Henry Jenkins raises some good points about stereotypes of the South --
whether in films, TV, or the culture at large.
I don't quite agree that anyone on this net is using the South
"as a scapegoat for national problems,"  but, yes, provincialism is
by no means limited to any one region.  Southerners are usually quick
to point to New England provincialism, and with some justification.
And as for Southern racism, I have heard it said lately that Alabama
has become a good place to live for blacks today, precisely because
the legacy of racism has been directly confronted, challenged,
opposed, and defeated.
        Derek Bouse