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Dutchess_III's avatar

Can someone explain to me what there is so be so proud of in the Old Southern heritage?

Asked by Dutchess_III (39918points) August 15th, 2017

I came across a post that said protecting the statue of Robert E Lee and flying the Confederate flag was a sign of pride in their heritage, not racism.

I then asked two questions, neither of which were answered:

1) What, specifically, is there to be so proud of

and

2) Why is it only white people who express pride in that heritage?

I’m really curious.

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67 Answers

NomoreY_A's avatar

I am a southerner, and to answer your question, 1) Not a damn thing 2) Would you celebrate a heritage of slavery, abuse, and second class citizenship?

Dutchess_III's avatar

No! Of course not. But some insist that that’s not what it’s all about, but can’t seem to tell me what it IS all about.

NomoreY_A's avatar

Nor will they, because that IS what it is all about. A handful of aristocratic plantation owners, growing wealthy off of the blood and sweat of their slaves, and sending the poor redneck crackers off to fight because they were too damn stupid to know any better.

ragingloli's avatar

Power over those uppity negroes.

gondwanalon's avatar

I’m not from the south. I was born in Oshkosh. But I have an old US Army buddy (now an eye doctor) who’s from the south that is very proud of southern music, food and especially Confederate civil war soldiers that he calls heroes. He is constantly “remembering” fallen Confederate soldiers on fb. He seems blind to the negative aspects of the Civil War. Blind to the facts that they all died supporting an evil and illegal southern government. To him it was all good, righteous and worthy of honor. A couple times a year he even gets dressed up like a Confederate soldier and acts out in organized mock Confederate VS Union battles.

I visited New Orleans one time. Couldn’t wait to get out of there. Way too hot and humid for me. But I like the “Grand Ole Opry”. And I think that that old song “Dixie” is absolutely awesome!

MrGrimm888's avatar

There is pride in the fact/perception that the south stood up to the government. The feeling is similar to why most celebrate our nation’s independence from Britain. The southern states were a major source of natural resources, and agriculture. They felt that their needs/rights were not represented in respect to their contributions. The slavery thing was just the straw that broke the camel’s back. (They felt)Their state’s rights were abused,or unfairly changed by the union. And so. Fed up with what they saw as just more tyranny, they withdrew from the Union. The Union would not accept losing all that land, and it’s wealth of resources. Not to mention countless port cities, that were gold mines of trade. And of course, the tax revenue. So they used the Army, much like Assad in Syria, to get it back.

The south “rebelled” from what they felt was aggression, and fought for what they believed in. As I have mentioned before, almost none were fighting to keep slaves. Only the wealthiest families even owned slaves. The common southerner did not. The slavery thing was propaganda from the Union. They were NOT fighting for civil rights. They were busy committing genocide of the American Indians, and Mexicans at the time.

People like when people stand up against bullies. That is the story of the civil war. The south rose up, and fought a much larger,well supplied oppressor. And might have fended the union off, if not for Sherman’s march of fire and rape, and the fact that the union used the massive influx of immigrants to replenish their armies.

In many minds, the south was standing up to “the man.”

There is also a pride in our lifestyle. No self respecting southerner would want to be called a Yankee. They are considered rude, and obnoxious. And by our standards, they are.

It’s easy to forget in America, how geography changes culture. Because most places in America, they speak English. But if you drive 500 miles in any direction, in this country, you’ll notice a change in culture. If you drive that distance in many other places, you’re in a different country.

So. There is regional pride, that is common everywhere. And there is pride in being rebellious. And there is mistrust in the government. It’s one of the reasons why southerners want to keep their guns. In case they have to rise again…..

Fin.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, it WAS about slavery. Lincoln ran on an anti slavery platform. States began seceding almost immediately after he was elected. He was elected on November 6, of 1860. The first state to secede was NC, on December 20, 1860. The rest quickly followed suit. It was because of slavery.

And the mind set that they could actually defeat the modern government with their 22s and bear guns is utterly ludicrous.

They seem to bring all their worst fears to pass, because of the things they do.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Lincoln ordered the execution of hundreds of Indians in the Dakotas, I forget the date, but it was within weeks of the emancipation proclamation.

If he cared about human rights, it was only black and white people…

elbanditoroso's avatar

Remember that in the south, the civil war was known as The War of Northern Aggression.

The south had a different economic system (largely agricultural, work done by slaves, of course). The south had flourish trade with Europe both before and after 1776, and was seen as an economic power all of its own.

The civil war and what followed was not solely about slavery; it was about a way of life that was less frenzied than life up north.

I live here in the South and my extended family celebrates (in laws) commemorates some southern events – not that these family members are racist or white supremacist, but because the history of the south, good or bad, is where they grew up.

That’s why I strikes me as stupid to pull down statues and sandblast Stone Mountain. History remains whether it is seen or not.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Yes. Again. Slavery was a propaganda tool, used by the union to legitimize their actions. Actions that today would be considered war crimes.

Slavery was a state right. It was being removed by the federal government, without the OK from the southern states. The south didn’t need the north. It was perceived that the north was using and oppressing the south.

Slaves were tools of the wealthy elite. Only really benefiting them.
Can you imagine people dying so that Trump could have bigger tax breaks? People didn’t die by the thousands to keep the wealthy wealthy….

Yellowdog's avatar

It is certainly understandable that African Americans do not associate with a proud Southern heritage. But they should, because this is where they lived and influenced American culture.

I read a lot about the unknown and unwritten history of African Americans and all their inventions—but perhaps their greatest contribution yet was that of music. Jazz and the Blues started in the Delta and the Shoals of Alabama before moving to Chicago and Detroit—as did early Rock and Roll—these have probably been the greatest influence on American culture. And although slavery should have never existed in any of the Americas, a great deal of our infrastructure and heritage was built on it. Although it was done by force it was nonetheless a great contribution to what made us a nation—the labor of African Americans.

Many on this board are democrats—yes, the anti-central-gov’t slave-owners were democrats in the South. The South is YOUR heritage, You went from Slave-owners to KKK and the wrong side of the civil rights movement to the right (morally) side of civil rights. Many Democrat presidents and vice presidents and senators have a Southern heritage.

I assure you, also, that people who are obsessed or enthralled in the South love their American heritage and are not ‘rebels’. The civil war was 150 years ago and in league more with Revelutionary, 1912, French Indian and other wars—not something of a modern zeitgeist or spirit of the modern age,

I will write more about Southern heritage when I have more time, but for now—this is all I have time to write.

Coloma's avatar

^ Same could be said of the Chinese as well. Chinese slave labor built the transcontinental railroad and blew up mountains and a whole lot of chinese workers looking for gold in my neck o’ the woods.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@MrGrimm888…it wasn’t hundreds of Indians. It was 38 Indians because they murdered some homesteaders. I’m not saying it’s right, but exaggeration undermines your credibility.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I can’t believe you just said slavery was a state’s right. That is disgusting.

josie's avatar

Couldn’t tell you. But I am sure it has a little something to do with the fact that they took on the Federal Government (and lost, but I guess winning isn’t everything)

Darth_Algar's avatar

As someone who’s ancestors fought on the Confederate side I say toss it all. Cast down the statues, relegate the Star ‘n Bars to a museum piece, place the Confederacy in its proper place in the dustbin of history. The cause of human bondage, and a cast of mutineers who started a war they could not win is nothing to be proud of.

MrGrimm888's avatar

You’re right Dutch. I misstated it. It was 300 Indian people sentenced to death. Lincoln only allowed 38. In the article I read, it stated that it was the largest mass execution in US history.
He still was responsible for the death of thousands. Really much more.

I don’t hate Lincoln. I think he was one of the US’s best presidents. But he was no hero of human rights. The Indians were defending themselves from a foreign invader. Not “killing civilians.”

If you were thrown off of your land,raped,murdered,“relocated” and oppressed, would you consider your self defense an act of murder, or terrorism?...

He also helped the US take Texas.

Lincoln was a politician. He had a difficult task. He ultimately took the south back into the union. Well, his generals, and men did.

Slavery was a states right. That doesn’t mean I agree, or condone it. I’m just stating facts. Be offended if you want…Yes, it was “disgusting.”

You asked a question. I am giving you an answer. I tried to carefully insert words like perceive, and thinking. I am attempting to explain my understanding (having spoken to those who knew people alive during the war.They are dead now…..) of the situation.

As I look back at my post,I see nothing condoning the actions of the confederacy. I just see explanation, and perspective.

Darth_Algar's avatar

The “state’s rights” rhetoric is dispelled by the CSA’s own Constitution. If they truly fighting for states rights then they would have accorded their own constituent states they right to allow or disallow slavery. But they didn’t. Slavery was mandated in the Constitution of the CSA.

kritiper's avatar

The purity of those Southunahs, devoid of all of those other types that live up theyah in the noath, like the Irish and such. We and ouah fo’fathahs have all been heah since the country began, and weah right proud o’ that. We have mannahs that yall seem to have forgotton some so yall have polluted yoah selves. No wondah we ah so proud.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Well, I’ve said my piece. I won’t try to articulate it differently.

I would say, that I’m not proud of being an American right now. Not at all….

Dutchess_III's avatar

@MrGrimm888 it would depend on what form my act of self defense took. If I went around targeting innocent women and children and mostly defensless farmers, then yes. I’d call it terrorism.

I still don’t see where you get the idea that Lincoln was personally responsible for “thousands” of Indian deaths.

MrGrimm888's avatar

I suppose you could say that he didn’t stop genocide. It was quite public, and obvious with the Indians and Mexicans. He didn’t start the fire, but he blew on it, and rode it’s success…

Oh.When a foreign military kills your family, that puts their own family on the fair list…

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

I actually don’t give a shit. What I do care about is how people act toward each other because of how they feel about it.

Dutchess_III's avatar

No doubt the Amercan government was hideous when it came to Indian displacement. But I also don’t see Americans handing it all back, including me.

I was referring to Lincoln specifically. I saw where 38 Indians were executed for actual crimes (whether we deserved it or not.)

MrGrimm888's avatar

It was over 300. He ordered the deaths of 38, and most of the others were imprisoned, or “relocated.” They were defending their sacred territory from a foreign military.

I’m just saying don’t preach Lincoln’s moral high ground, in comparison to the south. He has none…

MrGrimm888's avatar

To clarify, I don’t mean that either side was “good.”

Sorry Dutch. I can’t post a link. I would think it can be Googled. But I guess the burden of proof is on me here…

I think I just Googled “Lincoln kills Dakota indians,” and it popped up…

It is, of course, a story written by US reporters… Who knows the actual truth. But what is undeniable, is that America had people here, that it attacked, and defeated to get the land that is “legally” US soil. Millions of indians, and Mexicans. They were on thewrong side of history, but they were victims of genocide. Plain and simple.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Ok. I’ll find it. It’s such a pain on my phone.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Hope this works lincoln-deciding-the-fate-of-300-indians-convicted-of-war-crimes-in-minnesotas-great-s

JLeslie's avatar

You’ve seen part of this answer before:

It’s kind of drilled into a lot of Southerners that the civil war was not about slavery, and they are proud of being Southern, and proud of their ancestors who fought for the confederacy, so to those people the confederate flag just represents the South. The soldiers who fought for the confederacy were soldiers, and soldiers are to be respected. Just like our Vietnam soldiers. Doesn’t even matter what the war was about, or if it was later perceived as a mistake.

There are people who see that confederate flag as a symbol of hatred. The flag is scary. If someone displays that flag you don’t know if they hate all Jews, blacks, and anyone else they identify as an “other” and will commit a violent act against those groups or an individual from those groups, or if they are just one of those people who is proud to be Southern. It’s the same for anything representing the confederacy.

It would be great if the South came up with a new flag to symbolize just being from the region, rather than representing a time in history that is a stain on the country. I loved so many things about living in the South, there is plenty of things to focus on rather than the difficult history. But, I’m not southern, I can’t really speak for them. Just like choosing a new flag, they should be taking down some of these statues, maybe all.

I’ll add that I absolutely agree the South was fighting about slavery, and in my opinion people who try to argue differently are just wrong. They are changing history in their own heads to feel better or something. But, for them, it’s their reality of what they believe the civil war was about.

NomoreY_A's avatar

Fuck the South

A Disgruntled Massachusetts Voter Gets It Off His Chest

by Anonymous

Fuck the South. Fuck ‘em. We should have let them go when they wanted to leave. Fighting for the right to keep slaves—yeah, those are states we want to keep. And now what do we get? We’re the fucking Arrogant Northeast Liberal Elite? How about this for arrogant: the South is the Real America? The Authentic America. Really?

‘Cause we fucking founded this country, assholes. Those Founding Fathers you keep going on and on about? All that bullshit about what you think they meant by the Second Amendment? Who do you think those wig-wearing, lacy-shirt-sporting revolutionaries were? They were fucking blue-staters, dickhead. Boston? Philadelphia? New York? Hello? Think there might be a reason all the fucking monuments are up here in our backyard?

No, No. Get the fuck out. We’re not letting you visit the Liberty Bell and fucking Plymouth Rock anymore until you get over your real American selves and start respecting those other nine amendments. Who do you think those fucking stripes on the flag are for? Nine are for fucking blue states. Get it? We started this shit, so don’t get all uppity about how real you are, you Johnny-come-lately “Oooooh, I’ve been a state for almost a hundred years” dickheads. Fuck off.

Arrogant? You wanna talk to us Northeasterners about fucking arrogance? Maybe I wouldn’t be so fucking arrogant if I wasn’t paying for your fucking bridges, bitch. All those federal taxes you love to hate? It all comes from us and goes to you, so shut up and enjoy your fucking Tennessee Valley Authority electricity and your fancy highways that we paid for. And the next time Florida gets hit by a hurricane, you can come crying to us if you want to, but you’re the ones who built on a fucking swamp. “Let the Spanish keep it; it’s a shithole,” we said, but you had to have your fucking orange juice.

The next dickwad who says, “It’s your money, not the government’s money” is gonna get their ass kicked. Nine of the 10 states that get the most federal fucking dollars and pay the least… can you guess? That’s right, motherfucker, they’re red states. And 8 of the 10 states that receive the least and pay the most? It’s too easy. They’re blue states. It’s not your money, assholes, it’s fucking our money. What was that Real American Value you were spouting a minute ago? Self reliance? Try this for self reliance: Buy your own fucking stop signs, asshole.

Let’s talk about those values for a fucking minute. You and your Southern values can bite my ass because the blue states got the values over you fucking Real Americans every day of the goddamn week. Which state do you think has the lowest divorce rate, you marriage-hyping dickwads? Can you guess? It’s fucking Massachusetts, the fucking center of the gay marriage universe. Yes, that’s right, the state you love to tie around the neck of anyone to the left of Strom Thurmond has the lowest divorce rate in the fucking nation. Think that’s just some aberration? How about this: Nine of the 10 lowest divorce rates are fucking blue states, asshole, and most are in the Northeast, where our values suck so bad. And where are the highest divorce rates? Care to fucking guess? Ten out of 10 are fucking red-ass, we’re-so-fucking-moral states.

But two guys making out is going to fucking ruin marriage for you? Yeah? Seems like you’re ruining it pretty well on your own, you little bastards. Oh, but that’s okay because you go to church, right? I mean you do, right? ‘Cause we fucking get to hear about it every goddamn year at election time. Yes, we’re fascinated by how you get up every Sunday morning and sing, and then you’re fucking towers of moral superiority. Yeah, that’s a workable formula. Maybe us fucking Northerners don’t talk about religion as much as you because we’re not so busy sinning, hmmm? Ever think of that, you self-righteous assholes? No, you’re too busy erecting giant stone tablets of the Ten Commandments in buildings paid for by the fucking Northeast Liberal Elite.

Well this gravy train is fucking over. Take your liberal-bashing, federal-tax-leeching, Confederate-flag-waving, holier- than-thou, hypocritical bullshit and shove it up your ass.

And no, you can’t have your fucking convention in New York next time. Fuck off.

The above rant is from the website www.fuckthesouth.com. The author is a member of the Northeast Liberal Elite and is fucking done being a scapegoat for the Republican Party.

JLeslie's avatar

^^Why do they always include Florida? ~ Something like 20 percent of the state was born in the northeast. Lol. I don’t know what percentage had parents or grandparents from the Northeast and Midwest for that matter. A whole bunch of us “northerners” down here in the sunshine state. Only 30% of Florida is native born floridians.

NomoreY_A's avatar

@JLeslie Don’t know really, but it wasn’t my rant. But I feel much the same way about the south, even though I was born in Alabama and raised in Texas. I thought it was a good rant, so I posted it. And I agree with the guy 100 %

JLeslie's avatar

I understand Florida was a Southern state, but if the South secedes now, I want to keep at least part of Florida. Lol.

MrGrimm888's avatar

^If the south so shitty, stay away. Quite simple. But northerners move here, or vacation here by the droves.
Is there such a migration to the north? If there is, I’m unaware of it. I don’t know anybody here that wants to go to New York, Boston, or Philly…

I know lots a great people who live here, that are originally from PA, NY, MD. They take trips back, but always come back “home” to the south.

I would tell you to come experience it for yourself, but then you might tell all your friends and they’ll all move here. You can stay up there in your precious north. You aren’t needed here…

JLeslie's avatar

We liked living in Memphis. We miss our friends there.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

I dunno, I have lived in the north and south. People in the south say sir and ma’am, please and thank you, drivers are often polite… I don’t get that vibe at all when I’m up in the rust belt visiting relatives. Most people sporting rebel flags are not racist, just ignorant. The connection with racism is just not there for them the way it is in other areas. Here it’s basically saying “proud redneck” you know, your typical run of the mill beer drankin hick with a healthy fear of the lord and a couple broke down cars in the yard. The stereotype is accurate and common just outside the metro areas. Many simply don’t know that side of history very well so when you call them racist many just don’t get it.

stanleybmanly's avatar

MrGrimm888 Fogeys like me and retirees move South. Kids with talent and ability flee the heartland like they’re on fire.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I appreciate their culture. I do. Bless their hearts. But why is the Confederate flag so often flown by hateful, racist people, if it’s simply representing their old culture? Because most of that culture was created by the institution of slavery, and people think they want it back. But they can’t ever come out and say that.

NomoreY_A's avatar

I sometimes think people have been brainwashed by movies and literature that glorify the Old South, like Gone With the Wind. But frankly, my dear, it’s all hog wash. I have always found it strange though, that the Confederacy actually had some all Black regiments, who fought hard for the “Cause”. Go figure.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, they were getting paid @NomoreY_A, I’m sure.

NomoreY_A's avatar

Probably, they volunteered to serve, and served well. Maybe some guys just dig a military lifestyle, regardless of the cause.

Coloma's avatar

Watch ‘Glory” about one of the black regiments in the CW.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUMWHzk7FY

Coloma's avatar

Link fixed

Darth_Algar's avatar

Yeah, that old myth about southerners being more polite, respectful and all that? It’s bullshit. 100% pure, grade-A bullshit.

NomoreY_A's avatar

Agreed. People like to bash New Yorkers, but I can tell you they are some of the best people you can ever meet. I know lot of peeps from NY, do anything in the world for you.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@NomoreY_A ” I have always found it strange though, that the Confederacy actually had some all Black regiments, who fought hard for the “Cause”.”

Because their owners signed them up and they had little choice in the matter.

NomoreY_A's avatar

Possibly, never researched it that much, my mind was blown by the entire concept. It would be like Jews serving in the SS during the World War.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Plus, as I recall blacks in the Confederate military were pretty much confined to the “house nigger” role. They did the cooking, cleaning, and a lot of the labor in building fortifications, etc, acted as servants to the officers, but they were barred from combat roles.

NomoreY_A's avatar

You insult the Armee of Virginia, suh? I challenge you to a duel suh!

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

“Yeah, that old myth about southerners being more polite, respectful and all that? It’s bullshit. 100% pure, grade-A bullshit.”

Probably just perception there. Has been the opposite case for me.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Last I knew Massachusetts wasn’t a Confederate state.

Coloma's avatar

@Darth_Algar I know…but, I am just sayin’ that there were black combat soldiers in the war, and the 54th regiment was a historical first.

Dutchess_III's avatar

His point is it would make perfect sense for blacks to fight with the union. Doesn’t make sense for blacks to fight for the confederacy.

NomoreY_A's avatar

@Coloma And after the war, a lot of them remained in the Army and went West to fight the Indian Wars, the “Buffalo Soldiers”.

Coloma's avatar

@Dutchess_III Right, I get it, my response was just to clarify that there were black soldiers, period.
@NomoreY_A Yes, a lot of black cowboys that many are not aware of too.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@Coloma

Nobody disputed that there were black soldiers in the Civil War.

Coloma's avatar

@Darth_Algar my reply was based on you saying that confederate blacks were banned from combat. The confederate blacks yes, the union blacks, not true. Since there was no mention that some blacks did, infact, engage in combat, that is what inspired my sharing of the 54th regiment. An honest misunderstanding clearly.

Strauss's avatar

@elbanditoroso The War of Northern Aggression.

The name “War of Northern Aggression” as used to indicate the Union side as the belligerent party in the war, arose in the 1950s during the Jim Crow era, when it was coined by segregationists who tried to equate contemporary efforts to end segregation with 19th century efforts to abolish slavery.

Here are some fun facts about the secessions: The War officially started April 12,1861 when General Beauregard, in command of the Confederate forces around Charleston Harbor, opened fire on the Union garrison holding Fort Sumter. Now mind you, this was almost four months after the legislature of North Carolina had seceded with the Ordinance of Secession (pdf).

A similar ordinance (titled almost exactly word for word) was passed by the Legislature of Mississippi, and then the others.

@MrGrimm888 The slavery thing was propaganda from the Union

I guess that’s why “the institution of slavery” appears so prominently in each seceding state’s Ordinance of Secession. Or why Mississippi’s Secession Document says: “Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery…”

MrGrimm888's avatar

^Of course the leaders identified with slavery. They were the wealthy elite I spoke of. I was referring to reasons regular soldiers were fighting ,on both sides. And I stand by that position, as it is true, for most…

Most confederate soldiers weren’t fighting for the wealthy. Most Union soldiers were fighting against slavery.

Dutchess_III's avatar

They were paid to fight. Considering their homes and land, their livelihood was being destroyed what choice did they have?

kritiper's avatar

The issue of slavery was an issue with our founding fathers, and they knew at that time that the country would have to deal with it sooner or later. It doesn’t surprise me that the secession minded states would mention this. Officially, this was not an issue with the North’s going to war until Lincoln made his Emancipation Proclamation (issued 22 Sept. ‘62 to take effect 1 Jan. ‘63) and Northerner’s weren’t all too happy about it when the proclamation came to light.

“The war has now begun in earnest. The secession of Virginia, and the attempts of the rebels to seize the Arsenal at Harper’s Ferry and the Navy-yard at Norfolk; the investment of Fort Pickens; the threatened seizure of the Federal Capital by the rebels, the number of Massachusetts men in Baltimore—these facts explain the situation without further comment.

It is not now a question of slavery or anti-slavery. It is not even a question of Union or disunion. The question simply is whether Northern men will fight.”

“This was how Harper’s Weekly introduced the Civil War to it’s readers; and at the time this was the question uppermost in most men’s minds.”

-from The Civil War in Pictures by Fletcher Pratt, Garden City Books, New York copyright 1955

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well the Nothern soldiers were paid too.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Yes, nobody, no matter the cause, goes off to war for free.

kritiper's avatar

And it wasn’t about “Northern” or “Southern” soldiers in particular. When the war began, every state on both sides was like an individual country, and every state had to pay it’s soldiers, every state, even cities, might have their own uniforms and weapons.
Before the war, the only thing that really made the states all “United” was that they were all is close proximity to one another. The New Yorkers. The Ohioans. Pennsylvanians. Kentuckians. Georgians. Alabamans. Etc.
“United,” as in the way we see it today, meant that we were all Americans. But that didn’t come about until the war ended. ( And this point is probably extremely moot, depending on who you talk to.)
I had family that fought on both sides.

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