By Mark A. Leon
A society is only as strong as its weakest link. Without order, without rules, it will crumble. This was outlined with abandon in “Lord of the Flies”. The weakness of Piggy resulted in his death and a realization that the island society would crumble due to its inherent flaws.
The United States lives under two fundamental belief systems, governed by Democratic and Republican ideals. This two party system has dominated since the inception of freedom for the new settlers. Variations of these values have risen, but not enough to take over the two-party stranglehold.
In a more hidden way, another separation remains, as strong now as it did when bloodshed covered this country with a sea of red: North vs South. This is one that can have a more emotionally damaging affect than liberalism and conservatism.
We recently received a comment that sent a shiver of reality, not just in its emotional scars, but its truth. These words deliver a telling message.
“It saddens me to read all-of-these comments. I was planning on moving my family to Charleston from the North. Not all Northerners apply to this ..”nasty temperament and anti-Southern rhetoric”. Some of us, don’t like the temperament of the North even though we were born here. I wanted to move South to give my children a better, slower, way of life. But, reading all-of-these statements proves to me that they will not be accepted because they are “Yankees”. Very Sad.”
Several months ago, these comments came on the cusp of an image of the Folly Boat thanking President Obama for his eight years of service:
“Thank you????? For what?????? Dividing our country, the national debt, shredding our military, shitting on law enforcement, kissing the ass of the rest of the world? Paint over that shit asap!!!!!!! Any of you on here praising Obama are complete morons and need to stop voting. Trump WILL make America great again. Time to stop being a bunch of political correct pussies!!!!!!!!!”
“Who the fuck did this? Were they high as shit and tripping acid the last eight years? Was Charleston Daily right next to them nodding off too? You are fucking stupid.”
“and of course a bunch of stupid old white folk commenting bogus on this picture. love to preach the golden rule and it goes right out the door when their racist tendencies come back to light.”
Apathy vs ignorance
Each year, we remember Emmett Smith, Walter Scott and Emanuel AME. Each year, the media spurs up articles and commentary on the apparent racism that still plagues the South and then we brush it under the table once again.
The South is growing as a destination spot. It is becoming home to a new migration, similar to the 49er’s migration to the west. It seems, many aren’t ready for this change, because they are holding onto archaic principles of segregation, bias, hatred and ignorance.
- We want the Confederate Flag down, but we have a Robert E. Lee street on James Island. Is the South proud of the fight for secession or in favor of an integrated country not separated by geography?
- We believe in the right to bear arms, but arbitrarily determine what falls under freedom of expression.
- This community, without research, without organized efforts, is quick to blame the “Northerners” for ruining the quiet community of Charleston. Yet, you welcome the North investment dollars that are bringing in massive economic growth.
- We claim racism is not an issue, but sentiment and actions speak louder than words.
The question remains, what does Southern pride stand up for. There seems to be a lack of consistency and caustic views on who “belongs”.
The United States was built by diverse people from different backgrounds, ethnic roots, religions and race, coming together in a melting pot to create this great democratic land. The papers drafted by our fore-fathers outlined a country united. It is those papers that government officials at all levels continue to use at the backbone for legislating and governing.
The idea of democracy is simple: Be free in a land of competition and opportunity. In theory, it stands on a solid foundation. In reality, there still seems to be a separation of North and South, Black and White and Rich and Poor.
After 150 years, is the war over?