Here we are at the beginning of 2011, which is the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War. Already South Carolina has celebrated its secession, newly refurbished by the current Tea Party movement which tells us was then and is now all about freedom in the form state's rights and opposing federal oppression. Slavery was just a footnote.
Proving to me that the eloquent southern writer William Faulker was right when he supposedly wrote, "The past is never dead, it's not even past." After 150 years we are where we were in 1860, divided over race and rights.
I used to wonder how people in Northern Ireland can fight over battles fought four hundred years ago, but now I see that we too, here in the land of second chances, can be as captive to our past as anyone else.
Thank goodness for Paul Robeson , though. Ran into him this morning in a showing of "Show Boat," the Kern and Hammerstein show that gave us a song that reminds us of our human foibles and folly. Wisdom at least consoles us that our follies are as reliable as the mighty Mississippi.