Monday, December 20, 2010

To the left, to the left...

Today marks the 150th anniversary of South Carolina's secession from the Union.

Some have gathered to celebrate that happening as a good thing.

Others are marking the anniversary by attempting to rewrite history and reframe why this nation divided into Civil War.

They are the Confederate apologists…people who regularly try to make the case that slavery would have ended gradually and that the Confederate flag is not a symbol of rebellious oppression but rather Southern pride.

Some even ponder a modern secession from the Union.


My initial reaction to modern secession talkers can be summed up in a pop song by Beyonce.

You must not know 'bout me
You must not know 'bout me
I can have another you in a minute
Matter fact Guam’ll be here in a minute, baby

You must not know 'bout me
You must not know 'bout me
I'll have another state by tomorrow

So don't you ever for a second get to thinking you're irreplaceable!

Yeah, I know that’s not productive…

…but it is catchy!

Anyhoo, it’s easy to watch the folks indulging in Confederate nostalgia and make fun or toss out snark. 

The sad reality is that every time someone attempts to rewrite the history of the Civil War they insult the memory and sacrifice of those who fought it and the tragic thousands who died.

It all follows a sorry ass pattern - the apologists make some outlandish claim and then the rest of us dive into the weeds with them for a tussle, spending major time debating the un-debatable.

Fuck it - I’m going to sit out that dance this time.

Secession led to war…and far too many fought in that war over the right of the privileged few to hold black people in bondage as property.

And the sad thing is that, over 100 years later, far too many continue to fight for the right of the privileged few to stay privileged as hell.

While the masses debating the un-debatable…

…the champions of the rich are talkin’ shit about how they are irreplaceable.



Anonymous said...

If you really want to understand this "privilege/entitlement" stuff you have to read the book C Street. It breaks the thoughts of the few down.

Ryan Hauck said...

I'm a 30+ year South Carolina resident. The Civil War commemorations that are being held here make me vaguely uneasy; I think the anniversary should be noted, but definitely not *celebrated*. I think if you don't commemorate the Civil War, history eventually forgets just how awful and divisive and evil and powerful the institution of slavery was--powerful enough to rip apart a country. Most commemorations are staying tasteful and trying not to glorify or romanticize the event as far as I can tell, but then again this is SC. There are more than just the "lunatic fringe" trying to revise history. I actually have personal acquaintances (i hesitate to call them friends anymore) who are in the modern secessionist movement. So while that stuff is real and tangible and not insignificant, I think it's safe to say that the whole state doesn't feel like that.

I agree with all of the content of your post; I just wanted to point out that not everybody in SC is a crazy person. :)

Anonymous said...

I'm from Mississippi originally, though I haven't been back in five years (ever since Hurricane Katrina chased my folks off to Kentucky). I grew up in an atmosphere where the Confederate flag was a symbol of "Southern Pride". Hell, I attended Jefferson Davis Elementary School (until it was renamed for a local philanthropist in 1980), and stayed in Mississippi schools until I graduated from MSU in the early 90s.

For all the faults of my history education, nobody ever pretended that the Civil War wasn't about slavery.

Fuck South Carolina and their Treason Festival. Sideways.

(And while I'll argue that most people who fly the Confederate flag honestly don't intend anything racist by it, it's decades past time for them to grow up and realize what it truly means.)

Unknown said...

Born in Louisiana as a descendant of plantation owners, raised in TX and say FUCK THEM.

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