Monday, December 12, 2016

Confederacy Rising

The Confederacy is loving it. Jeff "the Ku-Klux-Klan-don't-bother-me" Sessions is going to be the US Attorney General, and will head the Justice Department. Steve "I-love-the-Stars & Bars" Bannon is to be President Trump's top strategist. "We're taking our country back!" must be the modern version of "The South will rise again."

We often hear people say, "America is a divided nation." Let's be real: All nations are divided in one way or another - between Conservative and Labor, Hutu and Tutsi, Shiite and Sunni, rich and poor. It is natural to take sides. America's divide, however runs deeper than most because of one word: slavery. The Mason-Dixon Line which divided North from South - the Union from the Confederacy - existed long before the Civil War that finished the Confederacy as a physical entity. Relegated to an ideal, that state of mind continues to seethe in the former Confederate states that stretch from South Carolina to Texas.

Slavery is a difficult thing to get past, especially a system of slavery such as the one that existed in America - so rigid, so built to last. It seems, sometimes, that whites cannot get past the fact they once owned blacks. Neither has blacks gotten over that 250 year hump that has metastasized into the meanest callous ever visited upon mankind.

This country has come a long way since the Confederacy's physical body extinguished. But, its spirit lives on; it is divisive by nature. As the poet, Dylan Thomas, would say, it will "not go gently into that good night."

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