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. There is no way the South could have conquered the north. The film maker doesn’t know his stuff. Thats like Ireland invading Britain and Taking London.

    The film is about how much of the CSA is alive and well with evil white institutions.

    See my comments about cops, parole officers, prison guards AkA the department of Negro Peculiarities.

  2. There is no way the South could have conquered the north. The film maker doesn’t know his stuff. Thats like Ireland invading Britain and Taking London.

    My point wasn’t that the South could have conquered the North. I’ll leave that delusion to Leonidas Spratt. (“That the Republic of the South shall sustain her independance, there is little question. The form of our society is too pregnant of intellectual resources and military strength to be subdued, if, in its products, it did not hold the bonds of amity and peace upon all the leading nations of the world.”)

    To establish the satire, Mr. Willmott has to have the South win. How does he do it? By having Judah Benjamin successfully negotiate the entry of Britain and France into the war on the South’s side. Now, let’s see, has anyone here, at Occidental Dissent, recently remarked that the entry of those nations into the war on the side of the South would have reversed the historical outcome? Why, yes–at 2:07 pm, on January 24, in this very thread, someone posted the following:

    “If France and Britain had steamed their naval forces in to open up Confederate ports the Southerners would have been formidable and strong enough to force the North to the peace table.”

    That was you, John. Mr. Willmott knows the history inside out–the events, the attitudes. He’s exploited them all in his lampoon.

    Is it a boommer alert or a matter of blood always tells?

    Maybe, stonelifter, it’s a matter of recognizing an inspired piece–and of recognizing the talent of the man who created it. When a pro-white will have produced a film that lampoons the civil-rights movement and everything that has occurred since it as skillfully as Mr. Willmott has lampooned attitudes that are on display at this website and similar places virtually every day, then, maybe, the white race will have a chance of surviving. As Mary noted, above, Porter’s Kevlar joke is a start.

  3. PS I realize, John, that Leonidas Spratt was saying merely that the South was strong enough to retain its declared independence–not to conquer the North. I realize, too, that you were saying the same thing (in your remark that assistance to the South from Britain and France would have changed things). That doesn’t matter. Mr. Willmott merely takes things a little bit farther, to trigger his satire. He reverses everything: the cities of the South, not the North, are left in ruins; the way of life of the South, not the North, is reversed via Reconstruction. He doesn’t miss a thing–from the time of the Civil War and since. The triumphant Confederate States not only conquer the Western hemisphere; they later object to Hitler’s plan to purge Europe of non-whites, because they (the Confederate States) think it morally wrong to kill “livestock.” That is perfect.

    Check out the film’s fourth part, which is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MhrSQUtuEP8 At the 4:37 point mark, in that, we learn that “the Christian Reform Act of 1895 outlawed any religion not based on Christianity.” Over a photograph of nuns, the narration continues: “After much debate, it was decided the Catholic Church would be considered Christian ….”

    To be honest, I’m disserving the film by quoting these individual jokes. Virtually every moment of it includes some such effective element–and I haven’t even mentioned Mr. Willmott’s skillful mimicry of countless styles of film and television production.

  4. “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.”

    My point is that it’s particularly boomer/sexual revolutionary-like to create logical fallacies in order to cast collective guilt. It’s because you’ve failed to recognize principle in your own life and are racked with guilt yourself. You must assume everyone is guilty of the same level of guilt in order to feel better. It’s basically Chosenite psychology, but based on the belief that your own generation is chosen to bring truth to the world. Boomers are Jews, basically. Everyone who makes black genetics arguments must be guilty of wanting to kill six million blacks (or at least be incapable of recognizing black talent).

    I don’t think anyone here is going to say universally that there aren’t black people with talent, many very talented. You reveal a deeply flawed boomer psychology by saying otherwise. Y’all seriously need to repent.

  5. Mr. Wallace: In my previous post, when I described Mr. Willmott’s flipping of history in his film, I wrote “the way of life of the South, not the North, is reversed via Reconstruction.” Obviously, I meant to write “the way of life of the North, not the South.” If you’ll correct that for me and then delete the present comment, I’ll be appreciative.

  6. You reveal a deeply flawed boomer psychology by saying otherwise.

    I don’t think that’s a legitimate point, LandShark, but I’m not going to argue it.

  7. I haven’t yet been able to get a boomer to separate himself from his generation. It’s a part of their identity. Like separating a person from their Judaism.

    Final question: Are you a baby boomer? Are you now or were you ever a hippie? Did you ever embrace the “don’t trust anyone over 30” mantra? Did you go to Woodstock, have you or any of your friends ever owned a VW bus, and would we find shake stuck in the crease of any of the double albums in your record collection?

  8. The Southerners just wanted the North to back off.

    I suppose the film is Pointing out that certain aspects of the confederacy won though. The eventual outcome through a certain lense, was white supremacy via Jim Crow.

    However the South bore no ill will to the North. Some of it is funny but the scenario is absurd. Slavery was out as mechanization and mechanics improve.

  9. “After much debate, it was decided the Catholic Church would be considered Christian ….”

    Ha. Because commanders like Beauregard and Longstreet (who came home to the church after the war) fought for, even designed the battle flag for a cause that would have thrown the Christianity of Catholics into question. You’re propping your new pet negro up on a rickety pedastel, Bono, when he belongs on an auction block. Whether this is due to your blood, past drug experimentation or northern Catholic persecution complex is anyone’s guess.

  10. I suppose the film is Pointing out that certain aspects of the confederacy won though.

    John–the film is simply lampooning white supremacism. It’s not that complicated.

    LandShark —

    I was born in December 1953 and am thus a member of the baby-boom generation. No, I was not a hippie, did not embrace the over-30 mantra, did not go to Woodstock (or go to see the movie), and did not own–and had no friends that owned–a VW bus. Whether you would find “shake” stuck in the crease of any of the double albums in my record collection, I can’t say, because I’m not sure what “shake” is.

  11. John B, dress it up however you want. At bottom, your comments mark you as a niggerlover, even if you don’t know it; for it’s the defining trait of the niggerlover to rush to the niggers’ defense with some invariably illogical fallacy.

    If you could accept in your heart that these wretched ‘people’ are so fundamentally different that living around masses of the worthless pieces of shit (by itself, let alone gifting them political power over you) is the closest thing to hell on earth you wouldn’t bother with such charades.

    This isn’t the sort of language you want to speak out loud and in public because I’m sure we all know it never, ever functions like a call to arms — anything but that (or so it seems). It’s just something one knows to be true in one’s heart of hearts. And when you know that, you give up the charades and the white-knighting.

  12. PS Via Urban Dictionary, LandShark, I have just determined, as I suspected, that “shake” is marijuana crumbs. I don’t think you will find shake amid my old LPs, not even my ’70s-vintage Hank Williams’s Greatest Hits, a single playing of which makes clear the cultural decline represented by the work and persona of Mr. Williams’s son (who looks more like a hippie than I ever did).

  13. Thanks for the response, John. “Shake” is fines left over after one rolls a marijuana cigarette, or “doobie.” It is said that often when “heads” were sitting around listening to rock music on their “hifis” they would often dump a “dime bag” full of “weed” out in their double albums, to roll a “joint” (another name for marijuana cigarette). After the “joint” was complete, all the leftovers were left in the crease. This made it easier funnel the remains, or “shake” into the “bowl” of a “waterpipe,” “bong,” or other smoking apparatus.

    Boomers love throwing collective guilt around. I guess it infected even those not involved in hippie culture.

  14. Sorry John didn’t catch your second comment before I responded.

    You sound like the last of the famed Philadelphia boomer cowpokes. Get rid of that boomer baggage in your saddlebags and you might just make a decent warrior.

  15. If you could accept in your heart that these wretched ‘people’ are so fundamentally different

    I’ve made clear, Silver, that I think whites and blacks should not be living among each other. In the middle nineteenth century, there were white Americans to whom that was obvious; unfortunately, the slaveholders of the South were not among them.

  16. The inadvertently draws parallels to the modern nanny state.

    If you go into a modern criminology department they spend about 99% of their energy dancing around the venal criminality of the nigger.

    If you go into a planned parenthood you see that they are desperately attempting to flush away niggers.

    If you go to the orientation of for new faculty at a uni, they spend 2/3 of the time discussing how to handle Dshawn. The other 1/3 is about dealing with rampaging shooters. BRA is as much lampooned, inadvertently at least as white supremacy.
    It’s indeed complex.

  17. The Movie maker could have been subtle and integrate more of Aparthied in there.

    I also tend to think that the Nazis couldn’t have come into existence if the US was so unapologetically Pro Slave. Hitler was a German supremacist, who looked at places like the US in the 1920s in horror at the negrification ongoing. He’d have been with out a raison d’etre. There would have been no second reich to lose ww1. Probably no ww1 either.

  18. John, no, 2/3 of the orientation time at a university is spent on handling homosexual and transsexual issues, with just barely enough to cover race and gender issues and disfunctional white men rampaging shooters. The growing sexual revolution is victimizing all of us; it is our common enemy, and it was created mostly by whites.

  19. I speaking from person experience of faculty orientation.

    It really is about dealing with fish out of water blacks in a white institution. They feel lonely and discriminated against or something. The reality is they are slow.
    Then the rentacop gets to talk about Virginia Tech or what ever hysteria the press are onto that semester.

  20. Neither were the early colonists of the north

    I know that, stonelifter; I know, too, that northerners were involved in the slave trade–right up to and even throughout the Civil War, maybe, though I don’t really know the details. Those things were fading away. The Revolutionary War, I gather, broke up slaveholding in the North, as the British tried to use Northerners’ own slaves against them, militarily. That’s my rough sense, anyway; maybe you know more about that subject than I do. An effort to put the slave traders out of business was under way, I think; they were put out of business with little ado after the Civil War. Only in the South was there widespread slavery, along with widespread insistence on maintaining it.

    The Movie maker could have been subtle and integrate more of Aparthied in there.

    As I recall, the movie maker handled apartheid ingeniously, John. He used the English word-form “apartness,” for a policy that was enacted on the West Coast, to keep yellow workers separate from their white overlords. That’s the trick of making an alternative history engaging and, in the case of a satirical one, such as this one, amusing. You don’t parallel everything exactly; every once in a while, you throw in something that is suggestive of something that happened in actual history but doesn’t copy it. In this case, as I say, apartheid took place not in South Africa but in the U.S.A.–or the C.S.A. Another of the movie’s amusing quasi-parallels was the existence of a Kennedy-like Southern family– Fauntroy. Really good.

    I also tend to think that the Nazis couldn’t have come into existence if the US was so unapologetically Pro Slave.

    You can make all sorts of arguments like that, John. Either you go with the fun of the piece, or you don’t. I thought it was just great that one of the Fauntroys pulled America out of the Great Depression by reopening the African slave trade. It was great how one of the African leaders was shown addressing a crowd, via microphone, and expressing his pleasure at his country’s participation with America in the trade. That was a deft shot at the African leaders who cooperated with Europeans in history’s actual slave trade.

    The movie is filled with great touches. The modern-day slave-selling on a Home Shopping Network was great. The fact that the wounds of the Civil War had been balmed with sentimental fiction that treated the defeated North’s fight for abolition as noble, if misguided–a lost cause. Perfect.

  21. It fell apart after Lincoln was lamenting his interaction with blacks.

    That, John, is arguably a problem with the piece. Throughout it, the movie maker mars the satire with moments like that Lincoln one–heavy-handed. I forgive it because as soon as he returns to satire, his touch is sure.

    I’m still thinking the Fauntroys are supposed to be Kennedys, even though actual John Kennedy does show up; but maybe you’re right, i.e., that the move maker was thinking of the Roosevelts.

  22. You know those things and yet you trot out the yankee nonsense regarding slavery on the regular… blood always tells

  23. The film suffers from black narcissism. Like they could cure an economic depression!
    They cause almost every social pathology.

  24. “It was great how one of the African leaders was shown addressing a crowd, via microphone, and expressing his pleasure at his country’s participation with America in the trade.”

    Was it? I’d assume it was a critique of post colonial debt.

    “That was a deft shot at the African leaders who cooperated with Europeans in history’s actual slave trade.”

    Again this might be about immigration and illegals. However, the slave, once you get mechanized, what good is he? The script writer gets a lot wrong.

  25. However, the slave, once you get mechanized, what good is he? The script writer gets a lot wrong.

    Again, John, I’d say it’s not fair to argue what would actually have happened or not. The movie maker is explicating white supremacism. Via this alternative history, in which the South has won the Civil War, he creates an image of a world in which moral opposition to slavery is not dominant. He does it skillfully, amusingly.

    As for your remark that mechanization renders slavery unnecessary: that sort of thing has been said here, at Occidental Dissent–and elsewhere, too, no doubt–many times. I’ve never bought it. In fact, I don’t think it’s even said in good faith, not, at least, when it’s said by partisans of the old Southern cause. The subtext is: Slavery would have disappeared anyway–but you fanatical Yankees had to war on it, didn’t you?

    I’m always skeptical of an argument to the effect that something that was eliminated only with difficulty would have gone away, anyway.

  26. You know those things and yet you trot out the yankee nonsense regarding slavery on the regular

    I don’t think you were paying attention, stonelifter. I wasn’t talking about slavery. I was talking about Southerners’ lack of racism. I was saying there were whites in nineteenth-century America who thought blacks and whites should not be living among each other, but that the Southern slaveholders were not troubled by the races’ being among each other.

  27. Like they could cure an economic depression

    John–you’re an intelligent person, or so it seems to me, as I read your posts. Are you paying attention? The joke wasn’t that the blacks somehow cured the depression. The joke was that the slave trade was big business, which cured the depression, and that Fauntroy, in speaking proudly of his ancestor’s idea for it, was treating it as if it were mere commerce.

  28. Replay it and see how the film values the black. There is always a subtext.

    One thing about the film that makes me chuckle in a completely different way than a liberal reading is the understanding of what has happened to Detroit, Baltimore, Birmingham, Nawark etc. The black really does think he is worth his weight in gold, inspite of all the evidence.

  29. Replay it and see how the film values the black. There is always a subtext.

    I know that, John. The man asserts his pride in his own people. What would you expect? Yes, as I’ve said, a similar piece, lampooning the civil-rights movement and its consequences could be made. The question you should be asking is: why is such a piece not made? There are certainly racist white businessmen who have enough money to fund such a thing. There are certainly a great many whites who would be sympathetic to the view expressed in it. The simple fact is that all of those persons are powerless. Those businessmen are well aware of the financial consequences they’d face if they were to fund such a film–so they don’t fund it. They go to their big offices, in their shiny office buildings, do their worthless work, play their worthless rounds of golf on the weekend, and die.

  30. That’s the first bit of sense out of you for months Mr B.

    Perhaps the method of expression was/is through patriotard films like Braveheart, The Patriot, Patriot Games, The Sum of All Fears.

    Or its historically based like Zulu. How the producers got away with Zulu, even in the 60s is a miracle all its own.

  31. It was eliminated in the British empire with very little conflict. It was supressed as a trade by a coal fired navy.

  32. The “method of expression” is open to anyone with a video camera, maybe even John B. Ed Burns made Newlyweds for $9,000 and the classic Brothers McMullen for $23,000.

    Unless you have a script and it is good and you’ve been denied funding from racist businessmen that have read it, shut the heck up John B.

  33. PGRT – Whites are NOT responsible for the promotion and normalization of sexual deviancy. That development rests pretty exclusively with your Idols, the Jews.

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