Friday, July 3, 2015

Just Thinking Out Loud

Lately I've just been fascinated by people. Some people are jerks. I guess I shouldn't be surprised by that considering we all are born with sin in our lives. However, it's just so funny how people who claim to love others and want everyone treated fairly gets so hostile when someone doesn't particularly agree with whatever stance they're taking. I guess if people feel passionate about it, I can understand. People, though are getting much worse at understanding why someone feels the way they feel.

I fell into the trap of commenting on a news story about the Confederate flag. I asked a simple question, "what heritage does it truly represent?" I didn't get a lot of feedback from the supporters of the flag. The ones that did respond simply said that it was a part of the celebration of the Southern way of life. I asked what about the Southern way of life did they love the most. There really wasn't much of an intelligent answer after that. Just a bunch of "it's not slavery", "don't be so sensitive" and the like.

This has been how I've been responded to any time I've had a discussion about the flag. It's fairly annoying how folks can't truly discuss this without being defensive. I've learned that the more defensively hostile someone gets about a subject, the more they know they might be wrong about it. The best thing, or not, is when someone tells me it's like my African heritage. News flash: wasn't born in Africa. My heritage growing up consisted of pro wrestling, Voltron, and string cheese. My point is that it's silly to get this defensive over a flag, particularly a flag of a country that doesn't exist anymore. I've seen more Confederate flags these last few weeks than American flags on my Facebook. That's troubling considering it's almost the 4th of July.

Now, I'm going to put this out there with little to no care how you feel about it. The Confederate flag is stupid. It's a waste of cloth and dye. When it was flown in the late 1800s, it was a battle flag for a treasonous group of people. Forget the slavery part, the fact is the Confederacy committed treason against the United States of America. They attacked the United States in hopes of getting their way of life to be adopted by the entire country. There was a changing of philosophy that the South wasn't interested in.

Part of that change was the fact that folks realized that owning people and treating them like second class, inferior citizens wasn't what the Constitution meant when it said "all men are created equal." The South particularly would have suffered the most from the sudden drop of property value and personal equity with the freeing of slaves. If there is one thing that everyone, misguided or otherwise, is motivated by, it's the loss of money.

After the war, the flag was adopted by white supremacy groups who thought it would make a good intimidation tool to the suddenly free black people. The same white supremacists who declared that they were seceding from the Union because they wanted black people to remember their place below the white man. I digress. They waved the flag during the lynching of black people and when black people were attempting to do anything of significance in America. It was raised again during desegregation. Now South Carolina claims that they first raised their Confederate flag on their state house to commemorate the beginning of the Civil War. However, I do find it fairly convenient and coincidental that the Civil Rights Movement was happening at the time. If you really want to get a grasp for when and if the flag was a part of an effort to squash the desegregation of schools, look at some of the schools in the south with the mascot of "Rebels" or even in a case of a school my school played against in sports, "Confederates" and figure out when they adopted said mascot. If it was in the 60s or later, pretty good chance they didn't want black people there. Hence the flying of the Confederate flag at their games and even flying them at the school itself. Point being, this flag is divisive. No need for that.

Now people are getting upset because certain entities are distancing themselves from the Confederate flag. As far as government places, I'm all for it. A government can't be married to something divisive. I feel the same way about them jumping on the gay flag bandwagon too. No need to align yourself with a divisive symbol. And before you ask, the Ten Commandments tell us not to kill, steal, or lie. If you're against that, there's no help for you. Anyway, as far as private companies, it's their prerogative. If Viacom doesn't want to air Dukes of Hazzard, as much as I'm against that because I enjoyed the show, it's their right. If NASCAR wants to separate themselves from the symbol, by all means. It's not fair to boycott and dismiss companies because they want to make everyone feel comfortable being there and expand their market base. When you're a business who wants to make money, you have to think of everything. Now, if not making money is your thing and you're just willing to serve to a particular fan base, then you can do that too. I'm not going to stop you, and no else should either.

My point in all this rambling is that the hostility over this particular flag is useless. People are going to feel how they feel about it, no matter how much you try to dress it up as heritage, hate, controversy, or indifference. I have people I'm very good with that like that flag, and that doesn't bother me because I know their heart. And I've shared my thoughts with them, and they're cool with it. However for those of you that feel like it's your place to tell me what I should and shouldn't be feeling about the flag, kick rocks. I go with what I see, and I see a flag that can hurt people. I see a flag that causes division. I see a flag that brings terrible memories to folks much older and wiser than me. However, I also see a waste of cloth and dye.

Pledge your allegiance to the flag of the United States of America. And to the republic for which it stands, ONE nation under God, INDIVISIBLE with liberty and justice for ALL.

Always remember that just because you may not sign off on it, it's a fact that most people don't see that flag as doing anything particularly good for the country. The country that most supporters claim to love...

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