In the wake of the actions of a heroic band of activists led by Bree Newsome who removed the Confederate flag in front of South Carolina’s statehouse, it didn’t take long for ugliness to rear its head. First of all, the flag went back up again after only an hour.
Thanks to a hate that won’t die, Bree Newsome’s actions turned out to be less a grand punctuation of South Carolina’s secession than an ellipsis…with more to follow.
White supremacists were out in force yesterday in South Carolina and Alabama and Florida, waving the flags of a defeated nation, some in Confederate uniforms, even more in pot-bellies, all of them racist or ignorant or both.
Trust me, you haven’t seen this many Confederate flags since Robert E. Lee and Ann Coulter’s “greatest army that ever was” got chased out of Pennsylvania with his tale between his legs.
The ugly hand of the League of the South, those staunch defenders of slavery who feel Lincoln was a “Commie” even before Karl Marx came up with the idea, had something to do with the rally in Alabama:
— SPLC (@splcenter) June 27, 2015
And guess what? That Commie Lincoln has company, reports Chad Mills of WIS10, covering the South Carolina rally:
— Chad Mills (@ChadMillsWIS) June 27, 2015
You think black lives matter?
"Southern Lives Matter." Even when showing their hate for Black people they manage to appropriate from Black people. pic.twitter.com/iRjRJSZo5q
— The Slaves Singing (@williamcson) June 27, 2015
That’s right. These racist white folks see themselves as the real victims, even though none of them are being shot at.
The ones in uniform need to realize the war is over. Because Appomattox. The guys so proud of their “heritage” need to realize that the South seceded over slaves (and South Carolina in particular made no secret of this) and that the flag therefore represents slavery.
South Carolina’s Declaration of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify the Secession of South Carolina from the Federal Union states, in terms that cannot be wished away today:
The General Government, as the common agent, passed laws to carry into effect these stipulations of the States. For many years these laws were executed. But an increasing hostility on the part of the non-slaveholding States to the institution of slavery, has led to a disregard of their obligations, and the laws of the General Government have ceased to effect the objects of the Constitution…and the consequence follows that South Carolina is released from her obligation.
Defenders of the flag need to realize that after the Civil War, nobody was flying this thing, including Robert E. Lee. It is funny how “heritage” didn’t suddenly become important until the descendants of the people who used to be slaves suddenly started to get the same rights they had.
Zack Peterson at The Tampa Bay Times writes that William Pew, 38 of Bloomingdale, who helped organize the rally at Brandon, Florida, said, “It’s about any flag. We’re riding for what we’re proud of: white, black, Spanish.”
So he thinks his Confederate flag somehow represents blacks?
Excuses abound: “The U.S. flag was also flown under slavery,” a 19-year-old rally organizer said.
But the United States didn’t fight a war to preserve slavery. The U.S. flag was waved by the guys who put an end to it.
Maybe Confederate flag supporters all went to the same school as Ann Coulter to study history.
Peterson records another shining example of reasoning: “There was slavery. There was hate. It’s a couple of hundred years later, and we’ve changed. (The flag) has a whole new meaning.”
No. The flag does not have a whole new meaning, no more so than the Nazi flag 150 years from now. That isn’t how it works.
All this and more were the fruits of the Confederate flag “Drive for Pride” from Brandon to Tampa Bay and back again on Friday night. Kendra Conlon of Tampa Bay’s WTSP reports that there were 300 cars with Confederate flags. They were planning another rally for Saturday.
We had a moment of joy as Bree Newsome grabbed hold of that flag and brought it down. It seemed the perfect response to the shots fired on Fort Sumter by people determined blacks were fit only to be slaves.
The past can’t be washed away through use of poor logic:
— Biff Pendragon (@BiffPendragon) June 27, 2015
Of course racists can wave their racist flag around. It’s individual and therefore protected speech. When flying from or in front of a statehouse, it’s government speech, and that is not protected by the First Amendment.
I would be more interested in knowing at what point did the First Amendment cease to apply to opponents of what that flag stands for? If they can wave their racist flag, we can call them racists for doing so.
As you can see, racists won’t surrender their “proud” heritage so easily. The struggle goes on, and will continue to go on while people are brought up, bereft of a sound education and exposure to diversity, content in the “knowledge” that in ignorance is found freedom.
We have a long way to go, America. Progress has not quite reached across the Mason-Dixon Line, and once again, it’s going to need our helping hand.
Photo from Mashable
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.