racists-support-obamaNot 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.


###
Boyd Lewis

Boyd Lewis

New Orleans family. War baby. Family moved a lot. Secondary and college education in Memphis, TN. Just before 1967 graduation, commissioning and tour of leafy, lovely Vietnam, banged up in auto accident. Decided to go into journalism. Tennessee mountain weekly, small Mississippi daily and nearly three decades in Atlanta. Black and alternative newspapers, freelance photojournalist, public radio news and documentary producer, news writer for CNN. Married Deborah James, followed her to Los Angeles for job. Quit the dismal trade and became middle school English teacher in LA barrio school. Quite happy.

39 Comments
  1. I’m so proud to read a southerner’s view of Joe Wilson. I’m sick to death of him and his ilk..(teabaggers).

  2. Boyd, you are so on the ball. Joe Wilson’s real name is Addison Graves Wilson, a fine southern name if I ever heard one.

  3. Boyd, thank you for that! I’m white, and old enough to have had a grandmother old enough to remember when a lot of the oldest folks around were from the Civil War days. She always said there were two classes of black people, and two classes of white… I’m sure you can figure out the system if you know that she insisted that the lowest class of all were the poor white trash.

    And I’m pretty sure she would have placed Joe Wilson (if that is indeed his name) squarely in the middle of PWT.

    She also said a person could never get enough education to actually rise out of PWT, and judging from Joe’s reading comprehension, apparently she was right on that also.

  4. Thank you!! Finally someone has said what I have been thinking. When will the true decent Southerners stand up and say enough of this crap from the poor white trash of the South.

  5. Robert Lamb

    Joe Wilson shamed us (again) with his uncivil outburst, but yours is equally uncivil (not to mention self-righteous). Diatribes like yours are just the other side of the same coin.
    For the worst case of overwriting I’ve seen in a long time, take two aspirin and get some rest. Maybe it’ll go away. Maybe.
    And in case you wondered, my forebears have been in the South since the late 1600s.

  6. Alice Murray

    Hear, Hear! Good job in telling the true, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Keep up the good work.

  7. As a shamed lowcountry South Carolinian myself ~ Boyd, you’re my kind of guy! Thanks for defending my honor.

  8. Boyd – thank you for your forceful, heart-felt comments. It is good to know that not all southerners are White Men Behaving Badly.

  9. Lee Leslie

    Boyd (if that is indeed your real name), you are one brave Southerner. Thank you for writing this. Too long I have winced, politely condemned or just turned away from “the racist bile being spewed forth.” The behaviour, jokes, winks, innuendo and wicked smiles are beyond boorish. It is an anathema. It is wrong on every level in my value system.

  10. Yet more typical emotive argumentation designed to distract the reader from the true point. The “teabaggers” as you call them, are outraged merely because the gov’t is spending the private, productive sector into oblivion at its current levels. The gov’t consumes 50 percent of GDP, an outrageous level. The nation’s economy is entirely depend on a third world strategic communist enemy buying our debt… outrageous. The “teabaggers” are outraged only because the federal gov’t wants to take over the most personal relationship between patients and doctors, wreck a last remaining economic center of global competitive advantage and spend us into yet more oblivion.

    Your attempts to distract people from the truth will fail. I don’t deny some racist scumbaggery in the opposition’s midst — much as I don’t deny anarchist-collectivist forces caucusing in Obama’s shadow — but that you willfully ignore the TRUTH behind the oppostion’s outrage and attempt to denigrate people like me who spent their lives working and studying hard to obtain a professional position in the U.S. and articulate an argument informed by YEARS of POST-GRADUATE STUDY at ELITE UNIVERSITIES poring over THEORY and EMPIRICAL observations is frankly stupifyingly ignorant.

    The essense of this nicely phrased but utterly intellectually bankrupt essay is, “Shut up, racists — you have no right to participate in the discussion on healthcare reform.”

    To which I respond: “Shut up, moron. You cannot defend your point on economic, political and legal merits so it is you who have no place in this discussion.”

  11. Preach it, Son! Put the buckra on the run. The time is long past for these antics and sorry displays.

  12. Mr. Lewis, sir, that was one fine bit of smack down! This barely submerged undercurrent of hate is very disturbing to watch. It is so much worse than the extreme right wing attacks on Bill Clinton in the 90’s. That was birthed by a conservative belief in a somehow divine right to govern. What we see today is that same group bolstered by these truly racist elements. I love how you brought it home. From one southerner to another, thank you!

  13. You know, I love a dissenting position as much as the next debate-lover. There really is little enthusiasm on my part for singing to the choir. So I look forward to an opposing view just for the fun of the chat.

    Sadly, often the opposing view doesn’t really present in a way that allows for discussion. The sentiment is merely a load of blather. I find it shockingly common amongst the current right-winged rabble enthusiasts. I recognize it because I suffer through such blather when my Newt-neighbor brother blathers. He just heaves verbal rocks all over the landscape, rarely if ever making a visible pattern. I come away wondering at the tremendous effort he spent to no meaningful end. He doesn’t convince me of anything because he doesn’t say anything coherent.

    I swear, Brenden, you and my brother must have studied under the same debate teacher. I’m a little creeped out wondering if you are, in fact, my brother and using a pseudonym, so similar are your argument styles.

    To merely address your final remark in this thread, how could Boyd Lewis NOT have a place in the discussion? He opened the topic!

    That’s all the energy I have for today. Thank you, Boyd, for your unique insight into our current (hopefully brief) troubles. Thank you for letting us know that everyone who descended from the Rebs can acknowledge the history while rejecting the sentiment. — Regards.

  14. Thank you Boyd. You have courageously hit all the points of this issue that have been shrouded in self-righteous, cloaked under some guise of debating the issues. It was only a matter of time before someone like Wilson showed, in the most public way, his true colors which allows us again to see the racism that has been simmering since before the election of Obama.

  15. Billy Howard

    You speak for millions of us and your credibility as a true-blue southerner who cares about our country more than our country’s big businesses is refreshing. And Brenden, you always talk of liberal’s emotions in the most emotionally ranting and degrading terms, i.e. you are a simple hypocrite. You, in your typically conservative self-satisfaction and inability to consider any other point of view than your own, resort to school yard bulling and name calling, act all offended when someone on the other side speaks a little uncomfortable truth.

  16. EDIT … not ‘everyone who descended from the Rebs…’ but ‘many who descended from the Rebs…’ I wish they were all as vocal as you, Boyd.

  17. John Dembowski

    Oh, what the hell! Brenden: Please – GOD ALMIGHTY PLEASE! – get over yourself!

    Do you REALLY think that you are the only person around with a “real” education? We’re all SO TIRED of having you tell us of it over and over, ad nauseum. You surely MUST have graduated magnum cum asshole. Apparently, multiple times!

    Now, here’s some REAL denegration for you. You are a truely churlish bore. Put that in your pipe and inhale deeply.

  18. Well I guess I was offended as a member of the opposition I was being lumped in with your rabble of racists that you stupidly believe run Obama’s opposition. I suppose I shouldn’t be. Since you cannot defend rationally any of the positions Obama advances — or dare not to, thus revealing your true ignorance or malicious motivations — you are now playing the bottom card in the deck: the race card. You cannot defend cap-and-trade, the public option, Van Jones, ACORN, etc., etc. You cannot defend plundering deficit spending. So you just call everyone a racist. This is such an obvious admission of failure and surrender on the great matters of public debate before us that I suppose I should smile more. At least I’m happy to know you’ve shot all your intellectual ammunition within the first eight months. I guess I can look forward to more nonsense and have the pleasure of happily tearing it to pieces.

    Keep on with your divisive racist ignorant grudge-mongering, angry leftists. I’ll keep throwing it right back in your faces. It reveals far more about you than you know. The people will reject it at their first, next opportunity.

  19. Seems to me the biggest grudge-mongering is coming from the right, Brendan. I enjoy listening to opposition arguments, but I am disappointed when it descends into name calling and “you’re wrong,” without a second thought. I’m not real happy with deficit spending, either, but you cannot argue that the Republicans didn’t spend us into the red, too. I don’t condone ACORN advising folks to evade the law, but apparently the opposition took their fake prostitute all over the country until they found somebody to do something stupid. If we sent somebody phony to a lot of right-wing establishments, once out of 100 I bet we’d find someone who would say something stupid, perhaps even the n-word.

    I don’t get the impression you WANT to hear anything that dispels what you believe.
    The people you mention are the ones who voted overwhelmingly for Obama.

  20. Brenden: This isn’t really about the issues which you raise. Would love to discuss them anytime. This is about courtesy, this is about decorum, this is about civility. As Sam Adams, founding father, fervent revolutionary, and great brewmeister, once wrote: “Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty of a people whose manners are universally corrupt.” That, my man, is what this is about. Sit down, have a Sam Adams, smile and just relax ~ and think about living in a country that produces such fine beer. We are indeed fortunate. :)

  21. Cliff Green

    BRENDAN, you Wrote: The “teabaggers” are outraged only because the federal gov’t wants to take over the most personal relationship between patients and doctors, wreck a last remaining economic center of global competitive advantage and spend us into yet more oblivion.
    Only?
    When George W. Bush and his all-white Republican congress squandered that huge budget surplus left him by Bill Clinton, did the teabaggers march on Washington?
    When George W. and his all-wgite Republican congress enacted the largest expansion of Medicare in history, did the teabaggers march on Washington?
    If not then, why now? What has changed except the color of the president’s skin?

  22. Look: I’m not here to defend Bush’s record, which I’ve repeated a few times. I think that you’re constantly resurrecting it reveals 1) the negative Pavlovian politican response you rely upon to advance your political ideas upon the utterance of the word “Bush” 2) it implies that Bush’s failures warrant some measure of compensating failure for Democrats. Idiotic. You further demand to set the terms of the opposition’s opposition. Um, we’ll oppose you when and how we please, thank you very much.

    Sure, I’m sure some conservatives were quiet as Bush squandered the nation’s wealth away. And guess what? They protested by sitting on their thumbs, not contributing to GOP candidates during the last election. Or they voted for the ACORN guy.

    And I sure as shucks won’t take lectures quietly about being civil when I read day after day a fresh batch of “Obama’s opposition are a bunch of racists” here, in the AJC, NYT, WP, CNN or amongst the other usual partisan political co-conspirators, flashing photos of Klansmen designed to stiffle debate with ignorance. I mean, you complain about name-calling here and what the hell is this whole essay about? Calling people like me racists. To hell with that and you damn right I’m gonna tell you to stick that crap where the sun don’t shine.

    I guess I also conclude that our positions our irreconilable. Y’all want a vast, unsupportable expansion of gov’t power and expenditure and we want to roll it back, or at least stop it. So, yes, no amount of reasonable discussion of one group with the other I think will yield a positive result. Consequently when you hold forth in the public squares with nonsense about racist cabals comprising half the country and within the Democrat party holding up this travesty of healthcare legislation, we’ll just have to agree to disagree disagreably.

  23. Cliff Green

    I am not looking for some compensating failure on the part of Democrats. Obama has not failed at anything.
    I asked simple question, and you did not answer it.

  24. Innerestin. We used to have a dude like this Brenden fella over at our blog too. Liked to use big words and act all high and mighty, accusin the community there of all manner of things — well, mostly what he was doing. It was kinda like a magician, the slight of hand thing. “Don’t talk about this thing that you started talkin about, we must talk about how stupid you all are! Over here!” Oh, the condescension, the snobbery. Just like every other lame-brained southern “gentleman” I ever met, indignantly explainin how slavery was a good thing for African Americans and other assorted … as my momma used to say … whoppers.

    Mustn’t mention that anybody on the conservative side might be a racist sunnovabitch. That’s just not polite, now is it? Addison Graves Wilson thinks like that. But whenever one of these know-nothings spouts off about how awful it is that us heathen libruls toss out the race card (clearly they’ve forgotten the proper way to play that card, or at least the way they always play it), I am thoroughly both amazed and amused that they can in good conscious act as if it’s just not possible that any criticism of a black president with a funny name that 30 percent of ’em believe was born in Kenya could possibly be founded in the type of bigotry that has plagued this country since before its founding.

  25. Cliff: I answered your question. I told you many conservatives protested by not supporting GOP candidates or voting for Barry because of Bush’s failures. Now, they’re “takin’ it to the streets.” So what if you and your comrades don’t like it? If you can’t focus upon all the events that changed during the campaign and new administration, if you don’t like all the legitimate policy questions and public expenditure concerns that regular ol’ citizens have about the president and Congressional leadership, and if you see only skin color when looking at national leaders (it’s obvious you do), then really what have you to say of any value on national topics? If your agenda is to accuse as racist any non-black citizen who substantively opposes Obama on pressing national issues, then you are useless. YOU’RE the ones needlessly injecting race into a discussion about budgets, economics, deficits, social programs and healthcare.

    And Obama has posted legislative failures on major initiatives: cap-and-trade. He wanted a healthcare, public-option-laden bill out of Congress in August. The Baucus bill does not resemble such. Things are not going his way at the moment even though he has majorities in both houses. Seems like trouble. And it ain’t cause he’s black.

    Again, I’d love it and would support Barry if he saw the small-gov’t, balanced-budget light (woulda been nice for Bush, too, as well). If Barry rolled back wasteful expenditure and took on the worthless bureaucracies. Yet nothing in his hard-left rhetoric or political career in Illinois and Washington of voting “present” and speechifying tells me he’s going to do so. He did nothing to challenge the corruption that surrounded him on all sides in Illinois. Why would I have any faith in him to stop fraud, waste and abuse in federal programs? Give me a rational reason.

  26. Boyd Lewis

    Brenden, dear friend. I m deeply sorry if I offended you by my comments on the broad, frightening stream of race hatred that has erupted as a result of our election of a black man as president. You see, I was graduated from Memphis State University, not an ELITE UNIVERSITY, and received a simple BA, not having the luxury or money for YEARS of POST GRADUATE work. We were so buckwheat simple and dog-assed poor in our credulous simplicity that we never envisioned elites such as yourself were taught to type in all capital letters for literary epistolary emphasis. Our shambling professors told us that it was the equivalent of a 9-year-old screaming for more ice cream. Their error was doubtlessly due to the infection of liberal dogma in the groves of academe.

  27. Well said!!! My family has been here since 1655…and yes I can provide documentation..thank you so much for this. Brendan please go back into your cave..

  28. news writer: Way before blogs came on the cultural scene I attended and contributed to a “newsgroup” bulletin board that was about multiple sclerosis, as I do cope with same. Good board. Lots of information about new treatments. Lots of ridiculous information about snake oil. Lots of commisseration about the heat, fatigue, spasms and cramps. Plenty of laughs, plenty of whining, then back to the laughs.

    And always, always there came the “trolls,” those contributors who just argued about nothing, endlessly. I could never tell if they were 12 years olds who were bored or 68 year olds who were boorish on and beyond the group, or maybe so terrified to speak with real people that they found this disagreeable release to vomit all over the rest of us.

    I enjoy Like The Dew. It’s amusing, entertaining, informative and heart-wrenching. And I intend to continue enjoying it, in part by ignoring trolls from this point forward. No acknowledgement or response to their bizarre input. Would love to debate someone who has an opposing view, which is an entirely different thing, but as we witness in this thread a troll is a troll is a troll. I hope you and others will join me in ignoring the troll. — Regards to all (well, almost all)

  29. Boyd, I thoroughly enjoyed your essay, and couldn’t agree with you more!! Reasonable and rational debate have completely fallen by the wayside in our “democratic” nation. Sad, considering rational debate is one of the founding pillars of any working democracy. It seems we have devolved into a nation of narrow-minded screamers who wield fear as their only weapon.
    Brendan, for someone who is so well “educated” from an “elite” university your punctuation and run-on sentences are abysmal. Also, you fail to present a main idea and stick to it in your arguments, which does not bode well for your ability to write a thesis worthy of a doctoral degree. I would demand some of your money back from those institutions because it seems they have failed you miserably.

  30. Jen sorry I didn’t deem the ignorance that informs the author’s argument making the false connection between bigotry and political opposition as worthy of careful copy editing. But thanks for your peevish scolding. So let me state it plainly: this paean to ignorance and your defense of it are malicious and idiotic. I say this because both demonstrate an attempt to deliberately hijack an entirely reasonable debate about national policy by invoking assumed-racial hatred, delegitimizing the opposition and dismissing them as racists.

    You crybabies don’t realize that you’re the ones actually stoking all narrow-minded screaming. How can I have a reasonable discussion about taxes, employment, healthcare, etc., when the party with whom I argue says my voice does not count because I am a racist and the president is of partial African descent? How do you not understand how stupid that is? How do you further not understand that I quite justifiably resent it, and causes me to howl in outrage?

  31. Sorry to impose again but I also wanted to add one other comment as it relates to pounding my chest over my intellectual achievements. An essential premise of Boyd’s argument is that Democrat opposition amounts to a hodge-podge collection of ignorant racists. I offered details of my CV as evidence against that essential false premise. If it came off sounding as arrogant, that’s fine. I’m proud of what I have accomplished because I worked hard for it.

    But notice how Boyd in refuting me insisted upon another false premise: “we never envisioned elites such as yourself were taught to type in all capital letters for literary epistolary emphasis.” Surely he would dismissively defend this comment as elegantly employed sarcasm when it actually is another invidious digression. He must insist that I member of yet another illegitimate class, the “elite,” and therefore again my voice does not count in the discussion over national topics. Many on this site have employed similar methods to dismiss me in the various debates I’ve engaged, and it is a threadbare angry left rhetorical tactic. And perhaps many would say I don’t help my case with strident, contempt-laden argumention.

    Yet I won’t hide my contempt in articulating the ignorance, malice and stupidity that informs such arguments. If you want to engage me in a meaningful, substantive discussion I would welcome it because I know the evidence weighs so heavily against dangerous, destructive gov’t overreach. But until that time, I’ll continue to call you idiots.

  32. Boyd Lewis

    O Brendan buck-o. I see by your name you have a touch of Erin in ye. I share your combative Irishness. That Confederate soldier great-great grandfather of mine was Patrick Julian McGuirk, Twelve-year-old Paddy fled the Potato Famine with family to New Orleans in ’47. Newtonstewart, Omagh District, County Tyrone. Buried in the Confederate Mausoleum, Metarie, New Orleans. He lost one arm at the Battle of the Wilderness but if any man called him an idiot, he’d use his one good arm to pound the saucy offender into bright red porridge posthaste. Be polite, laddy. If we’re going to have a discussion, such terms as idiot are well and truly banned as is the color orange on St. Pat’s day.
    I don’t dismiss you in the least. The fact that we’re corresponding from the opposite ends of the political universe shows I don’t dismiss you at all.
    I dismiss and ignore the bellowing of the bewildered herd who want to “take America back’ to the era of white supremacy, when George W. Bush showed one and all how a real white man can run a country right and proper. He did, didn’t he?
    So have another tipple of Bushmills or pocheen or whatever holds your cover and we’ll amaze and amuse the rabble in fine style with our literate ferocity. Elsewise, buck-o, let’s not waste our time.

  33. No, he did not. And you know better. I hope.

    Boyd, you’re right: I’m Irish. And Czech. And Romanian. And Gypsy. And Welch. And Swiss. And Catholic. And Jewish. And Episcopalian. And God-knows-what. Maybe part Kenyan? I know little of any of it and proud of all. But all ran away screaming from one horror to this greatest of all nations. None of my ancestors when asked could be troubled to describe those horrors because they came here to start a new life. They hid them, because they didn’t want their children to be troubled by the horrors from which they fled. They deemed those horrors irrelevant to the new life they aspired to. Whoever they were, they came to this country to be recognized not as Czechs, Irish, wealthy, poor, ignorant or elite. They wanted to be recognized as individuals — Americans! — for their own accomplishments and achievements.

    Some had great endowments and endured familial opprobrium to marry the the poor, ignorant but gifted rascal. If they didn’t have as much protein and/or whiskey as the next stuttering immigrant, they did not beg the gov’t to redistribute it to them. That is my cultural heritage. And it is a great one. I’m proud of them all and I don’t know them. This is a great nation. Comprised of great people from all walks, colors, creeds, music and so on. It is great because we allow success … and failure. And if we allow any success, we must endure a great amount of failure because, well, that’s just how it goes. Don’t most Southerners get that? You must accept that for it cannot be made otherwise. I would hold forth about the mathematical certainties of normal distrbutions, but…

    Boyd, you are a fine writer. You get no free ride for trafficking in ignorance. You have been cited. Peace, brother.

  34. Brenden I had vowed to not comment on these political articles but your last comment here is the backbone of America! I stand in awe of any one that can stand on principle and not let opposition cause irrational rebuttal. I on the other hand tend to get “pissed off” as “buck-o” Boyd has here and let emotions or “white lighten” take over. I can’t imagine what California white lightening would taste like with grapes and corn in the mix.

  35. Boyd,

    Well said. Well said indeed. I’m a middle aged white Southerner, the product of a military family and a former public high school teacher and proud of it. I will be following your words (now that I have found your site via World of Progress).

    FYI, perhaps we marched together in DC in March 2003.

  36. Boyd Lewis

    Brenden
    I’m happy we can now converse as civilized adults and not as paranoid pinheads.
    Our ancestors did indeed flee oppression to seek liberty in a new land.
    They fled the Old World’s monied elites who used religion to terrorize the peasantry and keep standing armies to invade opposing oligarchies and butcher their peasantry.
    Money, war, terror and the religious belief that our imaginary friend is better than their imaginary friend were the cancerous hand-downs of Europe. Our ancestors fled this narcoleptic bridge to nowhere, packed their smelly butts into creaking sailing ships and found a new bridge to the sunlit uplands of opportunity across the western ocean. America, ahhh.
    What people on my side of the political fence object to, and vow to fight unto death, is the continuation of monied elites, sanctified state religion, the perpetual warfare state that our ancestors thought they had fled when their smelly butts were washed clean in the pure mountain streams of the New World.
    Today’s super rich and corporations have resurrected the evils of the Old World we thought we had escaped. They have convinced us peasantry that any fiscal or regulatory obligation on them is a burden to all. Score one for the feudal barons. They’re so goddamn clever.
    These neo-feudalists insist that our peasant pikeman and archers need to die in untold numbers to serve a patriotic purpose when their real reason is wanton acquisition of wealth and bigger castles (gated communities, megamansions on the golf course, unending defense contracts). We die for their patriotism. They walk in their manicured gardens watered with our blood.
    The wailing of widows and orphans and mutilation of the common soldiers and their victims is of utterly no consequence to these earls of earning, barons of bottom line, and archdukes of derivatives.
    And from the castles of the Uber-Rich pour forth the packs of fanatic priests and churchmen who insist their gospel is the one Cosmic Truth. Heretics, dissenters and heathens will die in fire or in the fiendish tortures of the Inquisition. Behind the conquistadors come the Jesuits, as they say with no small bitterness in Mesoamerica.
    This is not callow wallowing in dead history, my friends. The conservative and Republican ethos since Barry Goldwater (1964), Richard Nixon (1968), Ronald Reagan (1980), and G.W. Bush (2000, 2004) has been bent on the sole goal of establishing a new medievalism in our nation. The unregulated, untaxed rich, the war-lovers and the religious zealots shall be served and the peasantry (middle class and poor) shall serve their masters. And through devilish manipulation of the wizardry of media, we poor slobs will be convinced that any call for justice upon the lords of the castle is actually an attack on our straw huts, families, cows, pigs and chickens. So goddamned clever, these neo-feudalists.
    I keep waiting for a Wat Tyler’s Rebellion (Google it). But so long as the 21st century laid-off, foreclosed peasantry listens to Rush in their trailer parks and believes that their happiness depends upon the happiness of billionaires and vampire corporations, it’s gonna be a while yet before we put the heads of the undeserving Rich on pikes.
    It’s the New Medievalism. Suck it up.

  37. I never fail to winnow the truth by challenging angry left posters’ premises. When I suggest that essays like these invoked falsely-supposed racial animus against Obama as a Trojan Horse for anti-speech, anti-capitalist, anti-market, anti-civilization sentiment I am never far off. Again, I’m batting 1000 on this!

    Boyd, you have history’s arc exactly backward, upside-down and shredded. Western Civilization from the Magna Carta to “Wealth of Nations” to our own U.S. Constitution and derivatives regulation was an effort for individuals to be secure in property and rights by limiting gov’t’s control of our lives. In property, these founding documents set guidelines for people to transact what they own in a politically free society. As our markets grew more sophisticated we have the rights to trade in present and future values of assets. Boyd, why don’t you explain to us all what a derivative is — specifically: a future, a forward, a swap — before you invoke their names in some pitiful attempt to denigrate capitalism? After you do that: please explain to us a detailed account of an alternative market structure.

    Wait, you cannot because technology will never advance without the profit motive. Wealth will never grow. People will never have an opportunity to escape from their n-tile of the income distribution into a higher one. The only way to advance will be curry favor to the ruling elites as in Saddam’s Iraq or Soviet Russia. Statist societies like the one for which you advocate have failed their leaders and citizens alike because they cannot advance and prosper.

    You may think the ruling elite in the Democrat establishment will rescue us from “the continuation of monied elites, sanctified state religion, the perpetual warfare state.” (And where is that Church of the United States, Boyd?). While in its place they offer economic squalor as their policies drown us in debt, deficit, inflation, unemployment and uncompetitiveness. That you are so naive to think Obama will rescue us reveals the depth of your, well, intellectual unsophistication. Where was Barry’s elevating oratory when convict after convict of the kleptocratic mobocracy of the state of Illinios was shipped off to the hoosegow? Nowhere: because those same malefactors bought and paid for his political ascendence. Ditto: Reid and Pelosi. Obama lies when he promises costless gov’t benefits to “poor” Americans. He lies about the consequences to those facing the tax burden to pay for those unjust transfers of wealth. He lies!

    My original point, Boyd, is that you wrote your piece to silence the opposition. You declared us racists and therefore heretics whose philosophical opposition was founded upon bigotry. You lie! I thought you said our ancestors were trying to escape such malicious caprice? Note how I would never suggest you simply, “Shut up.” Now, I may ask that you reconsider your point view by shoving your head in a warm bucket of bleach for 10 minutes, breathing deeply. I may point out that the Republic may be better served for your efforts doing so. But I would never offer any false pretense to deny you your voice in the discussion.

    Indeed, I think we are far better served by you having stated it so plainly.

  38. Boyd Lewis

    I did as you advised and with warm bleach running down my neck, onto the floor and creating white spots on the dog’s fur, I am inspired to end with this. Our conversation has strayed far from l’affaire southern. Before we get into Illinois corruption, “death panels,” the president’s birth certificate or Harry Reid’s plan to stuff you into a Nevada concentration camp (cheap rooms at Circus Circus?), I now end this strand. It’s sad that conservatives can’t have a genuine debate The fizzy sparking wiring in their logic CPU just comes back to a feedback loop of hard, and quite often wrong, nonsense fed them by the rightwing echo chamber. Just be calm and content with this thought: We won. We went before the American people and took the presidency and legislative branches. You still have the Supreme Court and federal judgeships and nearly all of AM talk radio to stroke your singed, spikey head bones. So be content. Chant the Rush meditation over and over: oxycontin oxycontin oxycontin ommmmmmm. Now I leave to write something about Gone with the Wind. -b

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