When I lived in Georgia I was in the newspaper business and for a time I was a crackpot with a newspaper (now-a-days that would be like being a crackpot with a blog). Anyway there was a daily paper in Anniston, Alabama that was an inspiration for independent voices in print media in the South. It was the Anniston Star. Back in the 1960s they took a pro-Civil Rights stand and George Wallace use to call it the “Red Star”. I’ve always had a fondness for this newspaper.
Today the publisher, H. Brandt Ayers, is out with an editorial about the
Republican Confederate Party celebration of Confederate History Month. And I would add it as a must read.
Mr. Ayers calls his editorial, I am a somber rebel. He calls out folks like Bob the Reb of Old Virginny, but he calls others to task as well. Mostly he seems sick of where Nixon’s Southern Strategy has led us as a Nation and how the conversation about race, the Civil War, civil rights and the politics of outrage never seems to be able to get beyond the repeat cycle. His grief at yet another lost opportunity for national understanding is raw.
Here is how he opens the piece:
As Confederate History Month wanes, the orchestra in my head plays “Dixie” and the rising melancholy cellos, which touch the merry tune with tragedy, put me in a somber mood. The song and the jaunty St. Andrews flag grow fainter, smaller …
They will shortly be gone, packed off in shame to an historical closet, and with them another opportunity for national understanding will have been aborted.
The latest skirmish in the culture war over the Civil War was touched off by Virginia’s new Republican Gov. Robert McDonnell who sought to honor Confederate dead but forgot to mention slavery was a cause of the war.
When the oversight was brought to his attention, his apology sounded unconvincing, as if he was saying: Slavery? Slavery? Yes, darn, I remember reading about that; should of put it in the proclamation. Sorry.
Read the whole thing. While there are some points I do not agree with, it is good food for thought on a Sunday night.