9 things you should never say to someone from Alabama
9 things you should refrain from talking while travelling to Alabama.

Learn about our top nine things that you should not talk about in order to get ready for the extraordinary contrasts and experiences that Alabama has to offer.

1. “God isn’t real”

Be aware that not much good can come from a conversation like this before you start down it. A large number of people will likely invite you to church while simultaneously promising to pray for you and think of you. If things get really bad, people will warn you that the devil will get you and send you to hell if you don't straighten up.

Because religion is so deeply ingrained in Southern culture, you can expect to get an earful if you go against the grain on one of the most fundamental topics in the South. Even for those who don't practice a religion, religious teachings permeate everyday life.

2. “Bigger government is the answer.”

This view is uncommon among conservative Republicans nationwide, and it is virtually unheard of in Alabama. No one in the state despises their government. Most people just think the government should get out of the way of free market economics and basic infrastructure projects, which currently take an average of five years to complete. Because it fits the narrative of a smaller, more streamlined operation that most conservatives are looking for, the government often gets the blame for problems that have nothing to do with government enterprises.

Don't bring up Obamacare unless you want to hear how government-backed unions are making "simple" jobs like roadwork extremely difficult.

3. “I’m pro-LGBT.”

Alabama is a state of contrasts. Talking to a younger audience may allow you to get away with discussing sensitive issues. But if you happen to cross paths with a more traditional resident of rural Alabama, they may give you the long speech about how you and your ilk are destroying the country by redefining marriage and the nature of romantic partnerships. When the phrase "it's a slippery slope" is uttered, you know you've reached a tipping point.

This criticism, thankfully, is dying out with the younger generation. Even in cynical Alabama, young people are more likely to take an upbeat message at face value. Depending on who you tell, you might have a pleasant conversation with a friend or you might end up losing that friend forever.

Related: Top 5 Fascinating Things to Do in Alabama

4. “Vote Democrat!”

Although the United States as a whole is becoming more liberal, this is not a generational shift.

When you bring up conservatism in Alabama, a state that regularly competes for the title of Most Conservative in the Union, you can expect a very heated discussion. This is yet another potential landmine to avoid if you value your friendships or want to avoid alienating yourself from a specific social group, given that the state is staunchly Republican.

5. “Eh, I like baseball better.”

The Alabamian you're speaking with might bristle if you bring up the topic, but unless they're a diehard football fan, they'll probably let it slide. Unless, of course, you want to compare baseball to football and argue that the former is superior. Sacrilege can easily be committed in the name of another franchise by trashing Alabama's (and the Southeast's) favorite sport.

6. “You’re all just southern hicks.”

The term "hicks" has a negative connotation in the South. It's probably one of those things that needs to be abandoned, along with the notion that rednecks and hillbillies are only associated with the South and accent-based judgments.

Alabama is home to many highly intelligent individuals, including professors at colleges and scientists who study the environment and the atmosphere. Although there are also your typical backwoods-dwelling, mud-loving country boys, most Alabamans aren't a bunch of primitive hill people.

7. “Two words: Gun Control!”

Talking about gun control in Alabama can be easily seen as the antithesis of American southern culture due to hunting and a crazy news media that likes to lead with bleeds. In a state that is surrounded by other gun-loving states, people love their guns everywhere they go. In the South, even those without firearms are pro-gun, and Alabama is a strong proponent of all things firearm from top to bottom.

The gun culture craze may seem a little off-putting to someone who isn't from around here. However, don't anticipate receiving many responses to it. Because the vast majority of people think that restricting access to firearms won't resolve the problems facing our country, this is somewhat of a shutdown topic.

8. “Y’all isn’t a word.”

It really is. You'd be mistaken on that count because this is one of the very few occasions when you'll see someone pull out a dictionary in the middle of a conversation. But if you're just looking to cause trouble, keep harping on how wrong it is. Sometimes, Alabamans will go crazy over this one just because of how long it took for the word to become accepted.

9. “Racism isn’t a big deal.”

America has a significant racism issue. Whether we're talking about poverty or police brutality, it's something that constantly confronts the country. The truth is that Alabamans have a variety of strong views on race and racism, depending on who you talk to and where in the state you are.

Some areas have a small black population, or local residents have seen hipic workers building homes and working on farms. Other races are frequently perceived as threats to livelihoods in small-town Alabama, whether or not this perception is accurate. You'll run into entirely different issues if you move to Montgomery or Birmingham, where the black-white ratio is a little more balanced. Many wealthy white people have avoided segregation by enrolling their children in private schools or magnet programs where resources or access to them are a consideration. The result is a racially divided (i.e., segregated) educational system that shouldn't be there but is.

Staying safe during your Alabama Vacation

General: International travel to Alabama is subject to the same regulations as all of the US, and inter-state travel to Alabama is possible, and many restrictions within the state have been lifted.

FAQs About Alabama

Can I travel to Alabama?

International travel to Alabama follows the general US restrictions.

Travel from other countries and US states is not restricted.

Do I need to go into quarantine when arriving to Alabama?

Anyone arriving to Alabama from a country or region with a level 3 health notice, or higher, should self-quarantine for 14 days.

Is public transportation open in Alabama?

Public transportation in Alabama is operating.

Are the restaurants and bars open in Alabama?

Restaurants, cafes and bars in Alabama are open under capacity limitations and social distancing requirements. Citizens are encouraged to order food and not dine-in.

Are businesses and attractions open in Alabama?

Most non-essential businesses and attractions in Alabama are open, under distancing guidelines and capacity limitations.

Do I need to wear a face mask in Alabama?

Wearing face masks is required in cases where social distancing can’t be maintained.

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