Micheal, your story deeply touches me. Thought they may be joking, my friends comments about my love of the South make me feel ashamed. I used to be proud to visit South Carolina and my Mor Mor (Great-Grandma in Swedish). I loved picking up a slight drawl during my 4th of July and Christmas stays, until my Northern friends began associating it with racism and ignorance. My Yes Sir and No Ma’am were seen as hokey.
I appreciate your detailing of the effects of stereotypes.