So, I've been reading with significant interest the hand-wringing about the Confederate flag. Shit just got real - now they're trying to take everything down at the Stone Mountain Park, even though the park is a memorial.
There was a viral video with a crash of some trucks in a flag-procession in Dalton, about an hour up the I-75 from me.
Read this article recently, and if it's the kind of liberal, nose-down-looking tripe the anti-flag people come up with, it's no wonder the other side are entrenching. The title of the article is:
"The Confederate flag symbolizes white supremacy — and it always has"
But then she goes on to argue AGAINST exactly that in more than one place.
Quote: "Haley nodded to supporters of the flag in her speech, saying that for
many, the flag was "a way to honor ancestors who came to the service of
their state during the time of conflict. That is not hate, nor is it
Quote: "At first, white Southerners mostly displayed it at Civil War
cemeteries and at memorials and veterans' reunions. That use of the flag
is the crux of the "heritage, not hate" argument: that the Confederate
flag is simply about honoring the South's past, its dead, and its
In the early 1950s, stock car racers, Southern universities, and social
groups embraced the Confederate flag, Coski wrote in his book. It's this
kind of use of the Confederate flag that has made it a cultural marker,
shorthand not just for the Confederacy but for a specific strain of
white Southern culture."
Amusingly, as "proof", she shows someone holding a Confederate Flag in the background at a segregation rally back in the 1950s in Little Rock. She doesn't comment on the fact that another protestor is carrying an American Flag.
She handwaves that some Southerners object DEEPLY to racist use of that flag: "Some Southerners argued that white supremacists who waved the flag as
they violently attacked civil rights activists were perverting the
flag's true meaning. A New York Times editorial
published two days after four girls were killed in the bombing of the
16th Street Baptist Church claimed segregationists were committing
"desecration" of the Confederate symbol."
Kind of hard to give multiple examples of people arguing against white supremacy with the flag, or using the flag in other contexts than white supremacy.... and title it "it ALWAYS has." It makes your side look utterly ridiculous to argue it has no non-racist context, mention non-racist contexts, and literally go "but slavery though" or "but I'm going to quote some guy sho says it represents segregation" and ignore quotes to the contrary, even though in the supposed interests of balance in the article you've quoted the other side.
Back in America, apparently the hysteria isn't enough just about moving the memorial flag just next to State Capitol grounds in Columbia, South Carolina. Now there's calls to destroy Stone Mountain park, there's calls to rename any street with the name "Lee", and or to destroy or remove Confederate memorials or graveyards.
And of course, sales of the Confederate flag have gone through the roof. Not on Amazon, though, which refuses to sell things that are tainted by hate - unless it's Nazi paraphernalia, Hamas merchandise, Che Guevara T-shirts or what have you. Those can stay. Dukes of Hazzard on the other hand... Various companies have sold completely out, and though some manufacturers have stopped making the flag, others have stepped into the fray.
The witch-hunting continues there, as well. Dixie Outfitters, whose merch very clearly states "Heritage, not Hate" - was the subject of an attack piece in the media: turns out that not only is the wife of the owner's uncle or something some bigwig Klansman (which, these days, means he has four people over to his trailer to drink beer) but a few decades ago they attended some Klan meetings. That they stopped, have no dealings with the Klan at all, and are completely estranged from the Klansman uncle is irrelevant to the media, who are latching on to the "what they really mean" angle. Of course, some of the merch now coming out is less than welcome, including a Dixie flag T-shirt that parodies "#blacklivesmatter" with "300,000 Confederate lives matter". Keep in mind the media these days had Paula Deen removed from her job for several years because it came out that, shock, horror - sometime in the 1970s she referred to someone as a "nigger". That she had changed considerably as a person in the ensuing 40 years isn't relevant to these modern witch hunters, who, apparently do no wrong.
So let me ask. What substantive changes have happened in the events after the shooting at the AME church that have improved anyone's lot? That have made the world safer for people of color? That has combated ACTUAL white supremacy? Have the cops started monitoring white supremacists? Have they put out a task force to monitor lone wolves? Stepped up patrols around black churches? Cops reached out to the black community and set up co-operation? Have we looked at why people are racist in 2015? Tried to do something to open dialog? Fix people who have these stupid ideas?
Absolutely not. All we've done is produced a farrago of hit pieces that suggest every single time that if you're in favor of states' rights, that's literally the same thing as wanting slavery. I'm sure these same people would respond to calls to eliminate the First Amendment because of the Westboro Baptist Church with that whole Voltaire quote about not liking what you say, but defending rights. THAT's different, because... reasons.
And while we're arguing back and forth here, NINE AME churches have been set on fire since this whole debacle started, all in South Carolina. Strangely enough, removing the General Lee from the shelves at Hobby Lobby didn't stop person or persons unknown from literally torching black churches.
But then again, welcome to Bizarro world, where in one moment, Barack Obama uses the word "nigger" and condemns the Confederate Flag for supporting slavery - and then in the next breath alters the draft of the Trans Pacific Partnership, which is going to be imposed on multiple countries regardless of the wishes of its citizenry, to take out language prohibiting slaver nations from participating. Couldn't possibly exclude some people simply because they choose to own other people. We must foster trade with them, because after all, damn it, profit's more important.
Lest people presume that I'm flying that flag outside my house or something, let me just say that the rants of the past few days are about the amount of bullshit and theater surrounding all this. Here we go with the identity politics once again.
I was in line at a bank and saw a man trying to conceal his flag tattoo from a woman of color. I kind of felt for the guy - he was apologetic and made some comment about being a good ol' boy, but not about hate. And he was not worried about her doing anything or what have you, he was sensitive to her feelings. Their conversation was intriguing. The long and the short of it is, yes, she is old enough to remember people waving that flag to try to keep her out of school, but no, she's no interest in policing what anyone else chooses to wear or to sport as a tattoo, people do things for their own reasons, and she's not one to judge. She concluded her comments with a very emotional "I do have a young male relative though, a black teenager, and what I am worried about is him getting shot."
She's positively right. Might I suggest a re-ordering of priorities here?