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Old 07-12-2018, 12:18 PM
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Default Outrage after town plays Confederate anthem at Fourth of July event


Outrage after town plays Confederate anthem at Fourth of July event
By Yaron Steinbuch
July 11, 2018 | 4:10pm | Updated

A tone-deaf Rockland County town played “Dixie” — the de facto national anthem of the Confederacy — at a Fourth of July celebration, according to a report.

The song, which originated during the days of blackface minstrels and depicted slavery in a positive light, was played July 2 at Nanuet High School in Clarkstown along with Lee Greenwood patriotic numbers, the Journal News/lohud.com reported.

“It was not deliberately picked,” Town Supervisor George Hoehmann told the news outlet. “It was selected by a Parks and Recreation Department employee who was unaware of its racial and historical context.”

Hoehmann said he ordered the department “to make sure songs are reviewed so this never happens again at town-sponsored events.”

The other pieces featured at the event included “The Star-Spangled Banner,” “God Bless America,” “America the Beautiful” and “This Land Is Your Land.”

One attendee, sheboon Valerie Mathews of Upper Nyack, said she was horrified when she heard the opening strains of “Dixie” — “I wish I was in the Land of Cotton.”

“I couldn’t believe I was hearing this song. In 2018? In my town in suburban New York?” she said.

“As the song continued, I became mortified,” she said. “As an African-American, ‘Dixie’ is hardly a song that resonates patriotism. It celebrates one of the most heinous eras in our American history — when African-Americans were enslaved.” (STFU, nigger!)

During the civil rights movement in the 1960s, “Dixie” reflected white Southerners’ resistance to integration. Battles over Confederate monuments and symbols have roiled the South recently.

Hoehmann said several attempts have been made to connect with Mathews, but she has not responded.

“It’s unfortunate we had that one whiney negative nigger comment,” he said. “Otherwise the event was largely well-received. But, in an abundance of caution, we’ll make sure everything is reviewed because we don’t want to offend anyone.”
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