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Sunday, June 21, 2015

What to do about the Confederate flag?

The Dylann Roof shooting rampage has engendered much discussion of the Confederate flag. I consider that flag to be the symbol of an odious cause: The Confederacy was, in many ways, the first attempt at a fascist state. But a ban is not the answer. It would be better to change hearts without changing the law.

A Detroit Free Press writer suggests a more effective course of action: Burning the stars-and-bars. Just as the First Amendment gives racists have a right to display this symbol of oppression, anti-racists have a right to express themselves with a match. If the local fire department raises safety concerns, consider urinating on the flag, or displaying contempt in some similar fashion.

We can make our point without involving the government.
I just saw a picture of some black people burning that is apparently the Confederate Navy Jack, officially, rather than the stars ans bars. Perhaps the same term can also be used, I'm not au fait on these matters.
A little background may help here. A bill was enacted in 1961 to fly the Confederate Jack on the dome of the South Carolina Statehouse under the US and SC flags. The motivation was to show an upraised middle finger to the growing civil rights movement.

Under pressure, a "compromise" bill was enacted in 2000 to remove the Jack from the dome, but as a sop to "culture", the Battle Flag of Virginia was erected on a flagpole in front of the Confederate Soldier's memorial in front of the Statehouse, where it remains as a reminder of South Carolina's shameful heritage. Nonetheless, white culture warriors love to remind everyone that some black legislators "voted to put the flag there."
You say, "the First Amendment gives racists have a right to display this symbol of oppression".

But consider this: The flag is actually a TOOL of oppression. Racists can no longer post signs saying "Whites Only". They can no longer use the n-word. But they CAN hang/fly/glue this flag on their homes, businesses, cars - claiming it to be merely a celebration of Southern Heritage. That's bull. The flag means the SAME THING as those words the racists can no longer use.

The Confederate flag is a code word for "N____, you are not welcome here, and your safety is not guaranteed if you stick around."

That is what it is really intended to mean.
Worth a read:
"Why Is the Flag Still There?"

Michael, anyone can use the word "nigger" privately. (That is the word you were looking for. We are not children here, and we do not need euphemisms even when referring to the worst words in the language. My personal rule is that I would never use that word to refer to a human being, but when referring to the use of a word AS a word, we might as well be straightforward.)

One point I am trying to get across is an old, old idea: Society depends on most people following rules that cannot be and should not be legislated. This used to be a commonly-heard axiom a hundred years ago; now, everyone has forgotten that precept, and we all want to make a legal case out of EVERYTHING.

That's what I'm getting at here. You don't like to see the Confederate flag displayed? Neither do I. But there are all sorts of ways to make your feelings known. If I sound like a libertarian here, my apologies -- but I would prefer to see the culture change without seeing more laws on the books.

I'll tell you something else. Not far from where I live, there was a house in front of which the Confederate flag was displayed. The sight angered me. Then I learned that the guy who owned that house was black.

As much as I want this world to make sense, often it doesn't.
If hitler could destroy the original meaning of the swastika, I think it is about time that african americans culturally appropriate the confederate flag, and use it as a symbol of strength in the face of oppression. And I too feel the same level of anger when see that flag.

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