If you’re a news junkie like me you have likely heard about Virginia governor Bob McDonnell using his gubernatorial powers to declare April “Confederate History Month.” That’s right. It’s the year 20-fucking-10 and Mr. McDonnell thinks it’s prudent to set aside the month of April for all Virginians to remember and honor those brave confederate soldiers who fought against the evil and oppressive union troops. No wait, it’s the other way around. It was the confederacy that was evil and oppressive.
In the press conference that was held to announce this new policy McDonnell added, “Is it so wrong to love the Old South?” In a word, yes. Yes it is. The “Old South” enslaved an entire race. I don’t want to go into a history lesson, but I think we all know the things that occurred on those farms and it’s probably better left unsaid. To be fair many civilizations at some point in history are guilty of the institution of slavery (even though the U.S. was a bit late in the game abolishing it), but should we champion those who fought in favor of it? And if there is any history buff out there who is thinking I’m being overly simplistic about the cause of the civil war and wants to make some comment about how the real cause was misperceptions or a conflict of ideologies between abolitionists and anti-abolitionists, you can fuck right off. It was slavery. And this governor is an unabashed racist and he is pandering to his racist constituents, pure and simple.
I think it is disgusting. Really?? We’re going to romanticize the confederacy and its dark period in our history? It was on the side of EVIL! It sparked the deadliest war in American history. I hate to be guilty of reductio ad Hitlerum, but is there any meaningful difference between this and having, say, a Third Reich History Month? Or if a politician said “Is it so wrong to love Nazi Germany?” If the confederate states had won there would be no United States and people (particularly those with darker skin) would have no rights and be considered property. I, for one, do not love the Old South and can’t imagine why anyone one would.
Which brings me to another point: Racism has always existed in this country, but has anyone else noticed a recent surge in blatant racism or am I just noticing it more? It seems to me that every single day I run across another story of blatantly racist protesters or politicians or militia groups or whatever. I think we all know why, and I don’t think I have to say it. All the bigots out there can fuck right off.
This brings me to another point… The Texas State Board of Education raped history. You have to have heard about this one. If you happen to have been living in a cave on Mars for the past several weeks, let me bring you up to speed:
· The Board removed Thomas Jefferson from the Texas curriculum's world history standards on Enlightenment thinking, replacing him with Thomas Aquinas and religious right icon John Calvin.
· Teachers in Texas will be required to cover the Judeo-Christian influences of the nation's Founding Fathers, but not highlight the philosophical rationale for the separation of church and state
· The Board refused to require that students learn that the Constitution prevents the U.S. government from promoting one religion over all others
· Board members also rejected requiring history teachers and textbooks to provide coverage on the late U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy and new Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, while the late President Ronald Reagan was elevated to more prominent coverage
· They also made a point that students learn about the conservative resurgence of the 1980s and 1990s, effectively ensuring that students will learn about leading conservative groups but not about liberal or minority rights groups
Also, Jamestown failed because it was a socialist settlement, Franklin D. Roosevelt caused the Great Depression, and Joe McCarthy was a hero. These are only a few of the changes, but the ones I find most egregious. At first blush, it’s not THAT bad: anyone who gives a shit about education can get out now while the rest of Texas slowly drifts into ignorance. After all, it already happened to Mississippi and no one seems to mind too much. But as you may or may not know the population of Texas is so enormous that publishers write textbooks to meet the state’s standards and sell them nationwide, so this is not an isolated problem. Everyone on the Texas State Board of Education can fuck right off.
This brings me to my ultimate point… I’m moving to Canada (I highly doubt I will actually move to Canada, but humor me). I am fucking sick and tired of all these right-wing nut jobs who might be a small minority or might not – it’s hard to tell, mainly because they ARE SO FUCKING LOUD AND OBNOXIOUS! They are like a cancer on this land, which (like an actual tumor) may constitute only a small percentage of the whole, but can still kill the host nonetheless. This is why I am moving to Canada. If anyone reading this is thinking “Go ahead and move to Canada. America doesn’t want you faggoty liberals anyway. In fact why don’t you take all your liberal friends with you?” First, you can fuck right off. And second, maybe I will. And we’ll leave all you trigger-happy nut-fucks here to wallow in your own fecal matter that you seem to want. Go ahead and drink your Keystones and shoot your guns 24/7 and watch Larry the Cable Guy and have your George W. Bushs and Sarah Palins of the world run the country declaring war on everything that moves and privatizing and deregulating everything possible. And instead of your children learning any science or history, they’ll be learning how humans domesticated the dinosaur only a few thousand years ago. And if there is any semblance of a government left after a year of two its focus will consist only of the military and the pointless war on drugs. And your population will be 100% white and protestant and republican. Read George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four and that’s how the U.S. will look if everything goes swimmingly, which it almost certainly will not.
Meanwhile, I will be in Vancouver with my books and my universities and my health care and my peace and good relationships with all other nations and my national parks and protected areas that weren’t raped for oil or sold to developers and my country’s protection of consumers and my criminal justice system that doesn’t imprison 25% of the population for smoking a joint and my country’s budget surplus… ah, that sounds nice.