Hey! I’m glad you’re here! This post is part of a 31 Day writing challenge hosted by The Nester. During the month of October, I’m writing on Southern A Way of Life. I will be back to my ‘regular’ posts in November. Consider pushing that follow button to the right for all my latest posts. Thanks y’all!
I’ve struggled over writing this post. I think because of fear. Fear of the backlash, fear of being misunderstood, fear that in this politically correct world that we live in, I will say something and it will be misconstrued, twisted and take on a life of it’s own without retaining the original intent that I meant. However, the elephant in the room won’t go away if I live in fear of at least trying to share about living in the South with two of the most profound factors: the Civil War and race.
In the South, we have daily reminders of the Civil War. Most southern towns and cities contain historical markers, monuments or military parks dedicated to the remembrance of this ‘War Between the States’. The War of the Northern Aggression, as it was called by some in the South, was complex and multi-layered; the details of which I don’t presume to be an expert. War is costly and ugly and this one was no different. The main point that I am trying to make is that the war and the after effects of it are embedded in the collective mind of the South. They added to who we are as a culture. And are still influencing who we are as a region, today.
Racial tensions and civil rights birthed in this war’s aftermath made the process of recovery more complex. Does the South still have after effects and race issues today? Yes. Are they improved? Yes. Do we still need healing and improvement? Yes. Is it helpful for the media and Hollywood to continue to pinpoint and hold the South to it’s history? Yes and no. We are a leery lot as a culture. We’ve been wounded; we’ve been harmed; we’ve been accused justly and unjustly; we’ve sought reconciliation; we’ve sought repentance. Yet, we are continually asked to seek repentance for the same sin again and again with each new movie, book, or foolish and hurtful thing a member of our culture says. Do we forget what happened? No. Do we honor and respect those who suffered? Yes. Can we honor and remember the past and move forward and the rest of the nation allow us the grace to do so? I hope so.
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“He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.” Isaiah 2:4 NIV Bible