Fed up with West Virginia jokes? Tired of being stereotyped as racists, or otherwise uneducated hicks?
Garrett Cole felt the same way, and he’s not alone.
Thousands have liked and shared his Facebook post that took aim at a hurtful Tweet downing the Mountain State.
Washington blogger Julie Borowski tweeted Saturday, “Why don’t all those white nationals move to West Virginia and call it a day?”
Not that it got a lot of social media attention, with just 96 likes and 11 retweets. Cole, however, was not going to just ignore “this repulsive message.”
He didn’t resort to name calling, or other belittling language. Instead she got an invitation to come visit and take a little ride–with him as her personal tour guide.
It was a chance to see the real West Virginia and its people.
“Please allow me the opportunity to kick my vehicle into 4-wheel drive and take you from the city streets of West Virginia into the deepest and most dark hollers of the Appalachian Mountains,” it reads.
“I would be glad to introduce you to REAL West Virginian values of respect, concern for others, patriotism, and knowing that you pull the most when you pull together as communities.”
Ignorance is no excuse for disrespect.
“Until you come on over to Nicholas County…you can stop listening to jokes and stigmas and STOP disrespecting the best state in our sovereign Union.”
Numbers don’t tell the whole story either.
“I know West Virginia is 50th in almost everything, but you can bet as long as the Good Lord is willing and the creeks don’t rise: Mountaineers will love, serve and protect this nation like no other state ever will.”
His heartfelt response has also drawn lots of supportive comments.
Some urged her to see state residents as “good, hard-working Americans,” while others criticized what they termed her “ignorant” post.
Borowski got the message–Loud and clear.
Late Tuesday night she apologized on her Facebook page which is followed by about 217,000 people.
“I’m an idiot. I posted a stupid joke about West Virginia on Twitter. I was trying to troll white nationalists, and it obviously backfired…My intention was NOT to say West Virginians are racists or welcoming to those types of people,” it read.
Turns out, she’s no stranger to the state.
“I’m a Frostburg girl and been to party in Morgantown.”