I am not supporting the Confederate flag
I am supporting the right to display it in public. I am against it flown in an official capacity by any government agency. That is inappropriate and illegal as a state function. But individual citizens have protected rights. It’s not wrong to wave the Confederate flag. It is wrong to use it to threaten others. It is wrong to use it to promote hatred and violence. We have to be aware of the difference. Else we risk this rampant bandwagon justice turning against our own cause.
I used to hate the Confederate Flag
I hated it because the people who called me nigger were the same people who revered that flag. The people who spit on me and threatened my life, loved that flag.
But I have since learned that, like the American Flag, it means different things to different people. I understand that there are Native Americans who loathe the Stars and Stripes the way Blacks loathe the Stars and Bars. I realized the hypocrisy when I tried to explain the difference to a man whose ancestors faced genocidal subjugation under a flag that today still waved while his people are still treated as second-class citizens by flag-wavers.
I love Old Glory
Does that mean I look down on indigenous rights? No. But I acknowledge that many “patriotic” Americans still do.
To many of my redneck friends, it’s just the Rebel flag, a symbol of anti-establishment resistance of the big government and big city bullshit. They want life their way, which is most popularly represented in pop culture via the Dukes of Hazzard or Lynard Skynard. We had no problems with the Rebel flag emblazoned on the General Lee or on album covers, we never once considered the Duke boys racists or Simple Man a racist anthem. I think we should keep that in mind as we discuss what the flag means. Many of those redneck friends have proven their loyalty to me as a brother in the service of our country. They had my back, and I have theirs. At no point did they ever disrespect me because of the color of my skin or where I grew up from.
So, no, I don’t have a problem with the Colors of the Confederacy, as long as the person waving it isn’t calling me nigger or disrespecting my presence, or trying to intimidate my right to coexist. If we can sit down and have a beer together civil-like, you can wave that muther all you want.
What’s the Goal?
Will removing the Confederate flag mean less Blacks in prison? Will it lower the occurrences of police brutality of minorities across the country? Will we be seen any less as thugs and niggers, and more as fellow American citizens? Will Driving While Black become obsolete? Will our resumes no longer be dismissed because of our names? Will our chances of home and business loans improve? Will urban gentrification be phased out for balanced economic development? Will CNN and FOXNews finally get rid of the racial bias in their high-ratings news reporting? Will hate crimes dwindle down?
If not, then what are we fighting for again?
The Symbol Isn’t the Problem
Shouldn’t we be united to take down racism, rather than just a symbol? I think anyone who promotes “Heritage Not Hate” should be given the benefit of the doubt, until proven otherwise. Otherwise, Native Americans have a very compelling argument to take down the US flag, for the very same reasons. Are we ready to have THAT discussion too?
Thoughts from a Simple Man.