How the South Can Help End the Madness

By Karen

I’ve read conflicting reports, so I’m unsure if Dylann Storm Roof legally bought a Glock with birthday money, or used a 45-caliber pistol his father gave him for his 21st birthday (because every unemployed 9th-grade dropout needs fire power, right?).

Either way, Roof shot and killed 9 total strangers at a bible study in Charleston, South Carolina, simply because they were black and Roof thinks he’s better than them.

What immediately followed were more futile pleas for strict gun control, a no-brainer in every other country. Unfortunately, we let the puniest-brained among us control that issue, and they love our reputation as the world’s most senselessly violent society.

Meanwhile, there’s one facet of this whole racist-serial-killer problem that might be easily rectified if anyone had the balls to mention it.

Today on CBS This Morning, South Carolina governor Nikki Haley said this country needs to have a conversation about race.

Well, DUH. Hasn’t she noticed we’ve been having that conversation since an almost-daily event has become white police officers killing defenseless black people (even in Charleston)?

What we really need is an intervention. Someone needs to tell the South to shut up about the Civil War. Instead of perpetually keeping it front and center, let’s finally bury it so future generations of clueless punks will have to do some research to fuel their baseless bigotry.

Roof grew up in Columbia, South Carolina, which proudly flies the Confederate flag. Roof has that flag on his “Confederate States of America” license plate.

I’m a New Englander who has lived in Virginia for 43 years, well over half my life. But I will never, EVER identify as a Southerner because I refuse any association whatsoever with the Civil War.

Yet Virginia marinates in it because Richmond was once the capital of the Confederacy. South Carolina was the first state to secede from the union, and it got the war rolling with the first battle at Fort Sumter.

If South Carolina is anything like Virginia, it has preserved battlefields so lame-brained re-enactors can refight the old fights, secretly hoping they’ll have a different outcome and “the South shall rise again!”

You can’t swing a cat in Richmond without hitting a statue of some defeated Southern general. The Richmond Times-Dispatch manages to dredge up late-breaking Civil War “news” most days. And it recently ended an interminable reprinting of ancient daily war-time dispatches to commemorate the war’s 150th anniversary, or some such bullshit.

I do my best to ignore every bit of it.

The South persists in nurturing this delusion that there was something noble about the Civil War. It’s as abhorrent to anybody else as if Germans waxed nostalgic about how wonderful it was to be Nazis.

In both cases, an entire race was ritually abused and died in unimaginable circumstances at the hands of another race that believed itself superior. In both cases, the oppressors were white.

Glorifying the Civil War accomplishes nothing but to sow seeds of racism and blind hatred so they take root in empty minds like Dylann Roof’s.

The Civil War had no justification. Period. Nobody was ever born to become somebody else’s labor-saving appliance.

Until the South lets go of its bizarre need to paint the Civil War as “the good old days” and sincerely acknowledges the equality of blacks and all human souls, it will continue to spawn racist killers.

Advertisements

4 Responses to How the South Can Help End the Madness

  1. Bacardi1 says:

    Amen.

  2. FAW says:

    STRONGLY BUT APTLY STATED. AGREE.

  3. Donna Pavone says:

    Is the “CSA” license tag a real thing? Do states issue them? Holy shit

  4. catsworking says:

    Hi, Donna! The tags in Virginia are only given to a group called Sons of Confederate Veterans, which is different from the CSA (Confederate States of America). Today one of the past leaders of the SCV wrote an op-ed piece saying that the Confederate thingy on the license plates is not supposed to be a flag, but the group’s official logo. And he wrote very movingly about what it all means. Here’s a link to that:

    http://www.richmond.com/opinion/their-opinion/guest-columnists/article_07420850-1a3b-5750-a154-93eb519e215b.html

    We’ve been saying all along that it’s fine for Southerners to honor the soldiers who fought in the Civil War, or even have statues of their leaders. They WERE brave and they gave everything to the cause.

    However, this guy goes on to exhibit the brainwashing prevalent in the South, which is that the war was about states’ rights. (Not to mention the usual conservative “slippery slope” fear-mongering of “if we let them get away with this, next they’ll be tearing down all our statues.”)

    What he fails to say is that the specific right these states fought for was the right to keep slaves. And that’s where they go wrong.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: