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Why is 'Dixie' considered racist?

DigiTrad:
A HORSE NAMED BILL
DIXIE, THE LAND OF KING COTTON
DIXIE'S LAND


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Dixie-new origin theory on NPR-interestimg (38)
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Lyr Req: Everybody's Dixie (Albert Pike) (4)
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Greg F. 04 Jul 03 - 10:49 PM
wysiwyg 04 Jul 03 - 10:54 PM
GUEST,Sagebrush Sam 04 Jul 03 - 11:13 PM
Padre 05 Jul 03 - 12:02 AM
McGrath of Harlow 05 Jul 03 - 06:51 AM
GUEST 05 Jul 03 - 08:33 AM
Greg F. 05 Jul 03 - 08:58 AM
Frankham 05 Jul 03 - 11:09 AM
GUEST,Sagebrush Sam 05 Jul 03 - 12:11 PM
NicoleC 05 Jul 03 - 12:42 PM
McGrath of Harlow 05 Jul 03 - 01:15 PM
GUEST 05 Jul 03 - 01:32 PM
GUEST,Q 05 Jul 03 - 01:33 PM
Candyman(inactive) 05 Jul 03 - 01:46 PM
McGrath of Harlow 05 Jul 03 - 02:11 PM
Rapparee 05 Jul 03 - 02:23 PM
GUEST,Q 05 Jul 03 - 02:54 PM
Gareth 05 Jul 03 - 03:03 PM
GUEST,Q 05 Jul 03 - 03:27 PM
McGrath of Harlow 05 Jul 03 - 04:09 PM
JedMarum 05 Jul 03 - 06:07 PM
Gareth 05 Jul 03 - 06:23 PM
McGrath of Harlow 05 Jul 03 - 07:36 PM
GUEST,Kim C no cookie 05 Jul 03 - 08:44 PM
Chief Chaos 05 Jul 03 - 10:28 PM
NicoleC 06 Jul 03 - 12:41 AM
McGrath of Harlow 06 Jul 03 - 07:23 AM
Greg F. 06 Jul 03 - 08:14 AM
GUEST 06 Jul 03 - 11:07 AM
McGrath of Harlow 06 Jul 03 - 12:12 PM
GUEST 06 Jul 03 - 12:26 PM
SINSULL 06 Jul 03 - 12:57 PM
GUEST,Kim C no cookie 06 Jul 03 - 01:02 PM
Amos 06 Jul 03 - 01:39 PM
Chief Chaos 06 Jul 03 - 04:09 PM
McGrath of Harlow 06 Jul 03 - 04:59 PM
GUEST,Q 06 Jul 03 - 05:33 PM
Frankham 06 Jul 03 - 05:37 PM
Greg F. 06 Jul 03 - 08:25 PM
Ebbie 07 Jul 03 - 11:35 AM
GUEST 07 Jul 03 - 11:52 AM
DADGBE 07 Jul 03 - 12:51 PM
GUEST,Q 07 Jul 03 - 12:53 PM
McGrath of Harlow 07 Jul 03 - 12:59 PM
GUEST 07 Jul 03 - 01:29 PM
Greg F. 07 Jul 03 - 01:43 PM
GUEST,Q 07 Jul 03 - 01:47 PM
DADGBE 07 Jul 03 - 02:11 PM
Amos 07 Jul 03 - 02:29 PM
Pseudolus 07 Jul 03 - 02:58 PM
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Subject: RE: Why is 'Dixie' considered racist?
From: Greg F.
Date: 04 Jul 03 - 10:49 PM

So, Sam- were you born an asshole, or did it come over you gradually, by degrees?

What's your point Padre? that, of course, makes the "losing side" and their symbols "right"? Infantile bullshit.


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Subject: RE: Why is 'Dixie' considered racist?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 04 Jul 03 - 10:54 PM

Very funny after all my time at Mudcat, not to mention some of the more colorful perceptions about me, if I am being confused for a new liberal! Made my day.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Why is 'Dixie' considered racist?
From: GUEST,Sagebrush Sam
Date: 04 Jul 03 - 11:13 PM

I love exposing people. Cowards attack the kind, honest people who make the backbone of this country. Read this thread from start to finish and you will see what I mean. I don't attack , I just hold up a mirror.


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Subject: RE: Why is 'Dixie' considered racist?
From: Padre
Date: 05 Jul 03 - 12:02 AM

Greg, the point was not that the 'losing' side is right or wrong, only that the winners make the rules. What did you wish me to have said?


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Subject: RE: Why is 'Dixie' considered racist?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 Jul 03 - 06:51 AM

"..Caucasians disguised as Africans"

Caucasians come from the Caucasus, Africans come from Africa. Using those terms as labels for different varieties of Americans is demeaning.

Actually one of the daftest things about Minstrel Shows was that some of them actually involved Black performers - but they used to have to paint their faces for the performance because otherwise they didn't look black enough.

Drift warning: Another meaning of "Dixie" in England anyway is an army cooking tin. I gather it comes from a Hindi word for a pot, degshi. That information is from Brewers Dictionary of Phrase and Fable - which goes on to add that the naval counterpart of a Dixie is a FANNY. And that's got a very surprising and gruesome origin too.


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Subject: RE: Why is 'Dixie' considered racist?
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Jul 03 - 08:33 AM

I was getting bored with this thread but Sagebrush Sam really got my goat.


Left wing hate mongers


Its the flag waving right who spread hate and racism.


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Subject: RE: Why is 'Dixie' considered racist?
From: Greg F.
Date: 05 Jul 03 - 08:58 AM

"The Winners Makes the Rules" are in most applications just weasel words used to divert attention and obscure objective fact.

The real difficulty is that certain elements in the South are in denial- and have been since 1865- strike that, insert 1765- about certain aspects of their culture, slavery, racism, and the causes and outcome of "The War of Northern Aggression". Hence the paranoid, knee-jerk defensive reactions of the "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 type.

Until they can accept and move past this, no real progress can or will be made.


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Subject: RE: Why is 'Dixie' considered racist?
From: Frankham
Date: 05 Jul 03 - 11:09 AM

Sagebrush Sam,

Thank you so much for your kind words. I am very grateful.

I agree that nothing will be solved via diatribes one way or another. The historical complexity of the meaning of the Minstrel Show has to be taken into account. There were African-American Minstrels as well as white folks who "corked up".

I still believe that Dixie is a great tune. And it's with sadness that I feel that I can't and won't sing it today. Daniel Emmett was a gifted songwriter and I love to sing Old Dan Tucker which he also wrote. There are a great many Minstrel tunes that are simply wonderful. The Georgia Camp Meeting is a great tune with offensive lyrics. From the Northern side, there is another great tune about the burning of Atlanta by Sherman's march to Savannah, Marching Through Georgia which undoubtably some will find offensive. If we sing these songs, it's in the context of presenting American history through the songs of the Civil War. We sing the Bonny Blue Flag and Rally Round the Flag to juxtapose the sentiments of the time. Another song is The Unreconstructed Rebel. This might raise some hackles too.

There are those today who proclaim that jazz is African American and there is no room for white people in it. This is short-sighted and defies the history of jazz which has always been an integrated music because it draws from so many different musical sources. Hispanic, marching band music, and as of late, European composers such as Stravinsky, Ravel, Debussey and Bartok.

I believe this discussion bears more light and less heat. I think Dixie is an important song historically and perhaps from a dialogue about it we can learn more about of the complexities of our history.

I'm glad this thread was started. And I think that the question "why is Dixie considered racist" is valid. I hope we can answer it with moderation and intelligence.



Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: Why is 'Dixie' considered racist?
From: GUEST,Sagebrush Sam
Date: 05 Jul 03 - 12:11 PM

I will return to feeding my goats now, confident that the grownups are back in charge!


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Subject: RE: Why is 'Dixie' considered racist?
From: NicoleC
Date: 05 Jul 03 - 12:42 PM

Ebbie, I stand by my statement. I was just waiting for the usual venom from the usual suspects about the south. The more forgiving sorts just think that all modern southerners should cover themselves in sackcloth and ashes and destroy any remnant of their history. Of course, this doesn't quite pan out since many modern southerners are the descendents of carpetbaggers.


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Subject: RE: Why is 'Dixie' considered racist?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 Jul 03 - 01:15 PM

Quite why people should be supposed be feel responsible for things their ancestors did puzzles me. After all, if the descendants of slaveowners are guilty because of what their ancestors did, that would have to include the very high proportion of black Americans, who have some white slaveowners among their ancestors, which would be absurd.

The more relevant thing is how far we are continuing to profit from the activities carried out by our predecessors. For example in a different context, there is no reason the grandson of a Nazi shoudl feel guilty for that - but if he was living in a house stolen from victims of the Nazis, that would be a different matter.


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Subject: RE: Why is 'Dixie' considered racist?
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Jul 03 - 01:32 PM

The war of economic aggression against the South wasn't about slavery until Lincoln made it into that for political reasons. The north was ready to sue for peach in 1863, so Lincoln played the race card. Hell, he wanted to ship all the blacks back to Africa. His desires are still creating waves today in Liberia. Robert E. Lee said if the war had been about slavery, he would have fought for the north, which Lincoln asked him to do. No, the war was about economics, of which the slaves were a part. 'Dixie' is just an ode of honor to a region. Yet some people want to twist it. Lincoln didn't. When asked what song of celebration he wanted to hear the band play after the surrender of the South, he requested 'Dixie'. Played slow. And that's why he was killed. He would have got in the way of the carpetbaggers who wanted to rape the south and re-enslave the blacks. 'Dixie' and the Confederate flag are just red herrings. The same banking concerns that armed the South and the North and then touched off the separatist movement are still active today in Quebec and the American southwest and lots of other places around the world. Only, this time they are stronger. They will foment separatist movements, then when the break-aways occur, total enslavement will follow. Witness Yugoslavia, now a U.N. property. And people are being distracted with the political correctness of flags and songs.


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Subject: RE: Why is 'Dixie' considered racist?
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 05 Jul 03 - 01:33 PM

Nicole C, don't forget the scalawags.

Racism is strongest now in the northern and west coast cities, but that tends to be forgotten in a thread like this. It is so much easier to attack events of the past than it is to deal with current situations.

Strong drift in the current of this thread, but is Haliburton in Iraq the start of a new generation of carpetbaggers?


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Subject: RE: Why is 'Dixie' considered racist?
From: Candyman(inactive)
Date: 05 Jul 03 - 01:46 PM

Wow, Guest of 1:32 pm. That's quite a conspiracy theory you've got there.

I was particularly interested in your statement that "the same banking concerns that armed the South and the North and then touched off the separatist movement are still active today in Quebec and the American southwest and lots of other places around the world."

The only thing is, the Quebec separatist movement only started almost 100 years after the Civil War and failed in its two attempts to attain a majority by referendum. Earlier this year, the election in Quebec gave power via a big majority governmnet to the Jean Charest, the most pro-Canadian Quebec premier in history.

As a group, bankers, and thus "banking concerns" only care about one thing and that's making money. Separatist movements only serve to create instability, which makes making money a risky proposition. Bankers are much more interested in the stability of strong governments.

Yeah, that's quite a conspiracy theory you've got there.


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Subject: RE: Why is 'Dixie' considered racist?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 Jul 03 - 02:11 PM

the separatist movement are still active today in Quebec and the American southwest

Quebec I know something about, but "In the American southwest" - that's a new one to me. Tell us more. (Not not that GUEST, please, someone else.)


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Subject: RE: Why is 'Dixie' considered racist?
From: Rapparee
Date: 05 Jul 03 - 02:23 PM

Don't respond to "that" Guest. S/he is an agent of the Federal Government, trying to ensnare you in the tentacles of John Ashcroft. In '60s terms, a narc.


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Subject: RE: Why is 'Dixie' considered racist?
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 05 Jul 03 - 02:54 PM

Some people in the west of Canada, particularly Alberta, holler for separation (or alliance with the States). They feel that the "east" controls Canada (which it does to some extent because the populations of Ontario and Quebec, many common interests apart from separatist agitation in Quebec) can outvote the rest of the provinces and thus control Parliament. Within Ontario, the north and west parts of the province complain that Toronto (the big city) controls the policies of the entire province.
Will this end in separation? Of course not, unless something catastrophic happens. Canada will continue to muddle along (didn't Churchill say something to this effect about Great Britain?).

I recently spent time again in the American Southwest (where I was born) and only heard "separation" voiced in complaints (or jokes) by individuals, not groups. Never heard of any conspiracies by western bankers except to continue aiming for profit, like people in any business. Various groups (Latinos, ranchers, whomever) have grievances but this is normal in any more or less democratic country.


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Subject: RE: Why is 'Dixie' considered racist?
From: Gareth
Date: 05 Jul 03 - 03:03 PM

Hmmmm ! - Is it me, or do I get the impression that those in the USA forget that other countires had civil wars as well.

As to "Dixie" being an anthem of racial subjugation, well I submit that that depends upon who is singing it and why. Motivation counts, not the words.

Personally I find "Land of Hope and Glory" unsavory - but that is my personal decision, and as for the Hymn "All things bright and beautifull" - the less said the better.

Gareth

"The rich man at his castel,*
The poor man at his gate,
God made then high or lowley
Each to their estate"

All things bright etc...."


* - and No! I don't mean 4073


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Subject: RE: Why is 'Dixie' considered racist?
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 05 Jul 03 - 03:27 PM

When the guy at the bottom of the totem pole gets dissatisfied with his position, society crashes- except for the bird at the top.


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Subject: RE: Why is 'Dixie' considered racist?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 Jul 03 - 04:09 PM

I don't think the verse Gareth quotes gets sung very often. And without it it's a very pleasant little song.

There's a lesson in that. You aren't confined and defined by where you come from, or how you started out, either as a song or a person. It's how you are now, and what you say now, that really counts.


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Subject: RE: Why is 'Dixie' considered racist?
From: JedMarum
Date: 05 Jul 03 - 06:07 PM

It is biotry that keeps the arguement about this song alive. There is nothing racist about the song. It is NOT seen as racists by many. It's adoption as a favorite by both North and South, was pretty much universal - the confederates sang it as it was written, the Yanks modified he words to create an anti-confederate tone.

To say that all Confederates were racist is to grossly misunderstand history.


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Subject: RE: Why is 'Dixie' considered racist?
From: Gareth
Date: 05 Jul 03 - 06:23 PM

Kevin, maybe now, when I was forced to learn it in primary school, that was a verse taught to us. - And that was a Methodist School. Though I would agree other than that verse, a pleasent song and pleasent tune.

Gareth


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Subject: RE: Why is 'Dixie' considered racist?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 Jul 03 - 07:36 PM

Though even that verse is maybe open to a rather different interpretation from the one about knowing your place and being content.

The image of the rich man in his great house and the poor man sitting at his gate is surely intended as a reference to the Gospel story of Dives and Lazarus - in which the rich man gets his comeupance alright, as recounted in this traditional ballad version of the story..


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Subject: RE: Why is 'Dixie' considered racist?
From: GUEST,Kim C no cookie
Date: 05 Jul 03 - 08:44 PM

Ditto Amos.

The song itself says nothing whatsoever about slavery. It is a silly song written for the sake of entertainment, and that's what people of the time understood it to be. Nothing more, nothing less. People in modern times have attributed meanings to it that aren't there. At the time the song was written, there was no war going on, so no one was taking a stand to live and die for slavery. And don't any of you love your part of the country well enough to take a stand for it if you had to? I think that's just a natural human emotion that Emmett was appealing to. He was a commercial songwriter, and he was playing to the market. Dixie wasn't a folk song when it was written. It was the 19th century equivalent to a Top 40 hit.

So, is Sioux City Sue about bondage and domestic abuse? I mean, there's that line in there about roping and tying and branding...


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Subject: RE: Why is 'Dixie' considered racist?
From: Chief Chaos
Date: 05 Jul 03 - 10:28 PM

Some minor points...Slavery was not the "reason" for the civil war. To say it is would be the same as saying that WWII was the war to free the jews. It was about economics. King Cotton and Terrifs, The northern states (textile mills) wanted to do away with terrifs against cotton coming from India (then a colonial state of England). That the Indian people were little better than slaves didn't bother them. The southern states, for whom cotton was gold, didn't want to do away with the terrifs because that would sink their wealth. Add a few acrimonious gentlemen to the mix and you get succession. It was not illegal and if you accept as a logical point that after succession the South became a sovereign state the CSA then it was the North that started the war not the south as the first battle fought was well within southern territory. To believe further that it was originally the idea to free the slaves ignores the fact that the emancipation proclamation was not made until the war had been going for a few years. It is said that Lincoln's Chief of State suggested that freeing the slaves may add to the number of Black Union troops and also cause insurrection in the south. If you read it you will find that it does not even apply to slaves (which there were quite a few) in the North. It states that the slaves held in the states in rebellion against the union are free. This about the most worthless document ever written as we have already stated that after the legal succession of the southern states and the creation of the sovereign CSA how is it that the Gov't of the Union has power to declare the slaves of another sovereign nation free? How did most of europe respond to the U.S. Gov't campaigning against Saddam? Why does this attitude not apply to the American South. By the way, in a congress totally devoid of Southerners after the succession, the vote to free the slaves barely passed.
Another point...the KKK and other racist groups fly the American flag as well. They also burn crosses (although I've never understood that one).
Being a white male and a born southerner I feel the strain of the past. Whether you hold racist bigoted beliefs or not, if you are from the south it will be held against you. We don't feel that way about the Japanese, the Germans, Italians, or almost anyone else that has caused worldwide grief. And yet we southerners must bear the burden of slavery alone even though it existed and still exists in almost every part of the world.
Just one more point...Many of the slaves taken to America were tribes who lost battles with rival tribes in Africa, sold by their own race into slavery.

Slavery was wrong, is wrong, and if anyone would like me to personally apologise for what my ancestors did or might have done I would. But for the southern states to continue to be held in contempt of the nation and from what it sounds like, the rest of the world is just wrong.

Boy talk about drift!


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Subject: RE: Why is 'Dixie' considered racist?
From: NicoleC
Date: 06 Jul 03 - 12:41 AM

Kevin,

There are occasionally separatist movements in the southwest US. Part of Arizona, for example, sometimes wants to split off into their own state. None seem to have any real steam. The only separatist movement that I am aware of that desires removal from the US is the State of California. There's a bit of support in CA for that... but no one wants to do it the ugly way so it will probably never, ever happen -- but it's still probably the most likely separation; I'm not sure any other state could manage as a whole country.

Guest,

The idea of sending the slaves back to Africa is not as shocking as it seems today. It was a potential answer to a thorny problem -- what DO you do with a huge population of ex-slaves who no longer have a place in the current economic structure? Modern Africa might have been better off if they had gotten those people back, or maybe not, we'll never know. American would have been much poorer for it, I am certain. The slaves themselves would probably have been like fish out of water in Africa, but their situation in the post-war era wasn't much better.

All in all, if "40 acres and a mule" had actually happened, we'd probably have a lot less grief over racial issues today.


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Subject: RE: Why is 'Dixie' considered racist?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 06 Jul 03 - 07:23 AM

"...sold by their own race" - and bought by members of their own race too. Other members of the one human race, that is.

While it may be true that the North did not go to war to free the slaves, it is also true that the central reason for the secession by the Southern states was to protect the institution of slavery. Along with other reasons, analogous to those which precipitated the rebellion against teh Bruitish in 1776.


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Subject: RE: Why is 'Dixie' considered racist?
From: Greg F.
Date: 06 Jul 03 - 08:14 AM

Chief, you'd be well served by re-reading (or possible reading for the first time?) some real history. Your "historical" confabulation of fact, fiction and invention serves only to confirm my previous comments about denial and paranoia. Mc Grath is 100% correct- supported by the several states' Articles of Secession. Give them a read as well.

I believe you'll find that in reality very few folks have anything against The South or Southerners or hold them in contempt; Neo-Confederate apologists and contemporary supporters of "The Lost Cause" are something else again.


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Subject: RE: Why is 'Dixie' considered racist?
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Jul 03 - 11:07 AM

Dear Nicole C: California is about 60% Mexican at present. It will not become a separate country, it will be added to Mexico. The plebecite will occur as soon as the activists are sure of victory. The power to tax will remain based on gross receipts of all major corporations which do business there.


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Subject: RE: Why is 'Dixie' considered racist?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 06 Jul 03 - 12:12 PM

They didn't bother about having a plebiscite when the USA took it over in the first place, did they?


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Subject: RE: Why is 'Dixie' considered racist?
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Jul 03 - 12:26 PM

You are correct about that fact. Your spelling is also correct: plebiscite. One point you may not get is that the United States, Mexico, the native people(s) and the Spanish all fought over the place. Mexico is run by Spanish invaders to this day. My statement was in response to Nicole C and is off subject a bit.


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Subject: RE: Why is 'Dixie' considered racist?
From: SINSULL
Date: 06 Jul 03 - 12:57 PM

Re: "Marching Through Georgia". Did anyone else see the made for TV travesty of "The Last Confederate War Widow..."? At a ceremony to honor her, the band plays "Marching Through Georgia". Someone didn't do his homework.


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Subject: RE: Why is 'Dixie' considered racist?
From: GUEST,Kim C no cookie
Date: 06 Jul 03 - 01:02 PM

Nicole, the country of Liberia was founded for the express purpose of sending freed slaves there. Many of them went. There is a book available called "Dear Master," which contains the letters of a former slave, relocated to Liberia, back to his former master in the states.


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Subject: RE: Why is 'Dixie' considered racist?
From: Amos
Date: 06 Jul 03 - 01:39 PM

Ain't gonna happen, amigo. The demographics and the power structure are significantly misaligned. Plebian demands are not likely to be the governing element in such a notion. It is kind of a bad-dream conspiracy theory, I guess. An inversion, kinda like the Los Angeles basin weather.

A


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Subject: RE: Why is 'Dixie' considered racist?
From: Chief Chaos
Date: 06 Jul 03 - 04:09 PM

Fabrication my ass!
You my friend need to re-read your history. The war was not about freeing the slaves it was a part of the war and a great thing. Not that it really matters but I don't think anyone really understands what it meant at the time to free the slaves. You are talking about the destruction of the entire economic system of the South. Things could not function fully in the south if people had just let the slaves go free. Not when the harvesting of cotton, tobacco, rice and other things required a full force of workers. If someone today told you that you had to set your car and computer free without repayment would you want to do it? And if you think that the North was any better then you deny that the ready supply of immigrant workers to the North having to work for (not willing to work for) "slave wages" in the sweat shops was a bad thing.


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Subject: RE: Why is 'Dixie' considered racist?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 06 Jul 03 - 04:59 PM

This thread occasionally dips back into dealing with the issues in terms of the songs, which is a reason for keeping it in the top half of the page, but most of the posts steer well clear of that. Which means it doesn't belong in this half of the page.


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Subject: RE: Why is 'Dixie' considered racist?
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 06 Jul 03 - 05:33 PM

Proper threads on Dixie's Land and Dixie are 25204 and 54140.

The only lyrics here are those posted by WYSIWYG which should be in a new thread, and the pretty little horses nonsense which has been treated in other threads.

I think all of the comments have appeared before as well. I would have no objection if this thread was deep-sixed.


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Subject: RE: Why is 'Dixie' considered racist?
From: Frankham
Date: 06 Jul 03 - 05:37 PM

BAck to the central point, Dixie has been appropriated by white racists and is associated with the Minstrel Show. It is not a Southern song and as a result has been misunderstood by many in the South who attempt to unfurl it as a banner.

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: Why is 'Dixie' considered racist?
From: Greg F.
Date: 06 Jul 03 - 08:25 PM

Now you're ranting, Chief. That doesn't make it so, either.


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Subject: RE: Why is 'Dixie' considered racist?
From: Ebbie
Date: 07 Jul 03 - 11:35 AM

Greg, in a thread of spoonerisms, someone mentioned 'ghostless heads'. Fits those above, doesn't it! All mouth, no brain. Kind of like our Alaska sculpins.


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Subject: RE: Why is 'Dixie' considered racist?
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Jul 03 - 11:52 AM

Follow the whole thread, guys. Some people try to be positive, some try to contribute in other ways, and some just project their hate on everything they see. The Mudcat forum looks like fun, but it will always be limited by the caliber of those who participate. No venom in that, just fact.


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Subject: RE: Why is 'Dixie' considered racist?
From: DADGBE
Date: 07 Jul 03 - 12:51 PM

Hi Håvard,

Well, your question has evoked some fuss and feathers, but I'll address you since you asked the original question.

The length of this thread and the strength of the opinions expressed show once again that art has great power. A well made song will evoke memories, associations and emotions far beyond the immediate meaning of the words. As Frank has so ably pointed out, it is not possible for humans to dismiss the complex cultural subtexts which get appended to any good piece of art.

The emotions and politics of the Civil War and slavery affect every American today almost as profoundly as when that war was in its shooting phase. While it would be less upsetting to lose the cultural baggage (as McGrath advocates) and look at a piece of art as meaning nothing more than its immediate physical reality, it's impossible to do for the folks who live daily with its multiple subtexts.

It might have to be left to people from other cultures to view our art without the cultural baggage which keeps folks fighting mad.

Best regards,
Ray


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Subject: RE: Why is 'Dixie' considered racist?
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 07 Jul 03 - 12:53 PM

Way down dar im Mudcat heabin,
Slanders dar am not fergottin;
Guest away, guest away, guest away,
Ghostless heads.

Interesting image, Ebbie.


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Subject: RE: Why is 'Dixie' considered racist?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 07 Jul 03 - 12:59 PM

I'm not really suggesting losing the cuktutral baggage; but I'm suggesting that existing cultural baggage shouldn't be treated as the last word, and that is it worth paying attention to what is central to a song, and what is peripheral and perhaps transient.

"Why should the devil have all the best songs?"


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Subject: RE: Why is 'Dixie' considered racist?
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Jul 03 - 01:29 PM

From "Q":   "When the guy at the bottom of the totem pole gets dissatisfied with his position, society crashes- except for the bird at the top."

------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Way down dar im Mudcat heabin,
Slanders dar am not fergottin;
Guest away, guest away, guest away,
Ghostless heads."
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

" Various groups (Latinos, ranchers, whomever) have grievances but this is normal in any more or less democratic country.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                                            Looks like "B.S." section material, but than I be just a guest!


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Subject: RE: Why is 'Dixie' considered racist?
From: Greg F.
Date: 07 Jul 03 - 01:43 PM

Hey, Ebbie-

Sculpins! Whoa!! New one on me, so I checked it out at a few sites-
HERE for instance- and I LIKE IT! Going to have to add the word to my vocab. as a noun & adjective- "sculpin-mouthed", "sculpin-headed"...

Were I Spiro Agnew, I would posit something like "Scurrilous spluttering sculpins of sycophancy"...

Best, Greg


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Subject: RE: Why is 'Dixie' considered racist?
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 07 Jul 03 - 01:47 PM

A knot in this thread (?), a song given by Randolph, in "Roll Me In Your Arms," song 93, has some verses that were sung in the U. S. cavalry with the added line (changed) and tune for "Dixie's Land."

Should this one could be considered sexist rather than racist?
I will give only one verse:

Bumblebee cotton and peckerwood corn,
Liza comes a-runnin' and she grabs me by the horn;
Fuck away, fuck away, fuck away, Liza Jane.

Randolph and Legman have entirely different sheet music for their version of the song "Bumblebee Cotton and Peckerwood Corn," coll. near Fayetteville, Arkansas, about 1912 and sung by Mrs. B. M., 1950. They collected several versions from different sources (Missouri, Pennsylvania).

Another verse mentions pokeweed (considered to be an aphrodisiac). Bumblebee cotton is a euphemism for pubic hair. Peckerwood corn (and rhubarb in another verse) stand for penis (Randolph and Legman, notes to song 93).


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Subject: RE: Why is 'Dixie' considered racist?
From: DADGBE
Date: 07 Jul 03 - 02:11 PM

Thanks for your clarification McGrath! You're quite right of course - if it were only possible. The best example I know of the impossibility of believing that "...existing cultural baggage shouldn't be treated as the last word..." comes from my own stupidity.

Don't sing 'Down By the Glen Side' to a group of orangemen as I did once. It took me a long time and much pain to overcome the effects of their reaction. My protestations that it was beautiful song made no difference to them at all. It's possible that they were reacting to the quality of the performance, but not likely.


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Subject: RE: Why is 'Dixie' considered racist?
From: Amos
Date: 07 Jul 03 - 02:29 PM

I've just been listening to the Mackenzies perform a sweet version of Dixie on Hober.com -- a lovely, spritely tune, and not a racist shadow in it.

DADGBE, I don't think it was stupid to sing that song in front of those people -- it was at worst an honest misestimation. I tend to believe in the reasonableness of individuals until they prove otherwise. Of course, I am often disappointed, but I do it out of preference. People who lock them so hard into identities like that, hugging their group baggage tightly to their little bosoms (ooo! i'm an Orangeman!! That means I must hate the following groups with great passion.....), are doing themselves and the species a disservice. JUst because one person is capable of acting just as dense, sow-brained and obdurate as another is no reason for them to do so! :>)

A


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Subject: RE: Why is 'Dixie' considered racist?
From: Pseudolus
Date: 07 Jul 03 - 02:58 PM

The problem I have with this whole discussion (and I apologize for getting into it so late) is this. In my opinion, the song is not racist. Nothing is racist unless it is used in a way that intentionally provokes those feelings in someone else. If I sing a song where the land of cotton to me means the area I grew up in, or Old times they are not forgotten reminds me of my childhood and someone listening interpruts it as racist and asks me to stop singing it, am I a racist if I continue singing?   Of course not!! I'm pretty damn insensitive but racist? No. I don't agree with the people who say that folks who are offended by things like this song should just get over it, but that doesn't make them racists!

Racism is not a song, a book, a word or phrase, a movie or anything else you can see or hold. It is a trait, that far too many folks still to this day have. But the song? It doesn't become racism until it is sung by a racist......

Frank


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