I’ve a cousin who proudly proclaims her conservative views. She knows who she is. Anyway, at the reunion the other day she told this joke: Do you know why the North won the war? Well, the South threw dynamite, the North picked it up, lit the fuse, and threw it back.
Now, I’m not saying the joke is funny (it’s all a matter of taste, after all). But, and I think this is important, it’s the first time I’ve heard a joke mocking the South’s loss of the civil war. Having been in the Navy and been to all four corners of the Continental United States, I can say for a fact that the North was mocked on a regular basis, but not once did I hear the South get mocked.
This, by the way, is from Balloon Juice:
………. The other day Dr. Mrs. Dr. F. was sitting in traffic in the university part of town behind a lifted pickup flying that huge rebel flag. A couple of college kids, chatting on the crosswalk, stopped and did a double take. The black guy told the other guy, who was maybe south Asian, something about the flag and then he started laughing. The spouse watched him call out to the rock-still white kid in the pickup cab, (roughly) “Really, dude? It’s the twenty first century”. Then he shook his head, laughed again and walked off before the light changed. Now having people hate your symbol and fight against it, that is more or less the point. Hating something is just another type of respect. But nowadays ol’ Dixie is clearly in retreat (again), the reddest of red legislatures have started abandoning it and people who should feel intimidated just laugh in your face.
The Civil War was just the start of the overall battle about slavery, race, and bigotry. I think we’ve started to see the final loss of the South. They no longer have the ability to claim heritage, they get mocked and ridiculed openly on the streets, and even the most Southern of states have removed the flag.
Will ol’ Dixie ever completely disappear? No. Like an infectious virus it will linger in out of the way places, dormant, waiting for a chance to spring forth. However, the vaccine to combat this infection is going strong (despite some peoples’ claims otherwise) and the struggle to inject it into the populous has finally worked; it is self-replicating. All men are created equal.