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Deep Thought of the Day

chicago dyke's picture

Why is it that Black and Native (and now Latina/o) people are just supposed to "get over" genocide and slavery and segregation, but White folks get to mourn the loss of the Confederacy for ever and ever?

(h/t Phila)

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Submitted by [Please enter a... (not verified) on

Why is it that Black and Native (and now Latina/o) people are just supposed to “get over” genocide and slavery and segregation, but White folks get to mourn the loss of the Confederacy for ever and ever?

becuzz the people telling them to get over genocide and slavery are the ones who mourn the loss of the Confederacy.


Submitted by [Please enter a... (not verified) on

thank you! thank you! thank you! i live in TN and will be using this argument at least once every five minutes. it's kinda like Bill Hicks' JFK/Jesus timeline joke.

Sarah's picture
Submitted by Sarah on

There are a hell of a lot of white people who don't mourn the loss of the Confederacy in the US. Many of them live in the South, the Border States, and yes, dammit, Texas.

But I will say this: the racism and the violence of that hatred for all things dark-skinned that is seen and spoken of as a "Southern Thang" is every godforsaken bit as real in California and Maine and Massachusetts and Montana as it is in Atlanta and Jacksonville and New Orleans and Dallas.

It's just not spoken about.

Let me put this another way.

People suck, and unless and until we can, as the courageous example of Ducky on the last new NCIS episode shows, learn to respect each other's cultures and customs, people will continue to suck.

Sadly, they're going to suck right on through the extinction of life on this planet, as they demonstrably won't stop behaving like lazy slobs in order to save the polar bears, the rain forests, the ozone layer, the Antarctic ice, the snow leopard, the Comanche Springs pupfish, or the biggest and oldest conifers in the world, never mind the magnificent horses of the Arabian sands, the oryx, or the (live, mammalian, nonpolitical) elephant, let alone the whale.

We can admit that we're killers ... but we're not going to kill today. That's all it takes! Knowing that we're not going to kill today! ~ Captain James T. Kirk, Stardate 3193.0

chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

corrected post: why do "some" white people get to mourn...

sorry, that was sloppy of me, sarah. thanks for the correction.

Sarah's picture
Submitted by Sarah on

Don't misunderstand me.
I'm from the South.
I'm from Texas.
I'm from the West.
Appomattox was 112 years ago.
Can we not move on?
Can we not point out that the North also treats people badly?
Can we not point out that it doesn't matter where you live in this nation if you are poor or Jewish or female or Hispanic or black or Asian, Lakota or Nez Perce or Navajo or Seminole or Cherokee or Shoshone or Iroquois, you're going to find yourself spit upon, if not worse, because of "what" you are, rather than valued for who you are?
And can't we get on with bringing "liberty and justice for all" into the real world, instead of paying it lip service AFTER "under God"?

Submitted by [Please enter a... (not verified) on

Appomattox, assuming you mean Lee's surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia and all that, was 143 years ago.

Which reemphasizes your point, not diminishes it, but I am just a geek in such matters.

But as long as I am geeking on the subject, may i humbly suggest that trying to "just move on" from Appomattox was what they did at the time, and have been doing up to as recently as the Centennial observances of the Civil War.

With the Sesquicentennial rapidly approaching there are projects underway to undertake another observance of the Late Unpleasantness. The last such was largely overshadowed by the turmoil of the early 1960s (between rock 'n' roll and the space race and the then-current unpleasantness growing in Vietnam people were a bit distracted) and it remains to be seen if the Sesqui is similarly influenced by Iraq and the economy and whatever else comes along in the next year or two.

But it would, if done right, be a great opportunity to get real about the Civil War, and what happened, and what happened afterward, and how the Lost Causers in the south and the Reconciliationists in the north managed to stomp with great eagerness on any real attempt at truth-telling about not only what happened but what it meant.

"Historiography" is one of my favorite words these days. The "history of the history." It sounds arcane (and in fact took me the longest time to really get my head around what it meant) but in short it means that telling the wrong sort of history (coughDorisKearnsGoodwincough) (hackTomBrokawhack) results in people "knowing" a lot of things that just aren't so.

Compare it, if you will, to the people who are so quick to tell you to "just get over" the loss of a loved one, be it person, pet or place (your home in New Orleans perhaps? Or lost to a wildfire?) It is a commonplace any more that trying to "just get over" a loss is a great mistake, that it is needful to do "grief work" to process what the departed meant to you, both good and bad.

Without this you can get stuck in a situation where you just cast the departed as either a pure and perfect saint (Robert E. Lee anyone?) or an incarnation of the Devil (Wm. T. Sherman perhaps?) or else just avoid the effort by saying "That's in the past, nothing to be done about it now, thinking about it will just be painful, time to move on." And go on to make all the same mistakes again because you learned nothing.

Which is to an amazing extent what we've done about the Civil War. And the events, circumstances and attitudes both leading up to and proceeding from it.

/CivWar geek rant off