It’s become fashionable in some circles to treat American history, and Western Civilization itself, as one long insult to minorities. To hear them tell it, the birthplace of modern democracy is really no more than a torture chamber for Latinos, Asians, Africans, homosexuals, the transgendered and people who prefer Coke Zero to the real thing. I humbly disagree.
Then again, I can’t pretend to represent any minorities. I’m white, male, heterosexual and type O positive. And like the rest of the majority I cheat at solitaire, drink milk out of the carton, and wipe my cock on the sheets as soon as she falls asleep. I can pretend to empathize, but unlike Bill Clinton, I simply don’t feel your pain.
(OK, politically, I might be in the socialist minority, but even that has never stopped me from being greedy, stealing cable or failing to inform that nice waitress that she undercharged me for my burger and fries.)
I’m one of those lucky folks who have benefited greatly by being an American citizen. I’ve even been spared from having to take up arms to defend it, so that’s another bonus. And when I’ve disagreed with the actions of my government I’ve always been able to express that without fear of government retribution.
Try that just about anywhere else on this planet and you’ll see how “free speech” works in the places where so many of our minorities once hailed from. Like it or not, America protects free expression in ways that no Asian, Latin American, or African nation approaches. So you might think I’d be in favor of letting South Carolina, Mississippi, Kentucky and the other garden spots of the South express themselves through flying the Confederate flag in public places. But you’d be wrong.
In fact, fuck the Confederate flag and the mouth breathers who wave it.
Much ink has been spilled this week about how the Stars and Bars represent terror and oppression to black folks. I sympathize, but as I pointed out above, I don’t pretend to empathize, it’s just not my style. So why do I object to the Confederate flag?
Well, it’s not because I dislike the South; far from it. I’ll go on record here and say that overall Southern people are more kind, considerate and courteous than Americans in any other part of the country. I’ve toured there extensively for decades from Texas to Florida and up to the Mason Dixon line. Believe me, if your van breaks down, you want it to happen in South Carolina; you don’t want it to happen on the New Jersey Turnpike, all you’ll get is a bunch of middle fingers for your misery.
The South is topographically gorgeous, dotted with lush forests, rivers, mountains, and swamps. And though it’s a shame that the political forces down there don’t value the environment, the folks who live there love the great outdoors and appreciate the natural beauty of their surroundings.
And I hate it to break it to you, but the South is less segregated than the North in many ways. There is far more interracial dating, commerce, and camaraderie in the South than in the North where segregation is officially frowned upon, but culturally enforced.
Most importantly to me, all musicians worldwide owe a great debt to the South. If you play any form of American music, from country, swing and jazz, to funk, hip-hop, rock & roll and punk, your music originated in the South. And grits and cornbread are wonderful things!
So why do I oppose the flying of Confederate flags, battle or otherwise? Because I’m an American, pure and simple.
If someone moved here from Nigeria, waving a Nigerian flag, and questioning the legitimacy of the US government, I’d suggest he get his happy ass out of my country. If a Guatemalan national decided to relocate here to make more money, but refused to pay taxes, flying the Guatemalan flag and declaring her place off limits to girl scouts and trick or treaters I’d wish fervently for her to return home posthaste, preferably strapped under the bus by the exhaust pipe.
I feel the same way when I hear some drawling hillbilly inform me that he won’t pledge allegiance to Old Glory, but rather to the flag his great great great great grandpappy might (or might not) have fought for 150 years ago.
Let me get this straight, Cletus. You and yours benefit from American citizenship with all the rights and privileges that entails, including voting, infrastructure, homeland defense, free education, copyright protection, and much much more, but you simultaneously want to deny the jurisdiction of the federal government over your meager little patch of asphalt? Well, sorry asshole, but in my country it’s in for a penny, in for a pound.
As the last illiterate faux Southern president once remarked, “you’re either with us or against us.” We certainly don’t need a fifth column of bullshit Americans lurking around making sweet tea and planning for our downfall. You don’t like the US flag? Get the fuck out of our country. You don’t like the feds? Seek citizenship elsewhere. Move to Somalia; they don’t have a functioning federal government there, I’m sure you’ll feel right at home.
Look, it’s not our fault your side lost the War Between the States. Your ancestors simply weren’t smart or tough enough to win the war they started. In that way the Confederacy wound up like the British at Yorktown or Napoleon in Russia. Surrender, defeat, shame, the rape of your precious females, this is the legacy of the South’s involvement in the Civil War. Why celebrate it? And if celebrate it you must, do it in your pathetic home among your dusty dreams of yesteryear. The state capitol is for winners, not whiners, and you guys lost.
The good news is, we’ve got plenty of room for you here in our country. It’s not perfect, but we could sure use some grits and cornbread. And judging by the radio up here, we Northerners could definitely use a music lesson.
So come on home, Southerners; we miss you. But leave your fucking stupid flag in a ditch where it belongs.