SOUTHERN WHITE-on-SOUTHERN WHITE RACISM still alive & well in the SOUTH. It’s part of Southern Heritage since Civil War/Reconstruction era. I was informed that “Scalawag” means “White Southern Ni**** Lover”.
About 7 months ago I was informed that “Scalawag” is a racial slur that most white southerners use against other white southerners who helped blacks gain their right to vote. And advised with caution that I should never utter that word again not even in private because some white people’s use of that word was same as calling a white Southerner a “Ni**** Lover” who risked & lost their lives for blacks. White Southerner informed me that his white relatives who were Confederate veterans were killed from helping freed black slaves seek public office as Republicans in 1870s Louisiana.
This was in response to my uttering that word in casual conversation. When asked where I 1st learned that word, my reply was that it was at white school (MB Smiley High School) where I was forced bussed to in late 60’s as part of desegregation during heated Humphrey/Wallace presidential race. White teachers taught civil war, told black students that “Scalawag” was a Southern spy who turned against the south by helping burn down the south in the civil war. Therefore, I assumed that was the proper term.
Then I was informed that there’s NO monuments erected in the South to memorialize white Confederates veteran Republicans of Reconstruction era that helped newly freed black slaves with their civil rights .. and who lost their lives in doing so. I didn’t realize I was taught wrong, and I won’t use the racist word “Scalawag” anymore. Btw, the word scalawag is not a typical vocabulary that’s used in black households.
Words by itself don’t have meaning until people give it meaning.
Oftentimes, many white southerners nowadays keep trying to tell black southerners what they as a race of people descending from slaves “think” or “believe” on matters concerning their OWN Southern Heritage – particularly on matters of slavery and the civil war. And there’s this bad habit of being instructive in telling black southerners about their OWN history, when black people have already received instructions from their black elders about WHO they are, where they come from & stories of what happened. To make matters worse, many have gone so far as to be instructive so as to tell black southerners who they should chose to honor as their heros. Not all southerners are in lockstep on this matter of Southern Heritage as to who they celebrate and honor. Some black southerners may have preference to Patrick Cleburne but perhaps not for the same reason as some southern whites. Some white southerners have no problem with embracing the “Slavery” clause in the CSA secession documents, whereas most black southerners who love the south, do NOT embrace the Secession documents as written. Some white southerners idolize CSA Vice President Alexander Stephens, whereas most Black Southerners, for good reason, despise the man.
Many white southerners wrongly assume that most southern blacks are stupidly supportive of Abraham Lincoln because of Emancipation Proclamation. 1st of all, the fact that black southerners do not celebrate January 1st (date that Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863) should be a clue ! For that matter, blacks do not even celebrate December 6th (date that slavery was officially abolished via 13th Amendment in 1865). Therefore the continued instructions to black southerners as to what Lincoln & the Emancipation Proclamation did or did not do, is unnerving to say the least. Most southerners are fully aware of how Abe felt towards black slaves & the institution of slavery, as this is preached on repeatedly at Juneteeth Day events. For that matter, the black elders are instructive on this.