Dear Mr. Demastus,
FYI – the following letter appeared in the December 14, 2011 issue of The News-Gazette of Lexington, Virginia. The URL is http://www.thenews-gazette.com/full.php?sid=23171, but you may need to be a subscriber to see it.
Nov. 9, 2011
Editor, The News-Gazette:
Dyslexington – [L. ne equus sensus] affliction peculiar to northern emigrants to small southern towns that prevents them from reading American history with any comprehension. When presented with objective
facts, patient sees only a jumble of disconnected prejudices; suffers from inflamed, irrational phobias; visually confuses tokens and symbols of southern heritage with stereotypical racism as concocted in Hollywood
fiction. Acute victims suffer from distorted vision, an inability to distinguish St. Andrew’s cross from the Nazi swastika and have publicly mistaken the former for the Japanese Rising Sun.
Symptoms may include delirium, rage, inarticulation of coherent thought patterns, non sequitur, ad hoc argumentation, sympathetic identification with or as Mimi Elrod, psychological denial, knee-jerk paranoia,
cultural amnesia, loss of civic identity and a heightened tendency toward obsessive brooding over early 19th century social structure. Unresponsive to reason in the final stages, sufferers of Dyslexington actually see “slavery” wherever “states’ rights” is spelled out before their eyes and have even been known to self-destructively support
carpetbaggers for re-election.
Dyslexington is communicable via close contact with professors at apostate universities ashamed of their namesakes, prolonged armchair exposure to revisionist cable programming or habitual lassitude toward
widely available reading matter. Unchecked, an entire southern community may become culturally indistinguishable from any given Boston suburb. Inoculation is imperative.
Dyslexington, though stubbornly resistant to treatment, is not incurable. Victims must recognize symptoms and willingly seek self-help. Opening books published before 1970 alone has often reduced both arrogance and ignorance by up to 41.3 percent. Sufferers from Dyslexington should initiate a regimen of applying cold facts to the
thickest part of the skull and schedule a historically themed family vacation upon first indication of infection.
SHERWIN W. DILLARD JR.