Gimme a second and let me figure out where it starts.
People make all kinds of claims about Southern Culture. Most of those people don’t actually know what they are a talking about. The only way to know a culture is to live in it. Internalize it. So today I will try and give you a walk in my shoes.
What if you missed the Civil Rights Movement by a few short years, and you began your life thinking it was all over. Settled. Done? Because apparently everyone was now equal and we we done with all that fighting??
What if you grew up, at least at the beginning, in a household which taught you to not say the N-Word in public, but it was ok to use that word from time to time where only White People could hear?
That whole chain of logic is strange to me to this day. I wasn’t taught to not use it because it’s offensive, hurtful, and a symbol of a system of slavery which was still almost a living memory on the day I was born. I was taught not to use it because it would harm me more than help me. It was a lesson in calculated decisions.
I opened my eyes and said “Hello” to this big, beautiful world for the first time in the early 1970s if that helps. I had no idea what the fuck I was in for. I was born in Mobile, which is in Alabama, which is in the United States, which is in the Northern Hemisphere of this one planet . . . etc.
How’s that for a prologue?
Now, I don’t want to write or share the next part of this, but I am doing it anyway. And don’t applaud me until you see if there is even a next post.
The racism, sexism, ( and more and more these days) militaristic nationalism . . . They trouble me.
One of the reasons I have such a hard time just writing this shit and throwing it out there is that it’s hard to look at, and it’s even harder to acknowledge that it’s real.
But it’s real. Talking about it is better than giving it a pass, because talking about it robs it of a little bit of its power.
Know that I am on your side.
Just don’t be looking for another post from me tomorrow. These things take a long time to write. Not because I’m short on words. What I am short on, these days, is courage.
If I take this up again. I will have more to say about emotional and financial manipulation, with a heapin’ helpin’ of religious fundamentalism thrown in to, you know, save my soul.
I remember when The Christian Coalition took over the little churches and weaponized them in the service of the Reaganites. I lived through the AIDS crisis, as a child, and I am not done burying people who were older than me and were damaged by it more than me because they had a more full understanding of what was happening there.
I am not done.
These words are hard to come by these days, though. Composition time is hard to come by. But I think I have more to say.
Don’t go mouthing off about Southern Culture on account of things you learned about it on the teevee. Don’t give it a pass, either.
This situation is way more complicated than that.
That is all.