F@%k It Friday: States’ Rights

by

Where I live is sick with New Yorkers.

I don’t mean people from the state of New York. I mean people from Long Island. Queens. Brooklyn.

And that’s great because I love New Yorkers. My husband was born in New Jersey but raised in New City. And I worked in/out of Manhattan for years. No big thang.

Except that the division between New Yorkers and native Raleighites is huge. The guy who tried to sell me an Audi? He told me that he hates the people down here. They’re rude, uneducated, and judgmental. ‘Closed off’. Nice to your face and then talk behind your back.

And I’m like, really, all people from Raleigh?

He said, “That’s the south for you.”

And I wondered why he lives here. He’s been down here for 30 years. He told me that Raleigh offers him lower property taxes and better weather. Otherwise NYC is the bomb.

And I’m like, “You should move back.”

This pro-NYC love? I hear this all of the time from New Yorkers and New Jersey folks who have moved down here. My plumber was from Long Island and said, “You can’t get a decent loaf of bread around here.”

No decent bread? In the whole town of Raleigh? Yeah, okay. So I responded, “You can’t get a decent loaf of bread on Long Island, either, unless you make an effort. And what — Wonder Bread’s not good enough for you?”

Then I gave him a look. He fixed my drain and left.

I think states — NY, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Illinois, California — are so arbitrary. Crafted by a bunch of rich white people back in the day, we are now loyal to imaginary boundaries and self-contained hamlets. Preferences and cultural divisions emerge, but it’s so stupid to display loyalty to a geography that can’t love you back.

And if you relocate down to a new area, shouldn’t you let go of some of your old sensibilities and embrace your new hometown?

And now I realize that I could be talking about immigration from Poland to the UK. Or Albania to Italy. Or Algiers to France.

So I wonder — what’s the role of of the immigrant to assimilate into the new culture? What responsibilities does a community have to welcome the immigrant? And why are all New Yorkers so convinced that no city is greater, more interesting, or more awesome than NYC?

C’mon. Raleigh is not so bad. And you moved here by choice, buddy! Let it go.

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