Here's yet more proof that living in South Florida is a truly unique experience.
"American Nations," journalist Colin Woodard's book that redraws the United States into regions based on approaches to violence, carefully carves out 11 distinct areas such as Yankeedom (states like Massachusetts that reject capital punishment and embrace gun control) and Greater Appalachia (states like Kentucky and Arkansas that support gun rights).
The majority of Florida is categorized as the Deep South, a "nation" based on the "slave states of the ancient world, where democracy was the privilege of the few and enslavement the natural lot of the many."
But Woodard cuts off the Deep South just north of Palm Beach County. Everywhere south of that, all the way to very tip of the state, is grayed-out and labeled "Part of the Spanish Caribbean."
By casting off South Florida, Woodard ignores the fact that its residents must confront the same state politics that inspired him to paint the rest of Florida as the Deep South, a "superpower" trying to deter violence through "armament and the threat of capital punishment."
The Stand Your Ground law, Woodard's main example of regions' stance on violence, even played a part in the death of Miami Gardens teen Travyvon Martin.
But if South Florida must be cut off from the rest of the state, the Miami New Times suggested a much better nation category for South Florida -- Swamplandia, after author Karen Russell's 2011 novel.
Here's writer Mike Miller's description:
Founded by a teetotalling widow and a monopolist oil baron, Swamplandia has long been a menagerie of delusional dreamers, Ponzi schemers, and rakish ruffians reinventing themselves in a tropical climate. It prizes cash, money, dinero, moolah, balling hard, Maybachs, strippers, champagne, cocaine, surgically sculpted T&A, and -- above all -- American football. Since 1980, it has been more comfortable speaking Spanish than English, but if you need to ask why pues vete pa la pinga con ese pendejo Fidel. We clash with pretty much every other region, which all see us as superficial outsiders. But, like, whatever. Swamplandia may be the newest of American nations, yet we're American all the same.
But hey, who hasn't wanted to do this?