I am embarking on a three-week road trip to the Midwest. Specifically, the states of Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin and Michigan.
I am very much looking forward to it. Anytime I travel I inevitably uncover, run into, and experience individual people, cultures, situations and history that are just fascinating, revealing and eye opening.
For people that live on the east coast and the west coast of this country, many of them have biases and stereotypes about the Midwest. Many of these biases may be uninformed and just not true. Others may be accurate and right on. Hopefully I come into this trip without any biases. However, I must admit that I have spent seven decades living and working on the east coast and the west coast of America.
What are some of these beliefs, assumptions, biases and stereotypes that many east and west coasters (not me!) bring to this trip?
Overstating slightly, but you get the idea…
- The Midwest is just a sliver of land that lays between the east and west coasts of America.
- No one lives in the Midwest. Everyone lives on the two coasts.
- Everyone in the Midwest is very conservative.
- Those that do live in the Midwest only eat meat.
- What land that does exist in the Midwest is all farms.
- The only crop that they grow in the Midwest is corn.
- They have a lot of cows.
- The weather is primarily thunderstorms with occasional tornados.
- Everyone in the Midwest goes to church on Sunday.
- There are no mountains in the Midwest. It is flat. In fact, the tallest points are silos.
- Midwesterners have a great set of values.
- The people in the Midwest are real and genuine.
- However, they are not particularly friendly to outsiders.
- Everyone in the Midwest is somehow related to everyone else.
- People in the Midwest live life on a much slower pace than the two coasts.
- Midwesterners take a long time to consider and digest information. They are very deliberate.
What do you think? Have I captured the biases and stereotypes that many east and west coasters have about the Midwest? Are there more that I should add?
During the next three weeks I will be posting some blogs that will give you a glimpse of at least one person’s experience in the Midwest in 2022. A view from someone who has spent almost his entire life on one of America’s coasts.
I am looking forward to the trip. I hope that you will enjoy it with me.