In a follow-up to our piece on US southerners views on race, we talk to people about their racial miseducation
The first song Krista Hinman learned to play on the piano was Dixie, the de facto battle hymn of the Confederate States of America. She learned the minstrel-song-turned-slavery-anthem growing up in Southaven, Mississippi, a predominantly white suburb of Memphis, Tennessee.
Everything I ever did was white, Hinman, now 44 and a professional bartender, says on a southern-hot afternoon in the courtyard behind her apartment in Jackson, Mississippis majority-black capital city.
The Ku Klux Klan, the white gang that rose again to terrorize black residents during the civil rights movement, had mostly died down by the time of Hinmans childhood yet her neighbor in the 1970s had remained a member.
Was she racist herself?
Oh yeah, Hinman says. Born in 1974, she admits to regularly dropping the N-word and delighting in racist jokes with friends. I was all in. I believed every single bit of it all the heritage stuff.
She often regurgitated revisionist civil war tropes long embedded in southern textbooks: that secession wasnt over slavery; that the war was a glorious uprising against federal tyranny; that slaves were happy and adored their masters until the Yankees up north riled them up. She also defended the Confederate flag and monuments.