American by birth, southern by the grace of God?  

absolutelynormal 56F
6016 posts
4/16/2006 11:02 pm

Last Read:
4/18/2006 10:45 pm

American by birth, southern by the grace of God?

I am a fish out of water! I swear to God, sometimes I HATE being from Alabama.

As you drive down I-65 south of Birmingham, somewhere between there and Montogmery you will see a HUGE confederate flag. There is a big billboard accompanying the flag. It's sponsored by the Sons of the Confederate Veterans, or something like that.

I feel shame when I see this flag and instead of decreasing in popularity it's increasing. If I see one more kid with a tshirt with that flag on his/her back I think I'll scream. The kids themselves aren't at fault, their parents are.

So I went to the website for the Sons of Confederate Veterans. I took a 45 question survey about the southern experience. Everywhere the south is mentioned as the South as if it's a foreign country or we never resumed being part of the union.

They sponsor a youth camp. I had to CCP some of what it says about it:

For one week, our Southern young men and ladies (ages 12-17) will gather to hear the truths about the War for Southern Independence. This camp (named for the great young Confederate Sam Davis) will combine fun and recreation with thoughtful instruction in Southern history, the War Between the States, the theology of the South during the War, lessons on Southern heroes, examples of great men of the Faith, and for the first year, special programs and sessions for our Southern ladies!

No doubt there will be instruction in how to oversee a plantation for the boys and how to wear a hoop skirt for the girls.

I will probably get some flack for this post but to me the Confederate flag represents racism and advertizes the fact that whoever is in favor of that flag is a HUGE redneck.

My father's people (ancestors) were wealthy land owners in Tennessee in the time surrounding the Civil War. They also owned slaves. My mom has a pair of chairs made by those slaves. She also has a family Bible that has a list of all of their names. This is not something I am proud to say. Just because they (my ancestors) thought it was a great idea doesn't mean I want to embrace it.

I saw one of the Tshirts last week that said on the back, "It's a Southern thing, you wouldn't understand." Hell, I'm southern and I DO NOT understand!

rm_mmmgoodnova 105M/105F
1259 posts
4/17/2006 3:12 am

Amen! Totally agree.

absolutelynormal replies on 4/17/2006 7:28 am:

caressmewell 53F

4/17/2006 5:45 am

I'm Southern too and I don't understand it.

absolutelynormal replies on 4/17/2006 7:30 am:
Glad to know I am not alone in my confusion on this subject.

RogueAgent000 49M

4/17/2006 6:36 am

"truths about the War for Southern Independence..." There are always 3 sides to the "truth," theirs, ours, and the one that ends up being correct. It seems as if the camp is assisting with the promotion of continued un-conscious thought for the younger generation. I've lived in Illinois and Michigan for nearly 30 years prior to my Alabama experience, and you'd be surprised at some of the "truths" as they are told. I hope that those involved in this camp realize that they are a part of the "union." It's a conscious choice not to be...

I guess I'll always be a Damn Yankee...!

absolutelynormal replies on 4/17/2006 7:32 am:
Work hard on developing a southern accent, then no one will know! I'm kidding, please don't work on your southern accent. I've worked hard to lose most of mine. People from other places tend to think southerners are stupid based on the way they talk.

Dark_Cat_MCMLXXV 41M
290 posts
4/17/2006 6:48 am

And I thought in U.S. everything goes smooth...

Yeap, my native country has also such kind of troubles and I understand your feelings. Is that legal in U.S.? Or, maybe, I didn't get you right.

Big hugs to take your angry away from you,

absolutelynormal replies on 4/17/2006 7:33 am:
Oh hell no, nothing goes smooth here anymore.

trillionman 55M

4/17/2006 8:44 am

Being from the south,I do not find the flag offensive, it is a part of history and yes some groups use the flag as a symbol of their little red neck groups.But all in all I believe people let things offend them to easily such as the Rebel flag.I know some people say it reminds them of slavery and how bad their people were treated.If that is the case would you not be offended by some of the things in the black history museum? Where the people are being hosed and attacked by dog.To me that is a little more offensive than a flag.If people will just accept the fact that bad things have happened and move on and try to make the future better and stop dwelling on the past thing might be better,it couldn't hurt.It is just a FLAG.

absolutelynormal replies on 4/17/2006 10:10 am:
If you go to the Civil Rights Museum you expect to see the things you mentioned. Are they inflammatory? Yes they are. They make people feel all kinds of emotions but to me the greatest one is sadness. Is the flag inflammatory? Yes it is. Does that mean that people should lose the right to fly it? Absolutely not. I'm just doubting their choices. If you knew that farting in an elevator would make people uncomfortable, would you still do it? I'm sure to some people that flag just says, I'm a rebel! Yeah, I'm a rebel too. I'm rebelling against something "I" find personally offensive. Mac

toothysmile 50M
16515 posts
4/17/2006 8:45 am

I agree. I 'd like to add something if I may.

I 'm not even American, [though I lived for 11 years in the midwest...], but I understand something.
I understand that some people don't want to live in a community. It 's the people who wear this t-shirt.It 's sad, but we see it.

Great post, thanks.

absolutelynormal replies on 4/17/2006 1:59 pm:
Thanks, toothy

digdug41 49M

4/17/2006 8:55 am

WOW mac thats deep Iam in new york so I dont see stuff like that here in the city and I guess that if I were down south I would not be surprised I can even say I respect that becasue at least they letcha know ewhere they stand right off the bat, here it is different the devil is twofaced and will smile inya face and stab you in your back

roaming the cyber streets of blogland

absolutelynormal replies on 4/17/2006 2:02 pm:
Yeah but most of them are just wearing the shirt, they don't understand what it's about or care who it harms. A lot of the tshirts are made by a company called Dirty South and that's why they're worn. I think most of the folks that wear these shirts do not want the "south to rise again!" but rather see themselves as some sort of rebel. Won't catch this rebel wearing one. My kids think they're dumb(the shirts) too.

ProtonicMan 47M

4/17/2006 9:55 am

I don't understand why people cling so much to the past. It is gone. They weren't there. Their parents weren't there. Hell, their GRANDparents probably weren't there, either. Just let it go.

Of course, the same thing is happening in the Middle East, too. The "sins of the fathers" and all. We're all people, we're all flesh, blood, and bone, we all bleed red, we all have parents and families and friends.

Reminds me of the line from Sting's song many years ago, "I hope the Russians love their children too."


absolutelynormal replies on 4/17/2006 10:22 am:
I think both sides of the fence are afraid to let it go. There is always the fear of history repeating itself. Mac

absolutelynormal replies on 4/17/2006 2:03 pm:
"Free, free set them free" if we're gonna go quoting Sting (who is rather political himself) Mac

clevergirl4U 58F

4/17/2006 12:37 pm

Not to be flippant, but as a Canadian I get tired of people making "Yankke" assumptions about me

There is no such think as an accurate generalization. I work hard at trying to embrace each person and experience as unique, without any pre-judgement. but it is a lot of work. Generalizations are for lazy thinkers

absolutelynormal replies on 4/17/2006 2:47 pm:
And in my book you aren't a Yankee at all. You're Canadian. Growing up in the south was a trip. Yankees, would include those people that are from above the Mason-Dixon line within the borders of the US, but not including those west of the Mississippi. These people might as well have been terrorists from a foreign country when I was a kid. They (relatives) had me scared to death of Yankees. So much so that even as an adult when I went on a trip to PA and got lost somewhere in western NJ at night (you guys really do need some lights) I was almost too scared to ask for help. What did I think would happen to me? I dunno. Instead, I put on my very best drawl and went into a grocery store and got more help than I needed
btw I have known many Canadians mostly through my work, I have yet to meet one that I wouldn't give a reference for. Hope that's not too much of an over-generalization, it's just the truth in this case.

swlaman1 65M

4/17/2006 4:31 pm

I am reminded of the following quote by Albert Einstein

?"Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence."

To me it seems that be it North, South, East, or West there is a growing consensus that your hereditary prejudices are considered a normal an important part of your heritage. Submission is expected. Now there is even a name for someone who dares to honestly use their intelligence. They are called “The Intellectual Elite.” Ask yourself how the hell did the intellect and the development thereof, become a negative?

This cultural embracing of hereditary prejudices transcends race, gender, and creed. It is frightening and reminds me of the Joe McCarthy era. The main difference is that the word Communist has been replace by the word Liberal.

The Confederate flag you mention is but a symptom of this sickness. You cannot deny them their right to fly the flag anymore than you can deny them the right to submit to their prejudices.

All we can do is honestly and courageously use our intelligence to resist submission to our own prejudices.

Truthfully I am afraid for us.


absolutelynormal replies on 4/17/2006 5:45 pm:
Wow, powerful stuff. It makes me scared too. I've sometimes thought of abandoning ship so to speak. things seem to get worse and worse to me here. Where would I go? Australia maybe, definitely not Canada, it's too cold for me. All the members of AdultFriendFinder could group together and buy an island somewhere, nah, it would just turn into an orgy, nothing would get done, well except for us. Mac

rm_yukonpaul 51M
1120 posts
4/17/2006 6:42 pm

You can always move to Phoenix! The southwest is becoming a true 'melting pot' of the US states. I'm originally from Illinois and I know of many folks that have moved here from other parts of the country. You'll probably see more Mexican flags here than the Confederate flag.

absolutelynormal replies on 4/17/2006 9:35 pm:
No thanks! Too hot, too far from my kids and too far from the beach!

rm_mursilis3 48M
1 post
4/17/2006 7:28 pm

Uh huh. You are preaching to the proverbial chior here my sister. I was born here (dun borned heh), and have lived here most of my life, and (oh shit!) will probably end up dying here (when'in Jee-sus dun callt me home). I still feel like a damnyankee; this may have something to do with being (duhn be'in...oh fuck it, I cant even do the accent right) raised Catholic and all. It's so very (sorry) provincial.

You know, 'swlaman' may have something there; regional identification is a sort of cultural or psychological contagion, independant of any formal education. Susceptibility is likely mediated by individual perception of (large, overall) group acceptance in the first twelve years or so (sorry again...I'm a Neo-Freudian...). Count yourself fortunate.

Hey! New word. "Meshback" [mildly perjorative, org. Neal Stephson - scifi writer, all around smart guy]. The reference is to the fuckin' caps they all wear (you know with a big Nascar thingy on front and a mesh...back). Roughly synonymous w/'redneck', but also encompasses (in a Boolean way) the term 'Good Ol' Boy'.

Be strong, m' heart duhn be bleedin' w' you!

tillerbabe 55F

4/17/2006 7:37 pm

I'm all for freedom of speech..but you're right, this is blatent racism. These people can gain their own identity without resorting to evils of the past. My Mom is from Texas - a huge family. Sam Houston married a great, great Aunt of mine and named a county after her maiden name, (my Dad's side). My Mom hates texas and what it stands for, (especially that one guy from Crawford.) But she is proud of her roots, yet doesn't embrace what our ancestors did. Good for you for writing this! Keep spreading your enlightenment! {=}

absolutelynormal replies on 4/17/2006 9:36 pm:
Thanks Tiller, I will

complexlysimple 34M

4/17/2006 7:49 pm

At least you're seeing it in Alabama ... I see people acting and using the Confederate flag the same way here in Minnesota.

I wish people would learn a little more history.. the Confederacy was nothing special neither "good" nor "evil", it was just a different culture.

Not all slave holders treated the slaves as property ... I know of at least one family that gave the family name to their freed slaves ..and that was( and is) a huge gift..(comparable to adoption maybe?) ..Although that does not mean I approve of slavery.

(I should probably add I went to college in Missouri, and have a few relatives in the southern US, so I've heard from numerous viewpoints)

Although I do have to admit the attitude of busting up the Union, irritates the hell out of me, especially after having learned the Minnesotan played during the war.

absolutelynormal replies on 4/17/2006 9:43 pm:
"I wish people would learn a little more history.. the Confederacy was nothing special neither "good" nor "evil", it was just a different culture."

While it can be argued that the "fight" was not about slavery but rather the federal government telling the states what to do, we all know what was really being fought over... a way of life.

Life was hard then, I wouldn't want to work as hard as people had to back then. I sure wouldn't want to work in the kind of heat we have here without any AC. Would I buy some people and force them to toil in the heat just so I could not do the work myself? NO it was wrong.

Oh just don't even get me started on this different culture shit... Mac just shuts up.

ronniexoxoxo 49M

4/18/2006 1:33 am

I'm a Southerner myself but have never bought into the seemingly separation mentality some have from our area. I support first and foremost the U.S.A. and freedom. I do feel they have the right to start a club and sell t-shirts, have festivals, etc., even though I don't buy into their ideas. Someone's obviously making some money off all this memorabilia. I once had a father in law, whom I utterly detested for many reasons, and he was a rebel flag bearer. That flag was huge and was displayed near his front door. When the wind was high it would flop you right in the face, lol. So needless to say every time I went by there it left a negative impression on me with the flag pelting I'd receive. I think it's ok to be proud where you come from but I don't see the need to grasp this as an icon of our day. That being said I am a history buff and to me that's where it should be, in the past. Lastly, I feel hate groups are to blame for the racist connotation the flag receives.

absolutelynormal replies on 4/18/2006 6:32 am:
I can agree with everything you've said. Thanks for coming to my blog Mac

spacecadet561 59M

4/18/2006 2:29 pm

I moved from New York City to Memphis in 1966. They were still fighting the War then. I was one of those "damn Yankees". I slowly blended into the place, then moved on. Much later, I moved to Huntsville, AL. That's a strange place: rocket scientists and rednecks in close proximity physically but not culturally. The interactions would have been amusing if they hadn't been so poignant.


absolutelynormal 56F
6563 posts
4/18/2006 10:45 pm

I think Huntsville has the 3rd highest population of people with a Master's degree.I think the honor for 1st in redneckdom belongs to MIssissippi

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