Like you, I’m a southerner (from MS). It’s true that the history in the south is warped (I too heard people call it the War of Northern Aggression; there was nothing “civil” about it, they like to quip).
The flip side of this coin is that you have to be totally numb to grow up in the South and not confront race and racism somehow. Sadly, many of our fellow southerners do appear to be that numb, but contrasted with the more subtle but still prevalent bigotry and racism in the north, at least southerners are forced to show their stripes and reckon with the problem.
I left MS for boarding school in NH when I was 16. The school was in a small town that was (almost?) exclusively white. I recall seeing a handful of Confederate flags on houses. WTF?
It’s like MLK said, the biggest problem is the white “moderate” whose privilege allows him/her to sit back and clutch their pearls about the tension and the hatred, but do nothing to change the paradigm. Confronting race in the south often brings out either the best or the worst in us, but it spares us from the apathy and timidity of those who never bother to address the issue.
At least we know who the bad guys are, and at least we see the passion of those fighting to bring change.