Love Your Southern Brother; Fight Your Foe
By Washington Jefferson
A big problem with the Southern movement is one typically shared with most conservative movements. Namely we have too little love for our comrades and too little righteous anger toward our opponents.
Let’s start with love. Anyone who has been in conservative and traditional movements for any length of time will notice the lack of general comradeship and friendship among the participants. Of course, there are exceptions, but they are indeed exceptions.
As Whittaker Chambers put it so well, “the right does not retrieve its wounded.” Typically, the average social conservative does not think to assist his fellows when the left assaults them. Typically, indeed, he has trouble working together with them for common goals. To our shame, it often seems that our leftist enemies have much more cohesion and love for one another than we do. One example, particularly to our shame, is the so-called gay movement. Warped and evil as it is, it does a display a definite brotherhood and sisterhood. Communist leftists have long called one “comrade,” and they have genuinely meant it
Given our heritage as Southerners, and our historic sense of society, it is surprising that we seem to lack real cohesion today. One reason, perhaps, is the power and influence of Yankee conservatism in conservative movements. Its stress on radical “rugged” individualism (particularly in its libertarian incarnation) and money-making definitely fragments people. (It’s not that individualism and making money are wrong, in and of themselves, but they are not beneficial when they ignore legitimate duties to family, community and society).
Many on the right seem to equate society with socialism. Nothing could be more mistaken. Men need society because we are social beings. Natural society is necessary and beneficial. Socialism, an ideology based on force, regiments and warps all human relationships to fit its iron-clad dogma of equality.
To understand the importance of working as a community, consider the practice of some Asian immigrant groups of pooling money to purchase enterprises. Each investor puts in his amount to buy a business, and then each reaps a proportionate share of the profits. What one of them can’t do alone, they can accomplish as a group. Thus in the future they will have capital to give economic advantage to their children, or maybe to exercise political clout, e.g., buying our politicians.
Now a key question: Can anyone imagine Southerners getting together to do such a thing? Certainly it’s hard to conceive of them even thinking of it in the first place, let along being sufficiently cooperative and trustworthy to carry it out. Sad to say, Southerners love to backbite and fight one another. Sometimes their basic honesty leaves something to be desired. In the past, we could survive this way, but times are changing.
If we cannot work together as competing groups are doing in the increasingly diverse America, we face a grim future. As our competitors rise and gain control of capital, our children, just to make a living of any kind, will have to sell themselves into serfdom on the Wal-Mart plantation. And what little we have will be of scant interest to the politicians.
We need to put the backbiting aside, and love each other a lot more. Remember the lyrics of the Bonnie Blue Flag: “We are a band of brothers. . . .” Save the hostility for those who truly mean to hurt us all. And this raises another issue, our lack of righteous anger toward our opponents and their beliefs. This is not to suggest the sort of bitter hatred that poisons the soul. That is destructive and simply wrong. But without the zeal that comes from proper indignation we will not have a chance against those who are full of zeal and determined to destroy everything we care about.
To put it bluntly, we are often too good for your own good. Leftists are consumed with self-righteous passion when they assault us. Our response, quite commonly, is weak and limp. We want to be nice and pleasant, because, after all, that’s part of our Southern culture. Also, as Christians, we recall the injunction, “Love your enemies.” Gentility is certainly commendable, but only in its proper place. As our Lord also commanded, we should not cast our pearls (such as gentility) to swine. Kindness toward a personal enemy is one thing; but not toward destroyers of community and moral order. Jesus did not turn his cheek toward the corrupt religious leaders of his day; He rebuked them with the fiercest language.
Our opponents are determined to destroy our heritage and culture-as well as our children’s future. We have every right to the indignation necessary to stop their campaign. Our hope is to stand united, a band of brothers native to the soil.