Trouble is brewing in the Crescent City. New Orleans Saints and New Orleans Pelicans owner Tom Benson may be bringing Dixie Beer back to the Big Easy after buying the 110-year-old iconic brand, but a local activist group is saying “not in my backyard.”
Not long after the removal of the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee at Lee Circle and three other monuments related to the Confederacy, Not In My Backyard NOLA, a lesser-known grassroots group, is now calling for the city to prohibit the brewery from once again taking root in New Orleans.
“I thought we were past all this nonsense,” Not In My Backyard NOLA founder Dick Palms said. “We have enough local breweries. First, we had NOLA Brewing, and then Urban South, Port Orleans, Second Line Brewing, and all. It’s like there’s a new brewery every day and we really need to diversify our economy so it’s not just tourism and booze.”
Realizing he needed to give his protest a deeper meaning to get national attention, Palms says his group will push to have Mr. Benson’s latest investment banned from building its new base of operations in New Orleans because it’s racist.
“Well… I’m told the term ‘Dixie’ has an inherently negative connotation to it that instantly brings a person back to a time when human rights only were ascribed to white American males. And that is totally unacceptable. We demand that no one support this incredibly racist beer.”
Dixie drinkers say the iconic brand is a part of the city’s heritage and has their full support as the one-time local favorite, founded in New Orleans in 1907, comes home.
“My Pappy drank Dixie. My Grand Pappy drank Dixie. I drink Dixie — well, whenever I can find it but I’m never really looking specifically for it because I totally forgot it was still being made,” said self-proclaimed longtime supporter Craig Zells. “And, God help me, my grandchildren’s grandchildren will drink Dixie whether they like it or not.”
According to Dictionary.com, the term ‘Dixie’ represents the southern states of the United States, especially those that were formerly part of the Confederacy.
“If we are serious about taking down these white-supremacist icons, then we need to take them all down, including a drink that suppresses both feelings and minorities,” Palms said. “Why not rename it something like D-Beers? Oh, the diamond company, that’s right. What about NOLA Brewing? Shit, nevermind. N.O. Beer? Eh, I can do better. Let me get back to you at the next protest.”
When reached for comment, Dixie Beer representative Tom Cabin said:
“Dixie Beer is neither racist nor disparaging. It never has been and never will be. It’s just frickin’ good. Well, it will be once we use the original recipe again.”
Cabin said according to Wikipedia, Benson has plans of returning the brewing operation to New Orleans within two years and the protests will not disrupt the company’s timeline.
“Maybe somewhere along the line they heard that Dixie Beer goes down easy, but I assure you, that will never, ever be the case. We’re pushing forward to make a once great beer great again.”