If you were born anywhere north of Baltimore, you won’t believe a word of this. And that’s unfortunate, because the survival of our America may depend on enough Americans realizing I’m right.
There are, indeed, those who brandish the Confederate flag with the same diseased passion as some Germans revere the swastika. That same crowd will spring to their feet defiantly when the band plays “Dixie.” And there are those who would gladly volunteer to take their shotguns and guard the local statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee during the overnight shift. Don’t deny it, You All, there are such people. Fortunately, they are overwhelmed in numbers and influence by Southerners like me.
I was born in the South. I grew up in the South. I have waved the Confederate flag – the “Stars and Bars” – at many a college football game even though you Yankees laughed uproariously when we waved our Confederate flags in the faces of opponents from farther south than we were! I can sing, not just “Dixie,” but over a dozen songs about the South. And my favorite un-published manuscript is the one by a history professor in South Carolina entitled, “An Objective History of the War Between the States from the Southern Point of View”!
Now here’s what you won’t believe. There’s not a racist corpuscle in my entire bloodstream. My attitude contains zero white-supremacy, hatred of Lincoln, Grant or even Sherman, nor resentment of the North. And zero doesn’t mean “very little.” Zero means nothing.
Southerners reading this will rejoice that “somebody understands.” Northerners, however, won’t believe a word. I’m aware my manifesto has all the convincing power of “The dog ate my homework!”
I’m not asking you to lay a medal on me for adhering to this one little shard of political correctness. Figure it out. Would any intelligent Southerner want America to be two countries today, to make us easier pickings for the Hitlers, Stalins and wartime Japanese? Who wouldn’t prefer to belong to the world’s foremost superpower instead? The South is by far the most over-represented element in our all-volunteer American military. Does that sound like the doings of a revanchist, Union-hating South?
Many Americans on the warpath to extirpate all memory of the Confederacy misunderstand the motives of what I’ll call the “Good Southerners.” There is beer without alcohol, coffee without caffeine and sex without love. Southerners like me practice reverence without disloyalty – meaning reverence for our beloved South without disloyalty to the USA.
Germany has its Bavaria. Sweden has its Skåne. China has its Kwangtung. Italy has its Reggio Calabria. These are universally recognized “special places” within other countries. We have our South, and we hold our beloved South aloft in the name of a cultural homeland we revere. Nothing further. Nothing sinister.
We Southerners don’t brag enough about the speed of our turn-around. A white Southern politician who makes a remark that could be taken as racist will speed to the TV cameras as quick as any Yankee to do damage control. It wasn’t that long ago when the winners of elections down South were the candidates who could “out-N-word” the opposition. Witness the still-revered late West Virginia Sen. Robert Byrd and Al Gore’s father! Byrd was known for his statesmanship, not his membership in the KKK!
I say leave the statues and other Civil War commemorations alone. For over a hundred years whites and blacks of all opinions have walked by these suddenly controversial mementos without adverse consequences. If the mayors of Charlottesville and other Southern cities can’t be persuaded through standard arguments to leave things be, let them meditate upon how ridiculous they look obliterating the past through statue-removal at the insistence of some left-wing hustlers who are experts at getting themselves invited on talk shows and intimidating once they arrive. The soldiers of the Union Army who fought to keep this nation united would have scant respect for those leaders today who now rush pell-mell to remove the statues of Confederate leaders as though such cowardice rewards those Yankee troops.
While the talk-show-pogrom rages against Confederate leaders set in stone, let the nation ponder an under-discussed fact of life that makes my brand of Southerner quite proud. Race relations today are better in the South than in the North!
And skeptical non-Southerners should bear in mind that at some point in history a dog must have eaten someone’s homework!
The South is a success story economically as well as racially. Maybe that South Carolina professor would have better luck selling his book if he changed the title to “Who Really Won the War of Yankee Aggression?”
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