While on a recent trip to the local U.S. Post office, I encountered a man standing near the outside mail box. After I had put my outgoing mail into the box, he approached my pick-up truck, and had noticed the 'CSA' tag on the front of the truck.
“Hey buddy, CSA stand for Confederate States?” he asked.
“Yes, of America,” I replied.
“You don't hate black people, do ya?” he asked, grinning.
“Absolutely not,” I replied. “Pretty much the only people I hate in this world are U.S. Government bureaucrats and politicians, and I don't really hate them personally. I just hate what they do for a pay check – which is basically this: annoying and harassing people who actually work for a living. And I'm forced to pay income taxes to help cover their salaries, and eventually, federal pensions. But, I guess I'd rather pay income taxes than spend time in a government cage. I couldn't make any kind of a living for my family if I was locked up. So I guess I'll keep paying the mafia, I mean, government off, so I can stay out of jail.”
Although I hadn't said this to evoke a laugh, he bent over laughing. “Yeah, I know whatcha mean, buddy!” he said. “Never thought about 'em bein' like the mafia!”
“Yeah, they are. If you don't pay up, Uncle Sam will send his men (and women) after you, and if you resist, they'll whack you just like a New York City mob boss's henchman would,” I said. Noticing his Ole Miss Rebels tee shirt, I had to ask the rhetorical question, “Rebel fan, are ya?”
“Oh yeah, loved Archie, and Ben Williams, and Eli! They ain't got much this year, though.”
“Yeah, they used to fly Rebel flags at their games, and the band played Dixie all the time,” I said, “and nobody seemed to be offended. I was at the State-Ole Miss game in 1976, and Ole Miss had a guy in a Confederate uniform, and he and the Bulldog mascot had a friendly wrestlin' match at midfield before the game. It was a sight to see. But those days are gone forever.”
“Well, at least we're still the Rebels,” he said.
“Don't count on it lasting a whole lot longer, my man,” I responded. “You know they stopped flying the Mississippi flag on campus in Oxford, don't you?”
“The heck you say! You kiddin' me, right?”
“Afraid not. They stopped flying the flag at Ole Miss, and State, too. You know, we're the only state left which still has the Confederate flag in our flag. But our so-called 'leaders' are spineless, and gave in to the Confederacy-haters. Senator Wicker says our state flag belongs in a museum, not on a public flagpole. He's a typical Bush/Cheney Republican.”
“Ain't that some crap!”
“That it is, bud, that it is. I better get on outta here. Got to get back to work.”
“Make America great again!” he said, as I was driving away. I believe it's too late, I thought to myself. I believe it's too late.
Anthony Powell is an unreconstructed Southerner, a married, home-schooling father of seven, four of whom are still at home. He and his wife own a screen-printing business. He is a life-long resident of rural Wayne County, Mississippi, who has lived on the same 20 acres his entire life. In his spare time, he hunts, fishes, enjoys Scrabble with his children, and plays bluegrass music.