Saturday Morning Musings

Old Times There Must Be Forgotten!

I just read in the paper that The Dixie Chicks are dropping the “Dixie” from their name. While reading the article, I traveled in my mind to Columbus Day weekend 1977. I had just started teaching at a Catholic school, and I had a long weekend. My wife and I were traveling to Atlanta to see old friends (well, none of us were really old then.)

We deplaned and got our luggage, and our friends were there to whisk us away. But, instead of going to their house, we were taken to a club where an Elvis imitator was performing. Now, to be honest, I was never an Elvis fan even back in the day. My tastes went along the lines of Dion and the Belmonts, The Everly Brothers, and of course, Buddy Holly.

Elvis died just a few months before this, so I assumed the interest in his music was related to his recent demise.

I must say that the performer put on a great show. However, the audience scared the hell out of me.

Not sure if they were part of the show or not, but young women accosted our Elvis Tried To Be with scarfs and boas but no underwear. Ok, maybe they subscribed to the theory that Elvis was still in the house and had not met the other King (Jesus) as yet.

But then it got frightening.

Halfway through the show, when our star had sung quite a few of Elvis’ signature songs, quite capably I might add, the crowd of young women began chanting.

First, it was one woman, then another, then the men in the audience began to join the demand for Elvis…DIXIE DIXIE DIXIE!!!

The King, never one to disappoint his subjects, began to croon…”Well, I wish I was in the land of…” You get the picture.

No sooner had he begun to sing, but the audience rose en masse to show their respect for what I assumed was their national anthem.

Being a proud Bronx Boy and New York Yankee fan, I immediately stood up for the rebel song.

At the time of this event, I was teaching American History to seventh and eighth-graders. Although it was early in the school year, and we had not begun the study of the Civil War, I was reasonably assured that my students knew that the South lost the Civil War.

It was clear to me that my fellow members of the Elvis audience suffered under no such delusion.

It made me wonder what is being taught in the schools of the south. I also wondered how history was taught in Germany, Italy, and Japan. Did revisionists in these countries create an alternative narrative as to what occurred in the 1940s?

Here we go, 1984 comin atcha!

Zooming to our current time, it is interesting how quickly we have acquiesced to the southern cross of bad history regarding the Civil War.

How were military bases ever named after traitors?

How were statues of these same traitors allowed to occupy public spaces?

The fact that these traitors provide a special affront to African Americans is only one reason these traitors should not be so honored. ALL Americans should condemn the glorification of traitors from wherever they may come.

Joe McCarthy and Richard Nixon are held in disdain and ignominy for their actions and they are not half as traitorous as those who took up arms fought those who carried the American Flag.

African American athletes who kneel during the National Anthem are vilified by the same people who honor the killers of American heroes.

Some people get upset when they see or hear the term, Black Lives Matter.  The knee jerk response of many is “All Lives Matter!”

Yes, of course, all lives do matter, but no one had to tell us that white lives matter, we already knew this. The Black Lives Matter movement began because there are too many Americans who have not accepted the fact that black lives actually do matter. By saying black lives matter, it doesn’t mean that white lives don’t matter.

It seems my Saturday Morning Musings has morphed into a rant. I am sorry.

But reading about the Dixie Chicks changing their name and also learning that Lady Antebellum is also changing their name reminded me how such little changes in our thinking can be revolutionary.

Change is inevitable, and we resist evolution at our peril.

For those of us who have studied the New Testament, the Sermon On The Mount is an all-inclusive lesson we should all abide.

Didn’t mean to end with a sermon. It just worked out that way.

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