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Can A Liberal Survive In North Carolina?

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Doctor Pedantic Donating Member (210 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-03 10:59 AM
Original message
Can A Liberal Survive In North Carolina?
I'd like a word of advice from the good folks here at DU.

It's a long story, but I recently received an unsolicited job offer from an organization in Charlotte, NC.

I have lived in California all my life, spending all my adult life in L.A. I am married Evangelical (that's for another post...) with three kids whose ages range from 3 to 9. This would be a big move that would result in a nice lifestyle change in terms of the commute, cost of living, time with family, etc., etc.

My big concern is the general environment down there. Can a liberal white guy survive? I don't want to engage in stereotyping about the South (my boy Dean managed to do that himself -- sheesh), but I am concerned about raising my kids in an environment where people around them may not be as keen on civil rights as folks tend to be here in LA. Not that this is the land of perfect racial, gender, and sexual harmony, but my kids are used to very multicultural settings and don't think anything of seeing a gay and/or interracial couple.

Is there anyone out there with some relevant experience/wisdom out there who'd like to weigh in on this issue? This is obviously a very important decision for me and my family.

Thanks for your input!
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phillybri Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-03 11:00 AM
Response to Original message
1. If you're in Charlotte, you'll be ok....
Don't believe all the hype you hear. Charlotte is a very cool town. Lots of cultural stuff, good music scene...
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Bronco69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-03 11:01 AM
Response to Original message
2. Think Jesse Helms......
enough said!
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phillybri Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-03 11:05 AM
Response to Reply #2
5. Come on....
I'm a liberal white guy in Raleigh (less metropolitan than Charlotte) and I've never had any problems.

I had one run-in w/ a redneck when I was in college (NC State). He called me a "N*gger-loving Yankee faggot"...

That being said, it only happened once...
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Ripley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-03 11:07 AM
Response to Reply #2
7. What a bigotted statement.
Think Arnold...enough said about California. Sheesh.

To the original poster...my family lives in NC. It is much more progressive than Alabama where I live. And yet I have survived here for 8 years and actually have many friends who are locals and accept me, knowing I am virulently anti-Bush. If you're going to a large city you will enjoy it. NC BBQ (eastern) is the best in the south! It's a beautiful state with great beaches and Asheville is one of my favorite cities. The Blue Ridge Parkway is great to drive. You will probably find you have a lot more money...property taxes, insurance will be substantially lower than what your'e used to I would imagine.

Southerners are like any other people in USA...there are extremely gracious, respectful, open-minded people and then there are some assholes.

Good luck!
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realFedUp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-03 11:02 AM
Response to Original message
3. you might have to go underground...
:-)
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annxburns Donating Member (948 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-03 11:03 AM
Response to Original message
4. I think you would be okay ..
... I lived in Chapel Hill until recently, it is a lot more liberal than Charlotte, but Charlotte is a large city and I am certain you could find like-minded people there and have a good quality of life. North Carolina is also one of the most beautiful states in the country .. I think you would enjoy it.

After all, it is a state that had the good sense to elect John Edwards.
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Hep Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-03 11:06 AM
Response to Original message
6. Charlotte is OK, but the triangle is FAR better
for all concerned.

But you'll be fine.
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DarkPhenyx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-03 11:07 AM
Response to Original message
8. I'm a loud and upfront liberal in NC.
Edited on Fri Dec-05-03 11:09 AM by DarkPhenyx
I do quite well here. Now I live in Raleigh, not out in the rural areas, but things really aren't bad here. Charlotte should be even better. Larger cities do tend toward a more liberal slant, in my opinion. They are at least more tolerant of it.

<on edit>

As far as the concerns for your children I think it might actually be something of a plus for them to see that there are areas where people view reality differently. Think of it as an education in social science.
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Bertha Venation Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-03 11:08 AM
Response to Original message
9. I don't know, but
this might interest you, about one of NC's congressional reps.
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

I know your decision won't be easy. I recently moved from So. Cali. to Maryland -- but that was for marriage, not a job, and I didn't have a family to uproot, just myself.

Best wishes & luck in your decision.
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rucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-03 11:08 AM
Response to Original message
10. If David Sedaris survived
you shouldn't have a problem.

Some of those suburbs & small towns nearby are SCARY, tho. Avoid Shelby county altogether, from what I've heard.
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Ripley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-03 11:12 AM
Response to Reply #10
13. Good Gawd!!!
I heard a New Yorker transplant I worked with in Atlanta say something similar. She never left the city for fear of Deliverance people.

Do you people really believe an entire county in the south is scarier than say the Bronx or South Central L.A.? Sheesh, let's compare the crime rates.

Reality check folks.
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rucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-03 11:28 AM
Response to Reply #13
17. Puh-lease
I was referring to the politics - which is what the poster was asking about. Fer chrissake, anybody who's lived in LA can handle themselves just fine.

YOU inserted the deliverance stereotypes & crime references. And judging from your post, it would be fair to assume that country folk have similar phobias & prejudices about big-cities.

As for crime rates, I'll bet the per-capita is abnormally high. I know a little something about Shelby County because I was an East Coast crime reporter for 4 years.
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Ripley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-03 11:44 AM
Response to Reply #17
19. LOL! I'm a county folk huh?
You have no idea where I have lived and currently live. So silly assumption.

Your remark about certain suburbs and small towns as SCARY is what I responded to. And having lived in very high crime big cities before I can tell you that is absurd. Would you say that about a northern suburb? Or are southern suburbs so much more SCARY? Boo.
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Misinformed01 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-03 11:51 AM
Response to Reply #17
22. Well, Rucky...
you didn't check your facts very well as a reporter...Shelby County is in TN.

The town of Shelby is in Cleveland County, NC.



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Ripley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-03 11:54 AM
Response to Reply #22
23. Hey my state has a Shelby County!
It's one of the wealthiest. Maybe that's what scared him?
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Misinformed01 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-03 11:55 AM
Response to Reply #23
24. Could be
Or it could be the post traumatic stress from being a crime reporter on the East Coast.

Who knows?
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rucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-03 12:11 PM
Response to Reply #22
27. Today I'm not reporting
going from memory 5 years ago.

Didn't think I'd need to break out Lexis-Nexis for a casual discussion. Thank you for the clarification.
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RebelOne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-03 11:09 AM
Response to Original message
11. Hey, I live in Georgia and I'm a liberal.
So problem here. Lots of multicultural settings and people don't blink an eye at a gay or interracial couple. So I don't believe that NC would be any different.
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carolinayellowdog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-03 11:10 AM
Response to Original message
12. Yes, happily-- even joyously, but...
Asheville, Carrboro/Chapel Hill/Durham, and Greensboro are the liberal-friendly cities according to:
http://www.turnleft.com/geo.html

whereas Charlotte is classified as liberal-unfriendly. Everyone I ever knew there was liberal but one couple who moved to Maryland were glad to get out of there. Here's a bit of what they report about Charlotte:

"You'd think that the biggest city in North Carolina would be a hotbed of liberalism, but that isn't the case. Except for Dilworth, on the south side, it takes guts to be a liberal here--even though Charlotte is overwhelmingly Democratic."

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rjbcar27 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-03 11:13 AM
Response to Original message
14. Hell yes.
I'm an English liberal and I lived in NC for 2 years and loved it. Charlotte is pretty cool I had a lot of fun in NC. The people are lovely.
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nannygoat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-03 11:22 AM
Response to Original message
15. Hey, Doc
Edited on Fri Dec-05-03 11:24 AM by nannygoat
I'm a native Illinoisan so believe me it was hard at first (came to school in Chapel Hill and have been in NC for 23 years, though).

I live in Chapel Hill now but lived for 11 years in really rural, conservative areas in NC (Smithfield, Benson, Dunn, Newton Grove) where I worked with migrant farmworkers. I can't say that I ever really had any good friends from the local community but I also never felt really threatened . I also had significant others who were from races different from my own and never had any trouble.

Most local folks just thought I was strange because I worked with those "foreigners" (Haitians and Mexicans) and African Americans. Instead, I hung out with the people (lots of students) who worked at the local migrant health center and legal services office and had lots of friends in the farmworker community. It always amazed me, though, at how openly local people would think they could say racist stuff to me because I'm white.

Chapel Hill/Carrboro is a great place for liberals so I'm kinda spoiled now (Jesse Helms once said that the state could save some money on developing a state zoo by putting a fence around Chapel Hill--HA, HA)!

I think you should be ok in Charlotte. It's a large enough city that there are all kinds of folks.

You might want to check out United for Peace (http://www.unitedforpeace.org /) for events and like-minded groups if you move to Charlotte. They're a national group but have events listed by state.

Good luck whatever you decide!
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soleft Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-03 11:23 AM
Response to Original message
16. Isn't Ashville a lesbian mecca?
Don't know how that will help a straight guy, but it's probably very liberal.
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FunBobbyMucha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-03 11:45 AM
Response to Reply #16
20. Just hold your tongue about Nascar
I was almost lynched three days after Dale Earnhardt crashed for ridiculing the Coke machine shrine in front of Walmart. A life-sized Dale thumbs-upped on the front of the machine, and people had laid wreaths at his feet. I said some asshole thing about "It's true! He has returned to us on the third day, just like He said!" and was growled and cursed at.

NC is a cakewalk compared to SC.
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Sallyrat Donating Member (112 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-03 11:40 AM
Response to Original message
18. "Nothing Could Be Finer Than To Be From Carolina"
AND, there are many, many liberals here. I'm from SE NC and no big towns around, just country. My county (DUPLIN) is the 9th largest in the state and has NEVER voted republican. We have always had more democratic party votes cast than republican. A FACT. We will elect dem governors but the state has voted overall repub for presidents in the past several elections. Jessie Helms fooled the farmers with his leaving the chair of the Agriculture Committee for the chair of the FRC when the tobacco program needed him the most. Glad he is gone. BTW, the first 2 states to sue the tobacco industry was Texas and Fla, The Bush bros......many farmers remember this.

You will love the tarheel state.....we have it all....mountains, to the sea.....great variety and don't forget DUKE, UNC basketball....

My daughter lived in Charlotte, and we loved visiting her.....a very multiculture town.

Sallyrat
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Hep Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-03 11:51 AM
Response to Original message
21. Have you NCians signed the Dean petition yet?
Huh Huh?
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KC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-03 12:07 PM
Response to Original message
25. NC
is great, especially Charlotte, Greensboro, Raleigh, etc. You'll love NC, it is a nice change from the 'big' cities. Much slower pace too.
I would stick to the larger cities though, some of those small towns are a little weird. lol

The people are fantastic here.

KC
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kodi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-03 12:09 PM
Response to Original message
26. charlotte's a nice town, small enough and big enough to have fun
it is a republican bastion though, sue "i fucked my boss while married to another" myrick is the ex-mayor and current US rep. she's a phylis schafly clone.

since charlotte is a banking center it has a lot of well-heeled professionals who are not what some call red-necks like one would see down east. it's also a regional medical center too so lottsa' doctors too.

these republicans are more of the country club type of conservatives, than the dogmatic types one sees in the rest of the south

traffic can be really bad if you live north of town and have to drive on i-77 or i-85.

i think north carolina is extremmely lucky to have had frank porter graham, who ran the UNC university systems in the 40's-50's because the culture is the most progressive in the south and that it is as a result of his influences 50 years ago that NC is as progressive as it is today....it has a lot to do with the excellence of their university system that people there are the best educated in the south.


i went to grad school at ncsu, and lived in raleigh, charlotte, and around boone, and the western part of the state in the mountains around boone and asheville are the best places in the state to live.

and the outerbanks are just fantastic, esp. ocracoke.

listen to WNCW from spindale at 88.7, and go to the double door on independence ave. it's a small club, but the best place in town for live music, and is the best place to meet people of like mind as us evil DUers.
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omshanti Donating Member (851 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-03 12:14 PM
Response to Original message
28. Heck yeah! Come to Chapel Hill/ Durham.
There's a very active liberal base around here, and it's an extremely diverse area ethnically.

I'll even gladly hook ya up with the NC Democratic Party.

And on the issue of civil liberties...
On 10/20/03, the City of Durham approved a resolution defending the Bill of Rights.

On 9/22/03, the Durham County Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution defending the Bill of Rights and voicing concern about certain provisions of the Patriot Act.

http://www.geocities.com/durham_bordc /

C'mon down South y'all!



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omshanti Donating Member (851 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-03 12:18 PM
Response to Original message
29. Also, we have a Democrat Governor, Lt. Gov, and Attorney General
:)
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DinahMoeHum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-03 12:24 PM
Response to Original message
30. If you're a basketball nut , you should fit right in. . .
The state is basketball Mecca on the college level.
Just check on your neighbors' preferences !! (Wake Forest, Duke, NC-Chapel Hill, NC State, etc.)

O8)
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HFishbine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-03 12:24 PM
Response to Original message
31. Yes
Please come. We could use another liberal voter.
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