COVID-19 May Finally End the Civil War!

Image by Bruce Emmerling from Pixabay 
When Robert E. Lee surrendered to U.S. Grant at Appomattox many people thought the Civil War was over, but not most people in the South.  The war against the armies of the South defending slavery may have ended, but the war against hate wasn't.  Hate is flourishing in the South and is spreading beyond the Mason-Dixon Line.

There have been all sorts of claims as to why the American Civil War was fought, from "state's rights" to cultural differences, but the simple truth is that it was fought to defend the institution of slavery and enforce the notion that White people were superior to African slaves and their descendants, Native Americans and even "Yankees".

For over 150 years many residents of the South have refused to accept that the war was over and the Confederate States of America lost!  The Stars and Bars of the Confederate flag, which symbolized rebellion, hate and white supremacy, was not retired as the enemy flag, for which it truly was.  Instead, it was incorporated into some of the state flags of the former Confederacy, until recently.  Mississippi, the poorest state in the union still refuses to remove the Confederate flag from its state flag.  

The Confederate flag has become a common sight throughout the South as a symbol of defiance of the North, the U.S. government, and the concept of equality of all American citizens. The Confederate flag has become a symbol of hate towards Blacks and other people of color, the LGBTQ community, immigrants, non-Christians, and now education and science, even in the North.  We now have a president sitting in the Oval Office who espouses the racist and hateful ideas symbolized by the flag and the treasonous states that attacked our American government.  

The American people are finally waking up to the injustices suffered by our Black brothers and sisters for decades at the hands of white supremacists in our local, state, and federal governments, our law enforcement agencies, our economic institutions, and basically in every part of our society.  With the growth of the Black Lives Matter movement throughout the country and even throughout the world, Americans are forced to face their collective racism.  Whites are finally joining Blacks in demanding change in the way Blacks and minorities are treated in our society.  

The South is indeed rising again in response to Black Lives Matter. Symbols of white supremacy, racism, and hatred, that have struck fear into the everyday lives of our Black citizens are being removed.  These moves have not been met with universal acceptance by all inhabitants of the South. White supremacists and other right-wing hate groups have been energized with the support of the racist and divisive moron in the White House.  Some of the terrorists are calling for a second civil war, a racial war to stop the advancement of people of color towards equality.

With a president who appears to be acting more like the President of the Confederate States of America than the President of the United States our battle to defeat hatred and bigotry is a difficult one.  Many in this country are fighting the removal of the symbols of hatred as destroying our history.  Do we want to celebrate our history of racism and honor those who killed people for having a different color of skin?  Does Germany honor Hitler and his Nazis by adorning the country with statues of the murderous fascist demon?  No, of course not.  What country honors those people who have tried to destroy it?

As I said before, some people in this country have been fighting the Civil War for over 150 years. Hatred and racism are still flourishing. People of color are still suffering and dying needlessly, and our politicians are doing little or nothing to stop it.  But maybe something else will stop this civil war.

From the beginning of this COVID-19 pandemic the Southern states, who overwhelmingly support the incompetent handling of the disease by Trump and his toadies, have denied the seriousness of the virus.  The Republican governors of the South have refused the advice of medical experts on how to slow or stop the spread of the virus, in favor of listening to a moron who said the pandemic was a Democratic hoax.  They ignored the warnings and now they are seeing an explosion of cases among their citizenry.  As more people have been infected and many are dying, the governors are finally doing something.  Perhaps, too little, too late.

Every day, we see the number of cases surpass the numbers of the previous day.  Unfortunately, we also see assholes waving the Confederate flag in defiance of reason and science, instead of social distancing and wearing masks.  Trump has succeeded in politicizing a disease in an attempt to divide and even kill the country, to ensure his re-election. What Trump doesn't realize is that he's killing the very people who support him.  But he doesn't care.  It's not in his nature to admit mistakes or care.

The longer Trump stays in office and refuses to do anything to help "all" of the American people, the higher the chance that the South will be decimated by COVID-19.  Unfortunately, this will include the good people, as well as the haters.  The problem that society could not solve in 150 years a virus may solve in only a couple of years.  The Civil War may finally be over and the South won't ever rise again.

I Miss the America I Grew Up In


Lately, I've been seeing the phrase "I miss the America I grew up in" quite a bit on social media in response to what is happening in our country today.  Whenever I see this or hear the phrase spoken I can't help but think of the real meaning of those words.  That is "I want America to be whites, straights, and Christians only". It brings to mind an article I wrote last year which was published in "The Partnered Pen" on Medium in October of 2019. I feel it is necessary to republish my article on my own blog, even if no one notices it.

                                             I Miss the Old TV Shows

                       They don’t make them like they used to!

Lately, I have been seeing posts on Facebook with photos of old TV shows from the ’50s, 60’s and ’70s, with the caption telling you to “like” if you remember it. I must admit that I remember all of these shows and become quite nostalgic when I look at the photos. I always “like” them and “share” the photos. So far I have seen “The Andy Griffith Show”, “The Brady Bunch”, “The Lucille Ball Show” and “Cheers”.

 Seeing these led me to reminisce about other old shows. Some of my favorites were “The Life of Riley”, “Leave It to Beaver”, “Father Knows Best” and “Our Miss Brooks” to name a few. There are many more TV shows that I and others around my age should remember. Not all are as old as the ones I just mentioned, but they are the ones I remember fondly.

 When I think about watching these shows I think of a simpler time when I was younger, maybe12 or so. I had nothing to worry about and nothing to fear, except for maybe not getting my homework done on time. I can remember sitting in front of the old black and white General Electric television in my living room and watching these shows with my parents and older brothers. The plots were simple, usually nothing more serious than getting a failing grade in school or not getting the chores around the house done. There was no sex or risque scenes. The parents slept in separate single beds and heck I don’t remember even seeing the parents’ bedrooms until “The Dick Vandyke Show”. There were no drugs, no swearing or profanity, and no violence. The only gunplay was in the westerns, but there were no gore or mass shootings. In all of these shows, the neighbors were all friendly, well dressed, and well to do middle-class people. They were nothing like my family or the family of anyone else I knew.

 None of these shows portrayed poor families, homeless people, handicapped people, Blacks, Asians, or Hispanics. Everybody was white. No one was Catholic or Jewish and certainly not Muslim. There were no gays or even people who could have been gay. Everybody seemed to be married or widowed. None of the mothers worked, even though the very young and older women worked as either librarians or teachers. Even though these shows took place during the Cold War, there was no mention of it. There was absolutely no mention of any social issues whatsoever. It was a perfect world of White Anglo-Saxon Protestant Americans, undoubtedly all Republican too.

 We may look back and think about the old days, when everything was peaceful and simple, with no problems and no worries. In reality, though these TV shows portrayed an America where everyone was hiding their heads in the sand. The plights of minorities, such as Blacks and Women were ignored and not talked about in public. Children were going hungry and being physically and sexually abused and there was a great deal of domestic violence that was ignored by everyone, including the authorities. There was gang violence, there were drugs, race riots, and all manners of discrimination that was legitimized by looking the other way. Everything was perfect only if you were White. The only reason life was so simple was the fact we did not know about all of the suffering taking place, not only in our country but in our own neighborhoods of our home towns. And if we did know about it we looked the other way.
Then came shows like “All in the Family”, “The Jefferson’s”, and “Sanford and Son”. I can remember how shocked my parents and other adults were when these shows aired. Social activism, as portrayed in “All in the Family” was introduced to American TV viewers, and they were stunned. People came face to face with their bigotry and racism, even though they didn’t know it. With many people, instead of provoking some soul searching, these shows were just another form of comedic entertainment. But I think for the majority, these shows opened the door for Americans to see who we really were.

 I look back at my childhood and have warm memories and feelings when I think about these old TV shows. I wonder if, no I hope, that all people my age can look back at their childhood when also thinking of old TV shows and feel the same warmth as I do, but I’m sure that for some people they bring up a time of suffering and fear.

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