In the words of the former Mayor of New Orleans, Mitch Landrieu, ‘We Cannot Be Afraid Of The Truth.’ His words were from a 2017 speech decrying monuments that glorified the confederacy – relics of a fractured nation, (The Broken Toys in the Attic) of the Confederate imagination – . Confederate: (a combination of persons for unlawful purposes; conspiracy. Dictionary .com). They were not built to honor a regional heritage, but they served as another “Big Lie” constructed years after the Civil War in the late 19th and early 20th century, to intimidate, reinstate power, white supremacy, and push a false narrative, while at the same time omitting the history of, chattel slavery, rape, murder, subjugation, and oppression of blacks, along with Genocide of the Indigenous.
These truths echo from the halls of history, the complexions of our faces, the prison population, and the presidential names sprinkled throughout African American ancestry, and the reasons thereof. The Hispanic/Latino population represents 18.7 percent of the population, and only a two percent share of television media visibility. America must stop the efforts of trying to reassemble The Broken Toys in the Attic, the lies of a country that only existed in the imaginations of a few. Yesterday’s War will continue as long as it is allowed to be the prevailing narrative.
With divisions deeper than at any time since the 1850s, there is much talk of a second Civil War. Robert Perry notes in his article in “Common Dreams” Today Right-wing resistance to meaningful gun control is driven, in part, by a false notion that America’s Founders adopted the Second Amendment because they wanted an armed population that could battle the U.S. government. The opposite is the truth, but many Americans seem to have embraced this absurd, anti-historical narrative.”
After consumption of a southern spread, they moved to the parlor. There, one man’s ebony skin glistened as a porcelain doll that moved, spun, and played his fiddle to the smiles and laughter of fair-complexioned people of privilege. They filled the room with filled bellies and gleefully gasped as if their life could not be any better. Antebellum was romanticized as the land of flowers, southern gentlemen and women clad in Southern Belle Dresses. It was a place of family, faith, and the joy of life. Happy were its inhabitants, both enslaved persons and free.
The above depiction encapsulates the fantasy called Dixieland. In reality, it is best described by the words of Winston Churchill as “a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma. That which is so dense and secretive as to be totally indecipherable or impossible to foretell.”
Scripture reminds us, “For the mystery of iniquity does already work:” 2nd Thessalonians 2:7a, and the mystery is the question. What is the default that causes individuals and social orders to do what they do when religion, philosophy, or so-called moral code suggest differently?” Three-Fifths Magazine -The Aftertaste of Compromise
Unwrapping the layers of America’s Mystery unveils the Lost Cause, Redemption, extrapolating to Segregation, the Dixie Crats, the Moral Majority, the Tea Party, the alt-right, and MAGA, who would have ever imagined we’d be fighting yesterday’s war in 2023. The narrative of the glorious south was the original “Big Lie.”
“A great nation does not hide its history. It faces its flaws and corrects them.” George W. Bush
Who was the man who played the fiddle, and did he even matter? Was he the pictured porcelain doll or just a manipulated marionette of pain with disdain? That sounds rough, no more so than his story which represents a historical truth for many. His story includes how part of his family was sold off to another plantation, and he was left to share his wife with the master whose biracial children were forced to work in the kitchen and tend to the needs of the master’s white children.
The American caste system is the institutionalized driving force of the free market system that is filled with inherent biases, inequities, and caste. COVID-19 exposed this caste system which separated essential workers including factory workers, grocery clerks, food plants, sanitation, prison, migrant, transportation, and safety workers, to first responders, etc., from the protected caste of those who were privileged enough to work from home. People of color paid the steepest price from that separation. However, the great class divide affected many in the dominant culture as well; those that happened to be on the wrong side of the economic divide and stuck in the wrong caste. Henceforth, the Confederate psyche has haunted this country since its inception. Regardless of all of these facts, the prevailing caste defrauded the middle-class and poor whites into referencing an age-old meme “Well at least I’m not black” as there measure of worth and inclusivity.
The sad truth about this is all part of the Confederate psyche, In which American Plutocrats and major corporate entities incite the unsuspecting masses of the aggrieved through culture wars, tribalism, fear, hatred, and xenophobia. Like the average confederate foot soldier, are powerless and without real wealth. In the Antebellum South, wealth was determined by the number of slaves one owned. Those foot soldiers owned no slaves, and yet they died for a cause that benefited the elite.
As a nation, facing up to our historical truth is the only escape from continued meandering through the murk of Confederate psyche. Therefore we can forever eliminate the Broken Toys in the Attics of the American imagination and finally reimagine something better.
By Kevin Robinson Founder/Editor, Publisher of Three-Fifths Magazine