With the onset of the latest leftist government regime, many Americans are migrating South to escape oppressive taxes and gain other income advantages. Some of you may even be moving whole businesses here. Being the gracious Southerners that we are, our impulse is to welcome you, to invite you in for a metaphorical cup of coffee or a leisurely front porch chat. Our inclination is to make you feel at home, to accept you. But it is a conditional acceptance.
You are relocating to a place that is different, populated with people who have their own ideas about things. You would do well to remember it. If you are under the impression that the modern iteration of Southern life is radically different from the past and is oh so Yankee-fied it will object to nothing, you have been misled. Southern mores may look different – and they, too, have suffered under a coarse and imposed federal culture – but enough remain that their violation can still poke the rattlesnake if you aren’t careful.
I write this for your own good.
1. Your children’s manners need attention. We know their relocation to the South is to their eternal benefit, and we are more than happy to oblige, but things must be said. “Ma’am” and “Sir” are not optional here. To paraphrase one of Jordan Peterson’s “Rules for Life,” never let your children behave in such as a way as to make Southerners dislike them. Teach them while you still can. You don’t need to understand this. You just need to do it. If you do not, we will have to correct them ourselves (and will probably still dislike them.)
2. We have guns─lots of them. If you are moving South to escape high taxes and you are afraid of firearms, please turn around. Your son, little Johnny, may visit his friend’s house and see a bunch of them in the gun case or in the closet. He may even see one in the car glovebox. In fact—hold onto to your hat—the parents of Little Johnny’s friends are probably packing. Embrace it.
3. We are not gender – neutral. We still have men and women, boys and girls, and all the beautiful distinctions that follow. Send a boy’s gift to a little girl at her birth, and we are going to think you have issues. Object that your son is not welcome in a little girls’ play group ─ without understanding how natural this is ─ and we’ll think your son is a wuss and he won’t have any friends at all. Help him by not making these mistakes. And for God’s sake, do not invite men to an expectant mother’s baby shower─and men, if you do receive such an invitation—hastily decline it, praying, “Get behind me, Satan.” This trend is a cultural abomination, an emasculation of men, and an affront to the dignity and status of expectant mothers. This is their purview. Do not intrude on it.
4. A gift that has arrived by mail requires a written, mailed thank you note. There are no exceptions. All holidays and all occasions apply. (Emails and texts are insults; do nothing instead. At least your rudeness will be authentic.) Parents, teach your children. If they lack courtesy in this area, they will eventually receive no gifts at all. Southern brides, you are making your ancestors weep by this omission. More importantly, you are telling the gift giver that you lack the requisite character to be worthy of it; you are insulting someone who has been kind to you; and your discourteous ingratitude cries to heaven for vengeance. (I’m pretty sure the Bible says that.) If you don’t have time to write a proper note, send the gift back. (And yes, brides, you do have the addresses; that’s where you mailed your Save the Date card.)
5. Northern immigrants to the South, understand that we will be correcting your children, your teenagers, and even your young adults if the need should arise. We may even correct you, if only by a look or an expression signifying disapproval of your unmannerly conduct. So, watch your P’s and Q’s. Don’t be loud or obnoxious, or you will get a “look.” Control your children in public. Or you may get another “look.” This Right to Correct is wired into the Southern DNA; it has never died, nor will it. Poor conduct affects everyone; it seeps into the soul of a place like poison, bad theology, or heresy. Here, we still resist it. Know this.
6. Understand that we have our own mind here. We are not tools of big government. Hence, our social decisions are not made by faux guilt-inducement, cultural Marxism, or media propaganda. We don’t walk around apologizing for who we are; on the contrary, we honor our history, ancestors, and those who made our lives possible. It is our duty to them. We respect White men and Black men, tall men, and short men. We honor stay at home mothers and mothers who must work. We respect the legal immigrant on the corner with a successful business—we want to know him better. We admire beautiful young women and accomplished old men. We acknowledge the potential greatness of every person, even gender-confused young men with man – buns, shapeless protein-deficit physiques, and aimless expressions. (They are lost, but they came by it honestly. They, too, can be resurrected in a resurgence of genuine, local culture.) All deserve their due. All have equal dignity in the eyes of God. But falsely constructed “diversity” repels us. On the other hand, authenticity compels. Here, our friendships happen organically, not according to some perverted notion of “inclusion” that destroys freedom and natural impulses. If you are coming South to bring some misguided idea of social justice, please know that it will be vehemently opposed. If you are coming South to tell us whom we must like and dislike, save yourself the trouble.
Please help us like you. We really want to.
Southerners have inherited the greatest and most unique place on earth. If you don’t know this yet, you will. Understand that the essence of Southern cultural norms and manners still lives and breathes. Some of them conspicuously, some subtly. But they are there. Even where these important courtesies have been neglected, their absence is noticed. And yes, it is still held against you, if people are honest.
Northerners moving South, lest you think this is all balderdash with no meaning (if you do, you really should turn around now), I’ll share the wisdom of my grandmother, who shared it with my mother, who shared it with me: “Darling, good manners are just consideration of others.”
So welcome, Northern immigrants. We will let you cross the border. We will share our treasure with you. We generously offer you that which means more to us than our lives: our affections, culture, and sacred history. We have allowed you to live among us in this land that we love. Be grateful. Be considerate. And we may just let you stay.