This is a nation that has always stood together proudly in the face of our enemies, but now everyone hates someone because of race, creed, sexuality, money, etc…There just seems to be no compromising. People are pitted against one another. Families are torn apart by religion and politics.
I can’t abide by this new hatred that has grasped the country. Actually it would be more accurate to say all over the world. I have tried really hard since before the election to not let the media, liberal or otherwise, have an affect on my life and understanding; however, there is no escaping it. You hear people talking on buses, the lines at Wal Mart, just about anywhere. I used to love politics, but what this country is serving up is not what our founding fathers had in mind. I have recently, quite unknowingly to me, but I have begun to embrace the hatred; even I too hold prejudices, and I consider myself an open minded person. I am not proud of myself.
But I was born in the land of cotton and tobacco. You will find no stronger hate in this country than in the South. Since the day the Civil War ended, hate has fueled every Southerner’s prejudices against Northerners. In the South the Civil War is known as “The War of Northern Aggression”. Almost two hundred years have passed since the war ended. But the war never ended here, in the hearts and minds of all Southerners, the war is still raging and I expect it always will. Southerners will always be Southerners, no matter how opened-minded they are or pretend to be, and they have a really long memory about the brutal war and how they were treated at it’s cessation. The South made it through Reconstruction, martial law, and Jim Crow. President Johnston took the very segregated South and integrated it. No more whites only signs, or coloreds use the back door. African American children set next to white children in school. Some even made friends across the race border. Unfortunately, it only took the South about three decades after integration to segregate themselves on their own terms. In my city African Americans still live in the same neighborhoods together, as do the whites, and the Latinos. There are separate funeral homes and cemeteries. When my son’s father moved from the Midwest to the South, he didn’t stay long. He hated it. He did not understand the mentality of the South. You have to be born here to get it. I once had a professor who was teaching History of the Antebellum South who also happened to be African American and a Southerner and had experienced segregation and integration. So I posed a question to him: “Do you feel like an African American living in the South or do you consider yourself a Southerner who happens to be black.” The gentleman was stuck. He could not say anything for a few moments, then he said, I have never thought about it. He had no answer for me. Anyway, equality will never ring true, especially in the South. I loathe it, but I am a Southerner, therefore I can understand it.
You may ask yourself why all of this matters. I am a historian. I see patterns and behaviors that have been on life’s center stage throughout time. History inevitably repeats itself. That within it’s self should scare the shit out of people, but it doesn’t.