The Death of a Cowboy
Nathan Stevens
82

Interesting and helpful. The other cultural imperative stems from adulating ancestors who fought in the Civil War and feeling obligated to carry their torches. The statues presently at issue are not superficial symbols but icons of those deeply ingrained hostilities. As a Canadian brought up in NY State, I met only a few Southerners while young. Those I met talked less about the contemporary South than their tales from that bloody war as if it were still being fought. I was too young in the mid-’50s to recognize the color and class divisions, even in the North, and would only be starting, while in university, to understand the class values of the society I inherited. Then, I lived in Florida and Arkansas and was shocked to the core by the racism as rampant as palmetto and kudzu. Ignorance begets ignorance. The low educational standards in the South were appalling. I am sure improvements have been made and progress has taken place in post-secondary institutions, but the curriculum work I did, albeit in a tiny sector of those communities, encountered third-world attitudes and academic standards. The students who are the products of those school systems are among the ones who voted for Donald Trump, who put fox Betsy DeVos in charge of the schoolhouse.

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