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This Saturday in Montgomery, Alabama is going to be an eventful one to say the least. The most anticipated event of the weekend is a parade meant to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Jefferson Davis becoming the president of the Confederacy.

The moment preceded some of the darkest years in U.S. history, with the South going to war to fight to preserve slavery as an institution, their livelihood and a moral right. The Civil war casualty count totaled close to 700,000 and is one of the bloodiest chapters in America’s memory. However, that’s not completely evident by the smiles on the faces of thousands of white residents reminiscing on the antebellum period.

It makes us think back to Phaedra Parks who, on last Sunday’s Real Housewives of Atlanta Reunion Special, made a valid point that the racial tensions in the South still exist. Though her form of “Southern Hospitality” isn’t always our cup of tea, this time our favorite entertainment lawyer was right on the money. There are certain cultural sensitivities blacks hold because of the history of slavery, racism and discrimination.

This is hardly the first time secessionists have made the news. Last year, the news was littered with stories from the South. The most recognized uproar was when Virginia Governor, Bob McDonnell an uber-conservative Republican, happily declared April “Confederacy History Month,” apologizing later for his ‘omission’ of slavery in glorifying that legacy.

The group behind Saturday’s parade, Sons of Confederate Veterans, claims that they are merely commemorating what they refer to as ‘the war for Southern independence.’ One member, Cameron Freeman Napier, spoke to USA Today about the recent outrage over the group’s plans saying that he felt the group was “walking on eggshells” because of some being overly sensitive. With the group’s plans for a “Secession Ball” this April, it hardly seems like the tipy-toeing around the issue has resulted in any more consideration at all.

Sidenote: We don’t know about his marital status or ‘tush,’ but if Atlanta’s Kim ever finds herself looking again, Cameron may be the guy for her.

The parade itself is a tour through America’s struggle with race relations. It starts near the spot where Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a public bus, goes past the location where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. lead his Voting Rights Act March, and passes by a stretch where several black Freedom Riders in 1961 were beaten by a white mob as police stood by watching. Many of those cultural touch points, elicit emotional reactions from Blacks in the south, and around the country.

Though the local chapter of the NAACP has taken to protest the parade, it seems in this battle of free speech, hate speech has again taken to the stage.

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  • boho.barbie

    What is there to celebrate? The confederacy or south lost the war…get over it!

    • Miss Jae

      “The confederacy or south lost the war…get over it!”

      They clearly didn’t get the memo!

  • Gigi Young

    Granted, these are the type of people who don’t believe slavery was the cause of the Civil War, but I’m at a loss when this march and ball and whatever is considered “hate speech.” Yes, the planned path is insensitive, but unless the participants have out and out declared their celebration and its activities are to support hating blacks and to resurrect Jim Crow, there’s nothing “hateful” about their particular brand of historical commemoration. Does this mean we should ban Civil War re-enactments? Or the sale of Confederate uniforms and flags? Or anything associated with slavery, the Civil War and Jim Crow? Like it or not, slavery and racism is Southern history, if not American history, and if a group of people desire to celebrate that period in their history, I don’t see why it should be stopped or plagued with protests. Particularly when, as I said, these are the “po’ white crackers” who agitated against integration etc because they felt disenfranchised in the face of the “favoritism” shown towards blacks. Growing angry and feeling outraged does nothing to bridge the gap between black and white Southerners, nor give a fuller, richer perspective of American and Southern history…

    • thelivingpoet

      slavery wasn’t the cause of the civil war. slavery became a “major” issue later on in the war. several states didn’t want to join the american union. that’s what caused it.