The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #60936 Message #976640
Posted By: Rapparee
04-Jul-03 - 10:23 AM
Thread Name: Why is 'Dixie' considered racist?
Subject: RE: Why is 'Dixie' considered racist?
Abraham Lincoln thought "Dixie" was an excellent song, and Union troops sang it when marching to battle.
I think that we have to seperate "then" and "now." Perhaps raised consciousness have dimmed our perspective, but when you study the lives and thoughts of THEN (e.g., Lincoln's "I will do anything to save the Union, even if it means continuing slavery", RE Lee declining Commander-In-Chief of the Union Army because he would have to war against his home state of Virginia) you see anew the thought processes by which our ancestors lived.
Moreover, PC can get out of hand. For instance, some years ago Colonial Williamsburg, with the enthusiastic support of those who worked there portraying white and black inhabitants, wanted to re-enact a slave auction. The sole purpose was to demonstrate the degradation that slavery brought to the humans involved -- both the buyers and the slaves. It happened, but only over the loud complaints of the Richmond NAACP. Those who were there, both as onlookers and as actors, said later that they never *truly* understood "the peculiar institution" until then.
Another example of out-of-control PC is the ruling by the National Parks Service that battle re-enactments cannot be held at such places as Gettysburg and Yorktown. Why? Because the participants would have weapons, and weapons are forbidden at these places. Yes, you cannot re-enact *battles* on former *battlefields* because you might be carrying the type of weapon the original *battle* was fought with!
There are Southerners who firmly believe that the Civil Was was "a rich man's war and a poor man's fight." (That is something that can be said of most wars....)
I remember going to see my father act in minstrel shows at our local parish school hall. Marc Connelly's "Green Pastures" won the Pulizter Prize for drama.
I wouldn't put on a minstrel show today, even though it's definitely historical. Nor would I stage "Green Pastures," even though it's still an excellent play.
I can't sing "Dixie" but I can sing "Bonny Blue Flag." I can't sing "Dixie" but I can sing "Riding a Raid" or the original of "Maryland, My Maryland."
I don't mean to give offense, and I would rarely do so intentionally, but something seems screwed up here....