Olympic invitation to Yankees -- Rome GA

0 views
Skip to first unread message

RStacy2229

unread,
Apr 23, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/23/96
to
[Moderator expects that replies will focus on the historic content and the
invitation to explore Southern hospitality. If anything here makes you
mad, get even by eating him out of "house and home" this summer. (think of
it as a kinder, gentler "march through Georgia") <g>]

Seeing as how several posters seem to be Northern academics who hold the
Confederacy, the South and the Southern people in general as being racist,
might I take the opportunity to extend an invitation to "those people" to
come observe the Southerner in his native habitat? Come here to beautiful
Rome, Georgia, Mssrs. Pitcavage, Schmidt, et al., walk our streets and
meet our people and seek out evidence of the racism you apparently believe
infests every Southern heart. I'm afraid you'll be hard put to find such
sentiments.

Rome is a small city nestled in the scenic hills about an hour's drive
north of Atlanta -- close enough to visit the Olympics, far enough away
that we are unaffected by carpetbagger sprawl. A beautiful and charming
place!

During the Olympics, we will host a cultural event called "Festa Roma,"
which will include among other things a wonderful series of War Between
the States living history activities. Our city auditorium will be the site
of "Our American Cousin" -- Mr. & Mrs. Lincoln will be in attendance and
rumors are that this light comedy might be interrupted in the second act.
Or if you choose, you may walk the trenches of historic Fort Norton, built
to defend Rome from the "vandal horde" -- a site recently nominated for
the National Register of Historic Places. Or visit Berry College -- the
largest college campus in the world, at 25,000+ acres -- for a picnic.
Take a boat ride down the Coosa River. Or visit nearby Barnsley Gardens --
ruins of a plantation where a cavalry skirmish took place in May 1864.
There are plenty of places to visit.

Y'all come on down, you Yankee scholars! If you'll e-mail me your mailing
address, I'll make sure the visitors & convention bureau will send you the
proper information about our fair city. Commercial lodging might be
scarce, but if you'll let me know, I have friends with wooded property
where you could pitch a tent, if you'd like. Heck, some of you might even
could bunk with me and my kinfolk. My wife is a Yankee who never ceases to
remind me that us Rebs actually lost the war!

Come on down, gentlemen, and maybe I can get the SCV to make you guests of
honor at a barbecue (bring your own rope, ha ha!). Come on down, y'all,
and actually meet these gentle and kindly folk, and you will never again
associate the Confederate flag with hatred and ignorance.

A word of warning, though: As Lewis Grizzard used to say, just don't tell
us how much better everything is up North.

Hope to see you for Festa Roma, as I am

Sincerely
Robert Stacy McCain
Rome GA

Brooks Simpson

unread,
Apr 24, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/24/96
to

RStacy2229 <rstac...@aol.com> wrote:

>Seeing as how several posters seem to be Northern academics who hold the
>Confederacy, the South and the Southern people in general as being racist,
>might I take the opportunity to extend an invitation to "those people" to
>come observe the Southerner in his native habitat?

Well, Mr. McCain, your post sure raises some interesting points. Let me
respond to a few of them in what I hope you will find the proper spirit:

1. Between 1975 and 1990 I spent 10 of 15 years in states of the former
Confederacy--Virginia (1975-1979), Tennessee (1984-1987), and South
Carolina (1987-1990). So I've had plenty of opportunity to observe
various sorts of Southerners, white and black (and others, too), male and
female, and so on.

2. I hold that racism exists in both the North and the South. Variables
of region and class help explain some of the variations I have
encountered. I believe that racism in the North as well as the South
explains much of what happened during the era of the Civil War and
Reconstruction.

3. I have always believed that it is rather interesting that the people
who most often engage in the "is the North or the South more racist"
happen to be white; I would suggest that black testimony is more valuable
in this regard if we are to engage in this sort of discussion.

4. I believe that the Confederacy was founded upon the cornerstone of
slavery--as Confederate vice president Alexander Stephens admitted
(proudly) in 1861. I also believe that there would have been no
secession and civil war (at least in the general form it took) without
slavery, although the relationship between slavery and the sectional
conflict is a complex one. For example, I would reject the explanation
offered for the coming of the war in Ken Burns's THE CIVIL WAR as
simplistic.

5. I think that white Southerners of this era are on the whole far more
enlightened on the issue of race than were white Southerners (or the
majority of white Northerners) in the period 1850-1877. I do not confuse
my attitude toward present-day white Southerners with my understanding of
past behavior, beliefs, and principles.
But it is this observation that brings up a salient point: I find
that many white Southerners today resent characterizations of their
ancestors as committed to slavery and white supremacy in part because
they believe that white Northerners believe the same of white Southerners
today. In turn, this leads white Southerners to advance several (and
sometimes all) of the following claims:

a. The Civil War had nothing to do with slavery (in part, so the
argument goes, because the majority of white Northerners in 1861 did not
share a commitment to abolition). The latter is true; the former is
false.

b. White Northerners were just as racist as white Southerners, if not
more so. I believe this statement wrong, although I would agree with the
following: the vast majority white Northern Democrats who lived in free
states and a small minority of white free state Republicans were as
racist as a majority of white slave state residents (including
Confederates and Unionists such as Andrew Johnson).

c. The war was really over white Southerners' attempts to (a) preserve a
way of life (b) states rights (c) economic autonomy ["the tariff"].
After all, the majority of white Southerners did not own slaves.
True (although not to the extent that some insist, for a good number
of white Southern families either owned slaves or looked forward to
owning them. Moreover, even those white Southerners who did not own
slaves often feared the consequences of abolition. As for the trilogy
cited above, look at it carefully: each of those claims are, in fact,
tied up in some way with slavery. The Southern way of life (for both
whites and blacks) was grounded in slavery (and thus black Southerners
wanted to destroy "a way of life"); white Southerners had no problem in
abridging the states rights (or individual rights) of Northerners and
free blacks when it came to protecting slavery; economic issues were not
nearly as simple as North versus South, but one reason why a majority of
white Southerners favored a lower tariff was because they ran an export
economy in which the exports were grown by slave labor.

6. Sometimes white Southerners in an understandable attempt to defuse
stereotypes of their region and people respond by creating a stereotype
of the average white Northerner (or white Northern academic) which is,
simply put, as distorted as the one of themselves that they resent.

Come here to beautiful
>Rome, Georgia, Mssrs. Pitcavage, Schmidt, et al., walk our streets and
>meet our people and seek out evidence of the racism you apparently believe infests every Southern heart.

Gee, kinda proves my point, no? Neither of the two people named here
harbor such sentiments. Moreover, "every Southern heart" would include
those beating in black as well as white people . . .

I'm afraid you'll be hard put to find such
>sentiments.

In each white Southerner? No. In some white Southerners? Yes. In some
whites not from the South? Yes.

>Come on down, gentlemen, and maybe I can get the SCV to make you guests of
>honor at a barbecue (bring your own rope, ha ha!).

In fact, the UDC invited me to speak as their guest of honor at their
meeting in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, about eight years ago.

Come on down, y'all,
>and actually meet these gentle and kindly folk, and you will never again
>associate the Confederate flag with hatred and ignorance.

This is a perfect example of the poster's desire to confuse attitudes to
present-day white Southerners with their Confederate ancestors. I
associate the Confederate (and the United States) flag with many things,
some good, some deplorable. I have no objection to anyone using the
Confederate flag; I have serious objections to it as part of a state flag
or for non-historical public functions. The poster is surely aware that
there are some groups who expouse "hatred and ignorance" that use the
Confederate flag as a symbol. Perhaps the poster should do as much as
possible to deplore the use of a symbol he cherishes by such groups,
rather than blame everything on ignorant Yankee academics.

Enough for now.

Brooks Simpson

RStacy2229

unread,
Apr 24, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/24/96
to
In article <4ljdgs$1...@access5.digex.net>, RStacy2229 <rstac...@aol.com>
writes:

>[Moderator expects that replies will focus on the historic content and
the
>invitation to explore Southern hospitality. If anything here makes you
>mad, get even by eating him out of "house and home" this summer. (think
of
>it as a kinder, gentler "march through Georgia") <g>]

Yes, thank you for the suggestion, Mr. Moderator: I hope they will take me
up on the invite, although some have already replied with hostility. But
certainly they're welcome to visit me, and if they don't like me, they
should at least visit Rome, which is a much nicer place than Atlanta, a
city we Rebs now call "Occupied Atlanta" for its large number of
carpetbagger (or "guccibagger") residents.
Y'all come to Rome, y'hear?

MICHAEL7L

unread,
May 7, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/7/96
to

[Lets drop this flame-bait laden thread after this, shall we?]

In article <4ljdgs$1...@access5.digex.net>, RStacy2229 <rstac...@aol.com>
writes:

>Our city auditorium will be the site


>of "Our American Cousin" -- Mr. & Mrs. Lincoln will be in attendance and
>rumors are that this light comedy might be interrupted in the second act.

This seems more than a bit ghoulish; I hope it is just a bad attempt at
humor. The murder of Mr. Lincoln ought to trouble us all, whether
Northerner or Southerner. I can understand the marquee showing "Our
American Cousin" as background; I cannot understand a re-enactment of
murder.


Michael Malorny

Reply all
Reply to author
Forward
0 new messages