Letter: Dispelling illusions

Please allow me to dispel Mr. Prochaska’s illusions about the “Real America.” I’ve lived all over this nation and in most respects people are alike everywhere, with a few nice regional differences. They are neither red nor blue, just as the elections reflected, with a vote split neatly down the middle and with 40 percent of the eligible voters not voting at all.

One of the traits of many people in the South that I greatly admire is their talent for being friendly with strangers no matter what their true feelings are. Their true feelings are often not as warm as they appear.

We can use Spring Break as a great example. I happened to live in Panama City Beach and so know how many of those “Real Americans” feel about you, sir. Not once in all my time there did I hear any person express anything but dread and loathing in anticipation of the annual arrival of hordes of wealthy, inconsiderate white kids who overtake their town and beaches. Indeed, many of them “went to church … and raised families,” and believe me, they do not embrace one bit of what they see going on amongst the loud and drunken college students. The corporations who make a killing may like you, but the natives who don’t get paid extra to deal with you, and who must clean up your considerable messes, have no warm feelings for you.

The stretch from Illinois to Florida is the same. They can accept your credit card and smile, but if they don’t know you, or at least one of your relations, then they’d really just as soon you keep your Yankee ass moving.

Ronna Stoddard

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    Urbana resident