(10-Jul-2015 10:08 PM)calitennis127 Wrote: I don't, and I am not the one who is telling you. It is the people from the New York Times, CNN, and MSNBC who have started this conversation for you all, and I am telling them to shut their traps.
What I would like to know is why this conversation about the Confederate flag wasn't happening before the Dylan Roof incident. The reality is that it was that episode which gave the South-haters the chance they had been waiting for, and unfortunately you are obliging.
It did happen all the time, just the news didn't care. At the public college I went to in South Carolina, we discussed it regularly with disgust. When the flag was first moved to a different part of the state house grounds 15 years ago it was a huge discussion. My high school in Alabama which has been in the news of late for its confederate soldier mascot, banned using the flag 10 years ago. This conversation might be new to MSNBC, but it is not new to southerners. You are the one allowing northern media to shape this history of discussion of the flag. Dylan Roof drew national attention to it, because like any problem, instead of delving into a really complicated issue of the mental health, guns and race, let's fix something simple and largely symbolic. It's American politics at its worst, that being said I still think the flag should be taken down.
Quote:So what exactly do you like about the South? SEC football? Bill Clinton? Jeb Bush? George Bush?
Is there anything in the Southern past that you are proud of?
Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee were extremely honorable and well-educated men, far more educated than Obama or Bush. Also, most of the best American writers, most notably Faulkner, are from the South. Why is that not something to be proud of or at least point out as significant when Northern charlatans talk down on the South for being uneducated and backward?
I don't have much admiration for any politician, so I could care less about those people. I love the food, the music, and the pace of life. I like Thomas S. Grimke and Robert J. Turnbull, much more obscure historical figure. I like that there are cities like New Orleans and Charleston that preserved their architecture. I do like SEC football. I like the sense of humor. I like that people look you in the eye when you walk down the street.
My love for the South has nothing to do with academic reasons or some historical narrative. I just love living here. Its where I grew up and where I hope to die. I don't have any desire though to romanticize its past. People exist in their context, and I don't think southerners were particularly bad, but I think as a symbol and how its understood by many southerners, the confederate battle flag is not inclusive.
Quote:Okay, then also agree with me and Farakhan that if the Confederate flag should come down because it is a symbol of "racial subjugation", then the American flag should come down as well since it can just as easily be construed as such. You did not address Farakhan's argument, which I do believe is logically consistent.
Maybe we can pull down both flags and replace it with the rainbow flag and have Margaret Sanger's face on it, or Billy Jean King. That would represent the new, consolidated American nation-state.
I like Mark Twain's suggestion that over the stars we put a skull and crossbones and make the stripes red and black.
Change the American flag for all I care, it's just a symbol. Nobody else outside of Farrakhan seems to be really angry about it though, but if enough people shared that belief, we probably should change it.
Quote:You do, but I also don't think you are defining the South by its best high-minded historic qualities. I am still waiting to hear what you consider to be good about it.
I also think that you as a Southerner basically have an identical view of the Confederate flag as the New York Times/MSNBC/CNN crowd, a view which I consider very narrow and biased.
So be it, I guess. They're echoing a sentiment held by plenty of southerners for years. I also think it's current symbolic meaning is what's important, not whether their were ethically sound confederates. What's it stake is it's symbolic meaning.
Quote:This is a very insensitive remark now that gay marriage is legal in all 50 states. Please be a little more considerate of this most treasured minority, especially those who are gay in the South.
Quote:Fair enough, but I am speaking in generalities that have far more truth in them than not. To the extent that there is defense of the Confederate flag, it is overwhelmingly in the South. That isn't to say that every Southerner defends it.
I certainly agree that the South is divided about the issue. I think you would find a lot of people are fairly indifferent either way, take it down or leave it up, who cares? I think there are the people who are obsessed with a romanticized confederate history who actively care about it, and a group of people of who feel excluded by it. I am in the group that don't care that much, but given that we are talking about, I would prefer it be taken down.
Okay, once again, what is good about your region's history and heritage?
And why does the Confederate flag have to exclusively represent slavery, racism, segregation, etc.?
You seem to be taking a very MSNBC-ish view as a Southerner. I'd like to know why that flag only means "slavery and racism" to you.
I am only interested in the flag's symbolic value for a lot of people. The flag means nothing to me. It has no value whatsoever to me, but it's political history after war has a lot to do with segregation, so I would prefer it not represent a state I love dearly on a personal level that I think has moved past that in many respects (although it certainly has its problems).
In terms of history and heritage that I love in the South. I love the food, music, and culture that emerged from hundreds of years of interaction between different racial and ethnic groups. I don't hero-worship any political figures today, why would I idolize the president of the confederacy. I don't think he was a particularly bad person. He acted from his view of right and wrong. He existed within a culture and structures that committed major crimes against humanity, but then again so am I.
Quote:That is not my point. My point is that the entire South and all people and institutions that display the Confederate flag should not be blamed for Dylann Roof's actions. According to MSNBC and the New York Times, the logical outcome of Confederate flag displays is what Dylann Roof did.
Do you agree with that? I don't see how it makes sense to blame the Confederate flag or "Southern racist culture" for what Roof did. Each month when we hear about the latest Islamic terrorist attack we are lectured endlessly about how the extremists don't represent the whole religion. So why does Dylan Roof need to represent everyone who flies a Confederate flag?
I generally agree with this. Racial views played a role in who Roof targeted, but he was nut. He did it, because he is crazy, and I am confident he would have murdered a bunch of people even if he wasn't a racist. That being said there are significant racial problems in South Carolina that played into who he attacked. The flag is a symbol of this past and present to many people, but certainly the only person who should blamed for Roof is Roof, and failings in our gun legislation and how we handle mental health.
Quote:How is it a different conversation? It is assumed in this general conversation that the Union flag represents the good America, while the Confederate flag represents the bad racist America. What I maintain as a matter of history is that if you pull down one for being racist, you better pull them both down.
For one thing, we are literally not talking about the American flag. Its history and its future is literally not the conversation being had in South Carolina. In terms of parallels as symbols, there are also significant differences. 1. The U.S. Flag is an actual flag of a existing government, the confederate battle flag is not. 2. The Confederate flag as a legally sanctioned flag has a short, discrete history. It was the battle flag of any army of a slaveholding society. In its history afterwards, it has been a symbol for two things: a) some sort of southern pride and heritage and b) racial subjugation. 3) On the other hand, the American Flag's 200+ year history means it is symbolically loaded with a lot of different moments in the country's history, some perceived as positive, others negative. Also, whenever clan people have waved the American flag, there have also been people arguing against them waving the flag. While there are plenty of non-racists, who like the confederate flag, they have rarely if ever been at the forefront of combating racism.
Quote:Well then what washes away the crimes committed under the Union flag?
And frankly I just don't see how the Confederate flag represents something so horrible. There was no genocide in the South; there was not even ethnic cleansing. Every major society - including the American north - has practiced slavery, whether inner-racial or inter-racial. Why single out the South? Why not talk about Rhode Island being the center of the trans-atlantic slave trade?
We could play this game of "who did it worse with slavery?" all night long.
I would personally say the biggest difference is that the South romanticizes the era of slaveholding and the civil war, so in many ways, they single themselves out. People talk about that era with an immediacy in the South that is not typical of how the North discusses less pleasant aspects of their past. I wish my fellow southerners could just get past the civil war, either way. I think a lot of people in my generation feel this way.
Quote:That's all well and good, but I wish you all could have had this conversation before the Dylan Roof incident. Why didn't the flag come down before that?
As I stated earlier, it's been going on for years in the South and South Carolina. Dylan Roof was used an impetus to push through a perspective that has existed for years.
Quote:Oh please. America in both the North and South is highly generous and accepting of non-whites. I date someone from India and she has told me that if her uncles back home saw me, they would try to kill me because I am white. Mexico has its Southern border militarized and treats illegal immigrants from its South like they are subhuman dirt. Israel profiles Muslim plane travelers like they are all the next Muhammad Atta. A freaking flag in South Carolina is not going to make life unpleasant for Somali or Guatemalan immigrants who could not care less about what flag is up.
If black leftwing activists in the South see the Confederate flag as nothing more than a representation of slavery, then maybe they should start picking up some books instead of being as ignorant and stupid as white Americans about the war. I recommend that these black activists begin with the book "Black Confederates" so they can learn about how blacks fought in INTEGRATED units in the Confederate army but SEPARATE units in the Union army.
I agree, but as a SOUTHERNER, I tend to worry about what my own society does and strive to improve it. I believe we should be most critical of our own society, because those are the ones we have a slight chance of effecting (I am very cynical about political change). I worry more about myself, my own region, and country's actions more than I do about others.
I am for taking down the flag as a former resident of South Carolina, who's dream job is in Charleston, South Carolina. I have no need to look at comparisons with other regions or flags. This about my own and how I would like it to operate. That is where we are very different in this whole discussion. As far as I can tell for you, this is a discussion that feeds into your overall critique of the media (a lot of which I share). For me, it's actually about the society I live in and love.
I honestly don't even think it's a very important issue either way, but since the question is being asked and the political will is there, we might as well get it done now.