Not to put too fine a point upon it, but I couldn’t be more deep-boned Southern if I had the Bonnie Blue Flag tattooed upon my yam sack. My brother and I have documented our family’s Rebel roots to three of our four matrilineal and patrilineal lines; direct ancestors having served with the Confederate Army in Louisiana and Arkansas (one lost his arm at the Battle of the Wilderness).
Some of my direct ancestors dwelled on plantations and owned slaves. I am named for my father, who in turn was named for two uncles who were members of the Louisiana KKK. I was the last person to have lived in the dark and dumpish Atlanta apartment where Margaret Mitchell wrote Gone with the Wind. There’s more, but that’s laying on the butternut grey a shade too thick.
Having said that, I must say that the ghastly fandango of Confederate Congressman Joe Wilson barking like a dog at our president in a joint session of Congress in the most important domestic issue discussion we have faced since the passage of the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1965 makes me vomitous. The groundswell of support for this backward backbencher warps my nonviolent nature in preparation for what I fear is about to become our Second Civil War. Yeah, it’s that serious. And yeah, that’s where I stand. We’re turning a most bitchiferous corner, people. It’s 1932.
The decent southerner within me is sickened by the racist bile being spewed forth by the crackers and low country low-lifes on the other side of Dixie’s coin, the bedsheet bretheren whose hatred of blacks is rooted in their collective anger of being forcibly deprived of their stock of human slaves. As for the deeply ignorant crackerdom elsewhere in our fair nation who believe Glen Beck speaks for the Lord God Almighty, former President Jimmy Carter has their number: their anger is stoked by nothing short of racism.
Joe Wilson (if that is indeed his real name) of Beaufort, S.C. fought to continue flying the Confederate battle flag over the state capitol in Columbia. He howled for people to shut up about South Carolina’s white supremacist Strom Thurmond fathering a child by a black employee and is a proud member of the Sons of the Confederacy (of which I could join but choose not.). His screech at the president of our country “You Lie!” during the address on health care reform was itself as lie. Read the bill(s) Nimrod.
Joe Wilson (if that is indeed his real name) represents Beaufort, S.C. You might remember that charming backwater town from the movie “Glory” in which some black troops of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry roughed up town and townsfolk and stole some chickens. Wilson and his ilk have apparently nursed that memory in their hairy bosoms and its white-hot resentment all the way to the 2008 election, when a gentleman of color won the White House with votes from millions of white people, mine included.
Obama won the election and the Dems, feeble appeasers they might be, took both houses of Congress. Pry that from our cold, dead hands, ye scrum of teabagging petit tyrants.
Lissen up, Joe Wilson (if that is indeed your real name): you and your newly-minted fans are un-American racist dirtbags. And I, descended from slaveowners, know whereof I speak. Wear the garment proudly.
“You lie!” isn’t exactly what I had been yelling at my TeeVee screen in the eight years of Bushism. I echoed Vice President Cheney’s insult to Senator Lehey on the Senate floor (and then some) in my outrage at the honest-to-god turn to fascism we underwent under the pretext of a war on terror. But I didn’t yell FU on the floor of Congress, with the whole damn world watching. Where were the TeaBaggers when we were lied into a multi-trillion dollar, unnecessary and worthless war in Iraq? We could have used them in the largest demonstrations the world has ever known in March 2003. We decent southerners and real Americans didn’t need to carry loaded guns to those protests. Not one. Never happened. Google it. Our ammunition was the truth, not the lies embedded in the stupendous mendacity of Bushist cadres and the Joe Wilson/Babbling Boy Beck/ Fat Druggie Radio Mouth/ Simpering Sean/ Bloviating Bill/ Dick Armey and his entire assembled army of dicks who dribbled into Washington Sept. 12 with more racist signage than I ever saw in Klan rallies I covered in Alabama, Georgia or Mississippi.
I’m afraid we now stand on the brink of the abyss. We look into it, and discover the abyss is looking right back at us, in Nietsche’s phrase. We hear the clicks and chamberings of Murderous Evil locking and loading its arsenal. Something wicked this way comes, and it is blind, furious and armed to the teeth. The AR-15s and AK-47s at presidential appearances are but a prelude. The right to bear arms is now dangerously close to the perceived right to kill presidents of the wrong color.
The Sept. 12 mob, the birthers, deathers, gun nuts and assorted examples of White Men Behaving Badly are not merely misled by media shills for rich and shadowy powers who despise the very concept of We the People. Their behavior in Congress and at the Summer 2009 town halls show they’re almost hysterically angry and have no respect for democratically elected government. These excitable idiots represent the worst aspects of the American experience. They are in league with the demonic strain in our national character. The witch-burners, Indian killers, slave-owners of our past; those Manifest Destinied, greed-soaked, imperialist, segregationist McCarthyite ignorami who have soiled our reputation here and abroad over the centuries are now joined by this sorry pack.
The feckless simplicity of their uncluttered minds was a sight to behold before, during and since Sept.12.
It’s important to note that throughout our history, decent people have always stood up and fought this oozing sore of racism on the national personality. If good folks object with force and eloquence to this flowering of bullying, screaming cryptofascism, then the nation I still love deeply might yet hand down something decent to future generations. But I have to tell you, time is running out.
I began this by citing my ancestral southernness. I am a direct descendant of John P. and Temperance Simpson Pearson, late 1700s, Edgefield District, South Carolina.
Joe Wilson, you have soiled our common heritage by your lack of common decency. I don’t want to go all rogue here, but as ex-Senator Zell Miller once said, it’s a shame dueling has been outlawed in this country. My sense of honor has been offended, sir, and I demand satisfaction.