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Shouldn't it be
April 6, 2003 3:16 PM   Subscribe

"If the Sons of Confederate Veterans can't oppose a statue of President Lincoln, we can't do anything," said Bragdon Bowling, Virginia division commander of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. He then added, "You don't build monuments to conquerors."

Ah, life in the modern South... it is so nice to see how far we've come, eh?
posted by grabbingsand (68 comments total)

 
You gotta love the Coca-Cola sponsorship on the last link in the list...
posted by woil at 3:29 PM on April 6, 2003


Oh, yes, those southerners are so backward. They're such racists, as you can tell, since the most segregated public school systems' are in the North.
posted by oaf at 3:34 PM on April 6, 2003


Of course, we do build monuments to conquerors, since we generally determine that the leader of the losing force is not worthy of honor.
posted by waldo at 3:36 PM on April 6, 2003


Civil wars are the hardest wars and take the longest to heal.

I truly hope that Free Iraq doesn't disintegrate into a 150+ years of North vs. South.
posted by Dunvegan at 3:46 PM on April 6, 2003


They're such racists

Nobody is saying that. Nobody honestly believes slavery was the main, let alone only issue that led to the war. It's about time the South accepted the reality that the Confederacy ended nearly a century and a half ago. Besides, the South started it.
posted by crazy finger at 3:54 PM on April 6, 2003


Some wounds take longer to heal. I doubt many Austrians would care for a statue of Napoleon in Vienna, as would Russians in Moscow. Parisians would be just as likely to disdain statues of Bismark as much as Wilhelm II or Hitler.

To the people of Richmond, who destroyed their city instead of letting it fall into the hands of the union army, does a single visit "heal" anything? Granted, had he lived, reconstruction might have actually been that, rather than the extended humiliation and deprivation of the south that it was. But even so, generations of people have been raised not with the notion of healing, but of reconstruction defeat at the point of a bayonet.
posted by kablam at 3:55 PM on April 6, 2003


hope that Free Iraq doesn't disintegrate
As I said at work last night (here in Atlanta), "The Iraqis are going to welcome the US just like the South welcomed the Yankees after the Civil War."
posted by mischief at 3:56 PM on April 6, 2003


To suggest that Lincoln was 100% liberator and 0% conquerer is naive.

Admittedly, slavery was a horrible institution, but it was already on its way out when the Civil War started. The Civil War had numerous negative effects on our liberties, such as the growth of federalism and the loss of the right to secede.

The concept of "one nation, indivisible" only came after the Civil War, and would have been considered completely unacceptable to the founders of our country.

And frankly, an independent State of California doesn't sound like a bad idea right about now...
posted by insomnia_lj at 4:05 PM on April 6, 2003


"Besides, the South started it."

Questionable. The South requested the Federal government leave their territory, but they refused to do so in some cases, and Lincoln intentionally provoked a conflict by supplying federal forts in Confederate waters against their wishes.
posted by insomnia_lj at 4:08 PM on April 6, 2003


the sons of confederate veterans don't like lincoln. why should they have to? why do they need to be silenced? lord almighty. how far we've come indeed: 'govenment of the people, by the people, for the people' continues to be obstructed by those who don't want to hear what the people actually have to say, and would just as soon they all go away.
posted by kjh at 4:21 PM on April 6, 2003


Oh, yes, those southerners are so backward. They're such racists, as you can tell, since the most segregated public school systems' are in the North.

The big secret no one likes to talk about is the North is much more segregated than the South.

Although quite pretty, I generally hate the South, although the girls there are really beautiful. Prettier than me!
posted by The Jesse Helms at 4:25 PM on April 6, 2003


Nobody honestly believes slavery was the main, let alone only issue that led to the war.

Kablam, I honestly believe slavery was the main, but not only, reason for the war. Please contact me before speaking for me in the future.
posted by planetkyoto at 4:35 PM on April 6, 2003


Of course, we do build monuments to conquerors, since we generally determine that the leader of the losing force is not worthy of honor.

Except on Monument Ave. in Richmond, which is littered with second place trophies.
posted by machaus at 4:41 PM on April 6, 2003


I rode my bike by the festivities yesterday. There were way more families w/ kids going to the unveiling than there were protestors. I noticed that one of the protestors was an older African-American man. All in all it was neat to see something 'not Iraq' being protested.

The statue location is down by the river at the foot of a hill. At the top of the hill is an old cemetery w/ dead presidents in it and a historic working-class neighborhood that is under assault by its neighbors.

And just past that neighborhood is a university that was just ranked as having the #1 sculpture graduate school in the nation. Ah, life in the modern South... it is so nice to see how far we've come, eh?
posted by john m at 4:46 PM on April 6, 2003


Questionable. The South requested the Federal government leave their territory, but they refused to do so in some cases, and Lincoln intentionally provoked a conflict by supplying federal forts in Confederate waters against their wishes.

And the Federal government, having soveriegnty over the states, refused. Thus the South started a war for what they percieved as a right to defend their own government.

Plus, they had a flag.

I truly hope that Free Iraq doesn't disintegrate into a 150+ years of North vs. South.

Personally, I'd love to see if the U.S.-controlled Iraq allows a "sons of Baath veterans" organization. I disagree with much of the Confederate groups' self-preserving rhetoric, but you gotta hand it to the U.S. for allowing the freedom to make clubs out of its historical traitors.

But I digress. Can't the MeFites here of Union and Confederate culture come together so we can all just make fun of Utah?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 4:53 PM on April 6, 2003


The Civil War ended 138 years ago, and Confederate apologists are still arguing and fighting about the damage and effects on the south, but if you ask these same people about the effects of slavery 140 years ago, they'll give you a nice long explanation about how that was so long ago that it couldn't possibly have anything to do with what's happening today.
posted by dglynn at 4:56 PM on April 6, 2003


"Can't the MeFites here of Union and Confederate culture come together so we can all just make fun of Utah?"

Utah cordially invites you to go screw yourself.

But wait until Monday as today is the Sabbath.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 4:58 PM on April 6, 2003


Except on Monument Ave. in Richmond, which is littered with second place trophies.

Yeah, like Arthur Ashe.
posted by waldo at 5:14 PM on April 6, 2003


"My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union. I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause." -Abraham Lincoln

My personal favorite is when it's referred to as "The War of Northern Agression"...
posted by tetsuo at 5:32 PM on April 6, 2003


And frankly, an independent State of California doesn't sound like a bad idea right about now...

Nopey nope nope, insomnia...California seceding from the US is...[valley_girl]...soooooo totally...[/valley_girl]...not enough.
posted by Dunvegan at 5:33 PM on April 6, 2003


"You don't build monuments to conquerors."

Heh.

(Borglum, of course, had played a pivotal role in the construction of the Confederate monument at Stone Mountain-- but hey, even those of us who would've been enslaved under their rule were consulted first, right?)

They have a right to protest, sure, but their argument's pretty weak.
posted by tyro urge at 5:38 PM on April 6, 2003


A few thoughts:

1) Richmond's monument Avenue IS littered with second-place trophies. The only 2 public statues to have incurred such public wrath are of two nationally recognized champions: Abe Lincoln and Arthur Ashe.

2) The Sons of Confederate Veterans are just mad because they are too old for Dungeons and Dragons and other role-playing games. Of course they have to have a big public problem with the Lincoln statue--not to do so would severely damage their Southern hitpoints.

3) Bragdon Bowling used to be my landlord. One time the kids downstairs got in a fight and one kid got bodyslammed into the door to the upstairs of my building. The hollow door cracked like a pinata and all these old cereal boxes came falling out. I think Brag crammed them in there for insulation.

4) Another time my next door neighbor was leaning on the railing of our balcony (second floor apartment) and it broke. She fell 2 stories onto the dirt and shattered her arm. Brag left the broken railing hanging from the posts for a month and then cam along and nailed new boards into rotten support posts. Didn't even paint it.

Preserving the rich cultural heritage and traditions of the house apparently doesn't have anything to do with maintaining one's rental property or not being a deadbeat landlord.

There's more. Let me know if you want it.
posted by chinese_fashion at 5:47 PM on April 6, 2003


We do build monuments to conquerors--that's how it's done. Shall we offer them Sherman instead? (Well, mostly conquerors--I live in a city that has monuments to everyone from Garibaldi to Gandhi to Greeley.)

Lincoln's motivation was to preserve the Union. The secessionists' motivation was to own other human beings. If you doubt that, look at the constitution of the Confederacy, which is quite explicit about being founded on slavery and racism.
posted by rosvicl at 6:16 PM on April 6, 2003


If you think bearing grudges after 140 years is bad, there are people in Iran who are still pissed off about Alexander The Great passing through.
posted by GrahamVM at 6:31 PM on April 6, 2003


Lincoln's motivation was to preserve the Union. The secessionists' motivation was to own other human beings.

rosvici, I don't know if you're an American or not, but your view of the Union vs. the Confederacy is a vast over-simplification that is laughed at here in the United States by most anybody that's completed high-school history classes. I wouldn't go around repeating that too often, if I were you.
posted by waldo at 6:31 PM on April 6, 2003


Southern Poverty Law Center article on the Sons of Confederate Veterans, featuring Mr. Bowling.
posted by pitchblende at 6:33 PM on April 6, 2003


There's more. Let me know if you want it.

Sure, c_f.

The four vignettes you graced us with are dry and wry and archly charming.

Puts me in mind of "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil."
posted by Dunvegan at 6:46 PM on April 6, 2003


a chapter of the sons of confederate veterans meets at the library I work out, and one time a member overheard me call them "sons of confederate railroad*" to the subdued amusement of my baby boomer co-workers. I played it off like a freudian slip!

anyhow, obviously no one comes out clean in a war and the civil war is no different (slavery vs. child labor just off the top of my head) but I think the south was, say, just a scootch dirtier. wouldn't you say?

* check out that faux denim background. that is so raunchy!
posted by mcsweetie at 6:59 PM on April 6, 2003


I think we Southeners should just accept the fact we lost and get over it.
(And I say this from a city that Sherman "visited".)
posted by konolia at 7:05 PM on April 6, 2003


My main contention with this whole debacle, is that yet again, we are having a huge uproar in Richmond over crappy art. Richmond has a proven track record of lousy decisions regarding public sculpture. Long before we argued about a half-ass statue of Arthur Ashe (in which he appears to be beating down helpless children with his tennis racquet due to improperly forced perspective) Richmond declined an offer from Salvador Dali to grace Monument Ave. with a sculptural tribute to Sally Louisa Tompkins. This Lincoln statue could just as easily be sold 1/8 scale in a Franklin Mint TV commercial. It's bronze pablum.
posted by machaus at 7:12 PM on April 6, 2003


The south shot first, they got their ass handed to them, it was about slavery, and, no, the Confederacy will not be rising again.
posted by NortonDC at 7:24 PM on April 6, 2003


I say put it to a vote... any state who wants out, ok then, see ya! :)
posted by LouReedsSon at 7:48 PM on April 6, 2003


The south shot first

*snicker* .. this is my favorite popular myth about the Civil War. It was really the North who wanted a war. After the secession, Lincoln needed a reason to start a war and call up a draft. Northerners were not willing to fight the mood was one of peace and live and let live. As we all know, war never solves anything and liberal types in the Northeast were big into the peacnik movements of the time. He knew the only way to keep the country united was to get the South to start a war, to fire the first shot which would threaten the homeland of northerners. The South had no intention of fighting a war it knew it was outgunned. Lincoln did a lot of trickery and using miscommunications, putting troops in places they should not be, pricking the egos of some hot heads, etc.. he got them to fire the first shot. It's a good story and one worth reading Shelby Footes account is pretty good (disclaimer: he's a southern historian).
posted by stbalbach at 7:58 PM on April 6, 2003


Ah, life in the modern South... it is so nice to see how far we've come, eh?

This (Richmond) isn't the modern south; if you want modern, look at Northern Virginia. NoVa (as it's "lovingly" referred to within the state) is home to the CIA, your government workers, and was home to former Supreme Court justices like Thurgood Marshall. It's still part of the south, but is nothing like this horrid city of Richmond.

Richmond is it's own little cess pool of southern traditions, and sometimes "southern mentality", and definitely lags behind northern Virginia in terms of "progressive" behavior. As much as I hate Virginia, I imagine every southern state has an area like this and you can't characterize the south by one (crappy) capital city alone.

As for the protests, It's strange that there'd be anything going on near Hollywood Cemetery, especially since it is just an old cemetery with dead presidents in it... that kids from my university like to smoke in. Oregon Hill is supposed to be my new home next year, but like that other guy said earlier, it's probably one of the most dangerous neighborhoods to walk in at night. Those protestors just added another reason for me to avoid walking through the place during the day.

Monument Ave. has a statue of Arthur Ashe? Wtf? I've driven down it a few times with friends since being here and I'd never expect that. Monument's littered with statues, rotundas, and houses/apartments with incredibly high rent... but Arthur Ashe? Surprise, surprise.
posted by dmjavier at 8:15 PM on April 6, 2003


I, too, think the Civil War was primarily about slavery. Yes, yes, it was about "states' rights"--states' rights to permit slavery.

Oh, and before any pimply-faced IT guy takes a second away from his hentai collection to tell me that my point of view is "oh, so high school," let me also say that I used to teach American Studies courses at the university level, and that I have read tens of thousands of pages of primary Civil War source material (from the CSA archives as well as the stuff in the Library of Congress).
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:24 PM on April 6, 2003


The south shot first

he got them to fire the first shot.


Another myth eviscerated. ;)
posted by Hildago at 8:30 PM on April 6, 2003


You honestly think Lincoln cared about the right's of black people? I thought it was about a state's right to secede from the union...
posted by cohappy at 8:33 PM on April 6, 2003


I can't think of anything worse to do to a bunch of losers than let them celebrate the fact that they were on the losing side. Knock yerselves out, fellas. You were still on the side of wrong, and you still lost.
posted by anildash at 8:49 PM on April 6, 2003


planetkyoto: wasn't me you think was misquoting you.
posted by kablam at 8:50 PM on April 6, 2003


Another myth eviscerated. ;)

Personally, I'm still a little concerned that stbalbach has "favorite Civil War myths." Or was that just the campaign of General Hyperbole? ;)
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:54 PM on April 6, 2003


The Republican(Lincoln) argument against slavery had nothing to do with the rights of black people. It was about the rights of free white laborers, whose way of life was supposedly being undermined by the south's slave labor system.

More specifically, they were against the expansion of slave labor into new territories, not the continuation of slavery in the states. Slave labor in the territories would have shut off the safety valve for population growth in the north.

Obviously, the "main" issue of the civil war was the states' right to secede. But what instigated the secession crisis was the controversy over expansion of slavery.
posted by wrench at 8:55 PM on April 6, 2003


and liberal types in the Northeast were big into the peacnik movements of the time.

What a child you are.
posted by goethean at 8:58 PM on April 6, 2003


dmjavier: The Ashe Monument is the westernmost monument on Monument Avenue...right where the Fan cedes into the Near West End.

A fun fact about the statue of Jeb Stuart at Monument and Stuart Circle:

If you stand to the rear of the monument and look upwards, under the tail of Stuart's horse, you will see that the sculptor took great pains to reproduce the horses' anus. For real. It looks like a giant puckered doughnut, rendered in bronze. I always show it to friends from out of town. Check it out sometime.

My good friend is the registrar at the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond. She's worked there for years. She says that sometimes these women come into the museum and look at the swords of long dead Southern Generals and just cry and cry and cry long moaning sobby tears. Apparently at least one of these women is truly in love with one of these dead generals.

Think about it for a second: A dead confederate general and an insane magnolia spinster. I wonder which one would be worse in the sack?
posted by chinese_fashion at 9:11 PM on April 6, 2003


Think about it for a second: A dead confederate general and an insane magnolia spinster. I wonder which one would be worse in the sack?

Well I guess it depends if the general had an erection when rigor mortis set in. Didn't you see Clerks? I mean, if not, then I think there'd be little chance the guys south would ever rise again.

Excuse me, I'm off to hell now.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:19 PM on April 6, 2003


Yeah, and those so-gentle American school books never mention the fact that Christopher Columbus' M.O. was to rape and plunder.

We have statues, holidays for him...
posted by shadow45 at 9:30 PM on April 6, 2003


also say that I used to teach American Studies courses at the university level

Studies? Studies? What's that? You weren't good enough to teach history? Coudn't get into a real grad school and had to take the summer courses the state university offered?

Any class that ends in "Studies" is just propaganda. A chance for some grad student to get into the pants of some birkenstock wearing freshman.
posted by nyxxxx at 10:35 PM on April 6, 2003


little chance the guys south would ever rise again

perhaps "Great" south, or "guy down"?

-Here is what you said in italics, and now this is what you meant. Obviously I know what you were thinking more than you did.

=P
posted by cohappy at 11:35 PM on April 6, 2003


This (Richmond) isn't the modern south; if you want modern, look at Northern Virginia. NoVa (as it's "lovingly" referred to within the state) .... It's still part of the south, but is nothing like this horrid city of Richmond.

Richmond is it's own little cess pool of southern traditions, and sometimes "southern mentality", and definitely lags behind northern Virginia in terms of "progressive" behavior. As much as I hate Virginia, I imagine every southern state has an area like this and you can't characterize the south by one (crappy) capital city alone.


Hoo boy. Glad you got that off your chest. As long as we're clearing the air, however, let me point out that most Virginians don't speak of NoVa in any way remotely resembling love, and generally regard it as part of DC. It sure as hell isn't the "modern South" (try Atlanta or Tampa). NoVa is politically progressive, but it's also cold, overbuild, expensive, and...well, snotty. For all its faults--and they are many--I'd take Richmond any day.

Ahem.

The SCV are nuts. Remembering the culture and courage of your ancestors is one thing; holding a vigil at the grave of Jefferson Davis is quite another. The design of the sculpture couldn't possibly be more reconciliatory. It isn't high art, but neither is it the crime against history that some whackjobs are making it out to be.

Ashamed of them? Yes. Of Virginia? Never.
posted by hippugeek at 12:10 AM on April 7, 2003


insomnia_lj: The Civil War had numerous negative effects on our liberties, such as the growth of federalism. . .
I imagine you meant the beginning of the end of Federalism.

Just your ordinary, run of the mill pedant
~~[[[8^)


posted by Fezboy! at 12:16 AM on April 7, 2003


Ok... I'm confused. The poster is upset because a bunch of folks want to whine and be upset that some folks invaded them and took away their right to own, torture and enslave humans.

Somehow, it seems, they are not "modern" for this.

Yet right now, many people who are upset about the SCV are fighting AGAINST a war to bring down a nation that tortures and enslaves humans.

So just to be clear, the old south was "bad" enslaving humans... and modern Iraq is "good" for torturing and enslaving humans.

Right :)
posted by soulhuntre at 12:35 AM on April 7, 2003


Ah, life in the modern South... it is so nice to see how far we've come, eh?
Sigh.... You know, all these "Let's bash the Southern Boy!" threads are really starting to wear me down. It really irritates me that people around the world view all of us folks down here in the South as racist, inbred, toothless idiots who all have a confederate flag on the back window of their four-wheel-drive Ford. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go. I just looked out the window and it looks like some colored folk are walking past my house. I just know those bastards will try and steal my hubcaps.
posted by bradth27 at 12:42 AM on April 7, 2003


nothing wrong with being a conqueror.

Nice to feel the testosterone rushing through the veins.

One nation, indivisible..
I admire the breadth of Lincoln's vision

>:)
posted by firestorm at 1:17 AM on April 7, 2003


I have not extensively travelled through the South; I have encountered appallingly racist people at, for instance, DisneyWorld, I have seen the barefooted mud wallowing and guns dogs bubba drive in theaters, I have treaded near the locales of unfortunate incidents, I have heard the strange accents and beheld the strange customs of the people..

But I would defend Virginia, as my friend does.. the northern, civilized part anyway /me runs

North Carolina's research triangle (although the company's are all creepily tucked away into the woods, and the place is juxtaposed with bubbaness)

my friends in Florida, despite Disneyland (Which, after all, must draw people from all over, especially those in close geographic proximity ie the south)

and especially Texas.

I heard of segregated towns, you all know of crimes in the last decade, but Texas is a lot of things, big cities in the middle of empty wilderness, hi tech and Asians and non racism ..
posted by firestorm at 1:23 AM on April 7, 2003


soulhuntre, did you miss that part about the south shooting first? That just might be relevant when it comes to justifying combat.
posted by NortonDC at 9:08 AM on April 7, 2003


soulhuntre, did you miss that part about the south shooting first? That just might be relevant when it comes to justifying combat.

Be honest here...If Iraq had fired at the US first, would all you still be opossed to the war? Just curious.
posted by jmd82 at 10:02 AM on April 7, 2003


Yep, because of the perspective and the context (all other statues on Monument Ave. are military/confederate) Arthur Ashe looks like he is beating back the Yankee devilspawn children of hell with only a book and a tennis racket.

Perversely, this is one of the many reasons I love Richmond. NoVa is a traffic snarled mess of bedroom communities. No thanks.
posted by rainbaby at 10:38 AM on April 7, 2003


Be honest here...If Iraq had fired at the US first, would all you still be opossed to the war? Just curious.

It would really depend on the orchestration of the first shooting, just as stbalbach's "South was set up" noted. If Iraq "shot first" because U.S. troops were inside Iraq aiding Kurdish resistance groups, I think it's a mutual violation of diplomacy. A rocket fired at Israel is a completely different situation.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 11:02 AM on April 7, 2003


Hippugeek: "lovingly" was that hint of sarcasm.

NoVa is politically progressive, but it's also cold, overbuild, expensive, and...well, snotty. For all its faults--and they are many--I'd take Richmond any day.

True nova can seem cold, *certainly* overbuilt (look at the Springfield interchange... not to mention the constant paving of the Dulles Toll Rd.), and indeed expensive, but it's still one of the few places in Virginia where you feel like your in the middle of a cultural melting pot rather than in the middle of some confederate battlefield. While Richmond's as wonderfully diverse as it is, to me, it's still to a lesser degree -- nova any day.
posted by dmjavier at 11:09 AM on April 7, 2003


Yes, the South has more than its fair share of ignorant racist morons. So does the rest of the U.S.
posted by mark13 at 11:26 AM on April 7, 2003


it would appear as though the south has the most.
posted by mcsweetie at 11:47 AM on April 7, 2003


If Iraq had fired at the US first, would all you still be opossed to the war?

I would not. In fact, I supported Gulf War I, in which Iraq fired at Kuwait first. I oppose Gulf War II.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 12:55 PM on April 7, 2003


it would appear as though the south has the most.

Actually it would appear as though California, Texas and Florida have the most.

Most Southerners don't consider them part of the south, anyway.
posted by nyxxxx at 2:07 PM on April 7, 2003


Yes, the South has more than its fair share of ignorant racist morons. So does the rest of the U.S.

Yep, racism isn't just a regional problem.
posted by dmjavier at 2:42 PM on April 7, 2003


I remember some of the downright stupid questions some people asked me -- in all seriousness -- when I went from North Carolina to college in upstate New York.

"Do you wear shoes down there?"
"Do you drive a pickup truck?"
"Do you make moonshine?"

and my favorite:
"I don't understand why anyone would want to live in the South. They're all so prejudiced down there!"
posted by Vidiot at 6:04 PM on April 7, 2003


it would appear as though the south has the most.

Actually, they're just better organized.

But really. My family's roots are 100% Mississippi, although I grew up in the Chicago suburbs. I have soooo many Confederates in my family tree. My great-great-grandfather would be considered a martyr by the Neo-Confederacy types - he died of filth and disease in a hellhole of a Union Prison camp. Many of you are aware of the horrors of the Confederate camp at Andersonville, but the Union camps were just as bad. And at least the South had the excuse of not enough resources for it's own, an excuse the comparatively wealthy North could not offer.

So, my own perspective from someone who's lived up Nawth and Down South, and old enough to remember the last years of official Jim Crow: although the very worst racists I ever met WERE from the South (in my own family, in fact), I heard more overtly racist comments/remarks/jokes from Northerners than from Southerners.

Again, this is completely subjective, some of what I observed may be due to my earlier Northern years being long before PCness. But the majority of Southerners I knew, whatever their prejudices, were generally not as nasty about it.

Martin Luther King observed something similar during marches in Cicero IL. To paraphrase, he said that the troublemakers they ran into in the South were usually small bands of rednecks. But when he marched in Cicero, the entire town - men, women, children, adults - were out in force hurling insults, rocks and bottles.

So, anyway, I guess the point is that stupidity is not restricted to geography.

As for the war itself - it takes two sides to have a war. Of couse slavery was an issue, but I do think that ultimately, ecomomics was the driving one. The South had hitched its economic future to the wrong horse (plantation based agriculture), and could not compete with the North's economic diversity. To think that the North fought the war solely to free anyone is naive. In fact, there was a lot of resistance to emancipation from many interests in the North.

Sorry, I've gone on too long.
posted by groundhog at 6:24 PM on April 7, 2003


In the absence of a visible email: dmjavier, thanks for your highly reasonable response to my rant. I get defensive about Virginia, and the tone of your first post just struck a nerve. Also, I don't recognize sarcasm after 3:00 AM. My apologies.
posted by hippugeek at 7:54 PM on April 7, 2003


Richmond is a weird mix of old confederates and young art students. Every few years somebody dresses up the statue of Jefferson Davis in the finest bras and boas Victoria's Secret has to offer, just to remind everyone of this fantastic historical moment.
posted by junkbox at 6:48 AM on April 8, 2003


Hippugeek: No worries! ;)
posted by dmjavier at 11:47 AM on April 9, 2003


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