I've been to tremendously shitty places in Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, SC, New York, Pennsylvania, etc. I would live in Raleigh, NC over any place on the east coast except maybe for Boston. I've seen dumb, ignorant people in rural areas of all those states.
I will say, I did get the hell out of rural NC as soon as I could. HOWEVER, Raleigh NC is a very nice place to live and it is very diverse. And if you want to generalize or stereotype NC, reply back with your own state and let the peanut gallery decide if there's any backwards dumbasses where you live.
In response to some of the KKK comments, in over 30 years living in this state, including very rural areas, I have never once seen anyone that said they were in the KKK, I've never seen anyone in a robe, never saw any marches, etc. The most racist person I've ever met was an Italian guy who lived in a town about 1-2 hours outside New York City. Racism is everywhere. I do have a theory about a lot of the racism in rural NC however. I grew up in a small area that was 50% minorities and it was not fun. My elementary school was literally in the projects. We had Rodney King backlash going on in our high school. The problem is that a lot of the locals who don't leave these towns end up living with high minority populations. They only know very uneducated people that act obnoxious and dangerous and they draw correlations along racial lines. When they see a redneck they don't say, 'oh look, there's a dumb white person...white people sure are dumb!', but they draw those conclusions when the person isn't white because they don't know any other minorities. The minorities (and everyone else) that are educated and more intelligent leave to find better jobs in the city.