I can promise you, I’m not a fan of apologetics of any sort, be they religious, culture or anything else. But, lately, I keep finding myself drawn into the discipline. Not kicking and screaming, certainly; hell, not even against my will. But, pulled in nonetheless. The latest occurrence came over the weekend when I read several posts about the South, racism, slavery, etc. None of them were very nice, either. Some of you are probably thinking they shouldn’t have been nice. I mean, it was about racism and slavery, for God’s sake. You’re right…, sorta. Saying harsh things about these two issues is completely justified; they represent some of the ugliest, most ignorant aspects of human nature. Saying nasty things about people, well, that’s a different story. Especially when of the people included don’t condone them and even speak up against them.
One of the articles in question is titled “Confederate History Month: Celebrating Racists, Traitors and Slavers“. In it, the author tells us that ” Right now, this very second, there are entire states celebrating their failed attempt to secede from the United States while killing hundreds of thousands of American soldiers and civilians.” He goes onto say that “If you celebrate a culture based on the most immoral of all crimes against humanity, you are, by definition, a racist asshole.” By this rationale, everyone who celebrates the 4th of July is a racist asshole because slavery existed under the U. S. flag for over 200 years. As for racism, it’s alive and well today and not just in the south.
I wonder if the people who write these kinds of things have ever met an actual southerner. We’re not all “racist assholes”, you know. It’s strange, but some liberals, who see themselves as champions of diversity and would never say anything like this about a minority group, see no problem whatsoever saying dreadful things and attributing awful motives to southern whites. Just as all African-Americans aren’t lazy welfare grifters, all southerners aren’t racist Klansmen bent on turning the clock back to 1860. Being an asshole has nothing to do with your ethnicity.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to defend the things that have happened in the southern United States over the years. I’m under no illusions about my homeland; we might not have invented racism, institutional and personal, but we did raise it to an art form. And, when it was past time to let go of our notions about the equality of the races, did we do so with the grace and charm we’re supposedly known for? Nope, we fought and lost a war over enslaving our fellow human beings and then, 100 years later, the federal government had to force us to allow African-Americans even the most rudimentary of civil rights. My point here is that all white Americans are equally guilty of treating minorities like shit. Pointing out the failings of the ones in the south while ignoring those up north is just rank hypocrisy.
You’d think by now, the rest of the country would have figured out how to deal with the South. Yelling, screaming, calling us names will never get a us to budge once they’ve made up their minds. In that respect, we’re a lot like a mule. You can beat a him all you want, but a mule will only move when he’s damn well ready. If you want southerners to change their ways and be more open to diversity, stop calling us “ignorant”, “redneck”, “racist”, etc; that’s just counterproductive. I do think getting the log out of your own eye before you worry about the speck in mine might be a good idea though.