February 1, 2009

Our History, Our Heritage

Well! My Facebook friends have been lively lately. You know what, I keep tellin y'all, notes are fucking fun.

So, after the extreme silliness and drama of yesterday, earlier this afternoon I saw this note post from Mr Paul W. Spirit by him, edit by moi.

Listen, I grew up in the south but I don't understand the notion that we should be proud of the Confederacy.

See, my family taught me as a child that the South was in the wrong, and frankly they were. And no, I'm not talking only about slavery. They were guilty of Treason, nothing more or less. And Treason is punishable by death. Everyone whines and complains that the North was too harsh during reconstruction and caused the South to suffer. Well come on! First off, the Confederate leadership got off easy, every one of them could have been hanged. But they weren't because Lincoln and those after him knew that they were still Americans and the Country had to be united. But it couldn't go unpunished. You can't just walk away from your country because you don't get what you want. That is not Democracy!

And before any of you say anything about how the United States was founded by rebels, let's get real. Yes, they did rebel. But rebelling from tyranny is not the same as rebelling against a government where you just got out-voted. Welcome to Democracy...you don't always get what you want. But all this still comes to my first question: Why be proud of it? The answer I hear most often is "it's our heritage, it's our history." Okay, so should modern Germans walk around with swastikas painted on their wind-shields and belt buckles just because its part of their history? No, of course not. So if anyone can enlighten me on this, please feel free to do so.

Shit! You know we love it when people go hard!

And now, my unabridged thoughts.

Man, living in the South is tough sometimes. I take that lie back, it's tough living in the South all the time.

As school children we learn about the Civil War. We learn that it was more or less a battle between the North & the South over...ehh, different ideals. At first you might get the impression that it's all about slavery. Then over the years more complex reasons come out. State's rights and all that. You learn more and more about what exactly went down, but there has to be a moment in your head where you go...

"What the FUCK were we fighting over?!"

Living in the South is haaard with that kind of legacy. I know sometimes people don't want to say treason but isn't that just it? And how the hell can you be proud of that? I admit when I was younger, I was taught that the rebel flag was offensive, and I just understood it without ever realizing why until I got older and started learning more and more about the American civil war. Only backwoods rednecks idolized that hateful thing. And then it all starts clicking--that part of American history was BAD, why does the South have such a sick fascination with it? Damn!

And it's only been a few times recently when I've had people try to justify Confederate pride to me. And when they do it's usually the weak excuse of "it's our history!" Okay, yeah, dude. I'm black (and some native american & irish actually). Yeah, the Civil War surely was part of my damn history--so I should ride around with a rebel flag out the backside, but only on the left side...?

Yeeeah. Come on, South. Do you really want to look back on that period--a senseless war WE LOST--with pride? That has never made sense to me.

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