Review: The South and America Since World War II

James C. Cobb's, The South and America Since World War II
James C. Cobb’s, “The South and America Since World War II”

Dixie

If you are a Southern conservative who wants to learn more about the origins of the Sunbelt South, don’t waste your time on James C. Cobb’s The South and America Since World War II.

This book is a partisan rant written by an aggrieved White Democrat who is obviously writing for a more sympathetic Northern audience. The liberal bias of the author and his narrow selection of topics which are used to frame the history of the South since World War II will constantly annoy Southern readers.

Most of James C. Cobb’s readers will already know that Emmett Till was murdered in Mississippi in 1955. The real story of the Till murder though was less “the savagery of some white southerners racial passions” than the fact that lynching was almost non-existent in the South by the 1950s.

It is precisely this kind of maddening selection bias and tendency to generalize from highly unrepresentative samples which obscures the true history of the South since World War II underneath a fog of liberal newsreels and soundbytes from the 1960s. The SPLC can only come up with 13 civil rights martyrs in Alabama over a period of 13 years. There were 75 mostly black homicides in Birmingham alone in 2012.

For every Selma or Birmingham there were thousands of Southern cities, small towns, public schools, and universities that were integrated without any violence whatsoever because MLK and his entourage didn’t show up there to perform stunts on television for the benefit of CBS News.

The story of the realignment of the “Solid South” from the Democrats to the Republicans is also much more complex than the myth that it was simply a backlash against the Civil Rights Movement. Most Southern segregationists like Gov. George Wallace and Sen. Richard Russell stuck with the Democratic Party after the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The South didn’t tilt to the GOP in Congress until the 1990s or in most of the state legislatures until the 2000s.

LBJ defeated Barry Goldwater in 1964 with the support of most of the Southern states. Jimmy Carter won every Southern state but Virginia and Oklahoma in 1976. Reagan’s landslides were national in scope. Bill Clinton won Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia and Georgia in 1992. Clinton lost Georgia but carried Florida in 1996. Gore was competitive in Tennessee in 2000.

There are exasperating episodes in this book that are dealt with at length like the controversy surrounding the “South Carolina Is Gay” campaign or whether Montgomery County High School in south Georgia is holding a segregated prom which are so unrepresentative of daily life in the modern South that the reader just wants to toss this book into the garbage.

You can’t read The South and America Since World War II without getting the sense that blacks, women, gays and other Democratic leaning constituencies along with conforming to the mores of the Northeastern liberal establishment are the measure of all things. This comes across clearly in the chapter “A Favorable Business Climate” which exaggerates the environmental damage caused by industrial development in the Sunbelt South.

The left leaning bias in this book gets so bad that Cobb even gives credence to paranoid conspiracy theories that the levées in New Orleans were blown up after Katrina to rid the city of black people. He seems furious that state spending on food stamps and welfare are significantly below the national average in Mississippi. Supposedly, this is part of a plot to encourage blacks to move out of state.

After putting this book down, I was left wondering why topics like the decline of Birmingham since 1979 or the violent crime epidemic in New Orleans and Memphis or the failure of Head Start and integrated schools to close the racial gap in test scores wasn’t dealt with at greater length, as opposed to, say, George Allen’s “macaca” comment or Harold Ford, Jr.’s heartbreaking loss to Bob Corker in Tennessee.

Then I remembered it is up to people like us to do the job that James C. Cobb won’t do. You don’t become your “generation’s leading interpreter of the South” in Black Run America by violating the dominant culture’s racial etiquette. Instead, you call Fannie Lou Hamer “a warrior for change” and the most “vital and genuinely passionate voice for racial justice in the post-World War II South.”

Note: The argument that the South is perfectly willing to accept farm subsidies, transportation funds, and military spending while condemning the “big government” that lifted the region out of poverty has merit.

I also agree that the Southern “right-to-work” states subsidize multinational corporations in order to promote industrial development. It is too bad that this book lacked the more objective tone of The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture: Agriculture & Industry.

About Hunter Wallace 9891 Articles
Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Occidental Dissent

50 Comments

  1. It is called Delaware…Pennsylvannia…of course how long before its called MLK or Malcolm State is anyone’s guess.

  2. Turn of 20th century. There was nothing left to conquer. World resource partition amongst North America and Europe competition became fierce. by 1915 market crash, 1930s depression wars between westernscountries is precisely why were in a fine mess. Meanwhile Chinese bunny keeps going, and going and going.

  3. China is a charnel house. Was the depression the result of “nothing left to conquer” though?

    It’s an interesting if contentious point. Boom and bust existed long before the 1930s. The Napoleonic War was just as devastating as ww2.

    What shifted IMHO was the ideological fanaticism of the westerner. From flogging niggers to flogging each other for thoughtcrime.

  4. “Was the depression the result of “nothing left to conquer”

    Russia,England,Germany, France were depleted of ww1,ww2. Eliminate the competition U.S was the chief beneficiary and world power.

  5. For every Selma or Birmingham there were thousands of Southern cities, small towns, public schools, and universities that were integrated without any violence whatsoever because MLK and his entourage didn’t show up there to perform stunts on television for the benefit of CBS News.

    In a cheap rhetorical trick Obama propped up the old silverback as “a King” in the inauguration.

    ….and Stonewall; just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone; to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth.

    I don’t think it is possible to dethrone MLK in BRA. It has a statue at everlovin’ Westminster Abbey.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/mbell1975/5861764170/

    His legacy is “inextricably bound” with BRA and that’s probably for the best.

    Maybe it’s for the best.

  6. BRB perhaps. It’s not in blackface yet. A black Mayor of London would be a calamity.

    Impending Black Run Britain might be the best summation.

  7. Like I said its a new religion being formed.

    They have an exilic narrative, prophets, judges, warriors, presidents.
    They even have creation myths. The middle passage. When you step back far enough you see that challenging it is as dangerous as challenging the papacy as a heretical Protestant.

  8. John wrote: “Wasn’t the Swedish colony mainly in Modern Penn? Specifically Philly?”

    No its centre was in what is now Delaware, at Christina, although it stretched along both sides of the Delaware Bay to just north of what is now Philadelphia. It was conquered by the Dutch taking advantage of Swedish preoccupation with their Baltic war, and then a few years later by the British in the widespread Anglo-Dutch war. Both the Dutch and British allowed them to keep their colonial government somewhat intact. The Swedish planters imported experienced Finnish farmers, and some Germans, and African slaves, to grow their tobacco and other crops. The Swedes struggled against the Dutch for control of the African slave trade. http://www.colonialnewsweden.org/anthony7-10.php

    The descendents I knew in Delaware were still farming the same land, until it was developed recently, and they certainly look Swedish.

  9. It is an excellent climate and soil situation for all kinds of agriculture. 200 days or more of frost free growing season, more than Lancaster, and soils are nearly as fertile. So sad that most of the land is overpopulated and developed and lost now.

  10. When Fabius conquered Tarentum he was asked what should be done with the captured idols. He asked of what sort they were and his secretary said they are numerous, most brandishing weaponry.

    “Oh.? Let us leave with the Tarentines their angry gods.”

    Rabbi Shmuley Boteach says MLK’s sins are a good thing.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rabbi-shmuley-boteach/a-perfect-jackie-kennedy-_b_962334.html


    It is not surprising, therefore, that she (Jacqueline Kennedy) denigrated the great civil rights leader as a fraud because by the standards of godlike perfection he was far from perfect.

    I have long lamented the fact that the Christian emphasis of perfection has won out over the Jewish insistence on struggle. The main difference between the two faiths in general and the Hebrew Bible versus the New Testament in particular is that Christians define righteousness through perfection while Judaism defines it through struggle.

    . . .

    Had Martin Luther King been perfect it would have been predictable that he stand up to the murderous taunts of the Klan and the vicious attack dogs of Bull Connor. But now that we know that he was at times weak, his achievements as a man who dismantled the monstrous injustice of segregation becomes all the more wondrous.

    These faggot-Jews and heretical Negro-worshippers love their idols. Let them keep their angry black man gods.

  11. The Mayfly Colony: Sweden In The New World.
    Or
    Here today gone tomorrow! Thankyou Dutchmen.

    I’m pretty sure that there’s a great deal of overlap with Philly. Old Swede’s Church or something.

  12. It’s funny how Southern accents are “good” if the speaker’s black.

    It’s funny how everything southern is good if it’s in a nigger, and bad if it’s in a white. No need for examples, just watch anything on TV dealing with either.

  13. “They have an exilic narrative, prophets, judges, warriors, presidents.
    They even have creation myths. The middle passage. When you step back far enough you see that challenging it is as dangerous as challenging the papacy as a heretical Protestant.”

    That was the whole point to begin with. Not to free people, but to get them enslaved to something entirely different.

  14. The last bulwark to stand before the revolution was complete occurred in the 60s. Before that, there was still a remnant of recognition of immutable truth. Now all truth is subject to politicization, as Cobb and his good buddy “Rev” Hall illustrate. That’s what sexual revolution does. The final truths of the people become relative.

    Don’t trust anyone over 50.

  15. The problem for MLK wasnt so much kids not playing with Kids.

    It was the lack of black men inseminating white women. That was the fever dream.

  16. My son reported today on his school’s continuing week-long genuflection to and hagiographies of America’s OziKingdias.

    He told me they watched a film that presumed to depict an America if King had never lived. I reclined in anticipation of a warm tale describing livable efficient cities where whites could walk at night without Kevlar.

    Well no.

    Instead it showed an apocalyptic World War Z environment with red skies and smoldering ruins where white thugs flailed meek, submissive blacks who pleaded for mercy in the Queen’s English. This is what our children are fed…and we pay the bill.

  17. Instead it showed an apocalyptic World War Z environment with red skies and smoldering ruins where white thugs flailed meek, submissive blacks who pleaded for mercy in the Queen’s English.

    Do you know the film’s name? If not, and if you think your son can find out the name, I’d love to know.

  18. John, he couldn’t remember. Though after deeper questioning he did say that the non-king world wasn’t literally apocalyptic but gloomy, red skies, ruined buildings, and submissive blacks, women, and mexicans…all lorded over by hostile, fat, old white men.

    I’m unaware of another society in history that inculcated self-disdain into its young. I doubt others will be eager to repeat our folly.

  19. Thanks for checking with your son, Porter. John–thanks for the name of the film and for the links. The Wikipedia article about the film is here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C.S.A.:_The_Confederate_States_of_America

    With some quick Googling, I was able to find images of–and an interview with–the writer-director, Kevin Willmott. He’s a black guy from Kansas; born in 1959. The Wikipedia entry about the film contains a link to the Wikipedia entry about him.

    Think I’ll make a cup of coffee and watch the piece right now.

  20. I guess the in-link punctuation is throwing it off. If you’re interested, you can just copy and paste.

  21. I heard a preview in Comcast OnDemand just now for the movie, Milk. It was about “all men are created equal…” it struck me as similar to an Obamaism.

    I googled: “all men are created equal” + milk

    To replicate the quote here to mock how Obama sounded like Harvey Milk……….

    GOOGLE BROUGHT UP OBAMA’S TWITTER.

    “All men are created equal. No matter how hard they try, they can never erase those words. That is what America is about.”—Harvey Milk

    https://twitter.com/BarackObama/status/205089813114789888

  22. I’m only halfway through part 3 of this film’s nine parts (as it’s posted at YouTube). It is really good. Mr. Willmott, the writer-director, really knows the history–really has a gut feel for it. The early segment, in which a 1950s white schoolteacher is telling a white schoolboy that the South’s great cotton-based wealth allowed it to triumph over the industrial North seems like one of Mr. Wallace’s posts, here at Occidental Dissent, come to wish-fulfilled life. The sentiments of the diehard Yankees who are vexed by the Reconstruction that turns the north into a slave society are just right. There’s another moment–I can’t recall what it was–in which the narration sounds like something right out of Leonidas Spratt. Any white man who is tempted to throw the word nigger around and who is inclined to prattle about racial IQ statistics should view this film and observe what has been produced by a talented, imaginative black man who grew up in a small town in middle-of-nowhere Kansas.

  23. He told me they watched a film that presumed to depict an America if King had never lived. I reclined in anticipation of a warm tale describing livable efficient cities where whites could walk at night without Kevlar.

    lol Porter, you never miss a beat 🙂

  24. “Any white man who is tempted to throw the word nigger around and who is inclined to prattle about racial IQ statistics should view this film and observe what has been produced by a talented, imaginative black man who grew up in a small town in middle-of-nowhere Kansas.”

    BOOMER ALERT. BOOMER ALERT.

    Didn’t realize who you were until just now, Bona.

  25. From the film’s part 4, at about the 8:50 mark:

    “With Reconstruction complete, the CSA, inspired by the empires of Britain and France, were anxious to embark on a journey, to become the most powerful empire in the world.”

    Notice the deft use of the plural verb.

Comments are closed.