Politics. Music. Movies. Books. Travel. Outrage.
Appalling. When will the 'people' of the South wake up to the reality of the 21st century? It's been over 50 years since the time I went to live in the South...Camp Lejeune, NC. I thought at the time that I had entered a foreign country; very foreign. 50 years have gone by and they still live in the ancient past. Some years ago (7) I made regular business trips to Rome, GA and found that that part of the country was still living the dream of the War of Northern Aggression. There are wonderful, bright people living in the South; still, they are a minority and I don't know how they do it. I couldn't.
The irony of it all is that some of the most vociferous contemporary segregationists and celebrators of the glories of the Confederacy are descended from families who sided with the North rather than the South during the original conflict. The people living in the mountains - the "hillbillies" of the hills and hollers isolated in the Appalachian region - considered the cause of the Confederacy to be a rich man's concern, more of an issue for the rich plantation owners of the lowlands than the poor, barely surviving hardscrabble farmers of the mountains, who owned no slaves. Most of the Union raiding parties who plagued the South during the war were made up of mountain men taking out their frustration and class hatred on the Confederate sympathizers.And now it's the poor white Southerner up in the mountains in Virginia, the Carolinas, Kentucky, and Tennessee, whose ancestors opposed the Confederacy, are now the loudest in favor of the "values" of the antebellum South. What a difference 150 years make!
War re-enactments or celebrations of any sort are creepy. I work in archives, and will never understand the value of studying history without learning from it. But please, everyone, try not to generalize about Southerners, really the south is diverse and quickly advancing and improving in every way. sp
Steven, it's hard to explain, but you come to love the special people, the literature, the otherness.Roy, that's a little understood part of southern history. For example, North Carolina very nearly didn't secede and northern Alabama had large pockets of unionist sentiments.Sussah, I hope you're right. I know there have been improvements, and I also know that some of this is just imbeciles grabbing easy publicity. Although in that respect the MSM is complicit in propagating a lie.
Looks like we're back to "Save your Confederate money, boys, the South's gonna rise again!" Sigh. Didn't anyone pay attention in Goverment class? These people shame our country and the core principles upon which it was founded. And yes, I'm a damned Yankee born and bred descended from the Patriots who fought to make us free. These people sicken and frighten me.
the quotes in the article are eerily reminiscent of the ignorant babble that come out of many a tea-partier mouth.I don't understand the psychology at all, but I do have many friends - enlightened ones - who live in various southern states. They have never reported on this kind of overt southern craziness. Maybe they found little pockets of sanity.
The end of the Civil War should be celebrated as a new beginning for our country, not for support of slavery or seccession. Unfortunitely many of my fellow southerners are still fighting the war, and just as they can't accept Obama's election, they can't accept the fact that the Confederates lost. But not all of us fall into this category by any means.Roy is exactly right but what he talks about never makes it into the history books, especially if you live in Texas. The irony is not unlike the fishermen along the Gulf Coast who lost their livelihoods because of the BP oil spill but who vote conservatively because they don't want tighter regulations. The same goes for the miners in Appalachia.But as K says, there a whole lot of otherness here in the South - no where more exemplefied than in its literature and music - and not just country music.
What a hideous song! What can you tell us about it, K?
It's an old song written during Reconstruction by one of Jeb Stuart's staff officers. It has lasted and remains a prominent expression of southern defiance. I didn't watch any of them, but there are several YouTube videos featuring it. Some begin with a Confederate flag; all celebrate the Lost Cause/Our Glorious Southern Heritage. I made this one, and will put it on YouTube next week.
“We in the South, who have been kicked around for an awfully long time and are accused of being racist, we would just like the truth to be known,” This explains a lot about why many southerners cling to their bitterness and wrong-headed worship of the Civil War. Many, but especially the guy who said the above quote, will not face historical reality.
Shaw, Nicholas Lemann's Redemption probes the roots of the victimization myth. The book is an excellent account of the last days of Reconstruction and shows how the perpetrators of what were acts of sustained terrorism convinced themselves that they were the victims.Really, it's held the south back for 135 years. The HBO documentary Right America Feeling Wronged is well worth watching, especially when the filmmakers talk with white Mississippians about the prospect of a black president. Most of them are about as vile you'd expect, but one guy caught me off guard. He was unshaven, wore a jump suit, and ran a gas station. "I don't care [if Obama is black], but this is Mississippi." He seemed shamed, so maybe there's hope yet. But for every one of him...
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