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Let’s get something straight.

Old Bill, yours truly, is deliberately not capitalizing “confederate” (aside from the title), as a proud Southerner. There’s plenty to be proud of down here, with NASCAR leaping up in priority lately. The confederacy is not one of those things.

I’ve been noticing those “2020 Bingo Card” or “Apocalypse Bingo Card” memes going around, but I don’t think anyone had a spot for “NASCAR bans the confederate flag.”

I had my money on Yellowstone exploding next, but hey, it’s only mid-June, am I right?

This old Southerner needs a drink…

I mean, honestly, I’d expect to crack open a contemporary fiction novel where NASCAR bans the confederate flag, but to have it actually happen in reality? Don’t get me wrong, it’s a pleasant surprise. I just figured the literal events of Revelations were more likely at this point. (Again, it is only June.)

Folks around here get all puffed up about their precious confederacy. I used to be one of those folks, until someone took the time to patiently tell me a thing or two. For starters, it lasted what? Five years? Most of my dogs have lived longer than that. I don’t want to spend my words on that part of history right now.

You know what I am proud of?

Our food. You ever make your way down to New Orleans, make sure you budget a good chunk of change for the food. And that’s just one city, mind. We’ve got good eating all over, and that includes our Mexican restaurants.

Then you got our accents. Northern friends tell me they adore the sound of all sorts of Southern accents; makes them feel comfy, like a warm hug. Can’t argue with them there. I never much liked the other ones myself. Most of them are just too speedy. Take a breath, son. Goodness.

I am proud of my neighbors of color and all the love they have shown me over the years. I am proud of NASCAR for taking action to make my neighbors feel welcome and safe at their events.

Hell, if it weren’t for the damn coronavirus, I’d be inviting all my neighbors over for a cookout and NASCAR watch party for the next big race.

It has been one HELLUVA year, folks, but it hasn’t been all bad. You just listen to Old Bill and be good to one another.

Disclaimer: Old Bill is a fictional character.

Ariel Cross

Ariel Cross is a fantasy author and blogger with a love for representation and subversion. To them, happiness is a warm glass of mead on a cold day.

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