History lessons

Several years ago, when I was new to this newspaper writing business, I wrote a column about the pillaging of the South. No, not by General Sherman during the War of North Aggression but in present day by folks who dislike everything linked to the Confederacy. Five years ago, when my blood was a tad vinegary, I raised a stink about our local school board banning the song Dixie from being played at football games. I wrote about statues of Southern heroes being removed from parks and the names of city streets being changed because it angered a few folks. Well, that was five years ago. I have mellowed a bit and want to live out my golden years in peace and quiet.
I used to get upset at inept politicians, disrespectful athletes and the magnitude of absolute ignorance that floats on the surface of social media like a bobber in a cess pool. I often would get a bur under my saddle and holler like a tomcat with its tail stuck in the door. That was five years ago, ancient history. It’s a new decade. I’ve moved on.
Some ill-tempered folks want to erase everything that is reminiscent of an era that ended 157 years ago. That could be a problem, but as a soft-hearted, southern gentleman, allow me to suggest ways to wipe the slate clean. I know I’m a little late climbing aboard this train. Lots of famous folks are already on board. I heard the Dixie Chicks have decided to change their name to just The Chicks. Well, ain’t that nice. While they’re in the mood for making changes, how about some decent country music?
I see disgruntled folks want a certain school mascot to be given the boot. I don’t know how a rebel got such a bad rap. There have been rebellions throughout history, on this continent and others. And weren’t there rebels tossing crates of English tea into a Boston harbor back in 1773? Perhaps the furor is over the outfit the mascot wears. Maybe we just need a costume change, like jeans and a white T-shirt with one sleeve rolled up over a pack of cigarettes.
I don’t know if y’all are still wanting to change the name of streets, towns and counties, but if this is part of your agenda, let’s wipe out everything link to any slaveholder who has been dead for over a hundred years. Might as well start at the top. George Washington owned slaves, as did Thomas Jefferson. Not all y’all knew this, mainly because you aren’t real familiar with American History. So, while we are removing all reminders of slavery, such as Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee and Aunt Jemima, shall we find new names for places named after Washington and Thomas Jefferson, too? Hey, we want to be thorough, don’t we? We shouldn’t just single out members of the Confederacy.
So where do we start? Washington DC, I reckon. Let’s name that something more appropriate and inoffensive, like Crookville or Polecat DC. Now, that state out west will also need a new name, but let’s leave that up to the folks who live there. And I reckon the fine folks in Missouri will need to rename their capital, that is if we really want to erase our history.
You know, it’s not easy deleting history. It’s written in books, but we can always burn the ones we find offensive, like those written by Mark Twain, Margaret Mitchell and Stephen Crane. And then there’s music that might offend some folks, like Dixieland Delight and Dixie Chicken. We gotta get rid of that, too. And what about dancing to the Cotton Eye Joe? Or is it okay now to keep cotton in our vocabulary?
What do you say we stop trying to erase American history and work on America’s future? There’s enough bad stuff going on today. Let’s focus on correcting those problems and not erecting another barrier along the Mason-Dixon Line. The past has passed. Let’s move on.

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