• The Grey Squirrel

The Confederate Flag

There has been a lot made of how white people feel about this flag, but I don't see many arguments about the consideration of African Americans in this situation. When we focus this entire debate on the feelings of white Americans and not just discount but completely overlook the desires of black Americans, then that is a form of white supremacy. We have literally argued that white feelings are of supreme importance over black feelings. Those who are the descendants of the people held in bondage under that flag should be the ones at the center of this conversation, not rebellious white youths or NASCAR fans. By leaving the consideration of black Americans out of the conversation, we are continuing a tradition that dates back to when people fought and died under the Southern Cross to keep them 3/5th of a person with no rights or privileges of citizenship.

The fact that the "heritage" crowd has adopted the battle flag instead of the official flag of the Confederacy could be seen as provocative. It makes the point that the display of this flag, the one used during the violence of battle instead of the one used over the country, is indicative of the motivation behind its use. If it was really about the heritage and not the fight, then the other flag should be the one that's always on display.

When it comes to the question of people's display of this flag and the claim that it is not a symbol of racism, this seems like willful ignorance. I know that the Daughters of the Confederacy did a really good job rewriting our textbooks, but we live in the information age. All of this history is a few clicks away on the internet. I understand that people were raised to think that the Southern Cross was about heritage, but the heritage of what? If someone can read the primary documentation of the time, if they can look at the pictures of people waving the Southern Cross while protesting school integration, if they can see pictures of the KKK in full hoods and robes waving that flag and they STILL want to be associated with it, then that is at the very least problematic, but more likely speaks to the systematic racism that still plagues this country.

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