In my experience, the quickest way to get banned from a “Southern heritage” Facebook group is to point out what our Confederate ancestors really believed about race.
In the wake of New Orleans, we’re seeing a renewed campaign to tear down Confederate monuments all over the South. This doesn’t come as any surprise to us. We have long believed this would happen. This is a logical consequence of the cultural and political revolution of the 1960s.
The Jim Crow South was overthrown by the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Blacks were enfranchised all over the South by the Voting Rights Act of 1965. LBJ and the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. invited White America to believe that the Millennium of “colorblindness” and “racial equality” was at hand.
As hard as it is for us to believe now, White Americans in the 1960s came to believe that they could do anything. America had emerged from its isolation as a global superpower. They had survived the Great Depression and won the Second World War. They were racing the Soviets to land on the moon and along the way they declared a War on Poverty, a War on Drugs and a War on Racism.
This was the world in which the Baby Boomer generation came of age. The Boomers were the first generation in Southern history to buy into the notion of racial equality. Every Southern state had an anti-miscegenation law until they were struck down by the Supreme Court in the Loving v. Virginia decision in 1967. Every Southern state was racially segregated until the Civil Rights Act of 1964. White racial attitudes changed dramatically in the United States in the 1970s and 1980s:
The Baby Boomer generation have spent their entire adult lives navigating this world of changing White racial attitudes. Since the 1960s, “racism” has become a modern version of a cardinal sin. It has been joined by the other cardinal sins of the confession of political correctness which include anti-Semitism, sexism, nativism, xenophobia, homophobia and white privilege. Collectively, these are the sins which make someone a good person or bad person in modern America.
The “Rainbow Confederate” phenomenon has been one curious result of this. Baby Boomers have deceived themselves into believing that the historical Confederacy was a place much like modern America. It wasn’t racist. It had nothing to do with slavery or white supremacy. Instead, it was a multiracial and multicultural utopia where people of all races fought together for Southern independence.
For the past 30 years, Rainbow Confederates have believed that they could defend our Southern heritage through a combination of legal challenges, political activism and historical revisionism. The bill has finally come due. As everyone can now see, it turns out that we cannot defend our Southern heritage in the long run while losing the culture, lying about our history, trusting Republican politicians and ignoring uncomfortable truths about race and identity which are now in plain view.
Here are some of those uncomfortable truths:
1.) First, Martin Luther King, Jr. famously had a dream about racial equality in 1963. As a result, we transformed every aspect of our society in order achieve that dream. After a trial of 50 years, we have invested more money trying to achieve MLK’s Dream than any other civilization in the history of the world has spent on a monumental project and have spectacularly failed to attain the goal.
2.) Second, Martin Luther King, Jr. was wrong about race. There is no such thing as racial equality and chasing after this impossible goal is a modern version of Spanish conquistadors searching for El Dorado or the Fountain of Youth. 150 years ago, our Confederate ancestors were right about race. 50 years ago, our segregationist ancestors were right about race and their predictions have come true while those of the abolitionists and integrationists have failed to materialize.
3.) Third, the result of the Civil Rights Movement wasn’t a new millennium of “colorblindness” and “racial equality” as had been promised. Racial equality was never achieved because it doesn’t exist. Colorblindness was discarded and forgotten once it had served its purpose. Whites are the only racial group which bought into this nonsense. Every other racial group has taken advantage of Whites and organized politically in order to promote their own racial grievances and agendas at our expense.
4.) Fourth, the result of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 in many parts of the rural South and in some of our major cities has been to replace white supremacy with black supremacy. The present state of New Orleans, Birmingham, Atlanta and Memphis are a testament to the unintended consequences of MLK’s Dream. These cities have been transformed into places our people don’t want to live anymore.
5.) Fifth, racial identity is an even more important issue than racial equality. As a consequence of the Civil Rights Movement, the South is now full of racial, cultural and ethnic groups – including many deracinated natives – which don’t share the same identity. These groups are now clashing over public spaces. According to the Rainbow Confederates, this isn’t supposed to happen because we are one big happy rainbow and identity doesn’t matter. And yet, it does matter and we see time and again how racial and cultural demographics are decisive in decisions to remove our Confederate monuments.
6.) Sixth, the Confederate monuments were erected by a generation of Southerners who shared our racial and cultural views. They are being lost by a generation of Southerners who don’t and who are therefore uniquely incapable of defending our Southern heritage. They are the only generation who failed to preserve our Southern heritage and the reason they failed is because they chose not to defend our culture. They chose the easy road. It was more important to them to navigate a hostile “mainstream” culture and be seen as “respectable” in the eyes of a media which hated them anyway.
7.) Seventh, we are now saddled with the failed culture that our Confederate ancestors desperately tried to escape in 1861. They said at the time that “Free Society” was a failure. They said it wouldn’t end with slavery but that the nature of “Free Society” was such that it would perpetually generate new -isms which would weaken and rip apart the social fabric and level and degrade our culture.
8.) Eighth, Rainbow Confederates engage in deceptive historical revisionism as a way to reconcile their modern racial and cultural views with the Southern past.
9.) Ninth, racial and ethnic groups have always been rivals, contested space and struggled for dominance. It isn’t “hate” to recognize the persistence of racial conflict. Instead, it is realism. It is about recognizing a failed paradigm and moving beyond it toward a sustainable living arrangement.
10.) Finally, Southern heritage won’t be preserved without the Southern people. Also, if the Southern people are ashamed of their Confederate heritage, they can’t be relied on to preserve their heritage anyway. They will squander their rich cultural inheritance and leave behind a world dominated by other racial and cultural groups to their posterity. Although they are incapable of seeing it now, this will be their historical legacy which is a product of their shameful cowardice.
The Alternative South isn’t going to continue to wait on the Millennium. We’re going to challenge this charade. It is time to accept the fact that racial equality doesn’t exist, that our Confederate ancestors were right about race and MLK was wrong, that someone always rules, that we are the Southern people and that other racial groups aren’t interested in creating a colorblind utopia. We are unburdening ourselves of White guilt and reclaiming our sense of racial, ethnic and cultural identity.
It is probably too late to persuade Rainbow Confederates in their 60s and 70s of these truths. Even as black majority cities vandalize and tear down our Confederate monuments, they persist in their desperate and pathetic attempts to *prove* they are not racist to these people. They are preaching a message of unity and coexistence to people who only want to dominate them. We are capable of reaching Millennials and Generation Z through social media and this will be our focus.
The Rainbow Confederates had their chance. They are conservatives who focused on politics, but lost their culture. We are reactionaries and will focus on rebuilding our culture at the expense of temporary political defeats. Even if these Confederate monuments come down, the process of doing so will explode some racial illusions and reawaken our sense of Southern ethnic identity.
We will emerge from this experience less cucked than we were before.