Kentucky Struggles With Identity

Here is another article that proceeds on the assumption that southern identity is a simple question about whether you perceive yourself as a “rebel” or “yankee”?

From the article:

“I have no other aspirations than to live what my heritage is,” said David “Butch” Chaltas, a schoolteacher [oh my, he's a teacher] in Appalachian Kentucky who portrays Gen. Robert E. Lee in Civil War re-enactments. “I feel very blessed to be a Southerner. With no animosity toward anybody, I just love our heritage.” Chaltas, commander of the Whitesburg chapter of Sons of Confederate Veterans, said people who live in the mountains of Kentucky are decidedly Southern and are proud of traits like friendliness toward neighbors and hospitality to visitors, which have been passed down through generations.  “It’s something that we cherish and something that we still live,” he said. “If we don’t live it, we’ve lost our identity.”

How is that you can take a state with as rich and complex a history as Kentucky and reduce the question down to and either/or proposition? Well, the answer is, you completely ignore your history! Observations such as the one above are not only silly but in the end reduce the history of the South down to roughly 5 years. Once again, the South is monolithic and its heritage is distinctly white. Perhaps it is time for a paradigm shift.

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