Friday, April 22, 2011

Second Vermont Republic Founder Thomas Naylor Is Now Down to "Just Whistlin' Dixie"

Second Vermont Republic founder, Thomas Naylor, was the largest financial backer of what ended up being an abysmal showing by Vermont secesher candidates in the 2010 election cycle due to "the paucity of votes attracted by candidate (Dennis) Steele." Steele, the head of the secesher ticket did so poorly that he came within a few votes of having his 0.79% finish bested by a perennial kook candidate who alleges discrimination because of a purported disability that supposedly arises from an STD, and secession supporter, natch.

For those who have followed the saga of the Second Vermont Republic's baas, Thomas Naylor, he has continued to try to separate the modern day secession movement from its deeply troubling racist history. That effort that's been made all the more difficult for him by his longtime association with the League of the South and its perverted view of the Land of Dixie as it supposedly was.

Naylor swerves from distancing himself (sort of) from the LoS types when speaking to media, to then embracing the Lost Causers and their various tropes at secesher meetings.

"Vermont Commons" has a new Spring issue out. In addition to all the usual sky-is-falling, doom and gloom prophecy that permeates its pages, there's an unexpected disclosure of an about-face by the Magnolia Vermonter.

It has to do with one of those symbols so important to Southern (or
Southron, as they prefer to say) seceshers - the singing of the song known as "Dixie".

The song "Dixie" is usually attributed to blackface ministrel show creator and impresario, Ohioan Dan Emmett, and is considered to be a racist view of antebellum Southern black culture.

Sung in an affected style meant to mimic how the white, racist ear hears blacks, the lyrics confirm that fact:
I wish I was in de land ob cotton,
Old times dar am not forgotten;
Look away! Look away! Look away! Dixie Land.
In Dixie Land whar I was born in,
Early on one frosty mornin,
Look away! Look away! Look away! Dixie Land.

"The remaining verses drift into the common minstrel idiom of a comical plantation scenario, "supposedly [depicting] the gayer side of life for slaves on Southern plantations:"

Old Missus marry "Will-de-weaber,"
Willium was a gay deceaber;
Look away! Look away! Look away! Dixie Land.
But when he put his arm around'er,
He smiled as fierce as a forty-pound'er,
Look away! Look away! Look away! Dixie Land.

Dar's buck-wheat cakes an 'Ingen' batter,
Makes you fat or a little fatter;
Look away! Look away! Look away! Dixie Land.
Den hoe it down an scratch your grabble,
To Dixie land I'm bound to trabble.
Look away! Look away! Look away! Dixie Land.

"In short, ["Dixie"] made the case, more strongly than any previous minstrel tune had, that slaves belonged in bondage."

Source (The 1916 rendition of "Dixie" may be heard here; click the play button when the window opens.)
Those who have flacked for Naylor in the past usually bring up an unconfirmed assertion by Naylor that he would refuse to stand for the playing of "Dixie" when he was at University of Mississippi, as though that assures that he couldn't possibly be racist. This bit of literary legerdemain from Bill Kauffman, author of "Bye Bye, Miss American Empire":
"Thomas Naylor, who as a young Mississippi liberal took pride in refusing to stand for “Dixie” when his beloved Ole Miss Rebels played, told me that he was so disarmed upon attending the 2006 League of the South convention that for the first time since before the civil rights movement he actually sang the words to that tuneful ode to the land where old times are not forgotten."

Sources [1] [2]
Finally, another fiction of the Naylor image goes "bye, bye."

While inadvertently lifting the veil on Naylor, Kauffman jumps the shark with his whitewashing, Michael Hill entry. Hill, leader of the admittedly white supremacist League of the South "call(s) antebellum slavery "God-ordained," oppos(es) racial intermarriage, and defend(s) segregation as a policy designed to protect the integrity of both races," served at a black college, notes Kauffman - which means what? Kaufmann failed to say in his written sleight of hand that,
"Michael Hill was always on oddity at (Stillman College), roaming the campus wearing a Confederate flag pin and waxing nostalgic to his mostly black students about the so-called "War Between the States."

"...In 1998, Hill finally left Stillman, which had been badly embarrassed by his efforts. ...(T)he (L)eague (of the South) grew quickly, as racist white Southerners sought the respectability of a group led by a professor..."

It's truly a toss up as to who is the unseemlier - the seceshers or their flacks.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

For the archive of the Free Vermont Framework listserv, click here.

Labels: , , , , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home