Monday, November 22, 2010

Don't Mess With Dixie

Don't mess with a boy from Dixie
Unless you plan to see
Southern ragin' fire
Burnin'up the hills...
-- from Don't Mess With Dixie by the Free South Band.

Every society has its downcast classes. Many times, the name of that group becomes synonymous with backwardness, idiocy, degeneracy and so forth. In America today, it is the Southern culture(s) that is (are) refered to this way. The allegedly cultured segment of society use terms like hillbilly, Redneck, Cracker as derogatory epithets. In fact, it has become so common, that social commentators like James Howard Kunstler make comments (refering to the Peak Oil concept) like:   "Dixieland is hopeless, what with their thrall to the born-agains and the misfortunes of their demographic (namely "Cracker Culture," which celebrates ignorance and violence)"; and (refering to a theorized emminant techno-economic collapse), "I remain pessimistic about Dixieland, which I think will be prone to violence and political disorder. In the longer run I believe it will become what it was before World War II: an agricultural backwater." The entire article, which is otherwise fairly interesting, can be read here: 

Now I feel that James Kunstler probably does not harbor hatred for the South, but he has tapped into a cultural stereotype that holds little truth in reality and by default, uses his position of influence in the larger culture to reinforce a terribly mistaken stereotype. Why does he get away with this? Because it's popular to denigrate the South. But if I were to denigrate Yankee ghetto dwellers as ignorant and backward, Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson would be up in arms and I might discover that Al Sharpton wants to set up a new headquarters down the road from my home in order to force me to convert my opinion and decisions he disagrees with like he did to the Indianapolis Police Department recently.

There's a lot of secession talk in the air these days, and not just in the South. With the 150th Anniversary of South Carolina's secession and the wave of secession it created across the South for more than a year, this is no doubt going to be a bad 4-1/2 years for anyone who is pro-Southern. Sadly, there is no need for this. A little mutual respect and understanding goes a long way. But, alas, I do not believe this is going to happen. Indeed, if things get tense enough to turn aggressive, I believe that America will simply split up into several smaller, regional countries or autonomous areas. Hopefully, if that happens, I am back in Texas already!

To my fellow Southrons, I have this suggestion: as far as possible, be peaceable with your neighbors and strangers alike. Take the high moral ground and don't give in to Yankee meddlin' and tomfoolery. Don't hesitate to defend yourself, if accosted, but be peaceable as far as it lies within your power. Be the better man and stand united with your fellow Southrons and resist the tyrant the way the South always has: with the heart first and foremost.

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