Wednesday, June 24, 2015

A Southern Reformation

Remember when Ani DiFranco met protest over plans to do something where slaves were once used for profit? In truth, if we were to avoid doing anything where slaves were once used for profit, we must avoid the whole South. That would be ridiculous.

It would, however, be sensible to object to sites where monuments to the Confederates still stand. That doesn't have to be the whole South.

Our focus in these times shouldn't end with pulling down the Confederate flags (whether national or battle flags). Or even pulling these symbols out of state flags that contain them. It would be a shame to stop there.

Along with the flags, all those monuments to slavers, to segregation, and those who fought for such things should be pulled out of public places and transferred to museums.

And in every one of the museums that host such things, it should be made clear that these are relics of a time when we permitted treating people in ways that should not be permitted. These are relics we keep not for any reasons of proud heritage -- because it is most definitely not proud -- but to remind us to be vigilant lest we allow ourselves to slip into such despicable errors again.

If the South would still harbor dreams of a truly proud heritage, the South must face and put away that dark past to make way for the better parts of Southern life. To allow that which actually is good in Southern culture to shine and no longer be brought down by trying to pretend there'd been no mistakes, or that those mistakes had not been wrongs.

It'd make that sweet tea even more refreshing.

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