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View Diary: Ghosts of Dixie (32 comments)

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  •  I live in dublin (7+ / 0-)

    "It was a bright cold day in April and the clocks were striking thirteen."

    by easmachine on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 12:24:35 PM PDT

    •  Sorry hit the wrong button (18+ / 0-)

      I live in Dublin and though I am technically a Southerner, born and raised in North Carolina, people think of me as from "up north". I'm also a black man which means I'm not what people think of when you say the word Southerner. I just want to say thanks for preserving your history. When we stop keeping history or sugarcoat and glorify history because we're afraid of what others may think of us or those we love, we unlearn the hard won lessons that history teaches us. Thanks for keeping it real.

      "It was a bright cold day in April and the clocks were striking thirteen."

      by easmachine on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 12:30:57 PM PDT

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      •  I understand this also... (15+ / 0-)
        a Southerner, born and raised in North Carolina, people think of me as from "up north"
        For me, it's a different state, ethnicity, and gender (Mississippi, white, female) but I often am asked "where are you from?" because I don't come across as a "typical Southerner".

        I'm not sure I have words to describe the way I attempt to reconcile all the evil I have seen that is deeply intertwined with the good that is also here. It is often hard to come to grips with your heritage (and the attitudes of people you love, because they are family) while vigorously trying to change those attitudes - even when that attempt is emotionally painful, and often actually dangerous. And I have lost friends and family members by holding to what I know is right.

        I'll continue to remember the hard-won lessons.

        "In other words, if we bust our butts, there's an even chance things will get better; and if we sit on our butts, there's a major chance things will go completely to hell". --- G2geek

        by Lorinda Pike on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 01:00:38 PM PDT

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        •  Good & evil, intertwined. (11+ / 0-)
          (Mississippi, white, female)
          That describes my mom, my grandmother, two aunts, and various beloved cousins. I have not lived in my birth state, Mississippi, since I was two (1963). But whenever I hear a woman with a Mississippi accent, I think fondly of sunshine, and I smile.

          My grandmother was born in Blackland, about 30 miles north of Tupelo, in 1891. I remember her telling me stories of growing up on the farm. A black man, Sam, worked for my great-grandfather. My grandmother loved Sam, whom she fondly remembered as good and kind. Sam's son, Marion, was about my grandmother's age. He was her best friend. I remember her telling me about them climbing trees on the farm.

          I never heard my grandmother use any word for black people other than "nigger" or, once in a while, "nigra."

          When I was in the third grade, my school system integrated and I had my first black teacher. When my grandmother found out, she collapsed in tears.

          She saw no contradiction between her racist beliefs and her genuine love for Marion and Sam.

          Good and evil, intertwined.

          I wish I had thought to ask my grandmother, before she died in 1980, how long it had been since she'd seen Sam. As far as I know, it had been since childhood, even though she never lived more than 5 miles from her place of birth. I wish I had been able to put her and Sam back in touch, or at least to get her to think about it, and to hear her reaction.

          Thank God my generation is more on guard against racism than my grandmother's. But her ability to compartmentalize is central to human nature. I have no doubt that every generation compartmentalizes something. With us it's probably global warming, homelessness, access to medical care, equal rights for people of all sexual orientations; the fundamental equal humanity of people from, and in, all parts of the world.

          The specific manifestations change. But the root issues never do.

          Good and evil, intertwined.

          "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

          by HeyMikey on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 02:42:51 PM PDT

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      •  Thank you (15+ / 0-)

        I could ask for no higher praise.

        Sad and perverse that people treat Southerner as a synonym for "white". Without its African heritage, the "South" would be nothing more than a direction on a map.

        Nothing human is alien to me.

        by WB Reeves on Mon Oct 01, 2012 at 01:02:57 PM PDT

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