Consider these acts of white domestic terrorism and intimidation used against black people to maintain Jim Crow and the white power structure:
The murders of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner in Mississippi.
The violent murder of Emmett Till in Mississippi.
The violent murder of Medgar Evers, again in Mississippi.
The bombing murders of four little black girls, Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson and Carol Denise McNair in Alabama.
The assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in Tennessee.
The brutal harassment of would-be black patrons at a Woolworth’s lunch counter in North Carolina.
The murder of Jonathan Ferrell, again, in North Carolina.
The decapitation of James Byrd in Texas.
The murder of Walter Scott in South Carolina.
The murders of Ethel Lance, Tywanza Sanders, Cynthia Hurd, Depayne Middleton-Doctor, Clementa Pinkney, Susie Jackson, Myra Thompson, Daniel Simmons, and Sharonda Singleton, while they were at bible study, again in South Carolina.
The murders of Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis in Florida.
The disproportionately white jury that set George Zimmerman free, again, in Florida.
The Southern states that, even today, unashamedly proclaim their ‘southern pride’ by celebrating Confederate History month and Robert E. Lee day on the Martin Luther King holiday (if not on King’s birthday), and still honor the confederate flag - and all that it represents - by flying it on or near their State House Capitols, and on their public school grounds.
The grossly disproportionate prosecution and subsequent executions of black people in states like Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, Mississippi, Georgia, Oklahoma, and Texas.
The all volunteer, all white ‘poll-watchers' who challenged the votes of black people at polling places in Florida and other Republican controlled states during the 2012 presidential elections.
And if you compare a map of the former Confederacy to a map of the states that voted overwhelmingly for John McCain in 2008, and Mitt Romney in 2012, you will see that those maps are near perfect matches. That is not a coincidence. There is a reason for that.
There is a reason why the Civil Rights movement was born in the South, in the cradle of the Confederacy.
There is a reason why, virtually overnight, black voters exited the Republican Party in droves, and remain largely absent from it until this day.
There is a reason why, from post-Reconstruction right up until the 1970s, America witnessed a great migration wherein entire generations of black people moved to northern states, fleeing the former slave states - to escape endemic racism, Jim Crow and constant lynchings. No one, under any circumstances, should ever ignore, minimize or forget the history behind those reasons.
American history, from slavery, to the Civil War, to the Civil Rights movement, continuing through today, is the history of violent anti-blackness, repeatedly centered in, but not limited to, the American South.
Contrary to any suggestions that those ‘poor’ old southerners may have somehow been unfairly maligned, I would remind people that the confederate-flag-waving racists of the south (college educated or otherwise) still exist today, and they have thoroughly earned their reputation, and that reputation does not merit any diminution via class or political comparisons.