"In the early years of the Republic, much of the South was divided between the landholding, slave-owning lowcountry, and the more rural, hardscrabble upcountry. People in the upcountry tended to be deeply religious yeoman farmers and tradesmen, the ideal citizens of Thomas Jefferson’s imaginings: pious, hardworking, and a little bit rough around the edges. There was always a tension between these “salt-of-the-earth” types and their lowcountry counterparts – who tended to be richer, more politically connected, and, well, a little bit dandy-ish. Lowcountry men weren’t officially gay, you see; the term “homosexual” wasn’t actually coined until the late 19th century. But there was an unspoken sense among the hard-working upcountry folk that the lowcountry men just weren’t quite manly enough. The institution of slavery played a big part in this, as men who needed to own other human beings to make a profit were viewed as not butch enough to do the work themselves."
"Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities."