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Born May 18, 1953; got saved at Truett Memorial BC in Hayesville, NC 1959. On rigged ballot which I did not rig got Most Intellectual class of 71, Gaffney High School. Furman Grad, Sociology major but it was little tougher than Auburn football players had Had three dates with beautiful women the summer of 1978. Did not marry any of em. Never married anybody cause what was available was undesirable and what was desirable was unaffordable. Unlucky in love as they say and even still it is sometimes heartbreaking. Had a Pakistani Jr. Davis Cupper on the Ropes the summer of 84, City Courts, Rome Georgia I've a baby sitter, watched peoples homes while they were away on Vacation. Freelance writer, local consultant, screenwriter, and the best damn substitute teacher of Floyd County Georgia in mid 80's according to an anonymous kid passed me on main street a few years later when I went back to get a sandwich at Schroeders. Had some good moments in Collinsville as well. Ask Casey Mattox at www.clsnet.org if he will be honest about it. I try my best to make it to Bridges BBQ in Shelby NC at least four times a year.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

"Stiffnecked"; One more insight into the Southern White Male Mind of 1930s through Sixties

       Booktv and the Nashville Southern Book festival featured two great authors and books over the weekend in edition to a panel of three on We Are Charleston.


     Patrick Phillips whose parents were raised in Birmingham and he in Forsyth Co Georgia where his parents became Methodist ministers, Patrick in the presentation of his new book Blood at the Root drew attention to a teacher at Chestatee Elementary school in the county who got national fame for a viral facebook post where she likened Michelle Obama to a gorilla.


    Phillips books is about the 1912 lynchings in the County about 25 miles north of downtown Atlanta that made Cumming Ga and the county Sundown territory until Oprah came to town in 1987. Phillips used the reference about the Chestatee teacher to say there are pockets of white privilege as virulent as Birmingham in the mid 60s.


     I think the book is coming to the Ft Payne Library in NE Bama. I hope leadership of the Collinsville Historical Association as well as likely new School supe Jason Barnett and his school trustees take the implications to heart and make sure our county high schools get away from the foolishness of the Daughters of the Confederacy History of the Civil War.


     More striking than Phillips presentation was a lesser known author and likely less selling book about the man widely assumed to be the prototype for Harper Lee's Atticus Finch. Foster Beck's son tells the story of his Dad and a case in Enterprise Alabama in 1939 when my Momma woulda been 16 and on the eve of her last year of High school.


     Beck comes to an interesting conclusion about how South Alabama dismissed the nobility of his father's failed cause to save an innocent black man from capital punishment. He attributes it to working and lower class whites ideas about being a stiffnecked. The culture had worked and his Dad had lost but pursued justice.


   Here is how the son interpreted it all, kind of a gnarled analysis but quite poignant, one that registers with me as I've tried to understand similar mindsets and dismissals over the years. The panel is easily googled. I hope some of you find both and watch in entirety on booktv.org    


   Mr. Beck the son, Quoting: 
 




     THERE ARE NOW, OF COURSE, THERE REALLY WERE PEOPLE ALL OVER THE LOT FROM THE KLAN TO PEOPLE WHO WERE COWARDS AND PEOPLE WHO TRIED TO DO THE RIGHT THING BUT I THINK THE FACT THAT HE LOST THIS CASE WHEN HE WAS APPOINTED WOULD HAVE BEEN ACCEPTABLE HAD HE NOT CONTINUE TODAY FIGHT AND HERE IS WHAT I WROTE. THE PASSED DOWN MEMORY OF THE LOST CAUSE SHAPED THE SPIRIT OF THE WHITE SOUTH FAR INTO THE 20TH CENTURY. AS THE YEARS WENT BY THE PRINCIPLE REASON TO PRESERVE SLAVERY GRADUALLY BECAME AN UNACCEPTABLE REASON FOR THE WAR AND THE LOSS OF SUCH A WAR ALL THE MORE UNACCEPTABLE AND ACCEPTABLE REASON FOR THE WAR HAD TO BE FOUND, REBELLION AGAINST AN ECONOMIC TYRANNY RUTHLESSLY IMPOSED THROUGH PUNITIVE TARIFFS BECAME THAT REASON. LOSS OF SUCH A WAR BY A MAN WHO WAS VASTLY OUTNUMBERED AND LOST TO CULTURE BECAME AN ACCEPTABLE KIND OF LOSS. AMONG THE BETTER CLASS THE MODEL FOR ACCEPTANCE OF LOSS WAS ROBERT E LEE'S SURRENDER. MOST OF THEM BORN LOSERS AND DESTINED TO REMAIN LOSERS COMPARED TO SHORT AND VIOLENT LIVES LOST IN THIS LIFE WAS NATURAL AND BECAUSE IT WAS UNAVOIDABLE IT HAD TO BE ACCEPTED.

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