But yet, I do have a dog in this hunt.
The Confederate flag. Stars and Bars.
It stands for different things to different people (and generally different cultures).
To those who have a history…ancestors who fought the war (sometimes described as the war of Northern aggression, to others the Civil War) it represents the proud heritage of a culture which chose not to easily surrender their way of life to people who thought they knew better and who chose to order the changes without representation from the people whose way of life they wished to change.
To others, most of whom really don’t know, it represents slavery….a time when people bought and sold human beings like cattle, and put them to work, with essentially zero rights as human beings.
The flag ( the Stars and Bars) means neither to me, really. I am what southerners would call a Yankee….born and raised. I’ve visited the South, and have found the people there, both white and black, to be fairly nice people. (not talking about ghetto denizens, just normal every day working class folks).
To some Racists, white Supremacists, etc, it is a symbol of their beliefs…..
To me it is a flag. Nothing else.
But now it has become a “symbol of divisiveness and racism“…Really? Just because some little asshole who owned a Confederate Flag killed people…Black People….and fewer than other black people kill in any major city over most weekends? Why is it, now…Today: a “symbol”….why wasn’t it bad and banned yesterday, or a month ago, or a year ago?
But symbols are powerful. They mean things to people. To some black people, a noose represents lynching and hatred of blacks. (nevermind that more whites were lynched and hanged than blacks…..and nevermind that they know of no-one that has ever been lynched or hanged)….to them, it is a symbol of fear, and repression, and hatred. I once, long ago had a group of black people demand that I take down a Halloween display because it had a noose on it….and therefore, it was “racist”. They didn’t know me, but they knew what the symbol meant to them. (I refused, despite a visit from the police).
And so it is with the Stars and Bars. For some, it is a symbol of pride (“The South is gonna do it again!”didn’t happen the first time dude…”again” suggests it happened once. You lost the first time….). For others, it is a symbol of hate. For others, it is a symbol of repression and fear and racism. For many, it is a rallying point…whether that point is for unity, or for demanding change…they want it gone. Not for what it means to others, but for what they think it means.
And so, because one deranged young man, who may or may not have been sane, and who was, certainly a user of mind altering drugs, major retailers like Walmart, Sears, and Amazon and Ebay are removing any products which have some resemblance to the Confederate flag.
They are private businesses, they have the right to do so, no matter how stupid the reasons.
Will they also remove symbols which I find to represent racism? I find the MalcomX “X“symbol to be irritating and offensive and while it wasn’t meant that way originally, it now represents Black racism towards whites. Are they gonna remove that from their shelves/web pages? How about the “Black Power” raised fist? The Black Panther Party items? Are they racist? They are to me…..
Where do we stop? Hoodies worn the way black kids do that makes ’em look like thugs? Boots that resemble stormtrooper boots? Gay Pride Rainbow flags to keep the Fundamentalist Christians from foaming over at the thought of 2 men or two women …… Or is it only Unapproved Flags that the Liberals choose to decry and banish??
Look, folks, it isn’t the symbol. It is what the symbol means to you or to another person. The fact that you don’t like what the symbol means to YOU isn’t anyone elses problem….or shouldn’t be.
Now I really think that just because a segment of our country doesn’t like the Confederate Flag being flown by southern states…well, too bad. Move to another state. It flew there before you or your parents or your grandparents were born.
For some people, the American Flag is a symbol of hate and oppression. But I will fight you tooth and nail, with all my being and all my wealth and all my blood before I let you have that flag removed. It is the symbol of MY country….and all the laws and documents and people that make it the best place in the world………To many people, that set of Stars and Bars is just as valuable, just as sacred and has just as much meaning.
And I am especially offended that they use the blood of innocent churchgoers to help their attempts at removal of that symbol.