I live in the south. I watch Duck Dynasty, I wear camouflage, and I own at least one article of clothing with a Confederate Flag on the front. We sit on porches, and we say “ain’t” and “y’all.” We drink sweet tea and eat lots of fried food.
Yes, we have all of our teeth. I have no intentions of marrying one of my cousins. We can read and write quite well. I have a college education. We’re not all ignorant “rednecks.”
Now, on to the important thing. Am I racist for wearing that t-shirt with a Confederate flag? I don’t believe so. It’s a part of my heritage. The flag does not, and never has, represented racism. It was made to represent states rights. A slave never sailed into the United States under the Confederate flag. They all came in under the American flag, so one isn’t more racist than the other. (Just my thoughts.)
I love the south. I live in Montgomery, Alabama. It’s the cradle of the Confederacy and the birthplace of the Civil Rights Movement. The people who live here don’t realize it, but Montgomery is rich in culture. I grew up in a town where the First White House of the Confederacy and the Rosa Parks Museum are within walking distance of one another, which isn’t something that very many people get to experience. Our generation did not write history. I never owned a slave, and neither did my parents or my grandparents. Maybe it really is time to put the past in the past.
The song “Accidental Racist” by Brad Paisley and LL Cool J sums up my experience of living in the south perfectly. It’s taken a bunch of heat but I feel like it opens up great conversation, especially when the topic is so taboo.
Listen to it, and let me know what you think!