Thanks, Gabe Hanson for sharing your opinion. To your point about nothing happens when you tell them where you are from: there was a very interesting singular study that I read once (memory doesn’t provide me the source, but I will search for it and comment the link in an answer to this thread) wherein a voice actor and and a college sociology professor sent the resumes of “individuals” (who was actually the same person) with very similar credentials to various HR and job recruiters nationwide. All resumes had Euro-English names (like John Smith). The applicant was then given telephone interviews by the various companies to which the resumes were sent. In the interviews in which the voice actor spoke in a voice and dialect that sounded as a white northern man, he was usually able to get the job. In the interviews where he spoke in a southern or African American dialect, he was something like four times as likely NOT to get the job. (Until I can find the original article I can’t say the numbers I quoted are 100% correct. But my point is, it was significant and noticeable.) While I am not saying this single handedly proves that where you are from affects whether or not you get the job, it does go to show that yes, dear reader, where you are from and how your voice sounds CAN determine whether or not you get the job. (Here’s the personal account from one African American individual.) That’s significant because is shows that bias (stereotypes) do play out as a detriment to the culture or cultures the stereotypes target.
Yes, I have heard of Mumford and Sons (a very good group I might add.) And no, I do not believe we Appalachians are the only group who faces judgment in the media. Look at other culture/ethnic/race groups: the Native Americans. Latinos. Blacks. And it goes on and on. But you’re failing to see the point: my point, dear reader, is that using someone’s cultural identity — their history, their language and dialect, their music, their arts and crafts, their ways of life — against them in “harmless” jokes, isn’t so harmless, and it isn’t so funny. And no, I will not laugh.
I guess we will just have to respectfully disagree, Gabe. I do not feel I am making something of nothing. But I do thank you for offering another perspective to this dialogue.