Social Question

JLeslie's avatar

What issues has the south led on?

Asked by JLeslie (55789points) June 28th, 2011

I am asking this for a friend. We were talking about NY legalizing same sex marriage, which led to a discussion about civil rights and that the north seems to lead on issues like this. In fact, Gov. Cuomo included in his speech the other day that NY many times leads the way on these sorts of things if I am not mistaken.

So, he was wondering what significant issues in American history has the south led and now have become the fabric of the country.

Does not have to be social issues, can be anything at all.

Even southerners who have stood out in changing America, even when the majority of the south resisted.

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220 Answers

bob_'s avatar

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tranquilsea's avatar

great question! I’ll wait for responses

Qingu's avatar

Well, the Civil Rights Movement happened in the South.

That is probably not what you had in mind, though.

JLeslie's avatar

@Qingu I think that is a good point. We discussed that as well. Martin Luther King was a southerner after all.

missingbite's avatar

@JLeslie It depends on what you call the South. Seven of the first 12 Presidents were from the South. A great majority of our agricultural economy comes from the South. The list could go on and on but I fear that the friend you have that asked the question will never believe anything good comes from the South. People have been trained by the media that nothing good comes from the South. (like the airplane and the Wright Brothers) Like I said the list could go on and on.

@tom_g You do realize that The Onion is a satire organization, right?

tom_g's avatar

@missingbite: “You do realize that The Onion is a satire organization, right?”

Of fucking course. I have been a huge fan of The Onion since the late 90s.

Why do you ask?

missingbite's avatar

@tom_g Thank God! I only ask because on a message board like this it is hard to tell. I have had to actually convince some people that it is satire! I love the Onion!!!

YoBob's avatar

Well, as others have pointed out, the Civil Rights movement happened in the south.

As for national infrastructure, the south leads the way in farming and ranching as well as the energy industry that keeps this nation running.

We also have made no small contribution to technology. During the beginnings of the technology industry the companies that gave us things like the transistor, and later the silicon wafer were based in Texas.

Oh, and have you ever heard someone say from space “Massachusetts, we have a problem”?

tom_g's avatar

@missingbite – Please ask those people who didn’t realize that The Onion is satire to never vote or leave their house. Thanks.

missingbite's avatar

@tom_g Trust me I have! If you want a good laugh though, look at the wiki page for The Onion and see all the times the media has used them as a real source! Really scary!

zenvelo's avatar

@YoBob Although the oil industry started up in Pennsylvania and California.

The south is well known for developing products from peanuts.

bob_'s avatar

Oh, hey, I got one: obesity.

RocketGuy's avatar

Certain types of people don’t like change, not that they are bad or backwards. They just don’t like change.

marinelife's avatar

The South has produced a lot of great generals and leaders. It has also produced a lot of space pioneers.

Blackberry's avatar

Destroying education for children by disregarding science?
On a serious note, I was unaware of the things @YoBob mentioned, and that’s pretty awesome.

YoBob's avatar

@Blackberry – Erm… the science and technology magnate school my son attends is currently ranked 21st in the nation (and rising fast).

As for the other stuff, I agree, it is pretty awesome.

mazingerz88's avatar

There is that epic movie Gone With The Wind because of the South.

But it’s interesting to learn that the Civil Rights movement happened there. Yet it did because that’s where defense of slavery was prevalent so it makes sense of course. Doesn’t it?

I mean if the South rallied for freedom so the North would abolish slavery, hypothetically, now that would have been something.

JLeslie's avatar

@missingbite No, he is completely open to good coming out of the south, we both are tainted by many issues of today and being yankee minded, that we admit, but the question was to hear, recognize, and learn the good that has come out of the south, so we broaden our own thought process on the topic. The question is with good intention I promise. :).

The Wright brothers were from Ohio, so we will call that a tie if you are ok with that. Give some credit to the midwest for that one.

JLeslie's avatar

@mazingerz88 Funny you bring up Gone With The Wind. That movie is ridiculous and an embarrassment to me. My grandma could not sit through it I remember. The stereotypes (or maybe it was accurate to life?). Actually I have never seen it all the way through.

JLeslie's avatar

@YoBob You are giving the south credit for NASA? According to this wikipedia page the vast majority of aerospace enineering schools are outside of the south.

missingbite's avatar

@JLeslie I’ll give you the Wright Brothers since the first flight was North Carolina! :)

Also glad to here he is open minded. So many people from both North and South aren’t and that is never good!!

WestRiverrat's avatar

Good Bourbon comes only from the south.

FutureMemory's avatar

The reason NASA is in Texas is because that’s where LBJ wanted it.

JLeslie's avatar

@YoBob After reading more it seems the space program and Houston are a combined effort of north and south. Certainly southerners helped lead the effort. Some of the key people were born and raised southerners, but later wound up in the north. I guess Lyndon Johnson got the ball rolling, southerner, and Kennedy helped put the big push on the program, yankee.

YoBob's avatar

@JLeslie – Well, last time I checked mission control was in Houston.

Hmm… where was LBJ from?

YoBob's avatar

@JLeslie – Wow, are you actually saying that Yankees and Southerners have worked together to make this great nation what it is today?

wundayatta's avatar

I believe the South is a leader in the states rights movement.

JLeslie's avatar

@YoBob My original point was the people who make it function, the engineers who accomplish the goals, are primarily educated outside of the south, but not exclusively, of course there are some schools in the south, espeically Texas that produce aerospace engineers. Just having a building somewhere does not make a space program. But, I did give Johnson credit.

And, it seems Rice University gave the land.

JLeslie's avatar

@wundayatta Do you think it is a good thing? The states rights movement?

YoBob's avatar

Watch it there @wundayatta. Your treading dangerously close to being called to being called an ignorant redneck by those who just don’t get it when it comes to a small scope of Federal government.

@JLeslie – Yep, UT does produce some excellent aerospace engineers. One very good friend of mine (now a high school teacher in the South) graduated with a degree in aerospace engineering from UT. Her husband got his Phd from there and now is working as a research scientist in the South.

JLeslie's avatar

@YoBob I think most positive things are probably a combined effort. Maybe that is the lesson of today?

I am guessing Texas schools developed its Engineering programs because of the location of NASA, not the reverse? But, maybe it is the reverse? Maybe that is part of the reason NASA is located there. All I know about it is take off and landing were thought to be best located in a southern state with fairly clear consistent weather. Hence, Florida and Texas were likely states. In my own bias I think of the North as being much more engineering and science oriented. Part of that is auto industry, tons of engineering programs in MI and surrounding states, so we will call that midwest. California with its silicon valley. It’s just what first pops into my mind. And, that list I linked kind of backs that up. But, at this point I am sure you can become an engineer in any state.

JLeslie's avatar

I wonder if the civil rights movement was really necessary in the north? If things would have worked themselves out without much upheaval? We didn’t have segregation up there. If the south is to blame for most of the bigotry, do they get credit for setting it right?

YoBob's avatar

@JLeslie – True, you didn’t have segregation up there. OTOH, in general the north did not have anywhere near the racial demographics that existed in the south.

Of course, I’m not defending the racial bigotry that existed during that time period. However, I don’t believe such bigotry was limited to the South. It was, however, more apparent due to the percentage of people that fell into oppressed category.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

NY has it’s share of racial problems. It’s far from perfect.

zenvelo's avatar

The Wright Bros. were born in Indiana, and raised and worked in Dayton Ohio, so I don’t think the South gets to claim that.

The south does get to claim tobacco. Is that good or bad?

YoBob's avatar

@zenvelo – Regarding tobacco, yep, we get claim to being the best at growing it just as we do many agricultural products ranging from corn to cotton. However, R. J. Reynolds learned how to push the product by attending business school in Baltimore.

Qingu's avatar

Bigotry was not institutionalized in the North as it was in the South, @YoBob.

YoBob's avatar

@Qingu – Not because it didn’t exist, but rather because of the demographics previously mentioned.

JLeslie's avatar

@YoBob I agree, the numbers were vastly different in the south. But, by their own hands. The north did have areas where there were heavily populated black communitities, and they tended to struggle in the north as well, but overall as a percentage to total population the north had fewer numbers. I would think a lot of the black people living in the north during civil rights had fled the south?

JLeslie's avatar

Cotton is a good one. I love cotton.

JLeslie's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe Sure, but we don’t have laws supporting it.

YoBob's avatar

@JLeslie – I believe many of the black people living in the north fled much earlier than the civil rights movement in order to seek their freedom. However, most stuck around because they considered the South to be their home.

JLeslie's avatar

@YoBob This is totally un PC, but just curious, do white southerners behind closed doors ever talk about ruing the day they bought Africans and brought them to our land? Do they ever think of it as some sort of punishment that now they live among so many blacks, some sort of universal justice, or punishment? I know that question sounds racist.

WestRiverrat's avatar

Many of the black people that moved north did so at the behest of the industries they were employed in. They were brought North by industrial leaders to bust the unions.

The unions would not initially allow them to join, so they worked cheaper and longer hours than the union members.

Racism was just as prevalent in the north at the time, it just took a different form.

zenvelo's avatar

@YoBob Isn’t Baltimore, Maryland part of the South? It’s below the Mason-Dixon line.

zenvelo's avatar

Cotton would not have been successful if not for that Yankee Eli Whitney.

YoBob's avatar

~

@JLeslie – Well Yeee Haawww and shucky darn. I wuz just talkn’ to Billy Jo Bubba Bob the other day after the klan meetin’ bout that very thang.

———

Frankly, I find the insinuation that (white) people in the South don’t have anything better to talk about than lamenting the racial mix of the current population to be more than a little insulting. (In fact, I believe your statement to be the height of bigotry and warrants an apology)

Yes folks, I believe racism is alive and well. Alas, most of the time it doesn’t take the form that the PC crowd would like it to.

@zenvelo – Drat! I believe you are right.

tom_g's avatar

@YoBob: ” (In fact, I believe your statement to be the height of bigotry and warrants an apology)”

Here we go. People getting all offended and fragile. @JLeslie asked the question knowing that it probably wasn’t PC and anticipated that it might not be taken well. I get the impression that it was just an honest question.

Relax. She didn’t mean to hurt your feelings. We’re all adults here.

JLeslie's avatar

@YoBob I was not implying that is all people talk about, I live in the midsouth. I apologize if I offended you. I took, take responsibility for my question sounding very racist. I once told this awful racist southern women, this was about 10 years ago, I mean she was just awful, openly horribly racist, that wasn’t it ironic that where she lives they have many more blacks, because they brought them here. I said it to shut her up at the time, she was so offensive. She looked at me dumbfounded. Like she had never thought of it. So, it is not so much that I think southerners are sitting around talking about these things, it is more like wondering if there is an awareness that they created the higher percentages you speak of as a defense for why the south had more civil rights issues.

Just FYI, I think it is only a very small minority of southerners, or anywhere in the country who are racist. I believe most Americans are not, no matter where they live.

Ironically, I was afriad I would offend black Americans with my question, and upset those who hate any discussion of racism or stereotypes in general.

YoBob's avatar

@tom_g – Trust me, I am far from fragile. It’s just that you can’t, say “Don’t take this the wrong way” and then proceed to directly insult a someone and not expect to be called on it.

It’s like that old joke that Southerners seem to think that saying “Bless her heart” after anything makes whatever you say acceptable.

Ex. “Poor dear, that dress makes her behind look like two pigs fighting under a sheet… bless her heart”.

@JLeslie – Yes, we have our share of racist bigots of all stripes down here, but we by no means have a corner on the market.

tom_g's avatar

@YoBob – I’d like to think that Fluther is a place that you can safely ask these types of questions. I’m not talking about trolling or purposely trying to set people off. Rather, why not have a place that people can ask honest questions? Otherwise, this place is just a bunch of people kissing asses and trying to get lurve or something.

I’ll be honest – I don’t know any southerners. If I ask you a question about southerners, I really hope you’d just answer it. You can call me an idiot for even asking the question. But don’t ask for an apology.

YoBob's avatar

@tom_g and @JLeslie – I’m not really all that offended and am rather relieved that there seems to be a general understanding that, as @JLeslie put it, “it is only a very small minority of southerners, or anywhere in the country who are racist”.

I’m going to have to bow out of this conversation for awhile. I have an actual job to tend to…

JLeslie's avatar

@YoBob I did not mean you. I do not think you are racist. I meant you are privy to conversation behind closed doors. I here what white people say more than my black friends, because I am white. I have people say obnoxious things to my face aout Mexicans, because they don’t realize I am married to one, and they think they are safe to say these things.

YoBob's avatar

@JLeslie – Well, I can’t say that I have never heard some inappropriate racist remarks behind closed doors. But in general, most of the folks I hang out with are of a bit higher caliber than that.

tom_g's avatar

@YoBob – Yes, I’m surrounded by some crazy racism here in Massachusetts. I was at a party this past weekend and a bunch of drunk assholes started going on about asians – within earshot of my Korean friend. When people feel safe in a crowd of “like” people, sometimes their true thoughts are revealed. That’s the kind of thing I would imagine @JLeslie was asking about.

tedd's avatar

I don’t think you can ignore that the South has been by in large on the wrong side of a few major historical arguments in our nations history (slavery, civil rights, etc)... But I would hesitate to say they’ve never been on the right side, or that they’ve never been a major part of issues or our country.

The south has produced numerous leaders, scientists, etc that it should be immensely proud of, and played pivotal roles in major story-lines of our nations history.

JLeslie's avatar

@tedd Right, that is what the question is really about, the great leaders and their contributions the south has made to the country. Want to name a few?

JLeslie's avatar

It is not like “bless her heart,” because I was labeling myself as sounding racist, I was saying I was aware my statement could be offensive. Although, as I said I thought offensive mostly towards black Americans, I was not thinking white southerners who are not racist would take offense, because my intent was not to group all southerners into one basket. The woman saying “bless her heart” has no awareness she is being a catty bitch, takes no responsibility for her own words.

missingbite's avatar

Since this has turned into little bit of Black/White racist issue. Please read the Fourth Debate between Lincoln and Douglas at Charleston.

Here is Lincoln in his own words. The truly non-racist that he was.

While I was at the hotel to-day an elderly gentleman called upon me to know whether I was really in favor of producing a perfect equality between the negroes and white people. [Great laughter.] While I had not proposed to myself on this occasion to say much on that subject, yet as the question was asked me I thought I would occupy perhaps five minutes in saying something in regard to it. I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races, [applause]—-that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will for ever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race.

The Civil was was only in small part fought over slavery. Mostly it was about money.

Flame Away.

YoBob's avatar

@missingbite – Yep, most don’t realize (or choose to selectively ignore) that the motivation for the emancipation proclamation had little or nothing to do with high ideals of equality, but rather it was a method to bring the South to heel as a result of the economic repercussions.

missingbite's avatar

@YoBob Ding ding ding we have a winner!

wundayatta's avatar

I’m sorry, @JLeslie. Did I misread your question? I thought you asked for the things the South led on, not for good things the South led on. In any case, I’m people in the South think that States Rights is a good thing.

WestRiverrat's avatar

The primary reason for the emancipation proclamation was to keep France and England from entering into an alliance with the Confederacy. Most support in Europe in the first part of the war was with the South. But as they had both recently ended slavery, they could not support the South once the proclamation was made public.

mazingerz88's avatar

@missingbite Winner of what? Did anybody here made the statement that Lincoln was not racist? He also made another statement to the effect that if abolishing slavery would split the country enough to destroy it, he will never support abolishing it. Ding! ding! ding!

missingbite's avatar

@mazingerz88 Just his statement on the Emancipation Proclamation. I have not seen anyone on here make the statement that Lincoln was not racist. What I have seen is a lot of people claiming the North was fighting to end slavery and that is not exactly the truth. I would be willing to bet most on here and elsewhere will give all the credit in the world to Lincoln for ending slavery yet don’t know that he had plans to send most if not all blacks to another country. Like Liberia. Most think he had the EP because he wanted equal rights for blacks. He didn’t. @YoBob seems to get that so he gets the ding ding ding…we have a winner. If you also knew that, good on you too!

Qingu's avatar

Being anti-slavery does not necessarily mean you’re not a racist.

Lincoln believed that blacks were inferior to white people. He was a racist, full-stop. Most white abolitionists were probably racists.

He was also very much anti-slavery, and I think it’s nonsense to suggest that the emancipation proclamation was only a cynical ploy to win the war.

missingbite's avatar

@Qingu It wasn’t only a cynical ploy to win the war but it was part of it. The War was mainly about the Confederate States seceding.

My point to all of this is that most people in the North don’t know the real history of the Civil War or the Generals that fought in it. They like to blame the South for slavery but don’t know the facts about it.

Qingu's avatar

The War was mainly about the confederate states seceding… which they did because they were against the mere possibility that the country’s democratically-elected government taking away their slaves.

But you don’t have to believe me. You can look at what the seceding states said themselves:

“Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery—the greatest material interest of the world.”

“We affirm that these ends for which this Government was instituted have been defeated, and the Government itself has been made destructive of them by the action of the non-slaveholding States. Those States have assume the right of deciding upon the propriety of our domestic institutions; and have denied the rights of property established in fifteen of the States and recognized by the Constitution; they have denounced as sinful the institution of slavery; they have permitted open establishment among them of societies, whose avowed object is to disturb the peace and to eloign the property of the citizens of other States. They have encouraged and assisted thousands of our slaves to leave their homes; and those who remain, have been incited by emissaries, books and pictures to servile insurrection.”

“We hold as undeniable truths that the governments of the various States, and of the confederacy itself, were established exclusively by the white race, for themselves and their posterity; that the African race had no agency in their establishment; that they were rightfully held and regarded as an inferior and dependent race, and in that condition only could their existence in this country be rendered beneficial or tolerable.”

Cut out the revisionist history, please.

Qingu's avatar

And General Robert E. Lee was an immoral savage and a traitor to his country, and to democracy. He was a skilled general, which means he deserves at most about as much respect as Erwin Rommel.

missingbite's avatar

@Qingu No one is revising history. Don’t assume I am. No one here has stated that the South did not want to keep slavery as it was. What I am stating is that slavery was an economic issue first and a moral issue second. Back then.

Please tell me how many slaves were brought to America on Confederate ships as compared to Federal ship and ships of the Northeast Territories? Follow the money. The North made a fortune off of slavery.

Most people who signed up for the Civil War did not do it on the premise of freeing slaves. Most that fought in the war couldn’t afford slaves anyway. The war was fought over the right to secede. The reason for secession was immaterial. Like it or not.

Since Robert E. Lee was a traitor to his country what was Lincoln for wanting to ship all the inferior blacks out of America? Just a racist?

mazingerz88's avatar

“So far from engaging in a war to perpetuate slavery, I am rejoiced that slavery is abolished. I believe it will be greatly for the interests of the South.” – Gen. Robert E. Lee after defeat

bob_'s avatar

So, yeah, the south is all fun and giggles.

mazingerz88's avatar

@missingbite It seems all statements made by Lincoln you have cited so far do not define the man thoroughly. The emphasis is weakened by later statements he made in loath of slavery. Suffice to say he was killed before he made unquestionable and precise his stand and nature on the issue. I really think it makes him a better example of a human being who was truly a racist in mind yet one who may have seen the evil of slavery by heart towards the unforeseen and sudden end of his life. For what could be more real and ideal for a nations’s self-reflection than an imperfect human being who has somehow redeemed himself of some of his imperfections.

missingbite's avatar

@mazingerz88 You are correct that they don’t completely define him. I do like to point out the bias of people who hate the South for slavery but love Lincoln for ending it while he was a racist in my mind. We also don’t know if Lincoln was going to put on a larger push to ship blacks out of America. His death will keep us from ever knowing.

Some of the same things could be said for George Wallace. He opened up Alabama to blacks in government more than any politician before or after him yet he is only considered a racist bigot by most in the North. Not all, but to most he was a joke, while Lincoln was a hero and possible the greatest President ever.

My views on Wallace are not stated or implied.

flutherother's avatar

The South hasn’t led on anything it has stayed the same and so it is flooded with ‘snowbirds’ from the north who can’t wait to get there. Not so many southerners want to live up north. The South must be doing something right.

bob_'s avatar

@flutherother That has to do with the virtually undisputed fact that cold weather sucks.

mazingerz88's avatar

@missingbite I would agree that people need to see people they put on pedestals for who they really are. An academic wrote once about Lincoln and called him a “recovering racist”. He received criticism for that and partly because of the fact that the academic is black. ( imo )
He also said that Lincoln was human and he intended to remind people that the other great ones were all humans themselves. He just stated the truth. It’s up to us whether we wish to conclude that he used the word “human” as an excuse or just stating the obvious. We don’t always get it right.

Personally, history remembers more what someone has done, not what someone has said, especially if what was said was smallish compared to the history breaking magnitude of what was accomplished.

tranquilsea's avatar

@bob_ I like the cold weather. But I know many Canadians who go south for months in the winter.

missingbite's avatar

@mazingerz88 Agreed. History is also almost always written by the winners of wars and not the losers.

Qingu's avatar

@missingbite, you’re wrong, on several counts.

I’ve cited several sources from the South, detailing their reasons for seccession, that argue that slavery is not just an economic issue but a moral right. And I certainly do not need to point out the abolitionist stance on morality. Numerous Southern pamphlets put slavery in moral terms, citing the Bible. It is nonsense to say that the moral issue of slavery was “secondary” and you’ve certainly not cited any historical documents to support your case.

The North did make a fortune off slavery… and then abolished slavery. They, like most of the civilized world, slowly but surely realized that slavery was inhumane and savage institution. Then for several decades the South continued to hold slaves and did everything in their power—and sometimes resorted to extreme violence keep slavery legal. So I utterly fail to see what your point is; the North, despite its past support of slavery, did not start a war against a democratically elected government to secure their right to own slaves.

You said, “Most that fought in the war couldn’t afford slaves anyway.” So? Did they not benefit from a society which held human beings as chattle? Did they not elect government representatives who said they were seceding because of slavery? Did they not identify with Southern culture, which glorified the institution of slavery as a divine right?

And I said that Lincoln was a racist, so I’m not sure what your point is. I’m not glorifying Lincoln or pushing a revisionist history where Lincoln was this great, misunderstood hero.

Qingu's avatar

@mazingerz88, Lee said that in 1870, more than a decade after the traitorous war he helped start, the war that killed 600,000 human beings, over what is possibly one of the most unjust causes in history, ended in his defeat. 15 years is a long time to reflect on your past immorality.

Lee owned slaves and while he had a “polite” understanding of the institution (maybe God will decide to end it in its own time) he still waged an insurrection against a democratically elected government to defend the institution. I would piss on his grave.

Qingu's avatar

@missingbite, tell me this: why do you think “states’ rights” is something worth fighting a war over in the first place?

Let’s take a hypothetical scenario. Marital rape was, until recently, completely legal in many US states. It’s still a minor crime in many states.

Now imagine in 2016 a president is elected who runs on a strong platform of being anti-marital rape. And then, citing “states rights,” a dozen states secede from the union… because they strongly support a husband’s right to force his wife to have sex. And then, when the feds don’t recognize these states’ secessions, they start firing on federal government buildings.

Is there anything remotely noble about the actions of such states?

Qingu's avatar

Back to answering the question, my fiance notes that the south does lead in food. And possibly music, though whether or not that comes from “the south” or “blacks who were unfortunate enough to live in the south” is up for debate.

mazingerz88's avatar

@Qingu Oh, fiancé? Don’t know how I got the impression you were a guy. But, wait, you could be a guy with a fiancé I see.

JLeslie's avatar

@mazingerz88 Huh? Fiancé is used for both men and women. My husband was my fiancé and I was his.

@wundayatta Well, when I wrote the question I did want to hear the good things the south did. That was my main intent. I guess I did not make that clear. And then I got all caught up on all of the tangents the question took.

mazingerz88's avatar

@JLeslie lol. Then I’m the ignorant one for thinking its fiancé for guys and fiancee for women.

JLeslie's avatar

Civil war and civil rights movement are two different things. Martin Luther King, Jr. was murdered the same year I was born, I am only 43. The freedom riders had travelled through the south in the early 60’s if I remember correctly. It’s just so recent in our history, it is hard to believe we, and I will say we, as Americans, were still thinking this way at all. The Civil War was so long ago, it almost makes it more acceptable the atitudes may have been very different, even if they were very wrong even then.

JLeslie's avatar

@mazingerz88 I think it is an alternate spelling, but has nothing to do with gender if I am correct. I could be wrong.

Sunny2's avatar

If I may interrupt, may I sincerely suggest that the South has led with genuine Southern Hospitality. Their graciousness of social expression is a model of civility. The gentle honeyed tones of their voices far out weigh the strident tones of us Northerners. Now whether this is on the level of the social aspects of civil rights or not is arguable, but for a method for people to express themselves in gentile ways, they can’t be beat. Now, y’all come have some mint juleps and relax.

Qingu's avatar

@mazingerz88, you are right; I am a guy and I misspelled fiancée. :)

missingbite's avatar

@Qingu Please tell me where I stated that anyone SHOULD fight a war over states rights. (although I do believe in states rights because of the Constitution) You are obviously very passionate about this and have a different belief on the history than I. I can’t and won’t cite a source for my understanding of the history of the Civil War because it comes from many years of reading about it from multiple sources. Including attending reenactments form a historical stance. Some of the sources you wouldn’t trust anyway. If you believe everything you have read in history books without looking elsewhere that is your right. As I stated earlier, history is often written by the winners of a war. Most of our Civil War history is correct, some of it is not.

If the war was fought over slavery, please explain this:

“My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union. I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause.”
—August 22, 1862 – Letter to Horace Greeley

My understanding is that the President knew economically, the North would not survive without the South in the Union.

Flame away.

mazingerz88's avatar

@missingbite Yes, this is what my earlier statement was based on. To me, it sounded more like a man who was agonizing yet mostly pragmatic in one of the probably most passionate, soul-searching moment of his life. This was his view as president. And he put forth the Union as the ultimate end goal that trumps all the rest.

Now, I wonder if this was also his view as a man. ( Is it even possible to split the two? )
I know he said something like there’s no evil like the evil of slavery. I would like to think that in his moments of solitude, he felt triumphant that he made possible the future abolition of slavery and preserve the Union with a single stroke.

missingbite's avatar

@mazingerz88 I would hope that he truly believed that ending slavery was the most important thing he could do as a man. We will never know. What it does tell me is that as President he was not fighting the war over slavery. Slavery was the heart strings of the day. IMHO

This thread is way off base. I am finished and apologize to @JLeslie for taking it on this tangent.

JLeslie's avatar

@missingbite I don’t think it was your fault, no apology necessary.

JLeslie's avatar

@Sunny2 So, I thought I could tell the story of southern hospitality with your statment.

A long long time ago, many parts of the south was a very rural place with great distances between plantations and farms. Salespeople, and other businessmen would travel across the south from various parts of the country. There weren’t many inns, but many houses had a small room to the side of the house with a bed, which was attached, but had it’s own entrance and no door into the main house. It was left unlocked for those who might need a place to stay for the night, they could just let themselves in. The next morning it was customary for the lodger to be invited in for breakfast, and in lieu of taking a fee for the room many times the owners were happy to hear news from other parts of the country. And, that is my hospitality story and what was probably the beginnings of the hospitality industry.

Qingu's avatar

@missingbite, I would actually agree that abolitionism was perhaps not the prime mover on the North’s part. For some people maybe; maybe Lincoln privately felt that way. But certainly many northerners didn’t care about the slaves.

But the North didn’t start the war. The south fired the first shots. The south’s motives were clearly tied to slavery.

bob_'s avatar

Why does every discussion about the South have to end up being about the Civil War? Isn’t it time everybody moves on?

JLeslie's avatar

@bob_ Remember the Alamo. Just kidding. LOL.

JLeslie's avatar

@bob_ Hahahaha. I have to show that to my esposo.

Meanwhile, as you can see, many southerners are not happy at all with how northerners think the civil war went down, there is a question about which history is correct, so we still fight about it. Politics today still has a lot to do with the south, or I would say more specifically the bible belt, and the rest of the country. I would say there is still a war of sorts going on. I swear many of the people around me want the country to be the Confederate States of America rather than the United States of America. It feels to me at times that southerners equate our federal government with yankee/liberal, and so they talk states rights a lot. So, the battle continues. Sort of. Kind of.

Qingu's avatar

@bob_, I guess it just bugs me when people can’t admit their ancestors were a bunch of savages.

Whoever said “the past is a foreign country” was absolutely right. The southerners who fought willingly in the Civil War to defend slavery are not your people, anymore than the Northerners who supported Manifest Destiny were my people. We should not identify with these people, and we certainly should not defend their horrendous actions. We should be thankful that our current generation has clawed itself out of the grip of such savagery and learned to treat human beings who don’t look like us with a modicum of integrity.

JLeslie's avatar

@Qingu You do seem consistent on that, pointing out the savages throughout history. LOL. Maybe it is a good thing people don’t want to admit a shameful history? Maybe psychologically it says as a person they cannot imagine it could be true. Possibly since that way of thinking is so foreign to them they don’t want to be associated with it in anyway, either by group association or bloodline. So the positive there is they themselves in current day would never own slaves, or be a Nazi, or whatever part of history we are arguing. Just thinking out loud. Although, the Germans seem to get waving a Nazi flag is an assault in and of itself, while I have a confederate flag down the street from me.

mazingerz88's avatar

@Qingu There are still people out there with Confederate flags in their trucks and houses and almost everywhere. Not easy to tell by looking if they are racists or merely pro-secession. But chances are…or is it automatic?

@bob_ I’m sending you a Confederate flag.

JLeslie's avatar

@mazingerz88 The point is in my last line in my last post when it comes to the confederate flag Although, the Germans seem to get waving a Nazi flag is an assault in and of itself, while I have a confederate flag down the street from me. Southerners who fly that flag don’t give a shit about how it makes others feel. There were people who were proud soldiers in the German army, and then because of Hitler that pride is tarnished during those years. They understand what the swastika stands for in the minds of the majority of people. If the confederate flag stands for secession, which I don’t think I have ever really heard anyone say exactly that before…so you are saying my neighbor down the street, or when the South Carolina Capitol building flies the confederate flag they are pro secession? For today? Meaning now? Or, just back in history? How do these people get all high and mighty about being Americans, and criticising others as not being patriots, and then also fly a flag for secession?

missingbite's avatar

I’ll use @bob_‘s line from above [THIS SPACE ON CONFEDERATE FLAGS LEFT BLANK]

mazingerz88's avatar

@missingbite I’ll move on if those Confederate flag flashers replace it with the real American flag. : )

@JLeslie I would leave that place in a heartbeat and move somewhere else. There was this black family not two years ago that moved out from their town in Maryland after years of seeing Confederate flags displayed around them. That’s the kind of “moving on” that makes sense to me.

JLeslie's avatar

@mazingerz88 So now you are saying people should not wave the confederate flag? I’m confused. I think I misunderstood your comment to @Qingu.

mazingerz88's avatar

@JLeslie Tolerance means not even trying to stop them from waving the Confederate flag. I’ll exercise my freedom to grit my teeth and pursue my happiness somewhere else.

JLeslie's avatar

@mazingerz88 It’s not like I throw eggs at the house down the street. I tolerate them. But, I view them as ignorant and narrow minded. I can’t imagine seeing a confederate flag in most of MD. Was it southern MD? I did learn to say y’all when I first moved to MD.

missingbite's avatar

I’m drawn in and can’t help it! There is a HUGE ignorance on the Confederate Flag. Please study what it is and how many variations there are. I would bet you have never seen a real Confederate Flag flown. You have probably seen the 20th Century rectangular version of the Battle Flag of the Confederacy.

IF, and that is a HUGE IF, the Battle Flag of the Confederacy stood for only slavery, I could see people not liking it. However, there is a lot of controversy over the topic as this thread has pointed out.

My family never owned slaves. NEVER. My family history proves that they were against SLAVERY yet some died in the Civil War. Why should I not be proud of them even though some hate groups decided to hijack the “Confederate Flag”?

Just because our history isn’t perfect, none are, doesn’t mean we can’t be proud of some of it. There is such a thing as the duality of the South. We are not all racist hate mongers as some would believe. Not even some of us that support our Southern Heritage. Including the African American members of the SCV. Many of whom had ancestors fight for the South as free men.

Keep in mind that no slave came to America on a ship sailing under the Confederate Flag while many came on ships flown under the American Flag. Some ships like the Hope came from states like Rhode Island. Others from other Countries that still fly their historical flags without protest. Why? Because while they may have been importing slaves, that is not all they stood for.

I know all to well that this is a controversial subject. I have dealt with it all my life. Some will still get on here and call me an ignorant racist who doesn’t know history. I can live with that as I know the truth.

YoBob's avatar

@mazingerz88

“Not easy to tell by looking if they are racists or merely pro-secession.”

How about neither? I find it troublesome that pretty much any sub-group you can name is welcome and encouraged take pride in their heritage yet a Southerner who owns a confederate flag is automatically perceived as either a racist or secessionist without even considering the possibility that they just might be be proud of their Southern heritage.

I am a 5+ generation Texan on both sides. Many of those ancestors were farmers. We’re talking subsistence homesteaders here. None of them owned slaves. That was something reserved for those rich sugar and tobacco tycoons. I am willing to wager that my father personally hand picked more cotton than did the parents (or even grandparents) of the vast majority of those most vocal about the whole slave thing.

I think @Qingu stated things quite well. Being of Southern decent does not make one responsible for use of slave labor in the American agriculture industry in the 1800’s any more than being a descendent of residents of the original 13 colonies makes an individual responsible for the systematic genocide of the indigenous population in the name of manifest destiny.

Supporting the idea of a reduced size and scope of a federal government that has grown far beyond its original intent does not make one a radical secessionist. It makes one a fiscally conservative libertarian.

Owning a confederate flag (which I don’t FWIW, but after participating in this thread I am considering going out and getting one) does not make one a racist, inbred, moron who wants a return to pre War of Northern Aggression sensibilities any more than a person of Irish descent wearing green on St. Patrick’s day makes them a member of the IRA.

I submit that there is a flavor of bigotry displayed in this thread that is more insidious than the racial issue that is invariably hauled out any time the conversation turns to Southern heritage.

missingbite's avatar

@YoBob Beautifully put! Thank you and GA!

JLeslie's avatar

@missingbite I believe those who love the confederate flag and fly it when they say they are not racist, and whatever positive they feel the flag represents.

Again, they are ignoring what it represents to many people. Again, it is like an assault. That flag does mean to the black person driving by that it is representative of the old south, which was not a friendly place, and many people who are not black also see it that way. My grandma may want to hold onto the definition of gay as meaning happy, but when she calls a man gay today (if she were alive) everyone will assume he is homosexual. You may want to insist on what you feel that flag represents, but it just is not the case for the majority of Americans.

missingbite's avatar

@JLeslie In today’s age the rainbow symbol has become synonymous with the gay community. To many religious people homosexuality is wrong. Are you suggesting that the rainbow flags and symbols should stop being used because the religious people’s feelings are being ignored?

YoBob's avatar

@JLeslie

“but it just is not the case for the majority of Americans.”

That’s rather the point, isn’t it. In this regard Southerners are denied the opportunity to take pride in their heritage (in fact pressured to be ashamed of it), and I stand by the belief that this is a rather insidious form of bigotry that goes largely unnoticed because once the race card is played the conversation is pretty much doomed.

JLeslie's avatar

@YoBob I think you are being too easily offended and defensive. I don’t think anyone here thinks all southerners are racist. I don’t think anyone here thinks just because someone wants a smaller federal government they are secessionists. I don’t think anyone here thinks anyone today is responsible for slave labor in the 1800’s. I don’t see anything wrong with being proud to be a southerner.

But, that flag has a message that comes with it, unintended or not, and to ignore it is to ignore the feelings and anxiety of many. That is where the ignorance lies in my opinion. To be competely unaware of the world within which one exists and the message being put out there.

JLeslie's avatar

@YoBob I think the feelings of those who have been opressed and harmed usually trump the others. When I was in college swastikas were drawn on some of the doors at the “Jewish” dorm. A friend of mine said to me, “what’s the big deal? It’s just a symbol.” I was shocked. It was when I learned that he will never know, like how I know, the feeling of fear that symbol can evoke. I replied to him, “that symbol means they want to put me into the ovens.” It is a threat, threatening. Maybe the person who drew it just thought it was funny? Playing a prank on Jewish friends, and had no idea what message he was sending.

tom_g's avatar

@missingbite: “In today’s age the rainbow symbol has become synonymous with the gay community. To many religious people homosexuality is wrong. Are you suggesting that the rainbow flags and symbols should stop being used because the religious people’s feelings are being ignored?”

Yes. Because when Christians see that rainbow flag, they are reminded of the hell their recent ancestors went through at a time when homosexuals owned Christians as property. Oh wait. Huh? What are we talking about again?

missingbite's avatar

@tom_g What are you talking about. I assume you are talking about Christians owning slaves? I am comparing a symbol. No one has said slavery was good. BTW, European Christians were slaves from about 1530 AD to 1780 AD by Muslims, but I don’t think this is a tit for tat discussion.

JLeslie's avatar

@YoBob Question: when people say they want a smaller government, are they only talking about federal government the way you interpret it? I have wondered this, because I like the idea of a smaller less intrusive government, but it seems tp me many people who talk about a smaller goverment are just fine with creating a whole bunch of laws at the state and local level. It has always confused me. Of course I hear people who specifically state they want a smaller central government, but just using “smaller government” I realized a few months ago I don’t know what they are necessarily referring to. The reason I ask is because many people around where I live complain about taxes, complain about the size of government, and I was in the gym the other day and these too women were going on and on, and I was sort of half in the conversation. Anyway, at one pint I said, “I find it ironic you are so negative about government, and we are standing here in one of the only athletic favilities in thos town that was subsidised and built by the government for the commuty. They had a little look of shock on their face, and then quickly responded, “oh, but that is local government.” That is when I realized I don’t always know the lingo.

I ask this with no gotcha, I really am interested in knowing the answer, rather separate from the general discussion at hand. So, when I speak to people I have better communication and understanding.

JLeslie's avatar

@missingbite No, he is not talking about Christians owning slaves. He is saying the gay people have not harmed anyone. Their symbol does not represent death and slavery.

missingbite's avatar

@JLeslie Thank you for pointing that out. It is very hard to understand intent with written word sometimes.

JLeslie's avatar

@missingbite Yeah, the written word can get us into all sorts of trouble. :) and not knowing where each of us is really coming from. Up above I thought @mazingerz88 was saying he was a secessionist, until I clarified with him.

JLeslie's avatar

Which, honestly if someone prefers the idea of secession, it does not offend me at all.

missingbite's avatar

Here is a great read on the Duality of the South. PLEASE READ THE COMMENT BELOW THE BLOG. Without the comment you will only get part of the story.

Qingu's avatar

@YoBob, I have no respect for people who take pride in their southern heritage. Because that heritage is barbaric and ignorant and should be left in the dustbin of history.

That is what the confederate flag stands for. It stands for a country that seceded from its democratically elected government because it wanted to continue owning slaves.

Now, if you own a confederate flag, you may not be a racist. But it does signal to me that you either respect your racist ancestors and the country they formed, or that you are ignorant of the actual meaning of the Confederacy.

Comparing the confederate flag to wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day is absurd. Do you feel the same way about wearing Nazi swastikas?

YoBob's avatar

@JLeslie

“Question: when people say they want a smaller government, are they only talking about federal government the way you interpret it?”

This is an excellent question and, perhaps, a good topic for another thread.

I can, of course, only speak for myself. However, I believe my perceptions mirror a significant percentage of those who believe in a reduced size and scope of government.

I believe that the root of the issue boils down to two key philosophical differences. One is the overall role of government in our lives. The second is how authority should be distributed in a representative democracy.

I am going to be intentionally brief as I do not have sufficient time to do the topic justice. However, if you want to further explore the topic over time I will be happy to participate.

Regarding the first issue of role of government in our lives, with freedom comes responsibility. It is not the role of government to be your nanny nor is it the role of government to regulate your actions to the point where it becomes difficult to “pursue happiness” because one is so restricted by regulation that there is little room for doing anything other than in the governmentally sanctioned fashion.

Regarding the second, which I think is really the larger issue at hand, I believe in a government in which power flows from the bottom up, not the top down. People of different locals often have very different opinions about the right way to do things and those opinions are tied to many factors including culture and geography. Local governments are far better equipped to understand the needs of their smaller local constituency than an ivory tower politician trying to represent multiple sub-groups, often with wildly differing opinions. Of course, those local governments need a common framework, which is provided by the state government and those states need to have a framework provided by the federal government to ensure everyone plays nice in the sandbox. However, the function and scope of that framework becomes more general the further away it is from the individual.

YoBob's avatar

@Qingu – And I have no respect for ignorant bigots.

Qingu's avatar

@YoBob, just to be clear, are you saying you don’t respect the ignorant bigots who formed the Confederacy and thus would not countenance a confederate flag on your property? Or are you calling me an ignorant bigot?

Qingu's avatar

@YoBob, and I absolutely disagree that local governments being “better equipped to understand the needs of their smaller local constituency than an ivory tower politician trying to represent multiple sub-groups, often with wildly differing opinions.”

One obvious counterexample to this notion is the existence of local governments who support the right to own slaves.

Another counterexample would be local governments who think rape and child abuse should be decriminalized. Or who think that blacks should not be allowed in the same public schools as whites.

In fact, one of the main purposes of a federal government is to secure the rights of individuals and prevent local governments from enabling their abuse.

And it is shocking and outrageous that the southern rebellion, against a democratcially elected government, in support of slavery, is continually held up as this shining pinnacle of states’ rights integrity.

YoBob's avatar

@Qingu – Apparently you are unaware of the concept of a constitutional framework under which local constituencies operate.

Regarding bigotry – if the shoe fits…

If I am not mistaken, you are the one making character judgements based on the circumstances of birth.

Qingu's avatar

Yes, I am quite aware. The constitution is a living document that has changed, both in its content and its interpretation, a lot throughout our history. As it should be, as the founders intended.

And I’m confused as to what your point is. Are you suggesting that people who violently secede from the union because they want to keep their slaves should be remotely respected because, technically speaking, they believed they were within their constitutional rights to do so?

missingbite's avatar

@Qingu You must not be proud to be American either? I’m confused? Do you just hate the South for slavery? Do you support the American Flag even though it represented slavery for more than 80 years?

JLeslie's avatar

@Qingu If they had seceded, they could no longer be the north’s problem. I never quite understood why the north wanted to hold onto the southern states at the time. History was my worst subject, I am much better on the medical questions.

Qingu's avatar

I am not all that proud to be an American.

I don’t really think of countries along the lines of high school football teams.

I support forms of government and political ideals that work well and protect human rights. America’s pretty well off in this respect. But so are a lot of other developed countries.

I also think the history of most places on earth, of the human race, until rather recently, and even in many places and cultures today, is largely a series of atrocities that we should all be ashamed of.

If that counts as “pride in America,” well, there you go.

YoBob's avatar

@Qingu – And this is exactly what I alluded to earlier. The minute the race card is played the conversation is doomed.

NEWSFLASH: This isn’t the late 1800’s, the percentage of people from the south who actually owned slaves is vanishingly small, and the issue at the time of the civil war was about just how much say the federal government had in the affairs of state. The slavery issue (otherwise known as the “dying institution”) was just the catalyst.

As you seem to bear such a grudge towards Southerners, I am curious, how do you feel about those of German descent?

missingbite's avatar

@JLeslie They wanted to hang on to the South for our agricultural economy. The war was over money. All wars are over either money or religion.

Qingu's avatar

@JLeslie, I used to think that. I used to be very ambivalent about the Civil War. Maybe slavery would have died of natural causes at the onslaught of industrialism.

One problem is that the south started the war. They fired on Fort Sumter. Capitulation to such aggression is not really a good long-term strategy.

Another problem is that, let’s say the North lets the South secede. Now you have two countries, strongly antagonistic towards each other, fighting a turf war over whether the rest of the North American continent gets settled by the proslavery or antislavery side. This was already extremely ugly in “Bleeding Kansas” and it probably would have gotten a lot worse.

Qingu's avatar

@YoBob, I haven’t played the race card, as far as I know?

How do I feel about Germans? I don’t give a shit if someone is a German. I don’t give a shit if someone happens to be from a Southern state, either. But if someone is a German and flies the Nazi flag on his car, then I think that person has serious problems. Likewise the confederate flag.

Because the confederate flag, like the Nazi flag, stands for a very particular movement in history. It doesn’t stand for gumbo, fried chicken, and blues music.

And the number of southerners who owned slaves was not “vanishingly” small. 25% is not vanishingly small.

And you still haven’t really answered my question: Do you think the federal government should have a say as to whether states allow slavery?

tom_g's avatar

@missingbite – I have a bad habit of applying poorly-worded sarcasm to posts that will be read by strangers who don’t know me. Trying to kick this habit. Sorry. I still think the point is valid, if you read it as sarcasm and take @JLeslie‘s quick explanation into mind.

Qingu's avatar

@missingbite, a while ago I had to process a bunch of historical primary sources, and one collection was pamphlets from the civil war era, both anti-slavery and pro-slavery. Unfortunately, I can’t find this collection on Google right now, but I know it’s somewhere.

Anyway, slavery was a religious issue. One pamphlet I remember in detail was a pro-slavery southern pamphlet that mocked northern abolitioinists for calling slavery a “sin.” This pamphlet gleefully cited Biblical verses (like Leviticus 25:45, 1 Timothy 6:1) that explicitly allowed slavery.

All of the pamphlets I read about slavery, for and against, were deeply concerned with morality and religion.

Now, I suppose you can take a marxist view of things and claim that all matters of morality and slavery are epiphenomena of class economics. But I think that’s simplistic and naive, and I think it’s a mistake to ignore just how deeply slavery and the civil war were about morality and ideals.

YoBob's avatar

@Qingu

“Do you think the federal government should have a say as to whether states allow slavery?”

Yes, I believe this is covered under the basic constitutional framework mentioned earlier.

JLeslie's avatar

So I am thinking about this mention of not blaming or relating southerners of today to what happened in the 1800’s. That is actually my very point. When people talk about the civil war, and their disgust for slavery, or even their negative opinion of the idea of secession, it has nothing to do with the average southerners of today. No one is saying todays southerner should be wearing a scarlet S for the history of the region. But, the southerner seems to interpret the opinion as an afront against them present day. It is unAmerican to hold any descendent responsible for past generations in my opinion, although I do at times agree with trying to right a wrong, depending on the circumstance. When I meet a southerner I do not think about racism, civil rights, civil war, I take them as an individual like everyone else. If my father was a serial murderer, I would not want it to reflect on me, I am my own person. America is the land of making your own way, the poor can become rich, individual merit, not family surnames and dynastic wealth. Of course we have some dynastic wealth and surnames are recognized, but America is founded on recognizing anyone who works hard, has integrity, and acheives, not matter what or who their family is.

mazingerz88's avatar

@YoBob @Qingu @JLeslie @missingbite Wow, awesome board. To borrow from that commercial, it’s priceless.

That’s why I also Fluther, to learn and be less ignorant. Thank you!

Qingu's avatar

@JLeslie, I 100% agree with that.

But just as people shouldn’t be forced to wear a scarlet S for the sins of their ancestors, people also shouldn’t respect their ancestors who sinned. Ancestor-worship has no place in our society. Especially for ancestors who fought for the right to own slaves. Or for ancestors who believed it was the white man’s right to own North America and traded in Indian scalps. It’s important to know about our past, but it’s equally important to distance ourselves from the ignorant, vile cultures of our ancestors.

@YoBob, if you think regulating slavery is in the basic constitutional framework, I’m confused as to what you’re even arguing about the south.

bob_'s avatar

@Qingu Dude, I think @YoBob was indeed calling you an ignorant bigot. I could be wrong, though.

JLeslie's avatar

@Qingu Do you agree that as a country there was slavery in America. Forget about north and south, simply as Americans it is part of our history?

bob_'s avatar

As a side note to this side thread, it is illegal to display Nazi symbols in Germany.

Qingu's avatar

@JLeslie, sure. And we should be ashamed about that part of our history. Along with many other parts of our history.

But the issue of slavery doesn’t define American history as it does the history of the Confederacy. The desire to keep slavery legal is not the main reason that America exists.

JLeslie's avatar

@Qingu I felt pretty sure you would agree it is American history, not just southern history :).

Qingu's avatar

Of course! The North had slaves for more than a hundred years.

But here’s the point: the North eventually realized slavery was wrong, and they ended it. The North progressed morally. The South did not (arguably they did somewhat in agreeing to end the foreign slave trade, but what remained was still quite atrocious). And the South started a war and formed a new country to protect their lack of moral progress.

That is what the Confederate flag stands for, and it’s a very different thing—a much more specific thing, too—than what the American flag stands for.

YoBob's avatar

@Qingu

“But the issue of slavery doesn’t define American history as it does the history of the Confederacy.”

I believe herein lies the rub. Southern heritage encompasses a heck of a lot more than the issue of slavery, or for that matter the civil war period. As has been pointed out multiple times in this discussion, almost any demographic has an ugly little something in its history. In most cases those smudges in history are generally overlooked. For example, when one touts pride in their German heritage it is more likely that the image of lederhosen and Octoberfest will spring to mind as opposed to death camps and the holocost. However, when one mentions Southern heritage one is almost assured that within a dozen or so sentences one will find themselves (yet again) talking about the issue of slavery and how acknowledging such a heritage implies that one is of questionable character.

missingbite's avatar

@Qingu Of course slavery was a religious issue. It was also an economic issue. What I know from years of studying the Civil War from both perspectives is that there was much more to the war than slavery. In fact, slavery was a smaller portion of the reasons for the war. However I know I will never convince you of that because the South lost the war and the real history of the South has been tainted for decades. Sad but true.

tom_g's avatar

@YoBob – I understand you have already thrown the “race card” card, and I am stating right now that you will have to take my word for it that this question I’m about to ask has no intention of making you out to be anything. I am just trying to understand this. I am completely ignorant. I know no southerners, other than a couple of northerners who fled to the south because New England was “too liberal”. Here goes…

I’m curious – when African Americans from the south are celebrating their southern heritage, do they fly the confederate flag?

Qingu's avatar

@YoBob, do you honestly think that people who fly the confederate flag are celebrating the South’s heritage of fried chicken and pulled pork? A la Germans celebrating octoberfest?

That is not what the symbol of the confederate flag means to anyone.

Likewise, Germans who wear swastikas are not celebrating the admittedly excellent traditions of Nazi-era architecture, fashion design, and filmmaking.

YoBob's avatar

Gee, I don’t know @tom_g, I don’t know many northerners and am equally curious. Do Jews of German heritage living in New England display swastikas when celebrating their German heritage?

Personally I prefer to celebrate my southern heritage at family gatherings enjoying fried chicken or beans, greens and cornbread. You’d probably be surprised at how few confederate flags are on display at such gatherings.

Qingu's avatar

@YoBob, why do you think anyone here has a problem with southerners celebrating their excellent culinary traditions?

What we have a problem with is southerners who respect/celebrate the political movement of the Confederacy.

tom_g's avatar

@YoBob: “Gee, I don’t know @tom_g, I don’t know many northerners and am equally curious. Do Jews of German heritage living in New England display swastikas when celebrating their German heritage?”

Wow. Didn’t expect this response. Am I correctly interpreting what you are saying here? Are you saying that neither African Americans nor Jews of German heritage would want to display the symbol of their oppressors? Haven’t you been stating that the confederate flag is not a symbol of slavery? I’m confused. Maybe you are being sarcastic. If so, I am not following.

missingbite's avatar

@tom_g I will freely admit that the number is EXTREMELY small, some do.

Some will go on to call this person a quack or an Uncle Tom. I disagree with those.

YoBob's avatar

@Qingu – What I take issue with is the tenancy to automatically equate taking pride in one’s southern heritage with being a confederate flag waving moron who believes that the institution of slavery should never have been abolished and still harbors the desire to make them damned yankees pay.

@tom_g – I seem to be suffering a memory lapse. Please point out where I have made any statements about the symbology of the confederate flag. The only remarks I recall making on the topic was pointing out assumptions that a previous poster was making about the character of their neighbors for displaying a confederate flag and suggesting that those assumptions might be incorrect.

The point I have been trying to make is that folks like you and @Qingu seem to automatically equate having pride in a southern heritage with having racist ideals straight out of the late 1800’s, which I am having difficulty as categorizing as anything short of bigotry.

bob_'s avatar

You guys aren’t gonna stop, are you?

Qingu's avatar

@YoBob, I guess I’m not sure what we’re even arguing about. You also believe that people who wave the confederate flag are morons?

I do have to quibble about “heritage.” Because I think there is a lot more to pride in one’s heritage than, you know, liking traditional foods associated with that heritage.

I mean, don’t get me wrong. The south (including Texas) has by far the best food in America. But this is not something to celebrate as an essential identity.

To wit: I like matzo ball soup, gefilte fish, and rugelach. I would not say my liking of such foods means I have pride in my “Jewish heritage.”

Aside from that, I think we actually agree. I would never assume a southerner supports slavery or is racist simply on the basis of being a southerner. That is bigotry.

missingbite's avatar

@bob_ You crack me up! But you are still here too!

YoBob's avatar

@Qingu

“You also believe that people who wave the confederate flag are morons?”

Not necessairly. While I understand the sentiment that others have attached to the confederate flag, I also believe that there are those who see it as a symbol of southern pride without the more negative connotations that many (yes I’ll go as far as saying most) have attached to the symbol.

As for bigotry, I am quite happy to know that you do not judge the attitudes of southerners based on their geography and genetics. We both agree, that would be bigotry.

Qingu's avatar

Okay. Well, we’re in agreement.

I am left wondering what southern pride actually consists of, though, when shorn of its association with the CSA. Food and blues?

missingbite's avatar

@Qingu You will always wonder because you and many of us who are SCV’s have a different understanding of the CSA. Did you read my two links in earlier posts or do you not care?

tom_g's avatar

@YoBob – Sorry if I misunderstood your position on the confederate flag.

@YoBob: “The point I have been trying to make is that folks like you and @Qingu seem to automatically equate having pride in a southern heritage with having racist ideals straight out of the late 1800’s, which I am having difficulty as categorizing as anything short of bigotry”

I have admitted that I don’t know southerners, and I don’t recall saying that “having pride in southern heritage” means having racist ideals straight out of the 1800s. I don’t understand pride overall, so it may be handicapping me in this conversation. If I was to have pride in something, however, I probably wouldn’t pick a symbol like a swastika or confederate flag to express my pride.

Qingu's avatar

Just read one of them. I’m familiar with the Young/Skynard thing and I’m also familiar with some of the claims the 1st commentor makes (blacks fought for the south in the civil war! Reconstruction was punishment).

First, the number of blacks who fought for the south is incredibly small, and in no way excuses the abuses of slavery or the institution of slavery that the south fought to defend.

Second, there is a big difference between remembering the north’s injustices against the south during and after the war, and supporting the confederacy.

I could not find the other link you’re talking about, unless it’s the one with blacks flying the CSA flag.

I will admit to equating, unfairly, “southern pride” with “supporting the confederacy.” If by southern pride you mean liking fried chicken, pulled pork, gumbo, chili, et all, then I have no problem with that. Those foods are delicious and far better than anything Northerners have traditionally cooked up. I just don’t think this is what most people mean by “southern pride.” I certainly don’t think it’s what people have in mind when they fly the confederate flag. Nobody should have pride in the confederacy.

tom_g's avatar

@Qingu: “If by southern pride you mean liking fried chicken, pulled pork, gumbo, chili, et all, then I have no problem with that.”

You have made this point about southern pride a couple of times now (I believe), and I haven’t seen a response. This is interesting to me. I wonder if someone will respond with an explanation of southern pride that either confirms the food pride or expands it to something else.

Qingu's avatar

One more thing, from your link (and I’m breaking my policy of not responding to stuff in links):

“Native Americans don’t seem to be ridiculed for remembering The Trail of Tears or The Massacre of Wounded Knee, the broken treaties, etc., but the south has no right to remember the devastations and losses of the war.”

I think this is just an awful comparison. Sherman’s march didn’t kill anyone. And the native Americans, unlike the southerners, didn’t start a war. Nor were they forced to march off the land they owned during reconstruction. Nor did northerners pay each other for southerner scalps.

Qingu's avatar

@tom_g, I suppose you could also expand it to include the beauty of the forests and lightning storms in the south. That was something I was struck by when I visited there. But yeah, I’m curious about what else is meant by “southern pride” too.

missingbite's avatar

@Qingu, @tom_g Don’t just glance at it but dig around here for a little while. Watch the video and see another perspective. One from a former head of an NAACP chapter who has done a lot of research.

BTW, The Swastika was around long before Hitler made it a hate sign. I hope y’all knew that. It is still used in many parts of the world as a religious symbol. Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism come to mind.

For the second time, this time with @bob_ ‘s advise, I am finished here. It has been interesting to say the least.

tom_g's avatar

@missingbite: “BTW, The Swastika was around long before Hitler made it a hate sign. I hope y’all knew that. It is still used in many parts of the world as a religious symbol. Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism come to mind” You’re kidding, right? Who doesn’t know this? And what does it have to do with our conversation?

missingbite's avatar

@tom_g Just an observation that a symbol doesn’t always mean what one thinks.

Qingu's avatar

I think s/he’s saying that people who wear swastikas might actually mean the symbol as an affirmation of Jainism.

So therefore, southerners who fly the confederate flag may mean the symbol as… something completely unrelated to the confederacy.

Yeah I don’t get it either.

JLeslie's avatar

@YoBob What I think I am hearing from you is you are not a confederate flag waving man, you are not a racist, you love some of the southern traditions, food, congeniality, hospitality, and more. What I don’t understand is why you feel offended by, or why you need to defend southerners who are waving the flag? They have nothing to do with you the way I see it. You are grouping yourself in with them, because you think we are grouping you in with them, but I don’t think anyone here is, or any northerners in general would. Many people think there are a whole lot of Mexicans living here without papers, my husband is Mexican, he has his papers, any statistic proving some Mexicans are here illegally has nothing to do with him. He does not take on that identity just because he is from the same place. He can have a conversation about American immigration laws without feeling labelled himself. Although, he does have a different perspective possibly.

Maybe part of the reason we think of Nazi Germany less and less when we meet, interact, or hear about Germans and Germany present day is because they have actively taken steps as a country, government, and people to dissociate, denounce, and forbid anything that remotely seems like promoting Nazi symbols or atitude, to the point that patriotism to Germany scares them as bordering on nationalism and devotion to ones country for the wrong reasons. Too many southerners want to keep the negative symbols alive, and talk others into thinking it is ok.

Why not be proud to be a Texan, Tennessean, etc., and American of course. Why group all southerners together? Which is basically what that flag does. Peach and Pecan pies, Gus’s fried chicken, east North Carolina BBQ, beaches, seafood, and on and on. So many good things, so many local positive things to promote.

Qingu's avatar

I disagree that peach pies are worthy of pride. One should never cook stone fruits! (Sour cherries might be an exception…)

JLeslie's avatar

@Qingu Cherries are MI, and a few other northern states. Give me a pecan pie over any fruit pie any day.

YoBob's avatar

@JLeslie – What I take issue with is that it is very difficult, as evidenced by this conversation, for anyone from the south to even mention the concept of southern pride without, more often than not, being perceived as someone of questionable character. In fact, even the very essence of the original question somewhat smacked of bait for a rousing round of southerner bashing. Further, while I have never held much personal attachment to the stars and bars, I am somewhat disheartened that even though that particular symbol has a much richer history than solely as the banner for some unsavory sentiments, the very suggestion that some who fly that flag do so as a symbol of a broader history generally causes some pretty negative reactions. (~ perhaps some of y’all could use some redneck sensitivity training…)

@Qingu – While I am not much of a fan of peach pie, I totally disagree with your statement about cooking stone fruits. Pitty I can’t share my peach cobbler with you through Fluther.

I have to agree with @JLeslie, pecan pie rules (especially when it is made with fresh harvested native pecans and some homemade ice cream)!

WestRiverrat's avatar

@tom_g I have a black friend that flies the Confederate battle flag. One of his ancestors died defending that flag, and he is proud of that. He is less proud of the fact that said ancestor was also a slave holder, and yes his ancestor was black.

JLeslie's avatar

@YoBob Really, I can understand your position and why you might feel under attack, or that the south is. My original question was worded poorly I guess, I take responsiility for that. Towards the top of the answers and again to @wundayatta I stated that I wanted to hear the good things the south has been leaders in, and I meant it sincerely. If you go back to the top you will see the question kind of got off to a good start I thought, and then degraded over time. Probably the comment that really caused everything to fall apart was mine when you felt I was calling all southerners hicks and racist or something. Can’t remember exactly what that was now, and don’t care to look back to find it. Probably the New Yorker in me who shoots straight from the hip, and doesn’t like to have to tapdance or stifle, just wants to be able to ask a direct question without having to worry about being too considerate of feelings. I tried to warn it might sound bad, and I got in trouble for that too. I think that was the real downhill slide on the thread.

flutherother's avatar

@JLeslie You almost restarted the Civil War single handed.

Qingu's avatar

@YoBob, I think the reason people react to “southern pride” the way they (we) do is because we can’t imagine what exactly southerners have pride in, aside from food. I’ve asked you this (so has @tom_g), but you haven’t given us an answer.

And it’s also because, at least in my experience, the venn diagrams of people with “southern pride” and people who have confederate flags overlap a lot.

tom_g's avatar

@JLeslie – I don’t feel that the thread was inappropriate in any way, so I don’t think you have anything to apologize for. Although, I am not sure that the original question was answered as thoroughly as I had hoped.

There also seems to be a lack of southerners here on Fluther that may be able to explain some of the other related topics we discussed, such as the confederate flag, etc went unanswered. @YoBob appears to have attempted to answer, but I am under the impression that he is uncomfortable talking about this stuff, and takes legitimate, honest questions as insults. There are a couple of unanswered questions that I think are important. And the fact that they have been asked a few times without being answered should probably tell us something.

EDIT: @Qingu just asked it again. Crossing my fingers.

JLeslie's avatar

@flutherother Crap, I live in Memphis, not too smart on my part if I want to wind up on the north side.

WestRiverrat's avatar

@Qingu I don’t think there is a difinitive answer to what ‘southern pride’ is. The best answer I have heard is ‘If you have to ask, you won’t understand.’

In my family it is a personal thing that you don’t try to share with outsiders. You will either grow some yourself or never understand.

JLeslie's avatar

@tom_g I think @YoBob stayed with and tolerated our questions pretty well. I bet you there are southerners following the Q not willing to jump in, might even be PMing him. It is tough on fluther because we tend to have quite a lot of liberal minded, atheist, not southern people on here. I am very grateful to those who present the other points of view.

@Qingu I understand pride in where one lives when a person is happy and values their surroundings. Sometimes we don’t overanalyze these things, we just know where we live, know we like it there, and identify with the place. Texas, America, South, etc. Sometimes we decide we don’t like other parts of the country for some reason, and develop more pride and identity with is home to us. I don’t think someone necessarily has to look at the bad things in the past, just know they feel good about where they live now, and a kinship of sorts with the people around us. A common experience.

tom_g's avatar

@WestRiverrat: “I don’t think there is a difinitive answer to what ‘southern pride’ is. The best answer I have heard is ‘If you have to ask, you won’t understand.’”

“In my family it is a personal thing that you don’t try to share with outsiders. You will either grow some yourself or never understand.”

This sounds mystical or something. I can’t even get my head around it.

So, this personal southern pride that evades even the most simple of explanations is best experienced by publicly flying the confederate flag, then feeling victimized when people misinterpret the mysterious pride?

flutherother's avatar

I am not an American but I was at Magnolia Cemetery in Mobile at the burial of a Confederate serviceman whose remains had been recovered from a sunken ship and it was a very sad and dignified occasion. The Sons of Confederate Volunteers marched by in their grey uniforms and stood over the grave and fired their muskets. They even fired some artillery rounds. There were many women who had dressed in black period costume for the day. Magnolia cemetery is full of the graves of those who died in the Civil War. Though I was there as a visitor I understood what is meant by ‘southern pride’ and I was pleased to have been there that day. If you have pride in your own background and your own roots you will understand the pride others take in theirs.

YoBob's avatar

I’m not sure what I find more off putting, statements like this:

“I think the reason people react to “southern pride” the way they (we) do is because we can’t imagine what exactly southerners have pride in”

or that @Qingu does not seem to have the capacity to grasp how insulting that statement comes across as.

I can’t help but wonder what the reactions would be if somebody said something like: “I just can understand being proud to be from Ethiopia. What the heck do they have to be proud of?”

@flutherother said it well: “If you have pride in your own background and your own roots you will understand the pride others take in theirs”

FWIW, I will have only intermittent internet access over the next several days. It’s been fun, but ta ta for now.

Qingu's avatar

I have to say, you southrons have pretty thin skins.

And you’re evasive. Pride is something you can’t understand unless you have it? Pride is in your “background and roots”? (Okay, what does that mean?) You sound like cultists.

Is it possible that you haven’t actually thought about what you’re proud of?

mazingerz88's avatar

@flutherother Honoring the dead defines Southern pride for you?

WestRiverrat's avatar

@Qingu maybe we just don’t want to share what we are proud of with someone that is predisposed to belittle us because what we are proud of doesn’t fit with their prejudices.

missingbite's avatar

@Qingu Now you are just being funny. Real Southerners have been laughed at and called ignorant racists for so long I can’t believe we still try to educate people of our background! Thin skinned? Thanks for the laugh! @YoBob didn’t say his/her feelings were hurt. He/she said it was off putting and insulting. We can still laugh at it even if it is insulting.

For the record and the last time. I have Southern Pride because my ancestors fought for what they believed in. NOT SLAVERY although that was at the time part of life for both North and South. Remember the CSA seceded before the war. The South was under an economic attack by the somewhat industrialized (I use that term loosely) North. The South knew that slavery was a part of the agricultural economy hence the reason there were more slaves in the South. However, most were treated better then the slaves in the North. That has been documented in one of my links earlier. I also know from years of reading about the South that slavery was on it’s way out as the South became more industrialized like the North. Keep in mind that the North wanted nothing to do with the “negro” as a human being. That is well documented all the way to Lincoln himself. The hypocrisy of the North is laughable at best. The South was in motion for seceding for reasons of taxation on goods made from the very cotton they sent North long before the issue of slavery came into play with the war.

I know in my heart that you have read in books a total opposite of what I have stated. I can’t help that as the South (greatly outnumbered) lost the war and the North got to write history.

I can’t help that you will think I am an ignorant racist for having pride in my ancestors. You can’t help it and I have learned to live with that. That does not make me thin skinned.

I have not gotten on this board and called anyone names or insulted their heritage. Others have. That says a lot of a person. I will continue to be proud of my Southern Heritage and my “Confederate Flag” and you will continue to believe I am from a “bunch of savages.”

With respect to all of the participants…..good night.

tom_g's avatar

After @missingbite‘s response, I don’t think this will end well. I’m not sure we’re all coming at this in the same way. There are some huge interpretation issues that seem to be growing. The unknown in this discussion right now is the “southern pride” question. The question could be about “northern pride” and I think it would go the same way. I haven’t seen anyone “called names or insulted” here. Yet, I keep seeing these claims. I can’t seem to make much sense of what is going on. “Thin skinned” might be the closest thing to being an insult (and I have also made this claim here), but I feel that it is entirely accurate. There have been calls for apologies and sensitivity training. This is the type of PC-gone-overboard stuff that we’ve been hearing about for years. Get over yourself. We’re here to learn. If you don’t want to explain to us what you are proud of, don’t contribute. If you find ignorant questions offensive, maybe you should go watch the home shopping network.

@WestRiverrat: ”@Qingu maybe we just don’t want to share what we are proud of with someone that is predisposed to belittle us because what we are proud of doesn’t fit with their prejudices”

Is this kind of thing supposed to fly in a forum like this?

mazingerz88's avatar

It should not be confusing really. @missingbite said he was not proud of the slave history of the South. He is proud of the other things accomplished. That’s clear.

The conundrum for me here is how to respect the gallant fight for other noble things one has fought for, Southern or Northern if it is tainted with the issue of defending slavery. That is quite difficult.

JLeslie's avatar

Let’s all not forget that @Qingu is extremely critical of most groups, even his own. I know he does not identify as Jewish, I respect that, but he comes from a Jewish family, and he pulls out from history and the old testament negative and violent passages and quotes all of the time regarding his “own.”

EmpressPixie's avatar

@Qingu apologized for his mischaracterization and misunderstanding of southern pride.

He is also getting married in the south. It is a destination wedding.

JLeslie's avatar

@mazingerz88 Who is defending slavery?

Qingu's avatar

@missingbite, you said, “I have Southern Pride because my ancestors fought for what they believed in. NOT SLAVERY”

First of all, that was exactly what they were fighting for.

Secondly, even if it wasn’t, I think that’s a pretty lousy reason to have pride in a group of people. My alleged ancestors, the Maccabees, fought for what they believed in too—they didn’t want to be forced to pray to the Greek gods. They were also a bunch of Taliban-like savages and terrorists and the fact that they started a violent war is not something to be proud of for its own sake.

I also don’t have pride because Americans in the revolution “fought for what they believed in.” Being able to use violence in the service of ideology is not praiseworthy. It’s certainly not praiseworthy when the ideology in question is as vile as that of the Confederacy’s.

Qingu's avatar

And it’s not that I’ve read “in books” the opposite of what you just said. It’s that I’ve read pamphlets written by southerners during the Civil War, and I’ve read the articles of secession southerners wrote.

And I don’t think your’e an ignorant racist. I do think you are whitewashing your culture’s history. (Likewise, I don’t think my Jewish family is pro-Taliban style government because they venerate the Macabees. I do think they are wrong to venerate the Maccabees.)

mazingerz88's avatar

@JLeslie “Defended” slavery along with other issues during the civil war. Each one has a different take on how much slavery was a part of the civil war. The South defended their rights and amongst them is the right to have slaves, for whatever reason, economic, moral, religious etc.

It seems to me that for @Qingu that issue is the focal point that overshadows other reasons and things the South fought for like taxation as @missingbite mentioned. Defending your rights is honorable but what if in this case, part of that is being able to hold slaves? Does that invalidate your noble intent? It seems others do not think so and of course others do.

JLeslie's avatar

@mazingerz88 I thought you were saying people on this Q were defending slavery. But, I think you are talking about people back before the war if I now understand correctly.

mazingerz88's avatar

@JLeslie Yes, I’m talking about people who were slave owners before the war, fought the fight that happens to include the right to keep slaves as one of the issues during the war and after the war, still believe that they ought to be able to keep slaves.

Qingu's avatar

@mazingerz88, the south wasn’t “defending their rights,” whatever those rights are (and, to be clear, they were the right to own slaves).

THe south was rebelling against a democratically elected government. They didn’t like the results of a democratic election, so they violently rebelled.

Even if this conflict had nothing to do with slavery, their actions would still be ignoble and traitorous. The whole point of democracy is that you settle things at the ballot box instead of by the sword.

bob_'s avatar

Okay, I give up. This was fun for a while, though. Let me know if you guys reach a conclusion once you’re done refighting the war.

JLeslie's avatar

@mazingerz88 Still believe they ought to be able to keep slaves. So you mean now? I guess I am having trouble wrapping my brain around what you are saying, forgive my difficulty grasping here. I just want to be sure I am not misenterpreting, I am not trying to be obnoxious. I don’t think there are many people hoping to have some slaves present day, or concerned about fighting to make it legal. Of course slavery still goes on in our country and the world, but that is not a southern or African American issue, that is a separate topic altogether.

mazingerz88's avatar

@Qingu Obviously it was a different time. American democracy was much younger and the experiment was still at its infancy. Keep the union at no matter what cost. Lincoln understood that.

Slavery is evil but some men take a longer time to understand that. Some never do.

mazingerz88's avatar

@JLeslie It’s fine. My fault maybe for not being clearer. I was talking about then, right after the civil war, Americans who continued believing slavery was fine and maybe even necessary for whatever reason, economic? Were they all just in the defeated South?

I read an article once stating that a proposal was made for the Northern forces to make a hard push right after the war, to occupy the South to make sure people there do not harm the slaves who were still slaves at that time. But the North did not and left the South after their victory. As a result hundreds if not thousands of slaves were persecuted ( harmed? killed? ) by Southerners.

I read this along time ago. If my memory was faulty, anyone could post a link to rectify or support what I posted. That will be appreciated.

JLeslie's avatar

@mazingerz88 I just think Southerners for the most part don’t even think about the history anymore. There is this group of them that continue to want to hold onto some sort of southern superiority (which I would accuse all parts of country having some people who feel their section is a little better than another) but for the most part southern pride has little to do with 150 years ago, and everything to do with how they feel about their life today.

I think it is hard for us who live outside the south, well I am in the midsouth now, but I understand the perspective of being on the outside. Watching the politics of the southern states especially tends to remind us, or stirs up feelings that, the south continues to want the world to be a certain way, their way. I don’t know how to word it. It has to do with religion more than anything in my opinion. Personally I think slavery is a very old dead issue. But, there is certainly still some racism hanging around. But, it is not about being black, it is really more of a cultural war I think, and has everything to do with socio-economics, but it is very easy to make it into a race issue.

You have probably seen me cite the mayor one town up from me a few years ago put on his facebook that we should have kept the laws that you had to be a land owner to vote. It had to do with the election of Obama. Only a southerner would think of saying that in this day and age. If I was southern I would cringe. Hell, on his fucking facebook! It’s as bad as Weiner’e judgement about putting naked pictures of himself out there. There is a lot of crap said behind closed doors north and south. i don’t just mean about African Americans, I mean various groups and minorities.

bkcunningham's avatar

@Qingu, I just read a post way up in the conversation. Did you say everyone who lived in the “South” during the war of northern agression owned slaves?

mazingerz88's avatar

@bkcunningham I’m sorry but war of Northern aggression?

Qingu's avatar

No, I don’t believe I did. About a fourth of southern households owned slaves.

And by “war of northern aggression,” you are referring to the war that the south started against their democratically elected government, by firing on Fort Sumter, yes?

I could call it the “war of southern treason,” which would be about as inciteful as what you called it with the added benefit of actually being accurate.

EmpressPixie's avatar

Why don’t we go with “the recent unpleasantness”? That has always been my favorite euphemism for the thing.

bkcunningham's avatar

You are too funny sir. Too funny.

Qingu's avatar

I actually don’t think it’s funny at all. History is important.

And the things about southerners I do find funny are cause for my fiancée to yell at me.

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