All peoples everywhere have mannerisms, traditions, habits, and customs that will cause an outsider to form a stereotype, and this includes Southerners. We are particularly well known for being friendly, and, having seen some of the world myself, I think we deserve this praise. It is one of our great cultural legacies.
I am 54 and I give thanks today to the one true God for bringing me to the light of day amongst those that I consider my people. I am thankful to those generations now dead and gone whose kindness, good manners, wit, and back slapping laughter so formed me when I stood a yard off the ground. I am equally grateful for their backbone and their disinclination to be told what to do.
The Southern man will be led, but he will not be driven.
Folks, if someone moves to my corner of Dixie with values antithetical to those of my great-grandparents, I may not have the right to stop him, but I don't have to welcome him with open arms either.
Since WWII and the 1970’s in particular, large numbers of outsiders have moved to the South who have no roots here. Any native Southerner over thirty who is reading this can think of at least a dozen such outsiders who have made the South better. They are God-fearing American patriots who pull their own weight who came here for opportunity, a lower cost of living, or milder weather but who admire or even love the South and whose children are or will be Southern through and through.
But there is another type that has come and is coming still. He is the Neo-Carpetbagger. He is coming not just in search of a little Americana or Mayberry, but comes to tilt the scale away from tradition and towards American-Socialism. He brings with him not just his furniture, money, and talents, but also those Progressive ideas that have made his own home city or state unliveable, though he does not see the connexion, and if he did he wouldn’t care.
Folks, this is our county. It is strewn with overgrown graveyards full of stone titles to our land. Let us find some of the backbone and fight of our ancestors and defend our way of life and the best of our traditions against all comers, including those with American passports.
Let us always remain friendly and well-mannered. But to those outsiders who applaud the coup last November and would turn us blue as they have Nashville and other great Southern cities, it’s time to roll up the red carpet, raise the drawbridge, and tell ’em to go elsewhere.
This piece was previously published on MCAtkins.com on June 28, 2021.
Mark Atkins has six wee bairns who are all seventh-generation Henry County, Tennessee, and all from the same doe. It is the people of Henry County that he most wants to reach but writes to Southerners generally. He is without credentials but rather dares to speak by the same authority as the little boy who cried 'The king has no clothes!' His core belief and starting point is that like everything, we humans have a nature, it is not so hard to understand, and to pretend that it is other than it is, is to jump off a cliff. Which is what we Americans have in fact done.