Why is Ohio hated so much in the South?
I am an Ohioan living in the south (Charleston, SC), and I am proud of where I come from and who I am. What I don't understand is why we are hated so much. There is a Charleston, SC based website GoBackToOhio.com. Although the writings in the website look like they were written by 1st graders, even the minor league baseball team, the Charleston Riverdogs hold a Go Back To Ohio day where they give out T-shirts. What is ironic is that the Riverdogs are the minor league affliate of a northern team, the NY Yankees. When football season rolls around, they get excited every time Ohio State looks like they might loose a game. They hate the Ohio State Buckeyes more than they hate their own rivals. This makes little sense to me because coming from out of the area I couldn't care less about the University of South Carolina or Clemson, and paid absolutely no attention to them when I was living in Ohio. No-one can even explain why they hate Ohioans, but I have developed a few theories over the last 6 years that are worth exploring.
The first theory is that their hatred has roots dating back to the 1800's and the Civil War. Although slavery was illegal in the northern states, Ohio was the only state where it was illegal to track down and attempt to return ran away slaves. Anyone caught tracking down run away slaves within Ohio borders were imprisoned. During the Civil War, the north's ability to re-supply troops became one of it's most valuable assests. Ohio was the first industrialized state, and manufactured a large amount of supplies, provided agricultural products, and the Boston-Ohio Railroad was a quick and efficient way to move both troops and supplies throughout the northern states. It is well known by historians that without the contribution of Ohio to cause, the southern states might have actually stood a chance. The NHL team in Columbus, the Blue Jackets, is actually named for Ohio's historic contributions of the Civil War. The only flaw with this theory is that only a small percentage of southerners actually know that the Civil War was started when rebels (referred to as terrorists in modern times) fired on the U.S. Army at Fort Sumter in South Carolina.
Ohio is a typical mid-western state. Our lifestyles and values are a reminder of what is really wrong with the south. We are hard working, blue collar people, and the majority of our parents grew up on the farm or in the factories working long days, but coming home at night to spend time with the family. Weekends were spent with familly and in church, with Catholic and Roman Catholics being the predominant religion of the mid-west. Mid-westerners are intellegent, strong, and hard working, with strong family values. What we see in the south is just the opposite. Grocery store shelves will be almost empty, the floors dirty, and the restrooms look and smell worse than an outhouse, but there will be a half a dozen employees standing around chit chatting. Factories have to hire twice as many employees to do the same job, and then the quality of work is poor because the employees don't take any pride in what they do. They want everything handed to them, rather than going out and earning it. Southern hospitality is like calling a snow covered island Greenland. It isn't hospitality, it's getting information from someone to gossip about them later. The term Sunday Christians was coined in the south. They are quick to judge you, preach to you, but rarely act upon what they preach to others. If you have an adult standing on a chair and a child standing on the ground next to him, it is much easier for that child to pull the adult off the chair than it would be to lift them up. This is an analogy that works well for what the mid-west means to the south. The southerners see the mid-westerns up at a higher level, and rather than try to pull themselves up, they believe it is easier to try to pull the mid-westerners down to their level, or at least enough that they don't feel too inferior.
The last theory that I would like to explore is Pride. Ohioans tend to be very proud people. We have a strong heritage, with large percentages of Native American, African-American, German, and Greek ancestry. We stand by our sports teams, through the good and bad years. We are proud of what we have accomplished, and how we accomplish it. In the workplace, we take pride in the quality of the products that we produce, and in the environment in which we work. You rarely see this in the south. There are as many fans of teams outside the state and there are of the teams in their area. There is a lack of heritage that someone can really be proud of. In the workplace, employees could care less about the quality of the product they are producing, as long as someone is giving them some money to do it.
What I have seen in the last 6 years of living in the south leaves me almost speachless. There is a genuine, but unjustifiable hated, toward Ohioans. This is a subject that may never really be solved because I don't think they really now why. There website blames Ohioans for taking their jobs and their women. This sounds like blind, ignorant prejudices of the past. First the African Americans, then the Mexicans, and now the Ohioans. I guess were the new minority on the block.
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