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U.S. of South still a good idea?
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An Atlanta Journal-Constitution survey has uncovered the rather astounding fact that one in five lifelong Southerners still thinks the South should be its own nation.

This is even more astounding: The poll also indicated 27 percent of black Southerners "lean toward Southern independence."

That's a lot of people. That's a lot more "Fergit, hell!" bumper stickers than I would have thought.

"You would think the idea would have died by now but it hasn't," the papers quoted Emory Thomas, a Civil War historian at the University of Georgia.

I'll say. It's been 130 years since the Civil War. It's been 60 years since "Gone with the Wind" debuted in Atlanta.

What could all this mean? As far as the 27 percent of black Southerners who favor independence, the Rev. Joseph Lowery of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference said he didn't think blacks understood the question.

"I can't see anybody seeing an advantage to the United States of the Confederacy," he went on.

But maybe they can.

I don't think you would find many white Southerners and certainly no black Southerners who would want to return to a slave state, but perhaps this has to do with something else.

Many of us Southerners might think we could simply do a lot better on our own if we didn't have Washington and New York and the Eastern corridor of arrogance and eggheadedness with which to deal.

The rest of the North I don't really worry about. We probably even would let Minnesota into the new confederacy if it weren't so cold.

But what has Washington ever done for us in the South besides take our money, close our military bases, use us for a dump and foul up our schools? If we were the Unites States of the South, we wouldn't have to deal with Bill and Hillary anymore, either, and I still don't consider them Southern even if they are from Arkansas.

They both went to Yale and couldn't identify a razorback hog if it walked into the White House.

And New York? Why do we need to be in the same country with New York?

They think we're still one big pellagra belt and we're not even sure New York could still qualify as an American city. Try to find a cabdriver who speaks English or a dope dealer who can tell you the name of one co-signer of the Declaration of Independence in New York. The more I think of this concept, the more I like it.

There would be immediate problems, of course. What to do about South Florida would be one. It's about as Southern as wearing black socks with Bermuda shorts and sandals. And could the Yankees already living there pass citizenship tests? Would they stop wearing black socks with Bermuda shorts and sandals? But at least we could tighten the immigration laws and keep a lot more out. Yankees aren't bad people, but you have to spend a lot of time dressing them correctly and explaining we never use "you all" in the singular.

This has some exciting possibilities, like putting the new capital in Little Rock just for spite.

Lewis Grizzard was a syndicated columnist, who took pride in his Southern roots and often wrote about them. This column is part of a collection of his work.