I sometimes worry that people with little experience of the South will think I am exaggerating about the White South’s obsession with that damn war and the Confederacy, but White Southerners always come to my aid. In this case, it is in the context of a Facebook group for people who grew up in my hometown. Faced with protests against the Confederate flag across the South, one member posted this (I’ve left names out, but I posted a couple screenshots on Twitter if you don’t believe me):
I guess we’ll be meeting on the square to tear down the confederate soldier and burn the Carter house.
The solder in the square is the one I posted about the other day, of course. Perhaps he read my post? The Carter House is a home that survived the Battle of Franklin in November, 1864, and still bears its scars, including embedded minié balls and holes from cannon balls. It is now a museum, and like the statue, a big part of the town’s identity.
As of this point the post has 93 likes, and a whole bunch of comments, all but a couple of which are in support. A selection (mostly unedited, except for some ending punctuation):
And dig up the [Confederate – Chris] cemetery
I guess I have to get rid of my class ring. It has 2 flags and the word Rebels. Ya Right. As with my guns only from my bold dead hand.
Hell, we already surrendered once. Now they want us to do it all over again!
I will send in the names of my GGrandfathers so that they may be forever blotted from the pages of history…how dare they be born in the south, honorable men who farmed the land and owned not one slave… who fought in defense of their homes and families.
Minorities rule us now. I don’t know what is to become of our great country. Are we going to have to remove all the grave markers in the Confederate Cemeteries?
The school [My high school – Chris] can no longer use the Rebel flag…the name stayed but there is an undercurrent always brewing to change that as well. Sad times :(
So [Name Removed], what’s the school song now? I’m sure “Dixie” and “Are you from Dixie” have been banned.
The American flag may be next. Scary thought, but they are getting there little by little.
They don’t want our confederate flags and memorabilia which is part of our heritage but a japanese automaker can name our football stadium
[Name Removed], I head today Gone With the Wind is on the chopping block.
And so on. There are a couple flare ups of overt racism (one black commenter is told to “go smoke a blunt”), but for the most part, this is what you get: a concern that we, as White Southerners, are losing our history and heritage, which is almost entirely associated with the Confederacy and the War. You may notice that they also associate losing this heritage with a losing American heritage: once this flag goes, the other flag will go too. This is part of the White Southern culture, the part in which they believe, quite firmly, that they are the true Americans, the true inheritors of the American tradition and ideology. They’ve resisted, and continue to resist, taking down the flag because they see it as an attack on who they are, White Southerners with a distinctly White Southern heritage.