David, I agree this regional bigotry against Southern Americans must have heated up exponentially during the past 50 years. My father, who was born in 1923, grew up in rural California and he told me that he was taught the WBTS was based largely on economic factors. There was no finger pointing in his public school history classes.
I believe Shelby Foote would agree with you when he said that Southerners had let the KKK hijack some of our culture when they allowed them to mis-use the CBF (like they did more often with the U.S. flag). The corollary is that Southerners in our generation have not done a better job of defending our heritage ala the Sons of Confederate Veterans when they try to educate the news media or participate in lawsuits.
We cannot make bigots behave civally and I do not see any improvement in our situation unless we do a better job of educating our own people. Nothing is so demoralizing as to witness Southern leaders caving in to politcal pressure and getting no heat from the constituents. People just do not seem to value our heritage very much anymore.