Part of the reason that some people confuse Ameristan with the South is that Ameristan itself so strongly identifies with and adopts the cultural trapping of the Civil War South. The in Batavia, New York, with the pickup truck flying three 9-foot civil war battle flags and wants Western New York to succeed from the state, even though most of the population of WNY lives in “socialist” Buffalo or Rochester, gives the impression that this is how the South is, even though he himself has never even been south of the Pennsylvania border. He says, “ya’ll” not because he is worried about the gender issues of “you guys” but because he has internalized the idea that the civil war South represents his ideal and has adopted what he considers to be Southern characteristics as a form of his own rebellion against “folks” in the cities.
Likewise, for many of us that have never lived in the South, this guy is basically who we are taking as a prototype of what a person from the South is like. We need to acknowledge that the anti-South prejudice that many of us who have never lived there to the actual South is a construction of racism as well. I will personally admit to having some fear and anxiety about South as Batavia Civil War dude has taught me that “people from the South” are xenophobes with irrational beliefs, even though I intellectually know that who I should be afraid of are the denizens of Ameristan and not those of the South. This is something that I and basically everyone else who is afraid of the South, need to recognize and get over.
(I’m not happy with “Ameristan” but thus far I haven’t encountered a better word for it.)