An Anti-Racism Exercise: Listen to Neo-Confederates

March 12, 2015: An Exercise for readers devoted to “anti-racist” work:
Here’s an 8-minute video taken by reporters from the Guardian, a UK paper, in Selma last week. They talk (and listen) to two leading “Neo-Confederates,” white southerners who are still devoted to the idea that the South should have won the U.S. Civil War, and failing that, southern states should seek to secede today.
Todd Kiscawen, left and Pat Godwin. right; prominent Neo-Confederates, and guardians of “Confederate Circle” in the Old Oak Cemetery, Selma, Alabama.

These two are part of a widespread network of groups and similarly-minded persons. In current political terms they don’t carry much weight; but culturally and socially, that’s another matter. As for the future . . . ?

Here’s the exercise: watch the video, listen to what they have to say. Then, after any sense of outrage recedes a bit, consider: what can you think of to say to them, or those like them, that might have a chance of moving them toward some positive change of attitude?

There are said to be several hundred unknown Confederate dead buried here.

Yeah, I don’t know either. Denunciation is easy; I don’t like what I hear. But constructive communication is . . . work. Or, in this case, exercise.

Any ideas are welcome, and feel free to say how you feel about the effort. But put a lid on the rants; they don’t add much to what I’m after here and will be deleted.

A neo-Confederate Billboard. One posted in Florida was up for a month. Another. erected in Montgomery, Alabama in May 2014, came down after only a few days, following protests to the billboard company.


Update: As of early November, 2016, there has been only one brief, cryptic comment on this post. Did nobody read it? Or was the exercise more difficult than sitting back and clicking on a cat video? 

Another Update: As of mid-Winter 2019, there have still been no new comments on this post. And since mid-2015, has this exercise become less relevant — or more?




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