Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Changing Perceptions

I would love to be a fly on the wall in some of the walls in the south after reading this article. Ya'll come back now, ya heah.
Guardian Unlimited | World Latest | Many Blacks Proud to Be Southerners: "Indeed, some blacks talk about the South in a way that sounds a lot like the stereotypical white Southerner.

David Jansson, an assistant professor in geography at Vassar College, has written extensively on the complexities of Southern identity. In a study comparing the attitudes of blacks in Lynchburg, Va., with those of members of the pro-secession League of the South, he found striking similarities - affinity for Confederate symbols aside.

``Being Southern meant valuing family, community, a slow pace of life, rural landscapes, and so on,'' he said.

``Values are stressed here; family, community, honor,'' said Bianca Matlock, who is from Arkansas and attends historically black Fisk University in Nashville, Tenn.

``Northerners are not used to the gesture of Southern hospitality,'' she said. ``The female values of the `Southern Belle' representing grace and integrity are only found in the South.''

As much as she likes the South, Matlock still comes back to Confederate symbols that, to her, are reminders of pain and suffering. She just doesn't understand whites who see them as benign symbols of ``The Lost Cause.''

``In my nearly white neighborhood, I see the Confederate flag. In fact, my neighbors explained to me that it's a sign of heritage just as the Black Panther sign is to some African-Americans and not of racial implications,'' she said. ``Yeah, right.''"
For the record I have the same reaction to the confederate flag as I do to black power symbols. Yuck, so what? Please don't wave it in my face. I don't run around wearing colorful afrawear, if you can't tell I'm black then you are a nice person who is interested in me and not my attitude and that is just the way I like it. I know that there are quite a few who won't agree with my position and that is their prerogative. We spend way too much time attributing past behaviors to current cultures and that is from both sides of the color wheel. I think people have the same reaction that I do when I see obvious, in your face proclamations of purported racial superiority in inappropriate circumstances. Running around with a pointed white hood and robe on a day other than Halloween (my brother dressed up as a Grand High Poobah one year, :) is childish and reveals more about a lack of individual mental development than the costume hides their shame at having an attitude that the majority of the world finds offensive. The same goes for statues, I am not the Taliban, I do not find it necessary to remove traces of the past because it is shameful or different from the present.

Just don't do it again.

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