Welcome to the South
On the 2005 mixtape Big Boi Presents Purple Ribbon Allstars – Got Purp?, Vol. II, lyricist Killer Mike was featured on a song entitled “Dungeon Family Dedication” which briefly summarized the history of southern rap associated with Dungeon Family group members.
At the conclusion of the song, Killer Mike stated, “Welcome to the motherfuckin’ South!” I appreciated the entertainer’s greeting, an expression of southern hospitality which I was taught when growing up in Texas.
Since I moved from Bomb City to Bat City in 2012, still not considering myself an Austinite, I’ve heard grumbling from local people about the ever-changing dynamic of the city. Some have stated concern that the expression “Keep Austin weird” will change with the influx of people who don’t share collective values.
While a similar argument is also made in reference to alteration of culture, customs, and tradition regarding a porous southern border, I find that many people retract in disgust when logic is applied and doesn’t comport to their moral convictions. Here’s how I view the logical paradigm:
Major premise: All people who arrive within a geographical area should respect shared values of the region.
Minor premise: Person X has arrived in the geographical area.
Conclusion: Accordingly, person X should respect the shared values of the region.
When keeping this logical conclusion confined to a local area such as Austin, it appears as though the people I’ve observed would agree. However, if expressing that the same result also applies to people immigrating through the Texas border, irrationally moralistic exceptions are applied to the rule. Here’s how this looks from a logical standpoint:
Premise 1: All Texas transplants from other regions within the United States (U.S.) must respect Texan values in order to be held to an acceptable standard.
Premise 2: No Texas transplants from other regions outside the U.S. have to respect Texan values in order to be held to an acceptable standard.
Conclusion: Therefore, some Texas transplants ought to be held to a different acceptable standard.
Picking and choosing to whom the moralizing rules apply is arbitrary and unreasonable. All the same, I come across these logically sound though irrational beliefs from time to time.
When practicing Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) with clients, I’m able to dispute rigid assumptions which lead to unpleasant consequences (e.g., the notion that no one should criticize southern immigration and if they do, such judgment may cause anger).
Instead of using an Action-Consequence (A-C) connection, presuming that events cause our reactions, REBT maintains that the Belief-Consequence (B-C) connection is how we disturb ourselves. As such, I witness quite a bit of B-C connected agitation from people in relation to the alteration of Texas demographics.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve observed many out-of-state license plates on my rare excursions into Austin proper. Not uncommonly, I encounter New York and California plates.
Regarding the migration of other U.S. residents to Texas, I think of a graphic t-shirt I once saw in a Mez video for his song “From the South.” The shirt featured the expression: I grew here, you flew here.
I can’t speak for all Texans, or even most. At that, I wouldn’t care to speak for all Austinites even if I had the ability to. Hence, my opinions are my own.
If I don’t like the discomfort experienced when hearing implants to the state complain about First Amendment and Second Amendment protections, states’ rights, conservatism, and other Texas-centric values, there is no A-C connection that explains the irritation.
Indeed, it is a B-C connection that causes the unpleasant experience. For instance, I recently heard a YouTube content creator who moved from New York City (NYC) to Austin amid the significant migration that took place within the U.S. during the pandemic.
He spoke of how stringent policies, over-taxation, governmental overreach, and rising crime led to his decision to abandon NYC in favor of Texas. Giddily, he inquired of another individual as to when it would be appropriate to don a cowboy hat and refer to himself as a Texan.
Caricaturized stereotypes of how people from Texas dress set aside, I appreciated the content creator’s inquiry. At what point does a transplant from another region become a member of the current territory?
What does it mean to be Texan? Is culture, custom, or tradition instantaneously imparted upon a former NYC resident the moment the individual crosses an imaginary border?
If so, and admittedly an anecdotally-influenced matter, why do so many people who are first generation Texans or newer express disdain for the classical values steeped within the state’s history? Imagine moving into a roommate’s home and in the first month complaining, because the person doesn’t vote in accordance with your values.
I’m not fearful, angry, sorrowful, or disgusted by what I’ve observed. Still, I do question the rationale associated with those who apparently have forgotten about where it is from which they fled and where it is they currently are.
Welcome to the motherfuckin’ South!
How about you, dear reader? Do you find that when observing matters with which you disagree, you upset yourself with unhelpful beliefs? If so, I may be able to help.
If you’re looking for a provider who works to help you understand how thinking impacts physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral elements of your life, I invite you to reach out today by using the contact widget on my website.
As the world’s foremost old school hip hop REBT psychotherapist, I’m pleased to help people with an assortment of issues from anger (hostility, rage, and aggression) to relational issues, adjustment matters, trauma experience, justice involvement, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety and depression, and other mood or personality-related matters.
At Hollings Therapy, LLC, serving all of Texas, I aim to treat clients with dignity and respect while offering a multi-lensed approach to the practice of psychotherapy and life coaching. My mission includes: Prioritizing the cognitive and emotive needs of clients, an overall reduction in client suffering, and supporting sustainable growth for the clients I serve. Rather than simply helping you to feel better, I want to help you get better!
Deric Hollings, LPC, LCSW
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Fisdjfoto. (2011, May 31). King Mez - From The South ft. Thee Tom Hardy & Sean Boog (music video) [Video]. YouTube. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/N0JbJ4reXFk
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Killer Mike. (2018, May 3). Dungeon Family Dedication [Video]. YouTube. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/4HV7xVIXAy4
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