From CSMonitor.com: Battle over the past rages on in an evolving South
Even the word "South," in some quarters, has become a slur - a convenient repository of national guilt over the exploitation of Africans in the Cotton Belt a century and a half ago. Beyond Confederate flags coming down from statehouses, more-mundane symbols are increasingly being questioned on the local level: in town halls, college campuses, and even cemetery committees. It's part of a deepening homogenization of Southern culture that's causing anger and resentment among many in a proud region with perhaps 65 million people who consider themselves Southerners. Some observers see a note of irony in the growing suppression of conservative Southern memorials at a time when old Confederate values like militarism, chivalry, gentility, and religiosity are gaining political prominence. It's a lesson, they say, in how a rebellious American region maintains its influence beneath pressure to rescind its mottoes and murals. "The shooting war is over, but ... we're engaged in a cultural war for the heart and soul of the South and for America, too," says William Lathem, spokesman for the Southern Heritage PAC in Atlanta.