By on January 27, 2011

We used to call Logandale Auto Auction the red light district. In the auction business, when a red light flashes above the auction block, that means the vehicle is selling AS/IS. Once you become the high bidder, you own it. Along with any and all parts that may fall off the vehicle once it exits the auction barn. I have sold vehicles that literally gave up their last gasp right in front of the auction block, and Logandale was the absolute king of these “crap auctions”.

It was so bad back in the late 1990’s that they used to open up with 50 or 60 inop vehicles that were literally pushed in and out of the lane. “End of the line!” would be yelled after the last inop went through the block and boy those words had irony. These cars were worth more dead than alive. Refugees from the impound lots and the side of the road rarely sold for more than $200 back then. But for a little over a year it represented a start for me in the auction business. That is until the evening I got fired… and it all had to do with a piece of American history.

A little over 10 years ago the “War of Northern Aggression” was still being fought in the minds and hearts of millions of Southerners. In the 19th century it had been all about slavery and states rights. By the 20th it was Jim Crow. As time got closer to the 21st century, Georgia and other historically Confederate states had folks who were still fighting the war with re-enactments, segregated proms, and most notably, The Georgia Flag.

You will notice that I capitalized those last three words, The Georgia Flag. There’s a reason for it. That flag has been the most controversial issue in Georgia politics for at least the last 20 years. Native sons and daughters south of the Mason-Dixon are often born and raised with that flag along with the Confederate Flag. From rednecks to southern preps, the Confederate flag’s ‘stars and bars’ symbolising the Southern way of life had been designed onto the Georgia Flag. To them it represented Southern heritage and the virtues of Southern culture.

A lot of black people, and quite a few ‘Yankees’, didn’t agree with that idea. They believed it espoused racism and discouraged economic growth. Coincidentally, at Logandale there were no blacks working at the auction. Not even to clean up the bathtub latrine that was out in the back. But there was one Yankee who was part of the auction staff, yours truly. At the ripe young age of 26, I hadn’t quite learned the subtleties and nuances of addressing this issue in a diplomatic Southern way. Diplomacy and powers of persuasion were strictly done on the block for me. So like any Gen-X’er with too much spit and attitude, I decided after several weeks of hearing n-words and the Southern equivalent of a lynch mob mentality to make my opinion known.

Jimmy Lee Bruce: “Hey there Steve. Do you believe what those damn n’ers from Atlanta are trying to do to our state?”

Jimmy’s Assistant: “I swear they’re gonna have themselves a helluva fight if they try to change our flag and our history!”

Jimmy was my lead consigner so it was my job to listen to his rants and be supportive. Even if it was through silence. Jimmy liked me in the same way televangelists like TV’s. The medium made them money. After a few minutes of listening to bombast and machismo from a couple of out of shape old men, I found my mouth blurting out the following.

“Jimmy, I need to respectfully disagree with you there. If I were black I would look at that flag as a racist symbol. I think you know that.”

That may have been enough. A mutual disagreement and little else. But all of a sudden his assistant said, “You know what. I agree with you Steve. If I were black…”

Jimmy gave his hired jerryrigger a look of utter disgust and hate. “What the hell…” I  didn’t pay attention to the words that came out of ever reddening mouth for the next few minutes. But for the moment I was glad to not have the smell of Jimmy’s unfiltered lucky strikes emanating my way. As Jimmy yelled at his ‘yes’ man, I walked off and decided to get ready for the sale.

I did my work… got a break and had some BBQ. All of a sudden, one of the old-time auctioneers came up to me and said, “What did you say to Jimmy? He’s spittin’ mad at Larry’s office (the owner) and he says he’s gonna get you fired.”

“I told him that I don’t blame black folks for thinking that the stars and bars is racist. I was quite nice about it.”

“Don’t matter Steve. He IS gonna get your ass fired. Did you ever know that Larry’s and Jimmy’s daddy’s were Klansmen?”

“Shit no. Nobody ever told me.”

“Well, I’ll tell you somethin’. You haven’t been in the auction business in Georgia until you are fired from Logandale… and guess what… your number just came up.”

At the end of the auction, that’s exactly what happened. Larry had one of his hired officers tell me that my services would no longer be required.

“You mean to tell me he hasn’t got the guts to tell me in person? That’s pathetic. That’s pathetic!”

“I know. I know.” Jack was a Deputy in town and was quite a nice guy. He was used to calming down a lot of people in his line of work.

“What a pathetic little man. Do you know how much BS I’ve dealt with at that place.”

“Tell me about it. I’ve fixed hundreds of deals for Larry over the last seven years and not once did he ever give me a raise.”

I soon found out that Larry’s primary job during the live auction was to use the implicit threat of arrest to enforce a signed contract on a bad vehicle. Larry and his morally depraved assistants would listen to the buyer’s complaints and tell them, “Either you take care of your word, or HE will take care of you.” Jack would be at the door. If the buyer didn’t cough up the money, Jack would lead them out of the building. But usually a stern look by Jack and a couple of fingers on his handcuffs were more than enough to encourage most of these folks to pay up.

Jack and I hung out for about ten minutes and then I uttered, “You know Jack, when you screw people like that you eventually get screwed yourself Jack. Eventually they’re gonna piss off the wrong man.”

It turned out that about a year later Larry had a full blown stroke. He spent the next several years in bed and by the time Logandale had new owners, Larry was dead. But even with new owners the tricks hadn’t changed. I have friends who have been fired three or four times from Logandale. Later on, I got called to do the sale for the new owners. But I never looked back. After seeing the bowels of humanity make tons of money off of the poor and disheveled, I decided that my life’s work wouldn’t be tied to the ‘End of the line!”

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46 Comments on “Hammer Time: You Lost The War, Dude!...”


  • avatar
    Ironghost

    If this was the late 90’s, Georgia was having a large debate over changing the state flag as well.  Perhaps your Hooded boss there was upset? :)  Eh, the only good klansman is a dead one.

    • 0 avatar
      forraymond

      Replace the ‘n’ word with faggot in pretty much in any state, including Georgia, and that kind of bigotry and ignorance still exists.  On this here web-site, even.
       
      So, don’t go getting all high and mighty just yet…

    • 0 avatar
      gslippy

      @forraymond:  Your statement is correct up to a point.  Some black people object to drawing parallels between their struggle and that of the gay community, since the black person is born black, and the gay person’s lifestyle is debatably a choice.
       
      I’ll add religion to your list.  These days, “Christian” is good fodder in public circles, and “Jew” and “Muslim” are good fodder in private circles.  Sadly, the US has become a place where it’s safest to believe in nothing at all.

    • 0 avatar
      Dingleberrypiez

      @gslippy
      While I have no trouble understanding how a black person could object to drawing parallels between their struggle and that of the gay community, I think you’re wrong about the debate-ability that being gay is a choice. That opinion has been fairly well discounted by the scientific community; most people who feel that being gay is a “choice” have little or no expertise on the subject.
      Just my two cents, I thought someone should say it.

    • 0 avatar
      car_guy2010

      Wanna know how to embarrass a klansman? Tar and feather him.
      Seriously, the folks down there need to join the 21st century.

    • 0 avatar
      sfdennis1

      @Gslippy
      In a genuine attempt to provide some education for you, being gay IS NOT a debatable ‘choice’. The ‘choice’ at hand is to either be honest about who you are (at least to yourself)… or to live a lie about who you are, and/or submit to shaming and mentally damaging ‘pray the gay away’ ineffective/useless attempts to change something that is deeply hardwired into someone’s brain and emotional makeup…all to provide some level of comfort or appeasment to close-minded others, who still insist on clinging to psychologically and religiously outdated notions.

      It appears the only “choice” here is your chosen religious belief system (which, of course, you are free to choose in our fine country of diverse religious options)…but many others (including Christians) have developed a personal relationship with God which does not include judging or shaming the sexual orientation or private sex lives of others.

      End of sermon…may God bless you and open your mind someday.

    • 0 avatar
      Steven02

      @Dingleberrypiez

      Not trying to stir the pot more, but the scientific community can’t really agree on the subject.  There is statistical data that shows coincidences, but nothing pointing to why people are gay.

      Here is one reason I think it is debatable. My sister played softball in college.  There were a few lesbians on the team.  Many weren’t lesbians later in life.  Why the change?  For at least some people, it appears that the lifestyle is a choice.

    • 0 avatar
      SJChris

      @gslippy, At what age did you choose to be straight?
      Yeah, I thought so …

    • 0 avatar
      gslippy

      @sfdennis1:

      If you read my post carefully, I was simply stating that not everyone buys the argument that the struggles of the black community and the gay community are equivalent.  Certainly people in the gay community would agree that many people do not accept this equivalence.

      And my personal religion wasn’t mentioned, nor did I attempt to shame anyone.  But I would offer the disgusting behavior of the people of Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas as an example of what you describe.  They don’t seem much different from those in Steven’s article here, and they certainly give Christianity a bad name, a guise under which the Klan often operates.

    • 0 avatar
      MattPete

      Gslippy: yeah, like my heterosexuality is a choice…

    • 0 avatar

      There is a continuum between straight and gay, and everyone falls somewhere along it. To the poster who said that many college sports players were lesbian at one time and not another – this is perfectly normal. Kinsey would put folks such as that in the Kinsey 1 or 2 bracket. If they fell into a monogamous heterosexual relationship after that doesn’t detract or likely alter their internal desire for same sex relationships nor attraction to same sex folks.
      There is a great deal of pressure to be gay or straight when there should not be any pressure – either from bigoted folks AND from the gay side of the fence who don’t believe in bisexuality. Trust me, it’s really hard to come out, tell all your friends and family and in some cases, co-workers.
      For most folks, if you have no desire to see, touch, or make love to your same gender, that’s fine, but there’s so many shades between straight and gay. That’s why we have a term for it – “six pack bisexual” – straight folks willing to find out what the deal is when they can claim less responsibility for their actions. And many folks who try before they buy may not even be aware there is an option to have fun with both genders and mistakenly go with societal or peer pressure to conform to be a Kinsey 0 (straight) or Kinsey 6 (exclusively gay). They will almost certainly have attractions and desires for substantive relationships with both genders for the rest of their lives, leading to confusion, secrecy and hurt. Others will go… “yep, done that, got the t-shirt, wasn’t for me”, and move on. That’s why many gay men have had girlfriends when they were teens or even wives.
      Unfortunately, in the older generation, folks like Mark Foley and Larry Craig suffer the indignity of being covertly gay, and participating in illegal or just plain unsafe sex practices to meet the expectations of a bigoted society. Or worse, get dragged behind some redneck’s truck like Matthew Shepherd and killed.
      That’s why racism and bigotry are exactly the same. Yelling insults, not being hired or getting fired for something you can’t change, getting beat up, depression, suicide, all these things are the same.
      I don’t care if you’re hispanic or black – if you’re bigoted against bisexual, gay, lesbian or transgendered folks, you’re committing the same crimes that were done to you and fought by the wider public over a long period of time.
      It’s time to stop being bigoted, no matter what race, color or creed you are. It’s utterly unacceptable.

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    Yup, surprised you could put up with the underhandedness and ugliness that long, Lang.  You must have really needed that job.

  • avatar
    Philosophil

    Great story! It actually takes more courage than many people appreciate to speak up like that.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Little minds living in the past. Wow. I guess there just isn’t enough hate in the world. Kind of hard to believe that still goes on, but I see attitudes like this bubbling just beneath the surface in many people, just waiting for some convenient calamity to cause it to erupt. I’m sure that end of the car business makes it more so. Low-life people.

  • avatar
    300six

    Sonny Lied!

    JUST KIDDING

  • avatar
    DIYer

    I tried locating Logandale, GA on the map, but couldn’t find such a town.
    There is a Loganville, GA, and they do conduct a “Peach State Auto Auction” in that town.
    Or, have the names been changed to protect the innocent?

    • 0 avatar
      Sinistermisterman

      I looked up on Google and got the same. Just check out ‘Peach State Auto Auction Reviews’ and it pretty much confirms what Steve wrote…

      “Lemon State Auto Auction
      terrible experience, the cars are mostly US Auto Sales reject cars that have been through dozens of people with bad credit, ragged out, they don’t disclose that some titles are salvage, can’t test drive so you gamble on transmission problems, slow staff, you get to deal with bad weather and stand around waiting (hello! 2010! ever hear of internet auctions?) Avoid this crap car auction and don’t say you weren’t warned”

  • avatar
    brandloyalty

    Having had to deal with more than a few bullies and thugs, I also deeply appreciate the guts it takes to tell a story like that.  Very few people stand their ground when bullies take things to the next levels.  But unopposed, they set the rules we live by.
    Congratulations and thanks also to ttac for hosting such content.

  • avatar
    rocketrodeo

    As a historian who has lived in both Detroit and Atlanta, I’m convinced that urban Georgia has a better handle on its racial issues than urban Michigan does. That said, the South has yet to come to terms with the competing narratives of how it got to the point of civil war and how it has dealt with it since. That slavery caused the Civil War is both true and facile; it’s an incredibly complex situation that deserves much more than reductionist explanations.  We’ll be hearing a lot more about it in the coming few years as the 150th anniversary of the Civil War is observed.
     
    I bristle when I hear folks use episodes like Steve’s anecdote as evidence of some monolithic southern tone-deafness on race relations. It’s true that the “lost cause” mythology dominated the official narrative until the Civil Rights era, and some benighted folks are loath to let it go. Those folks would recognize former Dearborn mayor Orville Hubbard as a kindred spirit. But some sensitivity to this point of view is absolutely essential to understanding the Southern Mind, antithetical as it seems to any sense of social justice.
     
    I’ve heard it said that the difference between Detroit and Atlanta is that in Detroit, a racist will have a black man as his boss but not his neighbor. In Atlanta a racist will have a black man as his neighbor but not his boss.

    • 0 avatar
      Philosophil

      Yeah, it tends to be a little more subtle in Canada, but racism of various sorts is always seething here as well.

    • 0 avatar
      cackalacka

      As someone who has lived his entire life in the South, both in Georgia and NC, I have to respectfully agree/disagree.
       
      I happened to live in Georgia during the late nineties when they were undoing the damage they did to the state flag in the 1950s. Had some interesting “discussions” with college educated natives at the time. Very “interesting,” not particularly edifying. Cost the governor his job, but then, Georgia Crackers have a penchant for picking the douchebag over the good guy (see Chamblis vs Cleland.)
       
      It’s all well and good to refer to Urban Georgia being tolerant. If you stipulate Urban Georgia being restricted to Fulton and Dekalb counties, you’re spot on. For the rest of the state, including (if not especially) Cobb and Gwinnett counties, white-flight/fright/supremacy still carries a lot of currency.
       
      It really is a point of contrast, though, when I look at mindsets in NC vs GA. We’ve got our problems, but there is a reason why Sherman didn’t burn us to the ground like he did SC/GA.
       
      Point taken about racial attitudes up north vs down south. My extended kin from up north always brow-beat me about racism. Hey, my public schools were desegregated, too, the principle difference being we actually had minorities in our schools. Folks up there just make sun-down towns and put up walls around municipalities, and then pat themselves on the back for being more enlightened than us hicks.
       
      Now, I’m no historian (I’m an engineer by training) but since you are, I’m going to have to take you to the woodshed for “That slavery caused the Civil War is both true and facile; it’s an incredibly complex situation that deserves much more than reductionist explanations.”
       
      Yeah, you know, my junior high history texts said more or less the same thing. We non-historians have a saying for sentences like this: Horse $#!+.
       
      Forget tariffs, forget 10th amendment stayyts raaahts, go and re-read Alexander Stevens’ Cornerstone Speech, or any of the articles of secession drafted by the rebellious states.

      Take for example the second sentence the aristocracy of Mississippi crafted when they told the world they were going to kill a bunch of Americans to defend their right to own and exploit human beings:
       
      “Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery– the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth. These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun. These products have become necessities of the world, and a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization. That blow has been long aimed at the institution, and was at the point of reaching its consummation. There was no choice left us but submission to the mandates of abolition, or a dissolution of the Union, whose principles had been subverted to work out our ruin.”
       
      There is nothing “incredibly complex” about the situation which lead to the events 150 years ago.

    • 0 avatar
      rocketrodeo

      Now, I’m no historian (I’m an engineer by training) but since you are, I’m going to have to take you to the woodshed for “That slavery caused the Civil War is both true and facile; it’s an incredibly complex situation that deserves much more than reductionist explanations.”

      [snip]

      There is nothing “incredibly complex” about the situation which lead to the events 150 years ago.

      With the exception of your last line, all of what you say is true, and I’m glad you understand it that way. At the risk of another facile reductionist explanation, I’ll just say it’s more accurate to state that the Civil War was fought over secession. Secession caused the Civil War. A disagreement over states’ rights caused secession. Slavery was the specific right in question. But presentist perspective and moral judgments over the period in question do nothing to illuminate it.

      Stevens’ Cornerstone Speech and the various states’ articles of secession (particularly Mississippi and Texas) very clearly lay out the cause for secession, and it’s the argument I use when I size up a debate with someone to determine whether they’re just misinformed or a true Lost Causer.  In fact, secession wasn’t so much about slavery per se as it was about limits on the expansion of slavery. Growing cotton was more akin to soil mining than agriculture in the mid-19th century and, in the south, limiting the expansion of the cotton economy was perceived to be fatal to it. The flaming commie liberal Republicans proposed to limit slavery to where it currently existed, reneging on the fragile Compromise of 1850, and their abolitionist fellow travelers wanted them to write off between $4 and $5 billion of constitutionally-protected property — as the Mississippi secession ordinance noted, “the greatest material interest in the world.” Southern states dominated Congress throughout the Early Republic era, lost power gradually through Calhoun/Clay/Webster compromise era, and the 1860 election showed them that it was gone for good. So they attempted to take their ball home with them while the gettin’ was still good.
       
      When I say “they,” I refer to the slaveowning oligarchy that dominated the political structure of every southern state. While the doctrine of secession had been bluntly squelched by Andrew Jackson — no one’s idea of a fair-minded man — during the Nullification Crisis of 1832-33, the slaveocracy continued to attempt to justify Calhoun’s wedge into the concept that a more-perfect union doesn’t prescribe the method of its own dissolution.

      After the rebellion was put down, the now-dispossessed former slaveocracy built their peculiar concept of states’ rights into the Lost Cause narrative/salve of conscience that dominated Civil War dialogue in the south for the next 100 years — complicit with northerners more interested in white political reconciliation than universal social justice. It tended to gloss over the grossly authoritarian takeovers of almost every southern state’s secession process. Secession sentiment, outside of South Carolina, was not sufficient to follow through with actual secession without thoroughly subverting the democratic process. This is an issue I consider to be completely separate from the slavery issue — that the people of the Civil War South were essentially hijacked into the war by an amoral oligarchy. Some folks might note that such cases belli echo into the present era.

    • 0 avatar
      cackalacka

      OK, just making sure.
       
      Growing up here, I’ve been force-fed a lot of Grade-A nonsense. 10th amendment, tariffs, “War of Northern Aggression” (hello? pock-marks on Ft Sumter?) etc.
       
      Whenever these ‘discussions’ occur, the articles of succession/Cornerstone Speech either generate pure stupefication or a belligerent doubling down that the cause of the war was ‘an incredibly complex discussion that deserves much more than reductionist explanations.’ Some people don’t do nuance (please check out the Diorama at Stone Mountain for a healthy example.)
       
      So while you’re most correct in referring to ‘they,’ and the whole thing (were it not for the outcome) was a profound tragedy (a tragedy that, understandably, left deep scars in the demographics most impacted, i.e. poor Southerners that did disproportionally more of the fighting/dying,) the perpetrators of this crime (the Southern aristocracy) have benefited most from kicking up dust and confusion over this event.

    • 0 avatar
      MattPete

      “that the people of the Civil War South were essentially hijacked into the war by an amoral oligarchy. ”

      In a similar vein, East Tennessee tried to secede from the Confederate States and remain with The United States:

      “Tennesseans representing twenty-six East Tennessee counties met twice in Greeneville and Knoxville and agreed to secede from Tennessee. They petitioned the state legislature in Nashville, which denied their request to secede and sent Confederate troops under Felix Zollicoffer to occupy East Tennessee and prevent secession. East Tennessee supplied significant numbers of troops to the Federal army, while the rest of Tennessee was a prime recruiting area for the Confederate army. (See also Nickajack). Many East Tennesseans engaged in guerrilla warfare against state authorities byburning bridges, cutting telegraph wires, and spying for the North.[18] East Tennessee became an early base for the Republican Party in the South.”

      From Wikipedia, but jibes with the stories I learned in school in East TN.

    • 0 avatar
      MattPete

      Nickajack was the name of a proposed neutral state of Unionist areas of North Alabama and East Tennessee. In the period leading up to the American Civil War there was much talk of secession made by the politicians representing wealthy plantation owners in the Black Belt. Hill country residents were typically poor dirt-farmers and rarely slave-owners. They considered the war that would inevitably follow secession to be “a war for the rich, fought by the poor,” and wished to have nothing to do with it.

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      MattPete: “They considered the war that would inevitably follow secession to be “a war for the rich, fought by the poor,” and wished to have nothing to do with it.”

      Ha ha ha! So, what’s changed? Unfortunately, the poor are forced into fighting – cannon fodder.

  • avatar
    Verbal

    Y’all ain’t from around here, are yew?

  • avatar
    BMWfan

    I remember when I first visited Georgia about 30 years ago. I was working for a company as a field service engineer, and was flown down to Savannah to work on equipment at the local sugar mill. As I was driving to the jobsite, I passed a billboard that said: “You are now entering Klan country” scared the crap out of me because I knew that they didn’t like yankees either. I was always treated respectfully, but I also got the feeling that if I ever said the wrong thing, I was going to be gator grits.

  • avatar
    obbop

    Refraining from mentioning  multiple negative experiences received by Gringos in sections of California where Gringos and, often, USA citizens, are a small minority.
    Well, anymore than what I mention up above.

  • avatar
    twotone

    I was a transplanted Connecticut Yankee in Florida for my last two years of high school during the desegregation years. Then, up to Boston for undergraduate school. I saw just as much racism , bigotry and violence (probably more actually) when they desegregated Boston schools as I did in FL. The south does not have a monopoly on rednecks or narrow-mindedness.

    • 0 avatar
      carlisimo

      I don’t disagree, but what made the South unique (until recently, I hope) was that the polite thing to say in public was the reverse compared to other parts of the country.  That’s the source of the culture shock.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    This story makes buying a new car from a car dealer seem appealing by comparison.

  • avatar
    FromaBuick6

    As a Midwesterner currently stuck in central Georgia, I can relate to the culture shock.  The flag controversy is in the past, but it still adorns the front bumper of many a lifted pickup.  Beyond that, I don’t see a lot of blatant racism in my neck of the woods.  I certainly haven’t been fired for not being racist, anyway.
     
    All in all, though, I think Georgia’s an ugly, low-class shithole.  I can’t wait until this state’s in my rear view mirror.

  • avatar
    cheezeweggie

    I’m an equal opportunity bigot.  I may not like you regardless of your race.  But seriously, the bill of rights gives anyone the ability to express their opinion, no matter how ignorant.

  • avatar
    M 1

    I must have missed the part about why we should care about any of this little tale of how the valiant renegade Yankee one-upped the poor dumb hicks.

  • avatar

    There’s a gas station on Greenfield Rd, just on the Detroit side of 8 Mile. Taped to the Lexan bulletproof barrier is a sign that says “It’s a Sin to steal from a black owned business”.  Implicit is that it’s cool to steal from whitey.
    There are racists of all colors. Actually compared to Europeans, Asians, Africans and Middle Easterners, Americans are rank amateurs when it comes to racism and bigotry. Hell, even those oligarchs of the old South treated their slaves better than the French and Spanish did. The French treated slaves like they were disposable.
    Also, while the finger gets pointed at the US due to the “peculiar institution” Africans and Arabs who were essential participants in the slave trade get a pass, it seems.
    Henry Louis Gates said that more black Africans went into slavery “north and east” than west.

  • avatar
    Adamatari

    Having grown up in the South, I feel a particular pain over the Southern, slanted view of history, that is particularly colored by my experience as a student of Jazz who has Black men as most of my great musical heros. There are certain people who can’t be reasoned with – like some people from Klan families who haven’t realized how wrong it is – but I think for many Southerners there is simply a narrow, boring, political, and factually incorrect view of the past and of what the South should be proud of.
     
    I KNOW the South has a rich history, but what I value is Jazz, the Blues, Bluegrass, Country and Rock music; the rich cuisines from barbeque to cajun to Tex-Mex and back again. What does the history book say of these things, all the result of the cross-currents of cultural exchange caused unintentionally by slavery? I don’t remember Louis Armstrong in my history books. Elementary school music never covered these things, the real pride of the South. Even the history books are at least incomplete – there were many white Southerners who fought for the Union or otherwise resisted the Confederacy. But the narrative is either guilt or pride over the Civil War (both of which do us little good now), not facing that people did the wrong thing in the past (with the holdovers hanging around today) but the South nevertheless has a culture and is a land worth being proud over – often ironically due to slavery, because Black culture is a huge part of what the South has. The music and food, well, we can all share it.
     
    As for Gays facing what Blacks did – many of them have, though today is much better than even 10 years ago. Honestly, in my estimation whether it’s choice or biology or both doesn’t matter, because that’s their life and nobody has a right to stick their nose in it. What does loving a man versus a woman, or vice versa, say about a person’s character or talents? Nothing that I can see.

  • avatar
    MattPete

    In the 1950s, my granddad was transferred by the Associated Press from Ohio to Columbus, Georgia.  My father and his brothers spent the next few years growing up on a farm (not a proper farm, but it had a hen house) outside of town.  My oldest uncle was in highschool at the time and a member of Junior ROTC.  As the story goes, there was some holiday*, I’ll call if Confederate Memorial Day for lack of a better term, that was of some importance and was celebrated at the school.  During part of the ceremony, the JROTC cadets had to salute the Confederate flag.  My uncle (who grew up in Ohio, remember) refused to salute: he was a citizen of the United States and a Junior ROTC cadet, and he was not about to salute the flag of a foreign country.
     
    Believe it or not, the folks at the high school were understanding and didn’t give him grief.
     
     
    * I grew up both in Ohio, and Tennessee, and we didn’t celebrate it in TN in the 1980s. Heck, in suburbia, we looked down on the Confederate flag.

  • avatar
    VaSteve

    When will you Yankee experts learn that that flag ain’t the ‘stars and bars’. One more time. It’s called the ‘southern cross’. Now,tell us some more stuff you THINK you know.

  • avatar
    The Dark One

    “Jimmy gave his hired jerryrigger a look of utter disgust and hate.”
    So it’s not o.k. to use the N-word, but IS ok to use a racist term like “Jerry Rigger”? That’s the same as as the term Ni–er Rigging, just directed at people of German decent. Just Saying.

    • 0 avatar
      50merc

      TDO, not everything is racist (and I’ll give you the benefit of doubt regarding “the dark one”). Jerry-rigging has nothing to do with Germans:
      “from WordOrigins.org : Jerry-built, meaning to temporary or shoddy construction, dates to 1869. The OED2 [Oxford English Dictionary] hazards a guess that it may derive from the name of a builder who was notorious for poor construction. An 1884 source (unconfirmed) says that the phrase is in reference to a particular construction project on the Mersey River in Britain.”

      Oh, and jerry-rigged and jury-rigged are two different things. Jury-rigged (like most Georgians) isn’t racist, either.

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