Tuesday, July 8, 2014
The South won’t have to rise again… just remain standing while the rest of America falls.
That saying was coined by me and initially published to the Internet, in a longer form, in July of 1999, in my first post to a particular Internet forum.
Not long before, in the late spring of that year, I bought a Web-TV receiver. I was recently unemployed and didn’t have the money to buy a computer, but I wanted to get on the Internet. I had learned how to "surf" at my job, and I missed it. I primarily wanted to do genealogical research.
In the weeks that followed, I discovered a discussion forum, Dixie Perspective, aka "The Rebboard." After lurking for a little while, and finding myself irresistably drawn to the discussions, the subject matter, and the people, I decided to seek membership. This involved submitting an email stating what had drawn me to the forum, what I though I could contribute, and such as that. It was submitted to the "Rebmaster," (a play on the term webmaster) and not long after, I received notice that I was now a member.
If I kept a copy of that email, it has been lost over the years. However, I do have my first post to the Rebboard, reproduced below.
July 6, 1999
From a newbie to the Rebboard, Greetings, my fellow Southrons.
I had never heard of Southern nationalism (except in the historical sense) until about a month and a half ago. I was doing genealogy research on the web, looking for Civil War records (yes, that’s what I called it before I learned better) when I linked up to some Southern independence websites.
My first reaction was, "Southern independence? We tried that once; fought a war over it and lost. That settled it. Didn’t it? Southern independence! How bizarre!"
That took about one second. It was followed by a moment of stillness and silence, and then the enormous implications hit me: "Oh, my gosh, to be FREE! To be free of political correctness. To be free of Southern-bashing by Hollywood leftists and the eastern academic establishment and the elite media. To be free of Yankee immigrants and Yankee busybodies and other meddling do-gooders– Oh, my GOSH, to be FREE of WASHINGTON, DC!"
Since that night, defending and restoring Dixie, and moving toward independence, has taken a place of great importance in my life. A clear prerequisite, in my case, is getting educated. I’ve discovered there’s so much I was never taught (I received the usual indoctrination in school) and I’ve already learned so much from the many fine, pro-Southern organizations who have pages on the Internet — including you wonderful Southrons on the Rebboard. Thank you!
What I’m curious about right now, though, is whether any of you — especially boomer-agers — have experienced the gradual repression of your Southernness over the past two or three decades — and whether you realized it was happening. It certainly happened to me. I knew very well the South was fading away (the South I knew and loved, anyway) and it made me so sad, but I thought it was because the whole country was declining. I didn’t realize how much my own Southernness had diminished, until it came rushing back with my discovery of the Southern independence movement.
This is why I’m so glad to see that the movement is cultural as well as political, and that it honors the past as it builds the future. The South is different, it has always been different — better — and children in the South used to learn about and live that difference — proudly, for the most part — from an early age.
I remember the first time I heard of the war. I was a little tyke, on a road trip with my parents. It was 1954, maybe. We were traveling through the countryside south of our hometown, Dalton, Georgia, when we passed a big, old house in the distance, set under a grove of trees. My mother remarked, quite defiantly, "Well, there’s one Sherman didn’t get!" I said, "Who’s Sherman?" and got my first lesson on the war between North and South, and Sherman’s march to the sea. If slavery was even mentioned, it was incidental because I don’t remember it. My parents’ "history lecture" left with me impression that we should have won, and it was terrible that we didn’t, because the South was right.
I remember being a teenager in Montgomery, Alabama in the late 1960s, where WBAM Radio ("Rockin’ the Cradle of the Confederacy with fifty thousand watts of power!") signed on and off with a rousing march arrangement of "Dixie" every day, and no matter how many times I heard it, it never failed to stir my Southern heart. You don’t hear "Dixie" much any more, except for MIDIs on the web.
Our honored symbols are targeted for removal, our history goes untaught and our cultural differences are slowly being ground away. What remains must be preserved; what is gone must be restored, and if that takes becoming our own independent republic, that’s what we must become.
I believe independence is not only possible, at some point in the future, but imperative, or else we’ll go under when the U.S. collapses, and that seems awfully close. Pondering the death of the USA used to make me sad (my indoctrination made me a very patriotic American for a while) but not now. It’s hard to feel sympathy for a country with a degenerate culture and a thoroughly corrupt and abusive government. Indeed, the South may not have to rise again. We’re already head and shoulders above the rest of the country, anyway. All we have to do is remain standing while the rest of America falls.
But first, those of us who need it must get back in touch with our "inner Southron." You all have helped me so much with this and I thank you. Thanks, too, for listening to me rant. I’ll try to keep my future posts a bit more focused and, hopefully, they will be as helpful to you as yours have been to me.
Becoming a member of Dixie Perspective was like coming home. I loved it and I was very gratified that my "rise again" comment resonated with the members.
Not long after that, I started a little on-line bumper sticker and T-shirt business, Dixie Quips, promoting the Southron viewpoint. I wanted to put the "rise again" comment on a T-shirt, but it was too long. So I truncated it, made the design, and heat-pressed the transfer onto several shirts.
That’s how those 35 words became a 14-word sound bite. It has since made its way out throughout Dixie’s corner of cyberspace, and to the attention of at least one flogger.
I find it interesting that Rob Baker defines everything economically. Isn’t that what yankees do? Economics certainly wasn’t what I had in mind when I wrote my first post to the Rebboard. At least, not totally. I was talking about the entire culture of the South — mentioned it explicitly — of which economics is merely a part. But to be fair, Baker had never seen my first Rebboard post, and did not know my "rise again" meme refers to all aspects of Southern culture.
Baker looks at the South as it is now, and questions whether it can rise again. He mentioned education as an afterthought to his economic assessment. Education in the South is the same as it is elsewhere — under the federal thumb (or is it a boot?). The vindictive federal anything — thumb, boot, ANYTHING — rests heavier on the South than elsewhere in the country.
And the rest of the country takes its cue from the feds. Hollywood, academia, the media — how all of these portray the South cannot be used as accurate indicators of how the South would rise again, and what a risen South would be like without the negative influence and impact that currently exists.
I’ll likely have a few more things to explore about a risen South in later blog posts…