The Weather Channel will stop using the term ‘Dixie Alley’ to refer to south, citing it as ‘racially insensitive’

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The Weather Channel has announced it will discontinue using the term “Dixie Alley” verbally or in graphics to describe the the southern part of the U.S.

The term “Dixie” has come under fire because it is a common way to refer to the portions of the south that seceded to form the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War era. These states were considered “slave” states.

“Effective immediately, we will discontinue use of the racially-insensitive term ‘Dixie Alley’ — and I call on others in the industry to do the same,” said Byron Allen, founder, chairman, and CEO of Allen Media Group, parent company of The Weather Channel television network, in a statement.

Similar terms, such as “antebellum” and “antebellum south” have fallen out of favor for similar reasons amid the renewed interest in social justice in the U.S.

Musical group The Dixie Chicks dropped the word “Dixie” from its name and is now known as “The Chicks,” while trio Lady Antebellum switched to using the moniker “Lady A.”

Most reference works say the word “Dixie” stems from the last name of Jeremiah Dixon, one of the surveyors who helped map the Mason-Dixon line between Pennsylvania and Maryland that divided “free” states from “slave” states at the time.