Song of the South is a Disney movie of 1946, possibly the first film to put animated and filmed characters together. It has long been suppressed as politically incorrect; some claim it shows happy slaves, although it is set during Reconstruction. I saw it as a child, in the dark days when you could only see Disney movies every few years when they were rereleased in theaters, and “Song of the South” was not yet deemed offensive. As I recall it was quite racially liberal, and Uncle Remus may have been the prototype of the Kind, Wise Old Negro that Morgan Freeman has made such a career of playing.
Hunter Wallace brings up another “Song of the South”, a song by the country group Alabama. Apparently they intend to outline the unique history, culture, and independent nature of the South; they do just the opposite. Tellingly, the song dates to 1989, the year Rick Perry switched from the Democratic Party to the Republican. There were still white Southern Democrats back then, and far from celebrating the independence and uniqueness of the South, it celebrates its warm embrace of the New Deal.
The key lines are “President Roosevelt gonna save us all” and “Daddy got a job with the TVA, bought a washing machine and then a Chevrolet.” I can’t really deride these sentiments, because I come from a line of people for whom Franklin Roosevelt is not God, and he is not Jesus, but he is as close as you can get without the virgin birth. The hardscrabble crackers of Alabama have held, until very recently, much the same sentiments about government as the benighted Papists and borderline communists hard by the Canadian frontier.
The strong, proud Southern man is much like the strong, proud black man in that at base he is just a guy standing in line for his government cheese. Again, I can’t really deride that, since that makes them like the bulk of other Americans. But let’s not pretend either is something they are not. Klan leader Robert Byrd was happy to link arms with radical Northern blacks as long as he got federal money to hand out, achieving a 100% rating from the NAACP, achieved by only 17 Senators.
The South can’t be separate from the rest of the US because it is too attached to the federal government, as it was even before the Civil War. If the South had a separate destiny, it died with Huey Long, who had developed a powerful form of white socialism indigenous to the South. After his death, the South was locked in with Roosevelt and the New Deal.
White socialists are just as much a part of the system as red socialists. The two are highly suspicious of each other, and there is great mutual loathing. But they are mutually dependent and can’t live without each other, in the context of our system. The genius of it was to combine the two, when the world was facing off in an epic confrontation between the two.