Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Confederate Flag's New Destiny Post-Charleston

I have to say that I'm very heartened to hear about South Carolina's decision to get the Confederate Battle Flag flying at its statehouse removed for good. That flag belongs in a museum, so people can learn about what kind of divisions it helped to sow for so many years. If the state and other states in the South want to make a region-wide heritage and history museum with it on display, fine. I won't argue that its a symbol of American history, but it's a symbol for all the wrong reasons. First off, it was the flag of Southern treason during the Civil War, when the South fought to retain the right to retain humans as property (African Americans). Following that 4-year debacle, which the South came out very poorly, for the next 150 years or so, it was a symbol of hate and a symbol of subjugation of both the Blacks and their White allies, and also of poor Whites, by more prominent Whites through the Ku Klux Klan and other organizations.

I understand that many in the South see the Confederate flag as part of their heritage, but they need to quit displaying it, as it's got other symbolizations as mentioned above. As I said above as well, it's good to see that South Carolina, along with Mississippi, North Carolina, Virginia and Texas, is beginning to wake up to the fact that there's more than Southern heritage in that flag and that there's an equally long history of it being associated with White supremacy. In Mississippi's case, there's a movement to craft a new state flag that doesn't resemble the Confederate Stars and Bars. Somehow, Dylan Roof's shooting spree at Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church really drove open the effects of racial hate that the Confederate flag long symbolized, and now the nation is seeing the post-shooting evolution taking place across the region. I'm not sure if it'll lead to anything in terms of gun-control, but I do think that it will definitely make the National Rifle Association's position of loose-gun laws at all costs that much harder to defend.

Update:

There's movement in South Carolina's state legislature to finally get rid of the Confederate flag flying above the statehouse in Charleston. There's a bill on its way through the state legislature and should be on nikkihaley's desk by December, at least that's the hope. The reality is, it's going to be a loud and contentious debate in that state. These are the words of Nikki herself in the call to remove the flag from the statehouse and possibly place it in a museum. I'll agree to digress with her on letting people continue to fly the flag, but then again, if it's on their homes or private property, there's not a lot we can do as it's private not government speech. I'm aware of this reality and so I'll concede the point, albeit reluctantly, that she's right in one sense. I just hope that people will begin to educate themselves on how the Confederate flag has become a divisive symbol in many respects, and a symbol of racial terrorism and of White supremacy.

I think Cenk Uygur, from The Young Turks, makes the point very clear that there's some coded language in the overall message that the flag must be lowered and be displayed elsewhere. But all in all, it's very heartening to see what's happening in South Carolina after the disgusting display of overt White supremacy and anti-Black racism in Charleston on Monday, June 15, 2015.

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