Hawking Up Hairballs

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Ah, Georgia

I live in the state of Georgia. There are a lot of things to like about this part of the United States, and it is home to me. That said, I have to admit that the state is home to some real nutballs, and I fear that there are a lot of them. Recent events in the state legislature have brought them out of the woodwork again.

One of our benighted legislators has introduced a bill that would permanently proclaim April of each year as Confederate History and Heritage Month. I wrote "permanent" because, as it is, April 26 is officially Confederate Memorial Day and each year the governor proclaims that particular April as Confederate Memorial Month. Oh, hell, yeah, and this new bill is meant to honor the history of the Confederacy, its soldiers and the people who "contributed to the cause of Southern Independence." I included that last phrase in quotation marks because it's lifted from the bill. The illusion cherished by the pro-Confederate reactionaries is that the Civil War, or as they like to call it, the War Between The States, was not about slavery. It was about the South's right to self-determination. The historical evidence says otherwise and, insofar as self-determination is concerned, consider this fact. Prior to the war there were more black slaves in South Carolina than there were white people. If it were a matter of self-determination, who would have been running that state?

Now, in response to this bill, certain civil rights leaders are asking the Georgia Legislature and Governor to issue a symbolic apology for slavery. This too is utter nonsense. In the first place, the people who should have apologized are all dead. The sins of the fathers are not visited upon the children. In addition, there is no continuity between the slavery government of Georgia and the current government. What sense would an apology make anyway? It wouldn't change the material conditions under which so many African Americans live. It won't create jobs for them. It won't increase their educational opportunities. It wouldn't represent even a babystep toward economic egalitarianism between black Georgians and white ones.

Neither of these measures are constructive. The reactionary trogodytes and the involved civil rights leaders are just tweaking each others' noses. At best this is a sound and fury signifying nothing. At worst it will serve only to increase racial tensions.

Now, as if that weren't bad enough, there's Representative Ben Bridges, a Republican from Cleveland, Georgia. He is trying to ban the teaching of evolution in the public schools because it is a religious deception that originates in the teachings of an ancient Jewish sect. He also believes that science is wrong and that the Earth is the center of the universe. He has a website devoted to these and other crazy notions. For your amusement, here it is: http://www.fixedearth.com


Blogger David Matthews said...

Thanks for the link to Rep. Bridges' website. It looks like something out of The Illuminatus! Trilogy. Amusing, indeed. Good grief.

10:19 AM  

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