I really never did understand the Southern Confederacy nostalgia thing, except apparently some white folks (and I am white) long for the days when black folks behaved themselves and did what they were told.
I know back in the 1950s when the civil rights movement was in full swing a neighbor lady from Texas (we lived in California) remarked to my mother just as matter-of-factly as you please that down where she came from “colored people” would step off the sidewalk to get out of your way. She basically said that “negroes” were much more mannerly where she came from. I suppose she would celebrate the Old Confederacy.
Some try to explain away the celebration by saying that the heritage of the Old Confederacy is more than just slavery, that it was about state’s rights and preserving a Southern culture (which was based on slavery — so that makes no sense).
I think Southerners try to mask the slavery issue by calling the Civil War the “War Between the States”, as if it was just some kind of football game with one team against the other.
But when it comes down to it, the Civil War was about whether we could continue as a nation half slave and half free or not (to paraphrase President Lincoln, in a way, well he said we could not).
And what gets me — that is something I never could quite grasp — is how the Southern aristocracy could have convinced poor Southern whites to fight for the right of rich folks to own black people.
The only thing I have figured (and I have read about this) is that the poor whites liked to have someone else (easily identifiable) to be at the bottom of the pecking order.
Actually once upon a time, there were essentially white slaves in the U.S., indentured servants, who never could work off their indenture.
But someone figured out that it would be easier to keep track of slaves if they were a different color — say black.
Some black people in Africa rounded up other black people and sold them to white people who shipped them to the New World, to include the United States.
To get off the immediate subject, as I often do, it is an irony that the modern Republican Party’s first President, Abraham Lincoln, had to deal with Democrats who claimed state’s rights to defend the right to own other people.
Then in the next century — who knew? — the Republicans would claim state’s rights in order to fight the Civil Rights bill, which among other things ensured that black people would not be prevented from voting and would not be required to sit at the back of a public bus or use separate public accommodations from white people.
And today, in still another century, Republicans and others use that state’s rights thing to oppose any federal legislation they don’t like.
But back to this celebrating the Old Confederacy:
I can see doing Civil War reenactments for the historical appreciation and I can see being proud of where you came from — that was then, this is now.
But to insult your fellow man (even if he is black) by acting like you wished it was the good old days when coloreds knew their place or when you could own people or to pretend that slavery was just a mere side issue of the Civil War just seems absurd and wrong to me.
And when you see the Stars and Bars displayed it usually signifies something to do with white supremacy — that’s just obvious on its face.
On the other hand, there is nothing wrong with being white and proud of it, that is if you can be proud of it but not at the expense of someone else.
P.s. P.s. P.s.
And one more thing. To be sure, the civil rights struggle is and was nationwide, not just in the South. We all know this. I was just commenting on the recent proclamations by white Southern governors in celebration of the heritage of the Confederacy and the fact that they have implied or said outright that it has nothing to do with slavery.