The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #60936 Message #976717
Posted By: Ebbie
04-Jul-03 - 12:24 PM
Thread Name: Why is 'Dixie' considered racist?
Subject: RE: Why is 'Dixie' considered racist?
I say, emphatically, that religious suppression anywhere is different from the institution of slavery in America. Slavery has a long history in the world but in the olden days taking slaves was a spoils of war. Slavery in the name of non-worth as a human being and then continuing it for generations only because the master class could get away with it is very different.
Abandoning a song to the enemy is like abandoning an occupied country to the enemy. But, McGrath, it wasn't their song. It was the white man's idea of how they should feel. Incidentally, note that I didn't put 'old massa' in quotes- but ol' massa is definitely present in that song.
I'm concerned this morning, now, that the songs that Susette and I sing, including Are You From Dixie, and Peach Pickin' Time in Georgia, use many of the words mentioned above. For me they are lyrics of songs I love to sing, and symbolize, when I think about it, magnolia blossoms and fried catfish and Spanish Moss. I think of cornbread and black-eyed peas, southern nights and warm hospitality.
Fortunato, the very air in the American south is redolent of those things and not just to the white man. The climate, the unhurried speech, the manners, the standards of what is seemly, affects both races. There is a shared history that transcends. (I lived there before the civil rights movement but even then it appeared that both races judged 'poor white trash' more severely than they did blacks, per se.)
Helen, there is a saying: In the south, they don't care how close the black man is, they just don't want him to get too high. In the north, they don't care how high he gets, they just don't want him too close.
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. Rapaire, surely the race of the perpetrator is not the one that gets to say what gets put on? How would you feel? How would I feel? I would feel shamed, insulted, demeaned- I would feel that is my race, my mother, my brother on display, in a period that was accepted and utilized by the white man and that should never have happened. Political correctness has nothing whatever to do with it. We are talking about humans here.
Because ANY song, book, poem, statue, plaque, memorial or essay that that predates the Civil War and speaks positively of the south will be labelled racist regardless of content or intent. Nicole, surely that is too narrow a statement. Many, many things can be said and written about the south, both pre- and post-slavery that resonate within us all. The south is a special place, it has a mystique, a climate, a history, that slows us down, makes us look around and appreciate. A wonderful place to visit...
Incidentally, is it correct that that 'peculiar institution' was begun by merry old England and only perpetuated in America on the basis of economics?