race + gender + politics

Why So Serious? Bigotry Isn’t Funny

September 22, 2010

Admin note: I’ve been away for awhile. Have you noticed? Probably not. I’ve been trying to get my life in order and resemble the studious, diligent grad student that I’m supposed to be. Thusly, my attention has been elsewhere than this blog *sigh*. But I miss writing about non-scientific material. So, on to today’s post…

Last week while I was reading the comments section of a post from my favorite blog, VerySmartBrothas, I came across this article about a South Carolina Republican party (as part of the schedule of events for the National Federation of Republican Women Board of Director’s meeting) with the theme “A Southern Experience.” As noted in the schedule, the dress was “cocktail” and there would be Gullah storytellers and singers present. Apparently, the South Carolina senator Glenn McConnell decided to dress in his best Confederate general outfit

When I first laid eyes on the pictures I was like (o_O). W.T.F? So, in my state of shock and amazement, I sent the article to my mom, brother, and a few others. Below are responses I received, followed by my [same] response to both of them (slightly edited).


My brother:

LOVE the comments too. White folks like that ain’t s***… Sick of these hypocrites acting like this stuff is harmless, when they know good and well if one of their sacred symbols were used to “have fun” they would be calling for some sort of ban or worse, start lynching n**** again. The two so-called negroes in the picture REALLY need their asses kicked. They look old enough to have lived through the struggle for human rights for black people. Shame on them. And woods really trip me out with this kind of stuff. If history is so meaningless, if it has so little bearing on the here and now, why do they keep beating us over the head with it (President’s Day. Independence Day, 9/11, Pearl Harbor, etc.)? because they KNOW it does matter, at least when it comes to the interests of white people…

My mother:

wow is right, WTF are these people thinking (read black people)…i just don’t understand, what is festive or fun about the slave era in our country? how can this be okay, even decades later…help me understand!!! i am old, and perhaps i have lost my sense of humor…

Me:

the thing that bothers me the most is that by “celebrating the old south” they’re celebrating slavery. the ONLY reason why the south flourished the way it did is because of slaves. they dont CELEBRATE black/african/slave culture and revere these blacks that allowed them to have any prosperity. they arent passing out thank you notes to the descendants of those whose blood, sweat and tears went into building the south’s economy. instead, they’re celebrating how great the south was because they were able to exploit, enslave, and demoralize a whole race of people, and by celebrating “the old south” are essentially saying to me they wish things were like that again–at the expense of exploiting, enslaving, and demoralizing a whole race of people AGAIN to do it.

and THAT is what i can’t appreciate about these confederate loving southerners. GTFOOHWTBS. you dont see germany “re-enacting” the days of hitler and nazi occupied europe. that sh*t will get you killed and isnt tolerated… im just so disgusted.

And that^^, in a nutshell, is how I feel about the event and the people participating in it. I did also want to elaborate on some of comments made in the comment section of the article where some people were questioning what the big deal is and why blacks (particularly) are so offended. First and foremost, to me, a “Southern experience” does NOT equal celebrating the Confederate south which inevitably is linked to American slavery. So the mere fact that some one is dressing in Confederate garb to a BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING gathering is a violation and causes me to eye-brow raise and have tons of questions.

Secondly, and most emphatically, I HATE when 2520s (white people, for the non-VSB readers) seem to get offended themselves when black people are so offended by things white people do that are somewhat racially charged or has a history to ‘our’–Blacks–turbulent history with America and say things like “What’s the big deal?” The big deal is that ‘you’ can’t fathom why anything regarding slavery would cause Blacks to pause. I don’t think I even have the time or space to go into how annoying white privilege is to me. MFers don’t have a clue and don’t ever feel the need to get one. While I recognize some Blacks pull the “I’m so offended” race card (is this a separate card from just the plain “race card”? or did I just make that up?) about anything that is remotely race-related, even when it’s a stretch. Nonetheless, it’s annoying and rude as hell to have one’s feelings and opinions about race in America constantly dismissed just because a group of people don’t understand or care to understand American Blacks’ hurt, pain, and mistrust as it relates to the issue. Because ‘our’ feelings and opinions about a particular matter aren’t deemed that big of a deal to ‘you’, it’s just not that serious and ‘we’ should be able to just go with the flow and shut up about it? GTFOOH. That’s such a white privilege attitude and I can’t even stomach having those conversations with ‘those people’. Unless ‘you’ are truly interested in being educated as to the background of ‘our’ ill feelings towards a particular situation, fall back.(sidenote: I am only talking about those 2520s who have dismissive opinions about race, not ALL 2520s)

And lastly, it’s not that I’m offended (or even taking it personal) that people would find it appropriate or acceptable to dress in Confederate-themed outfits and say it’s a mere expression of a so-called Southern experience, it’s that I’m just… confused. Because the Confederacy lost the war and thus lost their right to be a separate entity with its own flag constitution, government, etc. End of story. So…. what more is there to say about the matter? Unless these Confederate reminiscing Southerns are calling for legislation to re-legalize slavery in hopes to regain the good ol days of the good ol south, why are we even acknowledging the Confederate south outside of a high school U.S. history course? Get. over. it. Despite the fact that the Confederacy was NOT made up of Republicans, hello. Not the Republican party we recognize today, anyway. Perhaps the obsession with some folks holding on to the “history” of the Confederacy with the intentions to revisit and revere it is just wasted on me. If anything, Southerns with this mindset are the ones “making a big deal” about the Confederacy and being so serious about revisiting it–as if it’s worthy to remember the south’s only crown achievement of being able to effectively enslave West Africans for the success of their economy. How impressive. *shrugs*

Any thoughts or feelings on this issue? Are you offended by people who celebrate the “old south” and the Confederacy? Do you think its a race issue or just people being overly sensitive about anything dealing with ties to slavery?

Not so serious but oh so sincere,
~Gemmie Freedman

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3 Comments

  • Reply Anonymous September 22, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    I don't know who to be more frustrated with – blacks who condone and participate in these events (could we really hate ourselves that much?) or the usual cracker ass cracker attitudes that continue to plague this country.We are seeing the same phenomena today with the "losers" taking charge and once again, holding our country hostage to racist idealism. Am I the only one who is tired, tired, tired of this nonsense…come on people let's unite and rebel against this BS before we self destruct in the bile known as white elitism.

  • Reply stlunatic September 22, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    *sigh* When I first moved here, I was having dinner with some GOG (Good 'Ol 2520 Girls) from Virginia. Let's not delve into why. ANyway, the subject came up of one of these pinktoes working for the Confederate History Musuem in whatever unimportant place she was from. She was going on and on about the COnfederate festivals they have, the reenactments, etc. Being from TX, I had no idea about this Confederate fetishism. And so that +the burger I was eating being hella good delayed my response for awhile. It took me a minute to grasp the ludicrosy (? just roll w it) of what she was saying, and that she was just naming and praising all these Confederate generals right in front of me. She had no clue, just chattering on like it was nothing. I guess it was nothing to her, this was part of her culture. I o_Oed her hard as hell once my slow ass caught up and left soon thereafter.

  • Reply Gem of the Ocean September 22, 2010 at 6:47 pm

    @anonymouslol @ "cracker a$s crackers". that chris rock skit will NEVER get old to me. ANYWAY… i definitely agree that there are losers holding our country hostage (sadly, these losers win at voting *smh*) with their racist idealism. soon, when we are back in shackles, some one will get the bright idea to say "HEY!! HOW DID WE GET BACK HERE? WE NEED TO END THIS!" its sad really.@stlunaticaren't you a doll for commenting?? thanks hun *muah* (you're raking them up, aren't you?). nonetheless, it is kind of perplexing to meet some one who is so gungho about relishing on the past of things that dont deserve to be revered, i.e. anything from the confederacy. i would be slow to respond too. i think my brain would be spending so much time trying to accept the fact that the words are coming out of some one's mouth. once the sensory input got to my cortex, im sure itd be like "wait, what? that couldnt have been the right signal i got. im not sure how to proceed in responding" *shrugs*

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