Yessiree. A hateful flag flies at full mast near the state Capitol buildings in Columbia, South Carolina, only days after the killing of nine Blacks – innocents – in Charleston, SC, about a two hour drive south-east of Columbia.
Some jerk-off Mississippian apologist for that Confederate “stars and bars” pennant says to a CNN anchor-person that a Black person would not feel “uncomfortable” dining at a White home from which this symbol of racism and hate has been suspended. In answer to CNN’s Carole Costello, this guy said “yes”, that African-Americans would be alright dining at such a place.
As a Jew, I would be extremely ill-at-ease in a parallel situation with the only difference being that the flag under the microscope would be the Swastika, as opposed to the “stars and bars”.
The argument used to support the continued flying of that Confederate flag is that this flag represents “heritage”, not hate, that it is flown in honour of those who gave their lives for the cause of the South during the Civil War in the United States rather than representing slavery, for instance. What a load of crap.
It’s how Afro-Americans perceive that flag that matters. They see it as a symbol of slavery, oppression, the Klan, and hate it like poison. Why rub it in those peoples’ faces, anyway. What’s the point of that?
A Republican Congressman from South Carolina doesn’t see things that way, though. Not by a long shot. As far as he’s concerned the issue was settled a few years back when it was legislated to move the Confederate flag further away from the State Capitol building and he also believes that there isn’t any reason to re-visit the issue.
What saddens me is that I am certain that there are tons of people just like him mostly in the American South who see this situation in the same way.
An acquaintance of mine from Georgia, argues that his ancestors were poor share-croppers in nineteenth-century Georgia, who had nothing to do with slavery. This in answer about how it was that he felt alright with his biker group’s participation in a
parade in Lake City, Florida, last winter, which parade is held annually, and which commemorates the Civil War. I didn’t intend to but I ended up viewing some of this particular parade. Suffice to say that I saw exactly zero Black faces either in the parade itself, or watching it as spectators. Not one.
One more thing about the parade in commemoration of the Civil War and people who fought and died in it. I asked a young cop on duty why he thought there were zero Blacks either in the parade itself or in the audience and his answer, after a bit of a pregnant pause, was this: They’re perfectly welcome to participate if they wish to.
End of conversation. My thought was, being Jewish, how I would feel about a parade commemorating Kristallnacht, (The Night of the Broken Glass) in pre-World War II Germany? Same as an Irish Catholic participating in a ceremony commemorating the Battle of the Boyne. It just would not happen.
Worth adding is that the flag only became a symbol of “The (white) South” after the civil war; it wasn’t the flag that the South fought under.
And the other thing is the extent to which the flag is losing traction as a result of the shooting; there is a visceral turning away from it amongst some of those who previously supported it. The learning never ceases. 😉
The latter part of your comment is a definite positive. That’s for gawd dang sure.
See also. http://theweek.com/articles/562004/surprisingly-uncomplicated-racist-history-confederate-flag