Dear South,

You lost the war. Your flag has no place in the UNITED States. Get rid of it.  We’ll discuss your street names and other symbols glorifying the traitorous soldiers that fought to keep others enslaved at a different date.  For now, just get that monstrosity OFF MY LAWN.

Thanks,

The North

 

In light of the horrific actions in South Carolina last week, perpetrated by a racist who stated that he wanted to kill people because of nothing more than the color of their skin, who, in a manifesto of his own words stated that segregation should never have ended, that the country was being overrun and who, for lack of any one else willing to do the deed, would set out to kill as many African Americans (although, the word he used was less polite), as he can, a debate as risen over the perpetual glorification of the confederate past of the South by Southern States- Starting with the Confederate Flag and its place on US Government property.

The confederate flag was created to fly over the government buildings of the “Confederate States of America” – that was to be the name of the new country being formed by the states south of the Mason-Dixon line.  The confederacy existed for one reason and one alone – they wanted to keep their slaves. And that flag? That flag represented a group of people who lived by the concept that, to quote Alexander Stephens (Vice President of the Confederacy)  from a speech now called the “Cornerstone Speech” (yes, I watch Larry Wilmore – and yes I watch a SHITTON of History and Discovery Channels), where he stated:

“Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite ideas; its foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the Negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition.”

You really cannot gloss over that language, any more than you can gloss over the words that that terrorist spoke before opening fire in the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.  The guy was a racist. The flag is a symbol of racism. Any debate over whether this was a hate crime against African Americans is moot. FOX News, take heed, he stated his purpose pretty clearly.  Racism isn’t dead, and the issue of glorifying the confederacy is part of the problem.

Once the Civil War was over, the returning Southern soldiers, discontented and dejected, full of self-righteous anger and indignation at the thought that their former slaves were now walking around free and claiming to be equal, formed a little group to keep the newly freed slaves in their place. This group was called the Ku Klux Klan, and its rallying banner? The Confederate Flag.

And yes, some folks have taken on that symbol as a symbol of rebellion. They don’t take into account the history behind the symbol, even though they are aware of it. They will wear shirts, buy paraphernalia, all because they like the ‘rebellious’ symbolism, sans the undertone of racism, that the flag symbolizes to the majority of people who know anything about its history. I don’t agree with those folks, and I don’t necessarily condone it, but what they put on their bodies, what they hang outside their homes or on the bumpers of their cars, that’s on them. And that, while may seem ignorant, is their personal right to do so.

But to condone the waving of that flag on government property is to condone the actual history of the flag itself.  It’s not a proud history. It’s not a heroic history. That flag symbolizes traitors who fought a war against their own country so they could continue to enslave other human beings.  To continue to permit the flag’s existence on any governmental ground is to condone that past.  To anyone to whom  that flag still may symbolize the idea that “the south will rise again,” flying that flag on government grounds, naming streets after confederate soldiers, naming schools after confederate leaders, means it’s okay to hope that the south will once again go back to the ‘glory’ of the plantation days and the subjugation of African Americans.

This issue isn’t about freedom of speech (as it is a symbol, at its core, of a traitorous gang of secessionists). This isn’t an issue about freedom of expression (as what it expresses is pride in a history of murder, slavery and again, traitorous actions). It’s about a symbol that people have to walk by each day. It’s about a symbol so powerful that in European countries Neo-Nazis wave it around instead of the illegal Nazi flag.

People are claiming that the current wave of support for the removal of the confederate flag is a knee-jerk reaction to a very bad thing done by a very deranged man  and that the liberals are just trying to dust up some old wrongs to make the South and its leaders look bad. Honestly? If the leaders of the Southern states aren’t behind this idea, they should be made to look bad. Anyone who still thinks this flag has any right anywhere, in all honesty, looks bad to anyone who knows what that thing means.

And no, no one expects the removal of this symbol from government grounds to suddenly eradicate all racism in this country.  Racism is taught. It is handed down from one generation to the next. No one can stop what a parent teaches their child in the privacy of their own home. What the removal of this symbol will achieve is a show of support for the people whose ancestors were enslaved and tortured by the bearers of this flag. It will show that the U.S. Government does not abide by what the individual racists teach their offspring. That the U.S. Government stands with its citizens, not with the people who still glorify a past wherein some wanted to tear apart the country all because they wanted to enslave a group of people.  Getting rid of this symbol of the confederacy isn’t the solution to racism, but it is a step forward towards uniting the country under the only flag that should be flying on our government grounds – the stars and stripes.

In all honesty, there doesn’t need to be a debate. We shouldn’t have to wait until August for that thing to be removed. It needs to go. Now.

 

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