men more attractive when I visit my hometown in the South, or when I go to cities on the East Coast. Of course for me, living in Portland, OR…a lot of that has to do with the fact that I CANNOT stand skinny jeans and unruly beards. Both of which are currently a super trendy look for men all over, but here in Portland I swear it’s like 90% of the men follow this style.

    • Isabelle says:

      As a southerner that now lives in the PNW, yeah…I miss Southern men, their manners, even the way they dress, definitely hotter & more friendly. If I could take southern men and plant them here, a perfect place to live. They’re so submissive here and IMO tend to let women make most of the decisions. There is little challenge & flirting and to me, that takes the fun out of dating.

  49. Tig says:

    Of course there are bigots everywhere, just as there are welcoming, inclusive folks everywhere. As a life long Southerner, my concern is – why can’t the latter ever get elected here? I really despair as the laws passed get ever crazier, the insane war on women disguised as “protecting the unborn” get more draconian, opting not to expand Medicaid in states with horrific child poverty rates- need I go on? To me, it’s all part of a piece, and I’m afraid I no longer subscribe to the “die off” theory- these attitudes seem to have the half-life of plutonium!

  50. lambchops says:

    Southern born and bred. Met so many freaky, cool, arty peeps in my town. There are ignorant people everywhere, not just in the South. He needs to sort of take a class in getting over himself now.

  51. MrsBPitt says:

    I lived most of my life in the north…moved to Texas a few years ago…Where I work, there are all races of people and also people from the LBGT community…are there a few racist idiots working there…Yup…but I was happily surprised to find that most get along absolutely fine, and hang around together outside of work…The biggest difference I found, was that religion is really big here, and in the beginning some of my co-workers invited me to go to church with them…I said
    “no thanks” and that was it…we are still friends…do we as a country, do we as a WORLD, have a long way to go…yes…but I, for one want to believe its getting better!

  52. Isa says:

    I live in the south and sometimes I feel like the odd one out.
    My FB is constantly filled with stuff like marriage is between Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. Or let’s put prayer back in school! When the Paula deen, chick fila, and duck dynasty crap happened I thought my eyes were going to get stuck from rolling so hard.

  53. Eileen says:

    So sick of the damn stereotypes particular to regions of America-we wear shoes in the south,have indoor plumbing and allow all persons to vote. I love the south but find lots of other areas lovely to visit and enjoyable. Simply because a state is blue or red doesn’t mean all citizens are of the same political or religious belief.

    • Tig says:

      Just an observation re voting-allowing folks to vote is pretty much under attack throughout the South-such as ” motor voter” laws, requiring ID’s that place undue burdens on poor/ minority voters, etc. And all this to ostensibly combat voter fraud that by and large is non-existent, or at least could not be shown to be so rampant as to justify this response. While several other states outside the south have enacted such laws, to have such in place nearly 60 yrs after Jim Crow laws and literacy tests disenfranchised so many citizens in this region of the country, it is tragic.

      • Eileen says:

        I disagree -I do not see requiring a license or state ID as oppression-you need ID to buy alcohol,open a credit account,board a plane-yes the history of disenfranchisement cannot be denied however when I walk into my polling stationI have seen black democratic representatives ignore me and write me off as they assume I only vote republican-totally wrong and I find it amusing to be stereotyped as such because I am white. I have voted in different states,districts my whole life and consider myself a middle of the road voter

      • Shannon says:

        In Miami-Dade County this week, voters were not allowed to go to the bathroom while in line. And this is in one of the most Democrat-leaning counties in Florida (actually that might explain why these voters were targeted) . It is baffling to me that these shenanigans are still going on in 2014. Here (in MN) that kind of thing would have voting judges all over it immediately. We even voted against a voter ID law. We historically have the highest voting rate in the country and we take this right very seriously. Sorry if you don’t like it, but the reality is that red states are trying to dismantle our right to vote. Look at the number of laws being enacted to do it and the gerrymandered maps, all disproportionately benefitting white, republican districts.

  54. ReturnoftheMac says:

    Ok, some of y’all know from my past posts that I live in Savannah. I’m sick to damn death of the generalizations about the South and Southern people. Savannah is one of the most culturally forward thinking cities in the Nation. We have art festivals constantly. Our mayor is an African American female. We constantly are including other races, religion, and diversity. And yet people ridicule southerners CONSTANTLY! However there is a large market for anything southern. Southern Cooking? Southern Rock? Our Cities? Southern Style?

    Come off it. The hypocrisy surrounding this makes my head hurt.

    • nean says:

      You are aware that Savannah is NOT the entire south, correct? You realize that most of the South does not consist of urban populations, yes? Also, you can’t tell me that there has never been any trouble with race in Savannah. I know better.

      Charleston, SC had one of the first synagogues built in the US. Fast forward a couple hundred years and Jews in Charleston were finding burning crosses in their front yard. Just because there have been progressive moments doesn’t mean the atmosphere in the south is as forward thinking as it is in other places.

      • ReturnoftheMac says:

        Yes I am aware that Savannah doesn’t encompass the whole south. I was born in Tennessee, spent a lot of my childhood in Central Florida, and have lived in various places in Georgia since I was sixteen. Yes there have been problems with race in Savannah. What I am truly sick of is the fact that the “oh you’re from the South it’s SO bad down there, herp derp diatribe” is blatantly thrown around by people who in some cases have never even been here.

    • LaurieH says:

      I am with you. I live in Jackonville – a city that went for Obama in 2008 nd Romney in 2012. We have a (very popular) African-American mayor (Democrat) who I voted for – and plan to vote for again – despite my being a Republican. I love Savannah. It is a short drive for me, so I am up there frequently. Absolutely gorgeous city!

    • Tiffany :) says:

      Here is an example: Paula Deen.

      When you have people like her, who treat female employees and those of color like 2nd class citizens, it is hard for people in other parts of the country to see that anything has changed for the better. Duck Dynasty as well. Elected officials. When people say things that less socially conservative people find to be horrifyingly discriminatory, hateful and prejudicial; it is the south that defends them.

      When you have 10 states that still have laws that make sodomy between two consenting adults illegal, that sends a message to the rest of the country.

      While Savannah and your neighborhood (etc.) might be an exception, you can’t say that it defines the rule of the south. Generalizations happen because there are real and consistent social and legal trends that have taken root for decades now.

  55. Suze says:

    I logged on to the post fully expecting Jared to have said some specifically vile things about living in the south and southerners. At least in the excerpt above, he says only that they left *many years ago* because of “oppressiveness”. Then he goes on to say they continued to visit, and hung out with creative people.

    They way people are reacting, you’d think he had personally decided to recreate Sherman’s March.

    I understand that many of you are responding to something larger than this post, but I have to say I don’t see ridicule or hypocrisy in what he said. I also didn’t see any generalizations.

    I love Savannah. I love Charleston. I love New Orleans. I love Austin. I love most of North Carolina. I understand that the South is diverse and filled with all kinds of people. I am no southerner hater. But the reactions on this post are pretty heated toward what was posted, which was just his truth at that time..

  56. farila says:

    Btw, Jared is 42 years old.
    Hate him or love him, but he looks gorgeous.
    And his style…well, seems like he’s brought a souvenir from Taïwan where he was some days ago.
    And btw, I don’t care how he dresses. He is handsome.
    That’s all that matters to me :p
    And I don’t think it’s so awful.
    I like the taiwan t-shirt and it fits with the blue one he likes to attach around his waist.
    (his sign?)
    I just wish he cut his beard, and maybe his long hair too…just a bit…

    But let’s talk about the main subject…yeah, in poor countries, people tend to be more violent about some social “issues”… I guess they don’t feel right so they feel the need to make people feel bad too, who knows?

  57. d b says:

    Hm, that’s a good question. I don’t find the South oppressive as much as conformist, especially for a non-Christian like me. Not quite the same as oppressive nor is saying “the south” is generally conformist necessarily a negative.

  58. Isabelle says:

    Conservative Evangelicals keep the region oppressive. Religion has embedded the south into its conservatism. Politicians have latched onto that base and have furthered the divide and put fear into those older Southerners so they will keep voting for them. As a Southerner that now lives out west, there are many many misconceptions about the South. Wish people could intelligently discern between the political south, the religious south and southern culture in general.

  59. ERIKA says:

    I am South American, middle-high class, have lived in Orlando Fl for over 10 years and let me tell you something: is bad. Orlando/ Miami/ Tampa, huge advantage: lots and lots of latinos from differente countries, however, most of the caucasian people 50 and over are big time racists (they were raised under the jim crow’s laws and the majority of them went to segregated schools). During election time I heard the N… word thousand times. Red necks driving big trucks blatantly flagging their confederate flags, concealed weapon permit for anyone, God forbid you speak spanish around them because it’s a crime (we are all illegal and mexicans for them). I am lucky and have a good job but I have fought a good fight during all these years, specially when I am speaking spanish to my spanish co-workers or customers. My IQ has dropped at least 20 points since I moved here because the only subjects of conversations are mainly: weather/ football/ guns. But, I have heard there are racists everywhere, anyway.

  60. hopperlea says:

    He states that his family escaped. Escaped from what? The heat? He sounds like they were running for their freedom. Another Hollywood elitist talking about their suffering. Poor baby *eyeroll* My Grandmother escaped. Jared you just moved dude. Big difference. Anyhoo.

    There are bigots and assholes everywhere. Being that my family travels a lot, I have met bigots on the East Coast, in the South, Midwest, West and SW. I live in the Pacific NW now and there are a lot of backward, ignorant people here. When I would think about this area I would always assume people would be modern and accepting. I have met more people here that are bitter and have that ‘cowboy talking/women need to stay home and cook mentality’ I also have met pretentious fake people here that are bigots too. Those are the worse by the way. Bigotry covers many areas.

    The south gets a bad rap, but there are many beautiful places and people in the south.

    • RuggerHunk says:

      I am a third-generation Washingtonian, and the Northwest is one most racially tolerant regions of the US, historically. Mainly because we have such a small black community, but still a verifiable record of racial tolerance and a community ethic of keeping your religion to yourself. That being said, my South End relatives on my dad’s side were flat out racist. The racist stuff I used to hear from my aunt…it just makes me cringe. “Those [n-word] are just shiftless.” God, it was like something out of Faulkner. My dad, the liberal journalist who escaped all that and raised me right, used to compare his family to the Joads–except that the Joads weren’t racist, just poor.

      I remember what my aunt said when I told her that my college girlfriend was Jewish: “Well at least she isn’t black!” Too bad she didn’t live to meet my black girlfriend years later. Ironically, through misadventure, my aunt later ended up being cited in the local paper as an oracle of racial tolerance! Her granddaughter, my “cousin,” misinterpreted some advice re. tolerance my aunt gave her and befriended a little black classmate that no one else would play with. The story made it into the paper, with a picture of them both playing on swings. My dad laughed himself sick over that. My aunt was mortified.

      That being said, I was shocked by the systemic racism I saw when I went to New Orleans. The white community didn’t even try to hide it. It was horrifying.

  61. Cletus says:

    I live in Lower Alabama (that’s the Fl panhandle) and all I have to say about any of this is that I can’t stand Jared Leto and I friggin hate his band and his beard and his smarmy little face and his damn skinny jeans.

    Also, the humidity down here really blows.

  62. homegrrrl says:

    I live in a very liberal community, and have for most of my life. The people who’ve escaped the south always strike me as soulful introspective people, and thrive in an area where people constantly have discussions about progressive issues. I understand what Jared Leto is saying, although, people who are ensconced there may feel offended. So please don’t mis-understand when I say I can’t stand the south either; as an empathic, it was an horrific experience. The bogs and landscape of the deep south nearly weep with environmental degradation, it’s palpable and soul-shattering. Don’t get me started on the attitudes and socio-political climate; I know people defend their homeland, but I have an opposing magnet when it comes to the south. There is heartbreak everywhere in our nation-state global economy, but it’s condensed in the southern US, and Jared Leto is not alone on this one.

  63. Adrien says:

    Is he going to play Russell Brand in his next movie? His posturings remind me of Aldous Snow, the front man of the fictional band, Infant Sorrow, played by Brand.

  64. PoliteTeaSipper says:

    I live in Oklahoma, which tries its best to regulate everything from the gender of the person I love to what I do with my uterus. If I had the money I would have left decades ago and never looked back. My state refuses to recognize my profession, because our legislatures are too busy writing laws to discrimate against gay people. I’ve wanted to move to Canada for the past 20 years and was going to do it until I met my spouse.

  65. qtpi says:

    It is absolutely a different world in the south if you have been raised in the North. We would visit my Grandmother in Missouri and go into out of the way gas stations that would be loaded with glass displays selling confederate flag memorabilia. Not something I had ever seen before. It is not a symbol I see very often in person and everyone I know would frown upon it.

    My sister was in the Junior Miss program and represented our northern midwestern state. She stayed in Mobile Alabama for a week with a lovely host family who told of another year that they hosted two girls from Iowa and Texas. The family from Texas refused to meet with the family from Iowa and the host family said it was all because they were “still fighting the war”.

    No doubt there are left leaning areas in the southern states that are electing local officials that are very forward thinking. But a lot of these states are still being drug back to the 1950′s. I fear that our country is going to be more and more divided as the years go by.

  66. als says:

    I just don’t want to hear about his background and/ or family anymore because he’s just releasing what suits him (naturally!). There is some truth there but I get the impression that his overall family story, that he feeds the public with, is missing large chunks of infomation and he wants to avoid discussing them, hence the South cover up. It’s his right to keep some things private but if you sell me a carrot, sell me the entire carrot, not half of it.
    His mom had 2 kids at a very young age, one after the other, and apparently she was on her own so it would have been hard for her everywhere in the world.
    Why was she on her own from such a young age if she had parents? (that the boys visited in the summer). I am sure his mom is great and taught him a lot and people make mistakes but how about another moral to her story? – kids, don’t have children when you are still teenagers because they may end up being raised in extreme poverty and instabilty, it will be HARD! Leto is living proof that no money and success in the world will ever make you forget a crappy childhood. It may be inspirational when you tell the story while accepting the Oscar, but it’s still CRAPPY.
    Why is he on this cover with his brother? 30STM has three members, so it’s not like the band is on the cover.
    Questions, questions everywhere…

  67. aenflex says:

    Raised in New England, been living primarily in North Florida for 14 years, just a hop from Alabama. If it weren’t for the massive amount of transient military, this place would be worse than it is. I don’t find it any more oppressive than MA or NH, but definitely more ignorance, racism and extreme poverty.

  68. Lauren says:

    I recently read an article on how the KKK was going on an all out state to state campaign dropping leaflets into peoples mailboxes with an image of a KKK member pointing like Uncle Sam saying ‘The KKK wants you’. Since Obama’s first term office there has been a rise in membership across the country (not only the South) for the KKK / other groups like it. There is a record number of women recruits for the first time in history. So that there tells you that racism is not just a Southern State thing and that the KKK’s ideas, pamphlets and recruitment is obviously catching the attention of people who could be living in any part of the country not necessarily the South.

  69. Emily C. says:

    Well, I never passed preachers on street corners yelling at me that I was a slut-whore until I lived in the South. There was the occasional weird street person, but never an entire group of people solely dedicated to the sexual harassment of female college students in the name of religion.

    Further, the state governments in the South go out of their way to make it harder for poor people and disabled people. I’m experiencing this first-hand at the moment. If you’re middle class or higher, you don’t know because this stuff never affects you. And then there’s the whole “go ahead and murder young black men because they’re black and you can claim you were frightened and you’ll get away with it!” thing we have in Florida.

    To claim repression doesn’t exist anywhere in the U.S. is naive. There’s misogyny, racism, classism, ableism, etc. everywhere. But to claim it’s not worse in the South than it is elsewhere is also deeply naive.

  70. AmericanInOz says:

    People in Australia call everyone that is American a “Yankee”. Being a Kentucky girl everyone that describes me as this gets an icy cold stare for at least the first few seconds until it clicks that they’re just calling me an American.

  71. gg says:

    Shannon’s head is twice the size of Jared’s.

  72. auntie git says:

    Interesting thread. I grew up mostly in Northern Virginia (not really the South, outskirts of DC) and lived in Florida for 5 years in elementary school, and I have to say that those years were tough and eye-opening. That town was where I learned to be racist (or started to learn, I did unlearn it), learned to be a very judgmental little Christian and started really believing the devil was out to get us through devil-worshipping teenagers. ! I was well and truly brainwashed. That said, I was in a tiny town on the Space Coast. Beautiful place to live, but WOW were the stereotypes reality. I was thrilled to move back to NoVa for high school and college. Now that I live in the People’s Republic of Portland, even NoVa seems really conservative to me! I have a hard time adjusting to that mindset. But in my opinion, there’s a reason for the stereotypes. Anytime I hear my gay friends or friends of color are traveling to the South, I do still warn them to blend in. And all this sh*t out of Florida where young black men are killed reinforces my beliefs that the South is not always safe for people outside the accepted realm of “normal.” I’ll never live there again.

  73. Steff says:

    Dude, he needs to knot his shoes, he’s not 17. And cut that hair and shave, and finally show his douchey handsome face again.