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Our Confederate dead

I've lived in the American South twice in my life, once when I was a little kid, and again twenty years ago, when Stephanie and I moved to Kansas City, by mistake. 

She’d wanted to live in the midwest, and the map says Kansas City is in the midwest, but it felt like the South. God and guns and good old boys. Stars and bars. Rednecks and Bible thumpers.

Nothing against any proud Missourians. There were decent people there, too. It never felt like home to us, though. 

It was nearly ordinary to hear the n-word from white strangers chatting on the sidewalk. Several times at work, someone casually mentioned that abortion is murder, or gays are disgusting, or spoke of "blacks" with a sneer, and then they'd shrug and buy a Coke at the machine. My boss used the phrase "pointy-headed liberals" unironically, and often. We'd moved to KC from San Francisco, so it was ongoing culture shock.

Such Southern attitudes were widespread enough that, in the only major statewide election while we lived there, a frightfully primitive Republican defeated a boring, middle-of-the-road Democrat for a seat in the US Senate.

On a walk once, just by chance, Steph & I found a Civil War monument, which in itself wasn't a big surprise. A famous battle of that war was fought in Kansas City, and memorials are all over the area.

This monument was two or three stories tall, and way up at the top was a statue of a Confederate soldier carrying a gun. At the bottom, raised lettering in all-caps said, “IN MEMORY OF OUR CONFEDERATE DEAD.”

Our Confederate dead.

Steph & I thought that “our Confederate dead” were treasonous, lynch-happy monsters, and that that’s the main thing to remember about the Civil War. Especially since so many present-day bastards and much of popular culture pretends that the Old South was about white gentlemen and Southern belles and antebellum gallantry, instead of what it was — a prison death camp, encompassing eleven American states.

The only good thing about "our Confederate dead" is that they're dead. One glorious day, their ideology will be dead, too, but pretending the South was anything but hideous and evil only delays that day. No patience, please. Anyone of that Southern mindset, or sympathetic to it, should be shunned, mocked, and humiliated.

We'd stumbled across that monument accidentally, but if I’d known it was there I would’ve brought a can of spray paint. It was too grotesque to return another day, so I never vandalized it, which is one of many regrets in my life. We left Kansas City shortly thereafter, though, and I don’t regret that.

 9/5/2021

itsdougholland.com 

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3 comments:

  1. I live in Gettysburg. Firmly in the North, geographically, but my god, it's the fucking South. You expect some confederate flags - the entire town is basically a Civil War battlefield, and is built around CW tourism. But it's way beyond that. Still tons of Trump signs, multiple "FUCK BIDEN" giant flags, this place sucks massive green donkey dick.

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    Replies
    1. Jeez, that sounds hellish. Worse than KC, and we couldn't take KC.

      Hating Biden enough to fly a "Fuck Biden" flag just means someone's stupid enough to swallow bullpoop about him. Biden is so bland and middle-of-the-road he's basically a Botts dot.

      Delete
  2. I'm gonna correct myself - we're actually quite close to the actual Mason-Dixon line. So maybe not "firmly" North, geographically.

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