Confederate Flag controversy: a modern-day book-burning?


Confederate Flag controversy: a modern-day book-burning?
I am not a Southerner. I think we can all agree that slavery is a vile institution which belongs on the ash heap of history (which, sadly enough, is alive and well in certain parts of the modern world - over a thousand dead thus far constructing the World Cup stadium in Qatar, ISIL's ongoing exploitation of Yazidi women; the list goes on).

That being said, I still find the reaction we're seeing to the Charlston shootings deeply troubling. There's talk now of demolishing monuments commemorating leaders and losses on the Confederate side of the Civil War. Vendors, including Wal-Mart, Apple and Amazon, are categorically pulling items off shelves which sport the Confederate flag. At this time, Amazon will not confirm or deny whether this includes Civil War books which feature the flag as part of their cover art (which at the least would be costly for publishers to replace), but it seems likely.

What does everyone think of all this? I find it interesting to note that Pastor Clementa Pinckney, one of the victims of the Charleston shooting, voted in favor of publicly displaying the Confederate battle flag during his time in the state senate. Whatever the rest of us might think of the CSA and what it stood for (the slavery part, anyway), I think all of this sets a dangerous precedent. Our freedom of speech is meant to protect the speech that *isn't* popular. Yes, so long as it doesn't turn out that these vendors are pulling these items in compliance with an executive order or something, then in a legal sense, no, that has not been violated - this is really about how we conduct ourselves as individuals. Once we start paving over our own history (ugly though it may be) in the name of sensitivity, where does that stop?

To me, at least, this and the giddy calls for new gun control measures (which in all likelihood would not have prevented the shooting) reek of opportunism, of people exploiting a tragedy for political ends.

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Most Helpful Guy

  • I'm from Richmond, Virginia. Our monument to Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederacy, was defaced by the same silly motto, "Black lives matter'. This statue is only two blocks from a monument to Arthur Ashe, the black Wimbledon legend from our city. Our take is that, indeed, black lives matter, but those that defile an historical statue belong in jail.
    The street war for civil rights was fought and won a half century ago by black heroes whose spoiled, cowardly children now exploit tragedy for attention. Their parents confronted police dogs with only the clothes on their backs. People like Pastor Pinckney drive Cadillacs and let Walmart wage their battles for them.

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    • You had me until the end there. Pastor Pinckney supported it being on display.

    • Many apologies. I thought you were referring to the same hypocrisy that is compelling lawmakers everywhere to rescind their former support of the flag.

    • The civil rights battle in my opinion has not been won. At least 5 black churches were burned down since the execution of black people in a church by a racist. It is comforting to know that you are criticizing a black man for what he drove when he made the majority of his money from his own businesses, personal investments and being a government official.

What Girls Said 3

  • That's a dramatic, unfitting comparison. Book burning completely erased history: the Confederate flag will still be in museums (next to Black slaves forced to fight for the South with no boots) where it belongs because as people so continuously say, IT IS HISTORY. It is the past therefore it has no place hanging in front of government buildings and public facilities in 2015.

    You can try to derail or delude yourself about why the flag pisses some people off or makes them uncomfortable. But the reality is that the flag supported owning slaves, treating Blacks like cattle, THE LEGAL RAPE OF CHILDREN, and white sumpremacy. Major corporations wouldn't do something so bold for no reason at all.

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    • You might have noticed my condemnation of slavery in the first paragraph, you're preaching to the choir there.

      As for the significance of the flag itself, Clementa Pinckney evidently held a different view. And as I noted, the flag isn't all that's being targeted for removal right now, either.

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    • True, I do hold the media accountable for most of this. As ugly and tragic as it is, there is little we can do for the dead. I think humanity would be better served if we were more fired up about the people suffering the same fate *today,* who can still be saved.

    • I agree completely!

  • Do the Confederate States of America still exist? NO! So the only real place that is fitting for the confederate flag is in a museum. South Carolina is a member of the UNION! YES or NO? So it's laws should reflect that fact, otherwise they are ILLEGAL and IMMORAL and a slap in the face of every other state that is behind the UNION!

    Unpatriotic and a betrayal of all the soldiers of the Union who gave and laid down their lives (my great grandfather included, he died at Gettysburg) to free America of what was nothing less than a barbaric and inhuman confederacy. All it is a sign of now is the twisted inbred racist white supremacists who riddle South Carolina who cling stubbornly to the past refusing to acknowledge that they lost and that THEY ARE PART OF THE UNION.

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    • I agree with your answer but your great grandfather? I have a neighbor and his great grandfather is still alive. The men in your family have kids when they are 70 and they live till the age of 130? :P

    • My mom swears on her life that it was my great grandfather people my family live a long timewith the exception of my grandpa he died at 32 of cancer about 30 years ago maybe she meant her great grandfather and it was my great great grandfather but she said he lived a long time

    • Lol I do believe you but yes it must be her great great or great great great grandfather. If not my friend you will live another 125 years lol.

  • Its shameful the United States allows citizens to commemorate domestic terrorists of the 1800's (aka generals, soldiers that were for slavery). I find it hilarious that you still think Americans have freedom of speech. People can't even protest peacefully without being imprisoned, shot at, or beaten by police. As for our history, its already flourished to hide the real disgusting truth about the US. Look at how much damage this country has caused in other places. Americans are conditioned to believe this is the "best and great" nation. Politicians are only using this unfortunate tragedy to move forward with their agenda and aren't addressing the real problem; institutionalized racism.

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    • If we were to discuss that, what kind of changes do you think would be needed?

    • honestly I don't know if it can even happen especially because people start accusing intelectuals that want structural change as radicals. you have to understand that looking back at how everything started was always to keep the power structure on one specific race. how did education first start? only white people could go to school. then it grew to separate but equal, then resources to schools depends on taxes, but do you remember learning how white people were encouraged to live in segregated communities? also the purpose for prisons plus the laws and policies that target specific communities? capitalism, how did it start? there needs to be structual change but people get so scared and will probably start claiming communism is coming to america.

    • I'm leery of vague calls for structural change because, to borrow a line from the Beatles, "you say you've got a real solution, well, you know... we'd all love to see the plan." I'm not a big fan of "pass the bill to find out what's in it."

      If the confederacy had one redeeming quality, it's that their constitution specified that bills that went through congress could only apply to one subject (expressed in the title), and had to specify a dollar amount to be allotted to them. Run out of money, and you needed to pass another bill to allocate more. None of these trillion-dollar phone-books that nobody has read getting rubber-stamped through congress along party lines. Things would be a lot more transparent - no way to buy votes with earmarks. I can't help but think that, had that one little feature been incorporated into our own constitution, we'd be a lot better off today.

What Guys Said 12

  • I wouldn't equate the two. I think government institutions shouldn't fly the flag but it would be short sighted to ban it completely. South Carolina has done a good job acknowledging its past and a ban on confederate flag imagery for everyone would be counterproductive.

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  • I often have difficulty wading through legaleze. But the link you gave took us to a vote on amending a date in the resolution proposing the display you speak of and shows Pinckney voting to table the amendment to the proposal. It does not show him supporting the proposal itself, just tabling the amendment.

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  • Ehh people just piss me off now a days, I have no problems with the confederate flag to be honest, if someone wants to fly it go right ahead, also the civil war was about far more then just slavery you know, slavery was one small part of the whole conflict, but it seems to be all anybody remembers -_-.

    I support their rights to fly the confederate flag.

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  • The reaction is that we need to prevent more hate crimes somehow. What's a better solution? Many kids will now grow up never exposed to the flag except in very quiet corners. I think it will help them grow up less racist in general though of course some kids will use it as a sign of rebellion which i kind of feel is how its used now.

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  • I agree 100%. I'd also like to add that removing a flag will not prevent future shootings, race related or not. We always seem to want to give the masses (idiots) justice by arbitrarily passing legislation that has little to nothing to do with the issue, instead of getting down to root causes of why things happen. The anti-bullying movement was a step in the right direction. How about we continue to make attempts to prevent future shootings by addressing root causes instead of impeding freedom of speech?

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  • You are misrepresenting Pinkney's views on the Confederate flag. I will say however that most people that lived down south as I do know what the flag stands for and why some adore and revere the flag. Also your comparison to book burning is ludicrous.

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    • "The flag is also known as "the Stainless Banner" and was designed by William T. Thompson, a newspaper editor and writer based in Savannah, Georgia, with assistance from William Ross Postell, a Confederate blockade runner.[2][3][5][6][7][8] The nickname "stainless" referred to the pure white field which took up a large part of the flag's design, although W. T. Thompson, the flag's designer, referred to his design as "The White Man's Flag".[2][3][4][5][6][7][8] In referring to the white field that comprised a large part of the flag's design elements, Thompson stated that its color symbolized the "supremacy of the white man":[

    • As a people we are fighting maintain the Heaven-ordained supremacy of the white man over the inferior or colored race; a white flag would thus be emblematical of our cause"

    • Southern historian Gordon Rhea further wrote in 2011 that:

      It is no accident that Confederate symbols have been the mainstay of white supremacist organizations, from the Ku Klux Klan to the skinheads. They did not appropriate the Confederate battle flag simply because it was pretty. They picked it because it was the flag of a nation dedicated to their ideals: 'that the negro is not equal to the white man'. The Confederate flag, we are told, represents heritage, not hate. But why should we celebrate a heritage grounded in hate, a heritage whose self-avowed reason for existence was the exploitation and debasement of a sizeable segment of its population?

  • They want the flag removed for the same reason Germany had the Nazi flag banned in Germany basically. It's a symbol of hate

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    • Ask those who display it what it means to them.

      www.cnn.com/.../...olina-byron-thomas-intv-wrn.cnn

      I'm part of the "I disagree with what you say but I'll defend your right to say it" crowd, if that needs clarifying.

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    • So what you're basically saying is it matters what it means to you, but not what it means to them, even if those two things are completely different?

    • No what I'm saying is it doesn't matter what they THINK it represents but what it actually represents. And that is hatred and racism

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIoA6au2YdU

    Check out AMTV's opinion on it.

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  • Wow... just wow...

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  • nope, the north won 4 the best reason to the united states

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  • I'm installing a flagpole just so I can fly the Stars and Bars to piss off these liberal numb nuts.

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  • I consistently support the rights to fly the Confederate Flag.

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