Friday, March 16, 2007

Peckerwoods


Capt. Elijah Tillman. Army of Northern Virginia, 1862-1863. Wounded at Antietam. Georgia Militia Cavalry, 1863-1865. He was also my great-great-great-great-grandfather.

There. Now that the need to justify my credentials is out of the way, let the hate begin.

How should an ignorant stumpjumper respond to African American leaders calling for the state to apologize for slavery? Propose naming an entire month "Confederate Heritage Month". For those of you who don't dabble in good ol' fashioned southern racial politics, it's also a subtle swipe at February's "Black History Month". Don't believe me? Ask any of these "heritage" pukes what they think about Black History Month and you will get a response along the lines of "why do they get a special month and we git nuthin!"

Here's the bottom line. You lost. Not once but twice.

The first loss should be familiar. In a whirlwind of blood, over 500,000 Americans lost their lives. Entire regions were scourged for generations. The country penanced its sin of human bondage in a crucible of lead and fire.

The second loss is hardly reported. Despite the lingering taint of the conflict spawning lynchings and Jim Crow, both sides generally recognized the bravery of the individual combatants. Then, in the tumultous back rooms of the 50s, not discussed in the Leave It To Beaver fantasyland of some, things changed.

Legislatures began adding the Confederate battle flag to state banners. "Heritage" groups began concerning themselves less with preserving cemetaries and battlefields and began meddling in racial politics. Organizations like the Sons of Confederate Veterans became hideouts for thinly veiled night riders who believed white sheets served purposes other than covering beds.

As the noted southern historian Shelby Foote once commented regarding his resigning from the Sons, "we had an opportunity to fight for the symbols of our past. The symbols we honor. But instead we stood by and did nothing as people filled with hate stole our most precious items. They no longer belong to us."

I do honor my ancestor. Although the prism of modern thinking allows me to embrace the guilt that he was definitely wrong, there is a part of me which understands his need to sacrifice for what he believed was right. A thousand miles from his south Georgia home, in the rolling hills of Maryland, he shed blood for that belief. Despite the sin of this cause, the giving should still be honored.

However, due to the tacit compliance of a prior generation of the "good people of the south" in allowing the race peddlers to overwhelm all else, a complicity continued by peckerwoods like Sen. Jeff Mullis, the honor seems distant and all I am left with is the taint.

10 comments:

Tim said...

Good stuff Grift. thanks!

Flannery O'Clobber said...

Amen, brother. You know, as a southerner, I sincerely wish that a confederate remembrance month weren't a vehicle for racially-motivated assholes who still can't get over something that happened 150+ years ago and treat other people like human &^%$ing beings. But as it is I can't support it. Furthermore, as a white southerner I am completely embarassed that such a thing has even been suggested, since it's an embarassment to those of us who don't wish slavery were still in effect.

Grayson: Atlanta, GA said...

I am astonished at the ludicrous amount of legislation introduced, in the year 200,7 that promotes self-serving, grandstanding initiatives only, illogical meaures that will only succeed in driving blacks and whites, culturally, further and further apart.

While I cannot and will not be an apologist for my ancestors, who too gave their lives and shed blood for something they deeply believed in, I think also of my namesake and ancestor, William John Grayson, a Civil War-era poet, author and statesman who lost a seat (from SC) in the U.S. House due to his vehement anti-secessionist views. He felt deeply that to secede from the Union would bring only devastation and destruction to his beloved South, in every possible way.

And of course, the war of secession did bring exactly that on OUR beloved South. We still stuggle to move on in a progressive manner.

Grayson is no doubt turning in his grave to see that we've progressed no further in this day and age than the current state of OUR Georgia Legislature.

As a Southerner, what I am most ashamed of is a chronic inability to progress towards genuine enlightenment.

Grayson: Atlanta, GA said...

And one more thing... Mullis and Williams ought to be locked in a small room together, an echo chamber that plays only Tupac Shakur and Trisha Yearwood (loudly) in a continuous loop -- until they can come to their mutually dubious senses.

Anonymous said...

"Sen. Jeff Mullis (R-Chickamauga), the sponsor of Senate Bill 283, told the Senate Rules Committee that the proposal would help promote tourism in the state and preserve an important part of the state's and the nation's history."

"A bill that would permanently establish April as Confederate History and Heritage Month in Georgia sailed through a Senate committee Thursday without any opposition." - there are 3 Democrats on the Senate Rules Committee: David Adelman (DeKalb county - white/Jewish/male), Gloria Butler (DeKalb county - black/female) and George Hooks - Americus - white/male). Where the fuck was THE DEMOCRAT opposition to this bill???

plez... said...

I write about this flawed Senate bill in my blog, as well. My main issue with this whole Heritage thing is that it is a disingenuous smoke screen for racial hatred and bigotry. If the sponsors(s) of the bill where so concerned about preserving the heritage and history of the South, there would be mention and honor bestowed upon the men and women who toiled for generations under the hot Georgia sun as free laborers, and endured physical, mental, and sexual abuse without recourse as slaves.

We've come a long way since those first shots were fired from Fort Sumter 146 years ago, but it is evident from measures like these in our state legislature, that we still have a long way to go.

Anonymous said...

Great point by Anonymous...

GA Dem's have hit another low, if that's possible...they constantly allow and enable this type of stupid ass shit, along with $10 billion tunnel proposals, without ever publicly calling out these morons.

GA Dem's (yeah, that's you DuBose Porter, Calvin Smyre, David Adelman, Stan Watson, Kasim Reed, even Shirley Franklin) have no one to blame but themselves for being a distant and meaningless No. 2.

Anonymous said...

So I post on this on Blog for Democracy, calling for GA Dem's to have a ball sac and make a stand, and get this response below. GA Dem's have laid down like little cowards but the diehards complain and whine with remarks like "realize that democrats are worse than castrated in the General Assembly".

Well, if they are, it's because we enable them to do so without pushing them to have some fight in themselves.


http://www.blogfordemocracy.org/2007/03/friday_open_thread_10.html

on March 18, 2007 16:29
indie_rock_elitist :
Trackboy your shit is starting to piss me the fuck off.

There are three Democrats on teh committee, that means (excluding ex-officio memebers) they make up only 25% of taht committee meaning (if you can do some god damned math) they are essentially powerless.

stop being a fuck head and realize that democrats are worse than castrated in the General Assembly.

Look at the republicans 15-20 years ago, they had no more power than we do now but you want to insist on your fucking bull shit that somehow democrats can muster some power in an institution SPECIFCALLY DESIGNED to keep them powerless.

grow a brain.

Grayson: Atlanta, GA said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Grayson: Atlanta, GA said...

Ha! Just ran across this item about Shelby Foote in Southern Cultures Mag: "As undergrads at the University of North Carolina, while on a Chapel Hill boys'-night-out that terminated in a Durham dive, (Walker) Percy took a punch intended for (Shelby) Foote - from an outraged woman, no less -- and had the good grace to earmark the scene for fictional purposes in The Last Gentleman."

Hell, I oughta start a freakin' blog titled: Southern Writers I'd Love To Bitch Slap Some Sense Into.