Another distraction. . . .
I’m a Yankee living south of the Mason-Dixon line. A granddaughter of working class Polish immigrants. A Detroiter. Life’s different down here. I’ve adjusted to the fact that the peanuts are boiled, not roasted. And I actually like my BBQ as pulled pork and tangy instead of whole cuts of beef and sweet.
But when we visit Stone Mountain—that Mount Rushmore of the Confederacy—I honestly don’t know how to explain to my sons what happened there as we walk past the secessionist memorials alongside our African-American neighbors. We take our boys to living museums—something my family did every weekend at Henry Ford’s Greenfield Village. But these war re-enactments are almost always from the Civil War.
And when my sons ask during the battle, “Who are the good guys, Mommy?” I can only sigh. I saw all those confederate bumper stickers when we walked in. I hear the lilt in the accent around me. So, like the good Burkean, I whisper very quietly, “It’s complicated, honey. They are all Americans.”