There’s a lot of great things about the South to be proud of. I talk a lot of shit about it, but I also have a lot of pride about where I come from. There’s a lot of good people in the South. On the whole, they’re friendlier, more polite. They drive better. The food is better. The parking is plentiful. We’re dominant in college football. A lot of smart people come out of UT Austin and Vandy, and a lot of other great colleges. Trucks are better than cars. I’m sorry — it’s just true. Though I haven’t lived there in 20 years, I never shy away from saying that I’m from Arkansas, although I am quick to denounce those things about my home state that I wish were not true.
But come on, y’all. There’s zero reason to be “proud” of the Confederacy. Just think about what that means. It means expressing pride in our ancestors for fighting for the right to maintain ownership of Black people. That’s the only reason we fought the war.
Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments. You…..— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 17, 2017
That “culture” that Donald Trump doesn’t want ripped apart is a culture of slavery, of plantations, of dehuminization. Seven hundred thousand people died in a war over the right to own people. And the South lost! Why would we want to remind anyone of that loss, much less of what we were fighting for? What is it about that “culture” that any of us would feel pride about? We build statues to honor goodness and valor and sacrifice. We shouldn’t build statues to honor people who fought — and lost — a war for an inhumane cause. Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson were not “heroes.” They fought for the right of white people to own, and subjugate, and beat, and kill Black people.
There’s nothing about this that isn’t obvious. I don’t know why it even merits the reminder, but for some goddamn reason, there’s a shitton of people in the South who want to celebrate and commemorate our failure, not only in war, but as decent fucking human beings. There is nothing about that culture that was good. Those who fought to protect the right to own other people were garbage people. I don’t care how many times they went to church, or how much they might have believed in God. They were immoral monsters.
You want to celebrate the rebellious spirit of the South? Fine! That’s great. But don’t celebrate the fact that we rebelled against decency, against human dignity, against liberty, freedom, and the pursuit of happiness for people of a different skin color. No. There is nothing about that worth celebrating.
So yeah: Let’s rip apart that part of our history and culture. We don’t need to be reminded of it, much less proud of it. We should be denouncing our history, not celebrating it.