The throwback cheesy ads for Virginia Slims had a point.

I grew up in the Tidewater area 40 years ago. Race mixing was seriously looked down upon, the Confederate flag was everywhere, and we didn’t celebrate Martin Luther King Day—it was officially called “Lee-Jackson-King” Day.  And the kids—we were brutal. The worst insult in the world you could give someone was to call them “gay.” 

No one considered Virginia a bastion for tolerance in those days. In other words, it was a GOP paradise. Politicians were white, male, and ignorant. (We were a red state in every election since 1952—until 2008. Thanks, Obama.)