Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Confederacy can kiss my Yankee ass

The execution of a Confederate war criminal.

I haven't been posting much. I've been busy. Life is swell although I'll have to admit that I was pissed off about the whole Confederate History month thing. The subsequent "Whoopsies, we forgot about the slaves!" episode only pissed me off a bit worse. The Atlantic slave trade, the basis of The Confederacy, was one of the great crimes against humanity. The states rights argument which has been drug out time and again to justify outright racism is bullshit, plain and simple. The latest variation, "But there were Black confederates and lookit all them Black conservatives", is bullshit too.

I got somewhat pissed at a friend of this little blog for reviving some of those arguments. She's good people and a fine writer, but she's just plain wrong this time. I tried, and obviously failed, to keep my sense of humor. She can delete my comment. That's OK. This is not necessarily a free speech zone. I'm not going to link to her post. I will add two things. First, I'm aware of the fact that Lincoln was a Republican. I'm also aware that he was no champion of civil rights or the Black race. I went to liberal Yankee schools where I studied history. Second, this is not an altogether anti southern post, but really, fuck the Confederacy.

Here's what I said;

"Oh friend, if you make it to the end of this one, we are probably not going to be friends anymore.
It's a well known fact that I am a communist from Northern California. I believe that only homosexuals should be allowed to become bishops in the Episcopal Church, that all women should have an abortion whether or not they are pregnant and that all men should be forced to marry a gay person. I believe the federal government should force my beliefs on everyone.
I am aware of the fact that there are possibly as many as 37 Black conservatives in America. I have known one or two, although I have never seen two at the same time.
I am also aware of the fact that there are people who liked to be tied up, humiliated and given enemas. I have seen several of them together at once, although I don't understand them either.
I also know that many people are convinced that we have a two party system, not like the communists who were only allowed to vote for competing communist candidates. Here we have a choice of two candidates each of them representing different corporate interests, neither of them representing my interests.
Some people are stupid enough to believe that the oil and coal corporate party is the party of freedom. It is the party of oil and coal. I can tell the difference. I do not listen to the radio or watch TV.
As to the Confederacy, here's where we truly part company. I'd like it real well if all memory of the Confederacy was buried. If the burial ground was plowed and sown with salt, that would be even better. I'd like it if flying a confederate flag was considered an act of treason. I'd like it if confederate nostalgia was criminalized the way nazi nostalgia if criminalized in Germany.
I am real tired of sending endless federal dollars to the south and then hearing about how awfully the south suffers under the cruel burdens of medicare, food stamps, federal highways, school lunch subsidies, social security, unemployment insurance, workplace safety requirements, etc etc. If there weren't innocents involved I'd say we should grant you your wishes, stop sending money and let the south slide even further into third world poverty. Maybe Mexico would help you out.
Finally, if you insist on believing that we have two parties, look at the statistics. In the southern states, voting is almost exactly along racial lines. Black southerners consistently vote to the left of most northern Democrats while White southerners consistently vote the same as northern Republicans. Stop trying to hide behind black

While I'm passing new laws for the south, I'd like if they made it illegal for people named Hank Williams, but who aren't really Hank Williams, to stop releasing records under the name Hank Williams. .If Pisspants Braindamage Williams and Pathetic Richkid Poser Williams want to keep releasing records that's OK. Just stop trying to trade off your tenuous relationship to a talented dead relative. 


ish said...

Having a little insomnia I thought I'd come back to reread your post, which I really love every word of.

The whitewashing (har har) of the confederacy is one of those jaw-droppers I just can't get around. A couple years ago I rented what I thought would be an entertaining big-budget civil war epic "Gods & Generals." In addition to being unbearably boring, this film has the are-you-fucking-kidding-me subplot of the happy southern black folks standing behind their masters in defense of their right to be owned. I was unable to sit through the entire monstrosity.

Having had, no doubt, a similarly liberal education as you, I find it fascinating that what was back in the sixties a vaguely subversive suggestion that Lincoln wasn't entirely committed to emancipating the slaves now rolled out as proof that the north and south were just two sides of the same coin of pride in one's family and nation.

It's no accident that the KKK loves the confederate flag.

ib said...

"Where you come from is gone.
Where you thought you were going to ?
Weren't never there."

You kind of lost me somewhere in the middle of the shtick about sending tax dollars down south.

The same shit has been trotted out here for years in reverse about Whitehall sterling going up this side of the border while they've been bleeding North Sea Oil to a trickle.

Same as all that cotton and tobacco.

Of course. Then the north switched to automobile production and built some ghettos in Detroit to house all those freed slaves.

Man. Uncle Sam might not hang you from some poor excuse for a tree in Motor City, but don't dare fucking go on strike.

Jon said...

The part about money going down south is an old argument. Southern conservatives like to bitch about how terribly overtaxed and underrepresented they are. In fact, the urban north pays far more taxes than the south. Northern states also receive a disproportionately low return on tax dollars because we are being taxed to subsidize the south's poverty. When southern conservatives complain about taxes they mean that they don't like paying for any sort of benefits for blacks and the poorest white trash. Southern conservatives also like to claim that if only the rest of the country was like the south we'd all be more prosperous and lead more stable traditional lives. In fact the south is the poorest part of the country with the worst schools, health care, wages, roads, etc. The south leads the nation in crime, divorce, sexually transmitted diseases, teenage pregnancies and drug use. Southern states have the highest percentage of food stamp and welfare recipients too.
Put it this way, there's nothing wrong with southerners, but there's something wrong with the southern elite and when they pat themselves on the back for the great job they're doing and claim that they were even doing a great job under the confederacy it pisses me off.

ib said...

Oh, agreed, certainly.


"The south leads the nation in crime, divorce, sexually transmitted diseases, teenage pregnancies and drug use. Southern states have the highest percentage of food stamp and welfare recipients too."

That might be a material fact, but, fuck me, it sounds positively draconian; look at Detroit; Harlem; the North side of Philadelphia...

Donald Trump might climb down out of Trump Heights once in a blue moon and head down south to sip mint juleps in the company of a distant relative while the sun slips behind a conical hat, but all those fuckers are cut from the same cloth.

One and all.

Jon said...

Ib, My point exactly. The north and south are both being drained by the same vampires. It's the southerners who claim that the entire history of the south hinges on a four year period when a small slaveholding elite led an unsuccessful breakaway government. I'm told there are elements of British royalty who are still terribly upset about the Magna Carta. Now try and imagine many thousands of British citizens waxing nostalgic for the good old days when they had the 'right' to be serfs.
Tim Wise, a native southerner from many generations of southerners, is a fine anti racist speaker and activist. He just wrote an essay on this subject, unfortunately, I can't send you to it because he has only posted it on his Facebook page. If you'd like, I can copy it and email the whole text to you.

ib said...

Hell. Email it if you like, and I might just give it a read.

Facebook, like Twitter, is one more step than I'm prepared to travel in pursuit of keeping up with the excruciating pace of events.

As for the Magna Carta, that was a sham; a rudely hewn charter merely to to protect the rights of a few feudal barons.

Habeas Corpus ? That went the way of dragons and betamax, too, given nobody got there act together long enough to draft out a constitution which wouldn't be repealed at the drop of a hat.

Jon said...

Facebook is a mixed blessing. It's put me back in touch with dozens of old friends and allowed me a little more contact with some new acquaintances. There are even a couple of people that I met at blogs and now speak to on Facebook. On the other hand, I am sure that Sauron sits in his tower in the heart of Mordor and watches all of us through Facebook.
I drew the line at Twitter. I can't see any damn point to Twitter.
Will email you the Wise essay.
Some Southerners would claim that Wise isn't really a southerner because he's half Jewish and from Atlanta. Sarah Palin claims that I'm not really an American because I live in California and think she's a frightening idiot.

Nazz Nomad said...

at least hank wiliams the third calls himself "Hank III"
and it's not as annoying as all the blues guys with "Robert Johnson" in their name.

i refuse to get into it about the south, or teabaggers or sarah palin or jay leno... it's all too easy and depressing.

@eloh said...

I don't like people who agree with me all the time. Life would be very boring surrounded by yes men.

I guess I didn't write it very well, my point was that I am tired of taking a beating for something I didn't do.

But I think it is wrong to tell people they are not allowed to be proud of their heritage. Other peoples opinion has nothing to do with it, nor should it.

I could write for days on this subject and probably still not get my point across.

In many ways, I don't even have a dog in this fight. I was born, raised, and educated a Yankee.

I chose to be a Southerner. It is a mind set (for everyone here).

I am always railing about the "carpetbaggers"... those in charge down here and consider themselves the elite. Bunch of assholes.

The Stars and Bars (Confederate Battle Flag) is used for evil... but that is a matter of freedom of speech.

I went to a grave dedication one year and ended up at a "Klan" rally... it took me awhile for it to sink in... then I left... after I buzzed them a couple times in my big Silverado with the broken muffler.

The North won, they got to write the history. The South is still a conquered nation. Very few people who fought in that war owned slaves, for them it was fighting an invading army.

If we were all held accountable for the sins of our fathers I doubt if there would be anyone left.

I came here (Army PCS) in 1980-81...shortly thereafter, George Wallace (the daddy) ran for Governor (again) by this time he had been out of office for a long time and was in a wheelchair... you know the story I'm sure...

I thought it was the stupidest thing I had ever heard....

I was the one left speechless when he won with the black vote.

It took me years to understand.

Jon said...

@eloh, Let me think about the rest of what you said. As far as Black folks voting for Wallace, it makes some sense to me. I had plenty of Black folks tell me that Wallace was a known quantity, as in "Better the Devil you know..." also, by 2010 standards, Wallace was a Ted Kennedy liberal. He built schools, hospitals and highways. Even I know that's what prosperity is all about. Additionally, Wallace actually apologized for some of the things he did in the past. Our modern conservatives believe in the reintroduction of feudalism and lying in the face of all evidence.
Nazz, A local "Americana" DJ refers to him as "Hank Williams Junior The Third".

Mr. Beer N. Hockey said...

It hasn't taken you long to become a cranky old pensioner.

Jon said...

Beer, when have I not been cranky? The best I've ever done was to get over being mean and chickenshit. Cranky is probably mine for life.

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