Defining What’s a “Real Southerner”

Some people asked what I meant by “real southerner.” I’m simply pointing out that there are people out there who are very interested in defining who is and who is not a southerner for reasons sometimes connected with issues of heritage.  Sometimes I’ve been told that I need to understand what a “real southerner” is.

So I turn to all of you: how do you define “southerner”? Does the term “real southerner” have any utility?

You tell me.