Since moving from the Midwest to the South some 30 years ago, I have become keenly aware of class and rank and, I’m just going to say it, blatant racism in the United States of America. It is as thick as the honey dripping from a southern belle’s lips when she coos, “bless their hearts.” I was shocked to learn that the southern-born locals, especially here in Virginia “Where the Nation Reunited”, yearn to have one last (un)Civil battle to set things right…the way things shoulda’ been…the way things always had a’ been before the War of Northern Aggression took away their right to own people, and later dared to demand that they allow their lily-white, privileged, progeny attend school with the coloreds. I know my words sound harsh. I mean for them to sound that way. It was a culture shock to me back then, just as the current state of unrest in this country is a shock to some folks now.
Fast forward to the 21st century and it’s plain to see that the bitter divisions we are suffering are nothing new. None of us should be surprised by the ugliness that has been unearthed by this latest battle of Conservatives versus Liberals.
I listen to pundits on tv who wonder how long it will take to undo the damage done in less than a year by politicians who seek to destroy government on the backs of the middle class and the poor, while lining the pockets of the rich, and their own. I’ve thought about it and I don’t expect us to recover anytime soon. In fact, the way I see it, this was just a relapse. Eventually we may slip into remission; the ugly underbelly of our worst devils may crawl back under their rocks. It’s been a sickness raging just under our skin for several centuries now.
And make no mistake, here in the South the Rebs are in no hurry to stop this train. They finally have a hero who talks like they think; mean and spiteful and hateful. With rebel flags flapping in the wind they’re locked and loaded and ready for that do-over to set things right. Those who refuse to learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat it…and repeat it.
i wasn’t prepared
for the venomous rancor,
lines drawn in concrete,
pompous trumpeter swagger,
all civility be damned
i wasn’t prepared
for the costly price of love;
For Colleen Chesebro’s Weekly Poetry Tuesday Challenge, a Haibun/Tanka/Haiku prompted by the words Hate and Pride.