Interesting take on the whole confederate flag butthurt-ness thing. There’s certainly something to be said for a flag just being, well, a freaking flag. But given how many people have been shown rallying to the confederate flag for reasons of bigotry, hate, and other general asshole-ery, I think it’s also understandable that people have been reacting very poorly to it. Thanks to media narratives, it’s impossible to get the real truth about just how much a symbol of bigotry and hate the confederate flag has become–and that’s just the problem. We have no other angles to go on besides what we’re spoon-fed.
A quote comes to mind:
“You weren’t offended until some liberal told you to be.”
The confederate flag has been used by bigots. So has the American flag, the bible, and probably the Krispy Kreme hot donut sign. I can show you photos and footage of the Klan marching with the Stars and Stripes waving overhead. You don’t abolish the first amendment because someone abdicating with a symbol made you butthurt.
Beyond that fundamental and unchanging truth: For every racist bullethead who waved the rebel flag, there were literally tens of thousands of Southerners and Confederates— BLACK ONES INCLUDED— who wore it, waved it, and marched under it because it was a symbol of defiance against Northern aggression…a refusal to bend the knee to a Federal government that had ignored, derided, degraded, and exploited them, distorted the law to obstruct them, and then invaded them with guns and cannon because they had the “arrogance” to do what the Founding Fathers did and secede from a dissatisfactory government.
Those who halfway through the war began piping the slogan of “making all men free” never reflected on the irony that they were slaughtering thousands in order to force the survivors to remain under their authority against their free will. Strange how they could not seem to free the slaves without war– even though the majority of Southerners never owned slaves (interestingly, there were a larger percentage of freed blacks who were slaveowners than there were of whites) and even Jefferson Davis proposed offering total emancipation in exchange for a cessation of hostilities. (“We can either have slavery or we can have the Confederacy,” he said. “We cannot have both, for long.”) http://www.southernheritage411.com/truehistory.php?th=052
There was slavery, yes, and endemic racism— both North and South. Neither side is proud of this. But the North has successfully whitewashed most of the racism in its past, while the South, despite the valor of its people and the basic fairness of their cause (self-governance and independence), is remembered by the biased only for its sins.
Ignore the above or take it to heart, I do not care. What I care about is that I get this one concept across: WE DO NOT LIVE OR DIE ACCORDING TO WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK OF US, OR OUR SYMBOLS.
Unfortunately, a symbol is only effective when it means the same thing to both the person using the symbol and the person interpreting the symbol. For instance, quite a few Native American illustrative motifs use a pattern or symbol identical to the swastika; nonetheless, displaying it prominently, even in the context of a Native American design, is extremely unlikely to be interpreted as Native American cultural pride.
Despite the fact that the Confederacy stood drastically more for the powers of individual statehood than it ever did for the institution of slavery, modern use of the flag in contexts that anyone outside the Southeastern US have been familiar with are largely limited to either portrayals of Southerners as ignorant rednecks, or worse, non-Southerners seeking to identify with the bigotry with which the flag is commonly associated. Even those of us in the South and familiar with its history have seen too many instances of the latter, as well as those who can legitimately call themselves children of the culture of the Confederacy who cling to *all* of the values associated with it – not just the pleasant ones.
There is also the cultural problem of those within the South who, much more recently than the Civil War, have had the Confederate flag brandished at them as a symbol of the systemic prejudices and oppressions they were directly facing, and are particularly unlikely to care, since you were not privy to those experiences, what exactly the symbol means specifically to you.
The upshot of all which is that the person using the confederate flag has very little to do with deciding what it means; their audience is what makes all the difference, and the vast majority of the audiences have got ample reason to assume that someone bearing the Confederate flag is deliberately advertising themself to be a racist ass.
Well then it’s a good thing nobody needs your permission OR theirs to wave either flag then, isn’t it?
They may continue beating their breasts over old sins long since amended. Let them howl; after nearly half a century of capitulating, tending to their every grievance and showering them with restitutions, we are long deaf to their complaints, and bitterly sick of their distorted, perverted retelling of history. We will not tolerate their filthy attempt to erase our heritage.
I, and anyone else of Southern heritage, no longer give a glorious flying CRAP about their feelings.
We are no more ashamed of our Confederate ancestors than we are of our Revolutionary ones. Both the Stars and Stripes and the Confederate battle flag were carried by Rebels fighting for their freedom— not perfect men or perfect countries, both with sinners and sins of their own, but both far freer than any other nation in the world that existed before, and far better than the rest of the world deserved.
And to the argument that “the audience matters,” I retort that a failure to cure ignorance on YOUR part does not constitute a moral failing on mine. ESPECIALLY when the ones howling of how they are “offended” are deliberately obscuring, perverting and even erasing history!
But to ENLIGHTEN YOU FURTHER: http://www.southernheritage411.com/truehistory.shtml
Enlighten yourself…. or remain with a head stuffed full of the hay and rags that the school unions laughingly call an education. But know this, either way: Anyone who tries to erase our heritage will LEARN what those two rebel flags stand for— People who aim to misbehave.
“Sins long since amended”? You and I have lived in very different parts of the South then. When I was eighteen, my niece (six months older than me) was publicly physically threatened for dating outside her race. Just because you don’t personally participate in the culture doesn’t mean it isn’t still very real.
Also, please do not presume to speak for “anyone else of Southern heritage;” I don’t actually have any ancestors post-immigration who weren’t born and raised somewhere between Virginia and Texas.
And I can point you to a hundred cases of blacks threatening, beating and even actually KILLING whites simply for being white in the same general timeframe. There are more cases of black-on-white violence in America annually than white-on-black, and they’re growing all the time. I was one of those assault cases.
2010, 62,593 blacks were victims of white violence.
And 320,082 whites were victims of BLACK violence.
“The law cannot make a man love me, but it can keep him from lynching me.” Welcome to earth, population humanity. You’re not going to legislate away all his sins. There will always be racists somewhere, no matter how much the culture shifts, and you’re not going to make him go away by legislative action. But institutionalized racism– the only kind that human government is fit to deal with— is no more. The Jim Crow laws are gone. The predominant racial attitudes of half a century ago are LONG gone…. at least in America. Segregation is long gone and dead as an accepted institution; that which remains is outcast. The average person is uncomfortable even TYPING the word “nigger” today. Tell me again how racist our country still is.
Africa, on the other hand, is just chock full of racist SOBs. And slavers. All black. So’s a good portion of the rest of the world.
Punishing the South for attitudes it had 50, 100, 200 years ago– attitudes that were shared and were EVEN WORSE in the North– is hypocrisy.
As recently as 2014. The article is the TL;DR version of the report itself.
There is also an ongoing study whose results strongly suggest that systemic racism in the USA today goes far beyond overt discriminations; on a subconscious level, the average American today is more likely to assume that a black man has violent intent or is carrying a gun than a white man.
To be honest, we can go back and forth like this all day: phenomena such as confirmation bias and the fact that the rush for statistics in place in the US today ensure that the vast majority of published scientific studies have virtually no statistical safeguards in place ensure that whatever your viewpoint, no matter how spurious, there’s a study that backs you.
I’d also like to point out that the original comic that started this discussion basically states that my niece “probably deserved” to have someone threaten to drag her and her boyfriend out into the street and kill them, as the “gentle”man in question was wearing a Confederate flag ballcap. While the Daughters of the Confederacy down at Bleak House are real nice ladies, I kinda think people with experiences like my niece’s aren’t that unreasonable in associating the flag with the less pleasant side of its history.
Please also note that I’m not saying you don’t have the right to fly that flag. I’m just stating that in modern parlance, you don’t have the right to be surprised when people assume you’re a bigoted ass.
My information doesn’t come from “studies” (side note, if it isn’t a CLINICAL study, it’s basically a survey… lies, damned lies, statistics, you know the drill.) It comes from crime rates, mortality rates, documented historical records… cold objective facts. Not opinions.
As to your niece, she had the misfortune to meet a horrible man who made horrible threats. That you associate that with his BALL CAP rather than the man says mountains about you, but nothing at all about her, him, or the flag painted on his hat.
Am I surprised that people assume I’m a “bigoted ass?” No, because they believe that for dozens of other equally rational and legitimate reasons— such as the fact that I’m white, I’m a Christian, I vote conservative….
Oh yes, I am quite used to the PREJUDICE, IGNORANCE AND BIGOTRY of the Common Lesser EssJayDubya… a wretched thing whose females sport plumage in colors seen nowhere in nature, and whose shrill squawks of “I’m OFFENDED, TRIGGERED TRIGGERED TRIGGERED” can be heard throughout the land in response to literally every damned form of visual or auditory stimulus known to man.
See that strip on the front page? See those flags? Stupid people in droves are offended by all of ’em. And always for the same reasons; …. Because their TV set told them to be. They hate the Gadsden flag because the Tea Party uses it, and Mr. TV told them Tea Partiers are racist. They hate the Christian flag because Christians use it, and Mr. TV told them Christians are hatemongers and bigots. They hate the flag of Israel because Israel uses it, and Mr. TV told them that Israel was committing “genocide” just by existing (“genocide” apparently involves repeatedly extending an olive branch to people who gun down children and blow up buses). Oh yeah, plus they’re Jewish, and EVERYONE who watches Al Jazeera knows they’re running the world banks and they’re all pigs and monkeys who make matzoh balls with the blood of muslim children and steal their eyeballs (I wish I was making any of that up.) They SURE as hell hate the American Flag, because Mr. TV told them America is a bunch of fat, redneck gun-crazies who’ve ruined the world and are responsible for everything wrong in the world from war in the Mideast to bad weather.
After we have gone down all this list of howling ignorance and reeking bigotry, why should I give one puckered pan-fried rat’s butthole on a buttered bun what any of them, or anyone else, has to say about the Rebel Flag?
If they have no right to call the American flag a racist symbol— and they do NOT— then they can take their opinion of the REBEL BATTLE FLAG, stick it firmly in their fundament and proceed to rotate on it.
The opinions of the willfully ignorant do not change me, they only ANNOY me.
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