Recently, a discussion arose as to the status of those that were decedents of the “Dixian Diaspora”- specifically, are those that are of Dixian ancestry, yet were born in states like Michigan, Ohio, or California still Dixians? I believe the answer to this question is “yes” and would like to explain my position here.
First though, we need to have a very brief history lesson as to what I am talking about here. After the War, all the way up until the 1960’s, many Dixians left their homeland to seek opportunity elsewhere. Though the focus of historians has been on black migration, there was also Dixian migration as well, with Michigan, Ohio, Arizona, and California being the most popular destinations. In addition, some of our people left the United States entirely in the immediate years after the War, mostly going to Brazil and becoming the Confederados. When they moved within the United States, they even had their own ethnic neighborhoods, known as “Little Kentuckys” in the North and “Little Oklahomas” and “Little Arkansases” in California, though the sense of ethnic separatism was never as strong here as it was for the Irish or Italian neighborhoods around this same time. It was also common for those that left to eventually come back to Dixie after working in the North or West for a few years. These children of the diaspora though, I still believe can be rightfully called Dixians.
If we are to understand Dixian Nationalism as an ethno-nationalist movement, then that should include the diaspora as one’s genetics does not change. An Irishman in Dublin remains an Irishman in Boston and his children, assuming he marries an Irish woman, will remain Irish. And, so will a Dixian. If the child of two Dixian parents born in New Jersey, by virtue of his place of birth is now a Yankee, does that mean the child of two Yankees born in South Carolina is now a Dixian? Now, I am not calling for an ultra-strict definition of who is and who is not a “Dixian” and my ideal immigration policy would be far more restrictive than what we have now and would be heavily favored to those who would more easily assimilate. Though we are a more rooted society than the Yankees, thanks in large part to not receiving a large influx of immigrants after the War, our status as a semi-settler society cannot be fully denied. However, if we are to understand Dixian Nationalism as ethnic, then we should also recognize the diaspora.
But, more important than genetics is culture (hence, why I’m not a white nationalist), and this is where we see the strongest evidence for the inclusion of the diaspora. It is also where we can see a sharp distinction between those who leave now and those who left in the past. Those that leave now tend to be the liberals who dream of escaping the “deep institutional racism of the South.” But historically, that was not the case, rather it was people escaping a 100-year depression caused by conquest. Those that left Ireland did not do so because they hated Ireland, but rather to avoid starvation and so was the case of the Dixian migration to the North and West. As James N. Gregory showed in his book on the subject, The Southern Diaspora, the most conservative and traditionally minded voters in Ohio and other Northern states trace their ancestral roots back to Dixie. A similar trend can be seen in Indiana as well. And, in Brazil the ethnic Dixians still proudly wave the Confederate flag and wear Confederate uniforms to show their ethnic heritage.
But, perhaps the best example of this trend can be seen in California. For a generation, “California” has become shorthand for “rule by a hostile liberal elite” on the right, but it was not all that long ago the state was not only just Republican leaning, but the center of the right-wing populist revolt from the end of World War II until 1998. Remember, the state was the home of both Reagan and Nixon and the state went Republican in every election from 1952 until 1988, with the one exception of 1964. The Central Valley is today still the most conservative part of the state and it was largely settled during the 1930’s by Dixians, mostly from Oklahoma and Arkansas. So much so that they imported their music, making the Bakersfield sound an actual thing in country music.
Southern California is the clearest example of this trend, going all the way back to the War when the region, though at the time sparsely populated, was a hotbed for Confederate sympathy. But, the center of all of this was Orange County. The man who largely spearheaded the secession of Orange County from Los Angeles County, Henry Head, was a Dixian from Tennessee. And indeed, with this foundation of Dixians, the county became a stronghold for conservatism, something reinforced after World War II when conservative Dixians, as well as Midwesterners, flocked to the region in search of a middle-class paradise. And, Orange County behaved as you would expect, considering it was largely settled by Dixians. It was fiercely anti-tax and supported strong enforcement of immigration laws. It stood up for traditional moral values against Los Angeles. It even sent members of the John Birch Society to Sacramento and even Washington. Today, that Orange County is now a memory, thanks to them being overruled by liberal judges on the immigration issue. However, the history of the county points towards one truth- historically, Dixians took their politics with them when the left.
Finally, a country’s diaspora can be a boost to the politics of the native country. The long struggle of the Irish against British rule was largely made possible by the Irish diaspora giving them aid. And, in Italy in 1948, in the immediate years after Mussolini, it looked like a victory for the Communist Party was almost assured until a massive letter writing campaign from Italians in the United States, organized by the Catholic Church, was able to convince enough Italians not to vote for the Communist Party. Both of these events were made possible through strong links between the diaspora and the mother country.
Diasporian Dixians are still Dixians. If we are truly an ethnicity, we should recognize this, it worked for the Irish after all.
Oh, I'm a good old Rebel, now that's just what I am; For this "Fair Land of Freedom" I do not give a damn! I'm glad I fit against it, I only wish we'd won, And I don't want no pardon for anything I done.