Save Southern Heritage – 7/10/2017
America: When Will We Stop Harvesting Reconstruction’s Crop
After the end of the American holocaust that spilled more American blood that all the wars since and before combined, Gen. Lee told the South to put down their arms and be good citizens.
The majority took his advice, but then came Thaddeus Stephens and his orgy of reconstruction and carpet-baggers bent on punishing the Southern civilians and her decrepit veterans for standing up to federal authority.
The result was a backlash against Reconstruction government that drove a wedge between the Southern family of blacks and whites – dividing us along color lines.
This resulted in formalized laws, like the unwritten ones in the north, that came to be known as Jim Crow. Once having more millionaires per capita (black and white) than any other region in the world, the newly destitute, beleaguered South, had to limp along with this torn in the heels of its sons and daughters for a century while they tried to re-establish its economy. And the great, wonderful North, who mythologically fought to make his black brothers and sister equal, though winning the war that was supposedly fought for that purpose, would sit silently for that 100 years while equality never came – not in the south or in the north. And that created new resentments…on both sides….southern blacks resentful of being pushed away from the lunch counter with their southern friends – who for the most part remained silent – Southern blacks resentful of not having full citizenship – while their southern friends – for the most part remained silent. Reconstruction’s crop was bearing great fruit.
But then, after equality came a leg up. Quotas were set….in an effort to right history’s wrongs and level the playing field. Three generations of American workers have now benefitted from it or suffered from it – depending on which side you were on. I have been blessed to have two husbands – one who committed suicide because he realized, being born white, he would never be able to compete fairly and feed his family as he wanted to.
Meanwhile, many black American’s capitalized on the opportunities offered to them, applying for and getting private sector jobs. The program worked so well that, in the 1990’s the NAACP had outlived its usefulness….Reconstruction’s harvest was barren.
And so then came a new type of reconstruction – a new wedge. That coupled with what many white Americans came to view as reverse-discrimination planted a whole new crop of resentments.
This weekend’s news reports that now, two generations later, life expectancy is up for all American demographics except white non-college educated. Of course, ask Trump voters – they could tell you why this is – they are suffering from modern day reconstruction. White Southern men, with the Robert General Lee as its iconic head literally feel they are being thrown out like trash – this time with their black southern friends silent. They are watching the childhood heroes, their family’s legacy, and in the case of Ms. Ivy Gay, literally their parents condemned as subhuman trash that doesn’t deserve a voice in the body politic.
As we saw this weekend, some groups are beginning to take matters into their own hands. White supremacist and white separatist groups are attracting these disenfranchised white men, and their wives, by the droves. This is the most recent harvest from reconstruction’s crop.
So Southerners…actually Americans have a decision to make. First, do they want to have one American family living amongst each other – the promised melting pot – colorblind – or are we going to let Dylan Roof win. Are we going to take the low road and let our resentments fester and blame those, who like us, are just the sewn seeds in the crop? Or we going to break ranks with historical patterns and evolve. Respect each other, and each other’s history and culture. Build up – not tear down. Resolve to lift each other up not tear each other down.
Oh yes, resentment and hate are a sultry siren tempting each of us to blame people with a different color skin for wrongs done to us our family. The choice we have to make is if we will take that path, or if we will rise above it and decide no longer to signal tacit approval by remaining silent.
If we are all equal – no “special” privileges or rights – for anyone. No blacks only day or whites only day. To do anything less is bigoted hypocrisy and the decision that. No, I’m not saying to take away handicapped parking permits or Veterans Day at Applebees.
But just perhaps it is time to reconsider affirmative action along color lines, and at the same time, give the cold shoulder to those radical extremists who somehow maniacally benefit from watching black and white Americans pitted against each other in a death struggle over flags and veterans monuments.
Let’s rise above that – take the high road. Live and let live – in equality of rights and competition. NO we will never be the same – God made us different – I will never be 5’10” and blonde. I will be who I am and God made me…rejecting my purloined role as Reconstruction’s Crop. Let’s put resentments behind us and Make America Great NOW