Thursday, September 16, 2010

The South Shall Rise Again

Yeah, I know.  This is a post-racial society now.  
Tell that to the people still happily caught up in their yearning for the happy days of Jim Crow or, better yet, the antebellum South when men were men, women were chattel and blacks were slaves.  You know, the good ol' days.
Which brings us to Glenn McConnell.  According to
doesn't want to live his life worrying about being politically correct.
He's succeeding admirably.
The "white Charleston Republican and president pro tem of the Senate" is "widely considered" to be the "most powerful politician" in South Carolina.  And so, when he posed for this picture
(McConnell's the white guy in the Confederate army uniform) as part of "A Southern Experience," put on by the South Carolina Federation of Republican Women,well, political correctness isn't likely to be his problem.
OK, this may not be entirely fair.  
McConnell said the event was conducted in a respectful, historical context. Re-enactments include people of both black and white races and draw people from all across the country who want to learn more about history, he said.
"Tell me what is offensive about having the differing parts of the culture there? What are we going to try and do in America, sanitize history?" McConnell said from his office in the Statehouse. His office is decorated with memorabilia from his re-enactments of the Civil War.
"These folks didn't ask me to take this picture or participate in this skit because they were trying to make some political statement. This picture says, if anything, how we cross the culture lines."
And after all, Frank and Sharon Murray were paid to be in the picture, unlike real slaves who would have been flogged to be in it.
On the other hand, if McConnell really wants someone to tell him what's offensive about this, he just has to listen to Dot Scott.  She's head of the Charleston branch of the NAACP, and she gets it even if McConnell doesn't.
[W]hen she looks at the picture she sees "the master standing in the middle with the two slaves standing at his side." And what that says to her is, "This is where you came from and this is where you are. That's the last thing we need to be reminded of."
"I think it's disgraceful," said Scott, who is black. "It's like he has this playground where he can play dress-up and think nothing of how offensive it is for folks whose ancestors actually lived in the era."
Look, I'm no fan of political correctness for its own sake.  And I still think Bette Middler got it exactly right when she complained that
Everyone's just too fucking sensitive.
But you know, if you're going to celebrate the charms of slavery, well you ought to admit it.  Embrace your inner racist.
If, on the other hand, you really can't figure out why that picture's offensive, maybe you should reconsider whether you have any business being a legislator.  


  1. Ah, the good old days. Puts me in mind of a song...

    The sun shines bright in the old Kentucky home,
    'Tis summer, the darkies are gay;
    The corn-top's ripe and the meadow's in the bloom,
    While the birds make music all the day.

    The young folks roll on the little cabin floor,
    All merry, all happy and bright;
    By 'n' by Hard Times comes a-knocking at the door,
    Then my old Kentucky home, goodnight.

    Weep no more my lady
    Oh! weep no more today!
    We will sing one song for the old Kentucky home,
    For the Old Kentucky Home far away.

    They hunt no more for the possum and the coon,
    On meadow, the hill and the shore,
    They sing no more by the glimmer of the moon,
    On the bench by the old cabin door.

    The day goes by like a shadow o'er the heart,
    With sorrow, where all was delight,
    The time has come when the darkies have to part,
    Then my old Kentucky home, goodnight.


    The head must bow and the back will have to bend,
    Wherever the darky may go;
    A few more days, and the trouble all will end,
    In the field where the sugar-canes grow;

    A few more days for to tote the weary load,
    No matter, 'twill never be light;
    A few more days till we totter on the road,
    Then my old Kentucky home, goodnight.


    Words and music by:

    The ghost of Steven Foster at the Hotel Paradise
    This is what I told him as I gazed into his eyes
    Whiskey's made for drinking
    Ships are made for sinking
    If we were made of cellophane we'd all get stinking drunk much faster

    The Rippingtons