Since the heyday of segregation, a University of Texas dormitory has proudly been named for an influential member of the Ku Klux Klan. In 2010, officials have only begun to get around to considering correcting the matter.
It's yet another reminder that we can't keep forcing Southerners to remain a part of an America that they're just not ready to believe in. We must let them be "South America," as it were.
I bear no ill will to the good men and women of the South, who have fought for our nation in numbers far disproportional to the American population.
If you love something, set it free -- and if it flaps wildly back to Klan-honoring or defiant celebrations of Confederate History Month, it was never yours.
If we let the South secede, it will no longer present a conundrum to GOP leaders who can't decide whether to bow to hard-right Southern whims or to the inexorable urbanization and minoritization of the larger US. The South is the one area that is most inclined to believe that the US president holds office illegitimately. Whites in the South are 12 percent more likely than whites in the rest of the country to join Tea Party movements claiming they've been held hostage to fascists.
Clearly this "union" just isn't working, so we should adjust. Let the new nation to wave its Confederate flag proudly and name its buildings after whatever bigots suit their fancy. For us Americans, we've freed the slaves, so our own duty to the citizens of that region has been discharged admirably.
A secession will require a gracious but firm foreign policy on the part of the "real" United States:
1. We will need to offer visas and asylum to minorities and pointy-headed liberals who feel threatened within the New Confederacy.
2. We will need to cede some nuclear weaponry to the New Confederacy. We must be firm in threatening massive retaliation. But we can be reasonably sure that the men and women with the know-how to deploy those weapons will leave Duke and Rice and immigrate to the U.S.
3. We may need to work with Mexico and Central American nations to keep New Confederacy imperialism in check.
4. DHS will need to screen Confederacy citizens carefully for ties to gun groups before issuing visas to allow them to visit Boston or San Francisco.
5. And we will certainly need to send Fox News packing from New York to some more suitable location.
Such a foreign policy might seem to be a difficult venture. But the other option, that the South would come into the 21st century willingly, is far more preposterous.