I’ve written before about how the South Carolina sea islands’ culture is defined by their environment. If you take a drive down one of the back roads through the tidal creek country, you’ll see people fishing on roadsides. You might see people casting nets from docks, or watch boats collecting crab traps. Most people have some kind of gardening going on.
For all of its spotty past with equality, South Carolina gives its gifts of nature with a surprising egalitarianism. You’ll see white people, black people, Asian people, and Hispanic people all partaking in the land in the ways I described.
In this part of the world at least, the gifts (and requirements) of the land generate a common culture that nears what a Thomas Jefferson might have hoped to see: citizens taking some sustenance and independence from freely-used land.
In a time of greater political division along racial and cultural lines, we should let our common land bring us together. We can understand the rhythms of each others’ lives better than the city-dwelling critical theory academics, and we should work together to preserve those things.