I think it is an incontrovertible fact that few not from the South understand the South. Sure, they can put on airs and use high-falutin’ language to psychoanalyze things, but the answers for them are always the same: racism, exploitation, white men bad. They never look beneath the surface to understand complexity, because they have not the mind for it. They need simple explanations to avoid looking too much in the mirror. If the South wasn’t bad, then they could not be good. They could not take stock in the virtue heaped up by their ancestors and might have to deal with the difficult process of coming to grips with the truth for themselves. No, child-like dichotomies is what they need.
I say all this because there is no end to people who talk about the South, and Oxford American is just another in a long line of weary elitist lit-crit who pound out the same answers over and over again. Of course, in 2017, we need to talk about the slave trade. Of course. Let’s borrow our hate and pat ourselves on the back because we aren’t slave-traders or own slaves. Yet, the boring and trite world view that this magazine seems to want to impress upon us all neglects the fact of their own blindness. They spend so much time flogging imaginary or long dead people for their sins, that they never see their own. Nor do they have any idea about modern slavery, who funds it, and who practices it.
I am wearied by the ignorance. Speak what you know about and stop trying to convince us all of your moral, Puritanical, superiority. It didn’t work in the past two-hundred years it has been tried and it does not work now. If you don’t know, then admit that you don’t know. Get in touch with your own ignorance and stop filling the world with your self-congratulatory pabulum.