I really appreciate your thoughts on this, Jen.
There are definitely those in all regions of this country who can exhibit that dual identity, as you so perfectly labeled it. I feel like these past 3-4 years have made that clear to more of the public than ever.
It sounds like you have definitely encountered people who, while part of the whole, do not represent the best parts (and hopefully majority) of the MidWest. I believe that some who appear empathetic actually are being genuine. But some, as you've unfortunately experienced, are examples of some of the worst of us; the entire country, that is.
I didn't expect this article to connect to anyone in such a way, but it's a pleasant surprise to start tough conversations - which are almost always needed. I absolutely appreciate you sharing your thoughts on the topic.