To the Editor:
I was disappointed that your July 2 cartoon pictured Miss Dixie, gazing at the Confederate flag, disrespectfully with her hoop skirt billowing up to show her undergarments. This was an unnecessary attack on a lady; she could have been portrayed in a more dignified posture. Or was this an attempt to put humor into the drawing? Of the adolescent variety if that. How does this drawing prove modern cultural superiority to that of the 19th century South?
The gentleman doffing his hat in Rhett Butler style says “Pine away all you want, my dear … Frankly, I’m moving on!” His bags are labelled “21st century South.”
How disappointing that your cartoonist seems not to recognize that Dixie has indeed moved on. After the devastation of the War, it took more than 100 years to recover, but some decades ago, the South’s economy began booming with prestigious companies from Europe and Japan choosing to locate there. Huntsville, Ala., is rocket city. Yankees have decamped in droves to settle in the South, including Alexandria, whose hospitality sets the gold standard. In the 20th century, the textile and shoe industries of the Northeast became defunct, and the Rust Belt became a sad place.
Is a drawing that depicts the coarsening of our culture in the guise of humor and misrepresentation of 20th and 21st century facts funny?
I was greatly disappointed that your Independence Day issue did not even mention our country’s birthday and the Declaration of Independence or any honor due to the people who won our freedom. This in George Washington’s hometown! We need to remember its significance at least annually — and doing so does not mean we are not fully engaged in 21st century matters. Indeed our revolution ushered in the Age of Revolution in which people have had to fight for freedom, and that struggle which continues on all the major continents today is reported daily in the news. However, the Gazette's offering for the occasion is an attempt to ridicule the Southern War for Independence.
Even at Christ Church, George Washington’s parish, the publicity, confirmed by a staff member there, noted that celebrants would observe July 4 by reading from the Constitution (adopted Sept. 17, 1787) – but not the July 4, 1776, Declaration. Readings from other 19th century and 20th century figures would also be included. O dear. I hope for better next year.
Ellen Latane Tabb