Saturday, March 10, 2007

Defending Dixie

On Lew Rockwell today Thomas E. Woods, Jr. reviews a new book by Clyde M. Wilson entitled Defending Dixie: Essays in Southern History and Culture. If the book is even half as interesting as the review, it is certainly worth reading. Woods mentions how race relations are less strained in the South than in the North, contrary to popular misconceptions. My mother always told me the same thing; I noticed it myself when we would drive from Maryland to Alabama to visit my grandfather. Share


Alan Phipps said...

That's interesting... I'm from Alabama (raised Southern Baptist), and my mother's family has roots there going back well past the Civil War. We're distance relation to Bobby Lee, the man himself. I've always felt the opposite about race relations in the South - Race relations, particularly in the small towns the various members of my family is from, seemed quite tense and volatile. The separation between classes of people seemed very obvious to me. It was ill-advised for a white person to venture to the "black side of town", and vice versa, without repercussion.

The urban centers, such as Montgomery and Atlanta, are not so tense anymore -- they've experienced quite a bit of growth over the last few decades; a lot more industry and immigration. However, the 1960's weren't that long ago, and the history of these cities is still quite fresh in some areas...

elena maria vidal said...

Hi, Alan, you are from Alabama!! I have lots of relatives there! You are related to THE General!! That is wonderful!

Well, of course, you would know much more about it than I do. My mother's memories are a child's from the forties. I guess that she was comparing it to the situation in Maryland in the 70's when there were "race wars" in the public highschools. As I grew up (in Maryland) I witnessed a great deal of anger, and yes, it was ill-advised for a white person, especially a woman, to venture into the "black side of town" without repercussion. In the deep south, I met so many gracious and polite people of both colors and it just seemed like a different situation.

Anonymous said...

Last spring semester our Newman Assoc. invited a former university library director as part of our speakers series.
From his experience, our speaker said he didn't believe race relations hadn't changed at all in the new South (as he put it).

Anonymous said...

I was born and raised in the South, and have lived "up north" for many years, and travelled throughout the US as well as abroad. In my experience, I do not think there is more bigotry in the South than anywhere else, although it may be more out in the open there. It is not something that everyone espouses, "across the board," in the South, contrary to the stereotype. Individual upbringing, inspired faith, and education all play a big part in it.

And living completely outside the US, in INDIA, I have really come to see that prejudice is a common temptation to all people, everywhere. No matter who you are, there is always the temptation to lump people into groups, for convenient and sometimes necessarily speedy assessments. the "me" vs "them" and the self-preservation instincts are inherent in man and are among those base instincts which must be overcome by refinement, education and faith and all those things that make up a more civilized culture.

The "universal faith" of Catholicism, when practiced devoutly, is most effective in overcoming it.


elena maria vidal said...

Hi, Elisa, I wonder who that speaker was and upon what he was basing his assertions.

Yes, Georgette, I think that is a good point. I remember when I was living in New York state I was shocked at some of the racist things some of my open-minded, liberal friends would say, while claiming not to be prejudiced. Their openness was more ideological than practical, I think.

Our faith when lived on a practical level should overcome all differences.

Anonymous said...

While growing up in the South I did not experience any fear of going into the 'colored' neighborhoods. I often accompanied my mother when she would go and help a poor family. There was definitely a division in the living conditions, but there was also a bond between the races that grew out of a couple hundred years of depending upon one another in one form or another.