I grew up in a small town north of Boston in the Fifties and Sixties. My friends were the children of Spics, Pollacks, Micks, Crackers, Yanks, Rebels, White Trash, Rednecks, Wasps, Kike’s, Boogies, Japs, Redskins, Krauts, and Guineas. It was a melting pot where heavy Celtic crosses, Italian solid-gold horns and the Jewish Chai, adorned the hairy chests of men who spoke with thick foreign accents, and ethnic jokes made everyone laugh. Although everyone’s culture was sightly different, there was always respect for one another because of the shared values of God, family, and love of country. Faith, good work ethics, and a longing for a good home and education for the next generation, the American Dream, was the primary focus of all.
My childhood world was not divided into North or South, Catholic, Jewish or Protestant, or by black and white. What I saw in my neighborhood was hard working families moving into better homes, buying new cars or starting a new neighborhood business. I saw families asking us over to celebrate Greek Easter so we could help roast a whole lamb in their backyard while they indulged us with pans full of Pasticio! I watched while my Polish friends had a spirited Easter egg roll down the middle of their dining room table, and saw excitement on the faces of my Jewish friends when they came over to help ice my homemade sugar cookies and celebrate the lighting of our Christmas tree. I heard southern accents that I could not quite grasp and wondered why they could not understand my Boston accent that included the easy use of ‘AHHH’ rather than ‘RRRR.’
I heard stories from people eager to share their heritage and ancestry; stories of coming over on the boat, their courage, conviction and tenacity to make a good life for their family in America, the most exceptional country in the world. I listened to the stories about crumbling castles, thatched roofs, and pastel colored cottages stacked up along the cliffs on the Greek Islands, and longed for travel. I saw flags adorn every street corner and porch on the Fourth of July and watched as teary crowds saluted our brave war Veterans during the Memorial Day parade. I felt fortunate that I was an American and still to this day well up when I hear our National Anthem.
I learned about the Revolutionary war and that my soldier ancestor from Concord helped create the United States of America, and that the Civil War would end slavery. I learned of the great animosity between the Puritanical North versus the Cavaliers of the South and how Eli Whitney’s cotton gin made the South fabulously rich and how the industrial North resented their success.
I learned in History class how the South got screwed when the “Tariff of Abominations” legislation passed with the aid of Northern politicians, a tax that imposed a duty on imported goods that caused practically everything purchased in the South to rise nearly half-again in price because the South had become used to shipping its cotton to England and France and in return received boatloads of inexpensive European goods, including clothing made from its own cotton. I also learned that the North, particularly New England, had developed cotton mills of its own—as well as leather and harness manufactories, iron and steel mills, arms and munitions factories, potteries, furniture makers, silversmiths and so forth and with the new tariff putting foreign goods out of financial reach, forced Southerners to buy these same products from the North at what they considered exorbitant costs.
I learned of the hate that developed between the North and the South causing the South to want to secede from the Union. I learned of the schism of the church, creating North and South denominations because of a small group of Bible thumping preacher abolitionists in New England who felt that slavery was a social evil, and yet when confronted with a solution decided to send their slaves back to Africa, yes, Godly “humanitarians” who acquired land in what is now Liberia and returned a colony of ex-bondsmen across the ocean!
I learned that no matter how distasteful Abraham Lincoln found slavery to be, he still did not envision a forcible way to end it and that both during his campaign for office and after his election, he insisted it was never his intention to disturb slavery where it already existed. I learned that the divide between the North and South became wider, the threat of secession of the South greater, and the Civil War inevitable.
Life in America has never been easy. Freedom brings with it all kinds of dissension, discussion and ideas, healthy discourse that has given America its strength and character. The Confederate flag is one of many historic symbols that represent important events and labor pains that America painstakingly went through for its positive development as a Republic. To many southerners, the flag also represents a rebellious South that refused to cow-tie to the disingenuous Northerners, knowing their underlying reason for abolishing slavery was greed and to help shore up their assets and wealth, not to help their fellow man.
Has the Confederate flag been targeted by politicians today because it still symbolizes a rebellious South, a South willing to fight for God, family and country? Will the American flag be next, our nations symbol of identity, unity and freedom?
America was built on character, strength and resolve, a melting pot of ethnicity determined to live free or die. If we continue down this Marxist, Leninist path, we will soon become a socialist, GMO-like, sanitized, genderless race, stripped of our unique traits and personality. The politically correct agenda of the far left must be stopped, beginning with the Confederate flag! The North won the war, but will the South win an equally important one as well, the war against a generic, colorless, freedomless America?
Kid Rock and Ted Nugent have teamed up to record a new downloadable song written as a push-back against the national hysteria concerning all things Confederate. It’s titled “Kiss My Rebel Ass,” and will be available on each rocker’s website for the first time today, July 17th. Please do your part for freedom and download the song at either Tednugent.com or Kidrock.com It is a fight the South must win for America! Oh, and by the way Obama and crew, Kiss My Yankee Ass!
The Star Spangled Banner As You Have Never Heard it!
A most excellent article, Cynthia, and my sentiments exactly. History has been revised decade after decade and one wonders how anyone in America can possibly learn the real history of America and the Civil War. It is a travesty to live in a country where you can’t teach the real history without being called racists.
One of your best. I will share this with as many people as I can. Our HISTORY must not be destroyed. We have all fought for FREEDOM from some oppressor. If life is to be about “reparations” and revenge for the past, there will be no one left on earth. Life is about God’s gift of life, it is time to live once again by his great commandments. To LOVE one another and show kindness, as recently spoken in message by “Caitlin” Jenner, must be directed to the White House and its inhabitants. The most vindictive, ungrateful and mean spirited people directing this heart broken country.
Do you mean ‘generic’? Because I’m not understanding how the word genetic works in this context. Thanks. Not trying to be a smartass
What an inspiration,Cynthia! You make me so proud and happy with this article. Thank you for reminding us who we really are. Never surrender!!
This confederate Flag thing is a Diversion! A Tempest in a Teapot!
YOU WILL NEVER ERASE ALL TRACES OF SLAVERY unless you buy 40 Million tickets to Africa and RESETTLE all Blacks HAPPILY back in the country from which their ancestors were Originally kidnapped! KIDNAPPED by their ancient enemies, the ARABS, who have been enslaving and selling them for five thousand years!
I enjoyed your article and couldn’t agree with you more. All this garbage about the Confederate flag is in my opinion brought on by the Obama administration,and the NAACP. They are doing their best to destroy our country and seem to be succeeding. As Christians we need to stand up to this administration and pray God intercedes. I loved the part about the Star Spangled Banner, since Francis Scott Key was one of my ancestors, and i’m proud to be an American and will fight til my death to save my country. God bless you and keep on publishing this kind of information. In Christ, Jean