Tuesday, March 30, 2010

And I’m from the Central Québec Liberal Alliance, so where’re my protections?

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From the files of the “gotta-see-it-to-believe-it”, get this: the Southern American nationalist crowd is vying to establish its own national identification as “Confederate Southern Americans” on the 2010 Census in order to qualify for national origin protection under the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Why? Because they feel they’re being discriminated against. Seriously.

Federal law makes it illegal to discriminate because of a person's birthplace, ancestry, culture or language. The South North Carolina-based Southern Legal Resource Center believes that people with ancestors who were citizens of the Confederate States of America should be entitled to ethnic identity and protection since the country no longer exists.

Question 9 of the census form asks respondents to identify their race and lists White, Black/African American/Negro, American Indian, Native Alaskan, Japanese and Korean as options, among others. But it also leaves a box with 19 blank spaces for anyone who wants to write in another race not listed.

"Fill in 'Confed Southern Am.' ... This will put your Confederate nationality on the record. It's just that simple," SLRC Chief Trial Counsel Kirk D. Lyons says in a video posted on YouTube (see above) and Facebook.

Lyons continues: "We can start the process to give the southern community here in America a voice again, so that our concerns will be heard, and so that we will stop being harassed and persecuted because we are proud of our southern and Confederate ancestry." The group has defended teachers and other activists who have been fired or disciplined in other ways for refusing to remove the Confederate flag from classrooms and other public places.

This is amusing and absurd on a number of levels. First and foremost, you can’t just create a national identity (ie. a country of origin) out of thin air, or simply by writing it down on the census form. Anyone could just write that they were from Mars if they liked, and I think someone in the government may look twice and object to you using a fictional national origin. Primo, the Confederation was never a country in itself, but a rebellious group of 11 pro-slavery states that tried (and failed) to secede from the US, and secundo, even if one could twist the definition of “country” so that these ass-backwards states could be called such, the Confederation ended in 1865 – nearly 150 years ago. The idea that such a thing as “Confederate South Americans” can be used as a national identity is preposterous.

But the most amusing part in this is that the reason they want to be known as “Confederate Southern Americans” is to apply for anti-discriminatory protections to combat against supposed anti-Southern-American discrimination, or something. I’ll tell you what, so-called “Confederates”: the day that you’re fired for having Confederate ancestors, or for hailing from the South of the US, or for your (admittedly fashionable) accent, as opposed to, say, hanging the flag of a racist, pro-slavery, anti-democratic and secessionist disbanded pseudo-government in public areas where such a flag absolutely does not belong, or for your known propensity for being bigoted, discriminatory, bible-thumping, anti-scientific scoundrels … then maybe we can talk about you needing some special protections.

Though, “national origin” would still be a dumbass excuse either way. You’re regular Americans. Get used to it.

(via Dispatches From the Culture Wars)