Not Heritage, Definitely Hate

Jezebel flags this infurating story from the Times of Trenton:

The mother of a Kreps Middle School student suspended in a flap over her Confederate flag sweat shirt says she wants the school to formally apologize to her daughter, rescind her suspension and grant the teen permission to attend school outside the district. “If I can’t get those things I’m suing,” said the teen’s mom, Jane West. […]

She said her daughter, born in Virginia, considers the flag a symbol of her Southern heritage and has every right to wear it. She says she and her daughter are “far from racists.”

The interesting thing about this has less to do with the now-standard declarations of non-bias — after all, there are no racists in America, only the “misunderstood”—and more to do with West’s insistence that the Confederate flag is a symbol of her “Southern heritage” and not an endorsement of prejudice.

Here’s the deal. Like the younger Ms. West, I am a Southerner. My parents are from Georgia and Florida, and I grew up in Virginia, near the North Carolina border. I don’t have much of an accent (thanks to years of speech therapy, I sound like a radio host), but I have plenty of affection for Southern culture and its idiosyncrancies.

Insofar that I’m actually angry about the Confederate flag, it has less to do with the content of the symbol and more to do with the notion that it represents “heritage” and not “hate.” If the flag is a representation of Southern pride, then by definition, it excludes me from any membership in the tribe, so to speak. By virtue of our long history on the land —as slaves, sharecroppers, or otherwise — black Southerners have as strong a claim to Southern heritage as anyone else. Indeed, it’s simply true that the South wouldn’t actually be “The South” without the contributions of its countless black residents.

Between literature, art, food, and music, the South contains a wealth of things to admire and appreciate. The Confederacy isn’t one of them. And the Confederate flag—a relic of slaveholders and their crusade to preserve slavery—deserves its place in the ashbin of history.

Comments

Let me guess - the flag that shouldn't offend anybody and is simply a reflection of her heritage is the Battle Flag, not the "Stars and Bars". It's not that the latter would resolve your valid concerns; but at least it would be a bit more credible that this is about "heritage".

Someday Southerners will 'get it'. Clearly not today, but someday. The Confederate flag is not something we should fly from the our state buildings, or our homes; it isn't something that represents a proud moment in our history. For any of us to continue to insist upon this symbol of our treason and inhumanity as part of heritage and pride simply continues our regional ignorance and shame.

I just wanted to take a few minutes to reply to Jamelle Bouie and his comments on the Confederate flag. (or any Confederate flag) I believe Jamelle is wrong in his contention that any Confederate flag represents hate and not heritage. I believe Jamelle is honest in his beliefs, but has simply been taught by those who would use history to keep people oppressed. Some of the staunchest defenders of Confederate symbols are black Southerners. The difference is they have learned the truth of history, instead of the lies liberals use to keep their control over their followers. I would invite Jamelle, or anyone who has a desire to learn, to study the real history, instead of the fairy tales the government uses to indoctrinate the sheeple.
I strongly agree with Jamelle that Southern blacks have made great contributions to the Southern culture. But I believe Southern blacks are just as welcome in Southern brotherhood as anyone. The problem is that starting with Reconstruction, Northern liberals have tried to drive a wedge between white and black Southerners. Most people don't realize that Jim Crow was introduced from the North. Most people don't realize that the North tried to make slavery permanent, if the Southern states would simply rejoin the union. The South wasn't interested in slavery as much as it was interested in getting relief from the excessive tariffs that benefited the North, and hurt the South....that's black and white South.
As to the difference between a Confederate Battle Flag and a Stars and Bars, there is no more difference than between a Betsy Ross Stars and Stripes and a Bunker Hill flag.....it's the PRINCIPLES that make the symbol.

As far an inhumanity and treason, you will find much more of that in the war effort of the North, than the South. Read "The Real Lincoln" or "Lincoln Unmasked" and if you want to understand how we got to the mess we have with big banks/big business/big government read "Hamilton's Curse", all by Thomas DiLorenzo. Many of his articles are available at Lewrockwell.com. Try "When in the Course of Human Events' if you want to know why the North started a war of conquest. The North cornered the market on regional ignorance and shame, and as for treason, read the Constitution, and think Lincoln. There's only one possible conclusion if you are literate.
I know it's popular to believe that blacks had to live in the North before the war because of racism. But racism was in every state and region, and while free blacks lived in Southern states, they were prohibited in some Northern states, even having their property stolen. Many were hung in New York during the draft riots. Yet in one Southern state, free blacks could vote, something not even dreamed of in the North.
If you are truly interested in learning more, I'd be glad to help in any way I can. Please feel free to contact me at Southerngent1555@aol.com. If you aren't interested in learning, please feel free to put your head back in the sand.

You had me until:
"The Confederacy isn’t one of them. And the Confederate flag—a relic of slaveholders and their crusade to preserve slavery—deserves its place in the ashbin of history."
Slavery was THE proximate cause of the war. Both sides fought for their vision of what they thought the country was, or should be. The Union soldiers fought primarily to prevent secession, and keep their country whole. A small percentage of the soldiers were abolitionists, the vast majority cared little for the slaves. It is accepted by Northern and Southern historians that between 80 and 90 percent of the CSA soldiers were not slaveholders. They fought against the invasion of the South by the 75000 volunteers called up by Lincoln, and fought for the right to secede from the Union (i.e. self-determination). The country, founded as a voluntary republic, a confederation of independent States, by the Articles of Confederation and The Constitution, became an involuntary Nation by 1865. At that time, the idea of limitations on the Federal government went out the window. 150 years later, we have a bankrupt Empire that has run roughshod over quite a few peoples and cultures, internally and externally. Personal liberty is essentially gone, and we teeter on the brink of a police state, and it doesnt matter if a Statist Republican or Statist Democrat sits in the White House.

To me, the Confederacy had the right idea when it comes to personal freedom (for it's then citizens, no offense intended; I look at history through the context of its time, not through a modern lens), and the idea of limiting the Federal government. Injustices, inequalities, suffering and racism would have existed if the Confederacy had won independence from the United States. Of course, the Union won, and we have...injustices, inequalities, suffering, and racism, and we're bankrupt. So the Confederate battle flag has that value for me, a Northerner. I took me a long time to come to that conclusion, having been public-school educated on the kool-aid of the Lincoln cult. Even as a kid, I couldn't let go of the question: Why would those guys (i.e. Confederate soldiers) fight so hard and so long, and risk and lose so much? So that a bunch of rich guys could keep their slaves? Didn't make sense to me.
So, to me, the Confederate battle flag does not belong in the ashbin of history. What the Confederacy fought for, limited federal government, economic freedom, and the right to stay or leave the Union, is just as valid and relevant today as it was then.

It is particularly sad to see Southern turncoats who have swallowed the rewritten history propaganda of the Yankees. Our history was rewritten during "Reconstruction", which was designed to pit the races against each other, (that was a huge success for the Yankees) and to implement the brainwashing of Southern youth in the government schools. Nobody fought to preserve slavery, as is falsely taught. The proof of that is in this U.S. Resolution passed on July 22, 1861, “Resolved…That this war is not being prosecuted on our part in any spirit of oppression, not for any purpose of conquest or subjugation, nor purpose of overthrowing or interfering with the rights or established institutions of those states, but to defend and maintain the supremacy of the Constitution and all laws made in pursuance thereof and to preserve the Union, with all the dignity, equality and rights of the several States unimpaired; and that as soon as these objects are accomplished the war ought to cease.” Of course, the Constitution was violated repeatedly by Lincoln, and the South was subjugated. It actually was the CSA that was fighting to preserve the Constitution and defend itself from an illegal invasion. The war was over tariffs, not slavery. The South contrubuted over 85% of the revenues to the federal government, with little in return for it. Lincoln could not bear to lose his revenues, and invaded once the South had legally seceded fron the Union and set up its own government.
The flag has absolutely nothing to do with racism or slavery, as opposed to the U.S. flag which flew above the slave trading ships, and is the primary choice of the KKK. Those who own the flag and have a right to it are the only ones who have the right to define its meaning. Ignorant, false-educated venom-spewers have no right to say what the flag represents. Tens of thousands of brave black Confederates fought under that flag for the same reason whites, Indians, and Jews fought under it, to rid our soil of an illegal invasion and to secure our freedom from an overbearing tyrannical government; the same reason the original 13 states seceded from Great Britain and fought for independence. Genocide is being perpetrated against the Southern people and their heritage. If this were happening to blacks, American Indians, or even American Muslims there would be such an outcry and government involvement that it would not succeed. But since it is against Southern heritage, it is deemed a laudable action. After all, Southerners had slaves.
But where did they get them? Did they go out and pick them off the slave trees? No. They bought them from greedy, self-serving Yankees who transported them in horrible cramped ships. The South is shackled with the memory and history of slavery, but it existed in the North as well, and the Yankees were the transporters and sellers of human flesh. What vile hypocrites! Study and learn the truth about our history. The South is not the villain it is portrayed to be, and the Yankee nation is not the righteous, noble savior it is portrayed to be.
"Study to show thyself approved".

In a way, everyone so far has missed both the history of the symbol and how symbols change. In a way, you will note that the debate above then rotates back to a version of: the civil war was not really over slavery.
It is the peculiar nature of southern politics that nothing is ever what its really about. The civil war is not about slavery but about state's rights. State's rights are not about civil rights but about curbing federal power. Segregation is not about racism but about being good neighbors and preserving the cultures of both races. The Confederate Flag is not about hate, but about heritage.
There's more than one reason why the south excels at fiction writing and music! They do know how to tell one heck of story!
Sorry but for those of us with a close, personal relationship with reality, fun fiction only takes us so far. The war was fought over state's rights? The right to do what? Eat green eggs and ham? It was fought over whether a state could uphold slavery. The fight against civil rights was really an elegant fight over federalism? Only if you are on crack. That was a fight to keep a section of the population as reserve army of available workers without any political voice or shot of advancement.
In the 20th century the flag became the symbol of white resistance to civil rights. After that fight ended, it became the sullen symbol of white souther heritage- and the memory they are commemorating is resistance to civil rights because that is what THEY turned the symbol into!

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