Take the rivalry too far.

It’s okay to rag on our team if you’re rooting for the other team, so long as it’s in good humor and fun. But don’t take that shit too far. Nobody needs to get in fistfights over a high school football rivalry. Nobody needs to poison trees over it.

Alabamians like to jab and poke fun at one another. Nobody likes the guy that ruins it for everyone by causing lasting harm over a scoreboard.

Call us city-slickers.

Most Alabamians consider themselves to be good, country folk. Even those living in small- to medium-sized cities. You start calling us city slickers, you might be squaring up for a tussle not long after.

The notion of “the big city” doesn’t often agree with southern ideals, and comparing polite Alabamians to slick, upper-class New Yorkers leaves a bad taste in their mouth. Alabamians often look at that lifestyle as foreign and potentially dishonest or unethical because of the money (the love of which is the root of all evil, by the way) and the power politics involved. It’s so far removed from what passes for normal in Alabama that drawing that parallel can be seen as an insult.

Insult our momma.

Really, any family member. Remember, this part of the world is family first, second only to God. While we might tease one another, the tenants of community and kinship here are built on family. So when you start insulting family members, no matter how much we like or dislike them, you’re insulting our community and, by extension, us.

We might not always like our families, but we love them anyway. That’s just how it works.

Disrespect the public use areas.

Hunting and fishing are favorite pastimes down here.
Most outdoorsmen are pretty respectful of the natural environment. Many see themselves as visitors and stewards in wilderness areas and will pack out everything they pack in. If they kill something, they take it and strip it for meat and hide. They want to preserve and conserve an area so that it can be used again in future years and by future generations.

So when you stumble upon that one campsite that has trash everywhere, or you stumble upon the corpse of an animal that was shot and left for dead, it pisses us off. It’s disrespectful and negligent both to the environment and to other gamesmen.

Say something bad about the Lord Almighty.

Ever heard the phrase, “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say it?”

While you can apply that to most situations in the Alabama, it’s especially true in relation to God. He’s kind of a big deal down here if you haven’t heard, and you’ll piss us off if you start slinging your curses and blasphemies around.

At the very least, we’re going to gossip to one another that someone should get you into a good church. Oh, and we’ll be praying for you, bless your heart.

Call us a bunch of uneducated hicks.

It’s not so much while we’re in school that we realize the education system sucks, but many of us realize after the fact that it could’ve been better with the right resources (money, better teachers, higher standards, etc.).

Alabama has always been ranked pretty low on the national average for education, and it’s unlikely to change in the near future. Many Alabamians feel that education is what you make of it, as there are caring teachers and federally mandated programs all over the state. With the right drive and motivation (perhaps more in Alabama than in states with more resources and opportunities), someone can make the education system work for them.

Those reservations aside, most Alabamians attended school in one form or another. So calling us uneducated hicks isn’t just inaccurate. It’s also insulting.

Forget to mind your manners.

The entire social structure in Alabama is based on manners, propriety, and politeness.

If you want to buck the system, be prepared to piss off any number of people and burn any number of bridges. Alabamians don’t forgive or forget improprieties easily. Climb outside the natural order of things at your peril, but don’t make things doubly worse by acting impolitely when you do it.

Disrespect our heritage.

Just like with family, don’t disrespect our heritage. A ton of nationally important events took place in Alabama, and even though they’re at odds with one another, all of them are points of pride for the state and the people who live there.

Here’s a good example: Montgomery, Alabama was the first capital of the Confederacy during the Civil War. It’s also the birthplace of the Civil Rights movement.

Seems like a conflict, right? But the Confederate White House and the Rosa Parks Museum are within walking distance of one another in downtown Montgomery.

Alabamians are proud of and repulsed by some very good and very bad parts of the state history, but it’s an all-inclusive package. If you start trashing the story that made the state what it is today, you’re bound to piss someone off.

Call us names.

Just don’t go there, man.

It’s not cool, and Alabamians are usually very warm hearted. Don’t be surprised if we intervene if you start trying to isolate a specific group or incite violence with hate speech and racism. This applies to White, Black, Hispanic, or any minority group.

Leave it alone.

Make fun of our accent.

Honestly, we don’t think it’s that funny at all. The Alabama accent is a trope that’s been played on so many times by Hollywood and the media that it’s old news at this point, and it doesn’t shed a good light on the state or its people.

We know when you start using that outrageous faux-Southern accent that, while you’re not mocking us directly, you’re perpetuating a generic stereotype. We probably won’t fuss so much as roll our eyes and send an exasperated sigh your way, but can you really blame us?

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