Let’s discuss the preconceived notions folks generate in their minds. I have a friend who, every time he speaks about the good folks in Dorr Township, does it in a bad southern accent and basically refers to those of us who live in Dorr as the bastard step-children of our area.
Facts are pesky things as they get in the way of the folks’ stereotypes. Dorr Township is larger in population than Wayland City and Township combined, and is more affluent, with the good folks in Dorr making thousands more per household than either Wayland City or Township.
The figures on education level are close, but Wayland Township and City combined do beat out Dorr Township by a very slim margin.
So why do folks in our area look down their collective noises at the folks in Dorr? Damned if I know.
Folks in Kent County look at themselves as “better” than those of us in Allegan County, and folks on the east and west coasts look at us in Michigan as the unwashed masses in fly-over country. Having lived on the west coast (California) and the east coast (Massachusetts), I can tell you they do; the question is why?
Folks in the lower part of Michigan speak of the good people in the Upper Peninsula in, well, unkind terms. Exactly how our family’s intelligence degraded the day we moved from Massachusetts to Missouri is a mystery to
me, or how it took a nosedive when we moved from California to Michigan. I refer this phenomenon as zip code prejudice; it exists and may always exist.
I will admit to a prejudice when I say a good bit of it is on the left side of the divide; Americans who do not agree with most liberals are not wrong, but we are stupid and evil. The South is a Republican bastion and southerners are considered stupid by the self-appointed elite in the media, east and west coasts and entertainment industries, because of it.
The election of President Trump fanned the fires of stereotypes, as the middle portion of the nation voted mostly for a man the self-appointed American elite consider stupid. Wildly successful in the construction and entertainment industries and very well educated, he became painfully stupid the day he announced he was a Republican.
The New York liberal branch of our family never misses a chance point out how mid-Americans are well less than intelligent, even though the Michigan branch of our family is more successful and better educated. Prejudice is blind to facts; I will never understand how folks who consider themselves open, nonjudgmental and inclusive can be such zip code elitists.
This phenomenon extends to occupation as well as location. Many liberals never miss a chance to say Military Intelligence is an oxymoron, that a person’s IQ takes a nose dive the day we take the Oath. Good folks who work in the trades are also stereotyped as less than intelligent, even though many are more affluent and intelligent than the left-wing elite.
We all can remember a teacher who told us to study hard as we do not want to grow up to be ditch diggers; those in the construction trades are very good Americans and noble in my mind, who may just earn more than that teacher.
I have never understood prejudice in any form, but as a military type, Republican and resident of middle-America, I must just be too stupid to grasp the complexity of the issue. I am sure the enlightened, open, caring folks on the left side of the aisle will instruct me. We who are the unwashed masses and bastard step-children await your tutelage.