Tag Archives: Confederate flag

Confederate flag also represents treason, oppression

Donald J. Trump just cannot bring himself to acknowledge what a majority of American southerners now admit … that the Confederate flag symbolizes racism.

Oh, no. Trump declares the flag is a symbol of “Southern history.” Well, yeah. It is that. The history, though, includes the Civil War. I know Trump has heard of it.

The war began when the Confederate States of America decided it wanted to form a new country. To do so it had to separate from the United States of America. Then the rebels fired on the Union garrison in Charleston, S.C. harbor. The war was on!

The conflict killed more than 600,000 Americans. Yes, I include the Confederate forces as “Americans,” even though they committed a treasonous act by taking up arms against the federal government.

Why did they go to war? Because their states wanted to keep human beings enslaved. They wanted the right to “own” humans as property. It’s been referred to euphemistically as a “states rights” issue. It is no such thing. The CSA wanted to retain the right to oppress human beings.

They fought the Union forces under the Confederate flag that Donald Trump — the man who has no understanding of history and its complexities — says represents “Southern history.”

The Confederate flag well might symbolize “history” to many Americans. To many others it represents hatred, oppression and enslavement. It is no coincidence that contemporary hate groups — the KKK, instance — flies the Confederate flag while spewing hate speech aimed at African-Americans.

Is that worth honoring? Hardly.

Strike the Confederate colors!

Defense Secretary Mark Esper wrote the following today in a memorandum that has gotten worldwide attention: “The flags we fly must accord with the military imperatives of good order and discipline, treating all our people with dignity and respect, and rejecting divisive symbols.”

You only get a single guess on which flag he targeted with this message. Time’s up.

Yep, it’s the Confederate flag, which has been banned at all military installations. Period. Full stop.

I am going to hand it to Mark Esper. His order flies directly into a headwind created by opposition from the commander in chief, Donald Trump, who has made no secret of his outrage over the Confederate flag being targeted as a symbol of hate and national division … which it most certainly is.

Trump has this peculiar affection for the rebel flag, which to my eye symbolizes bloodshed, treason and enslavement.

We fought the nation’s bloodiest conflict, the Civil War, with one side rallying under that flag on the battlefield, where more than 600,000 Americans died. The Confederate States of America committed treason by rebelling against the federal government, seeking to overthrow it … and why? Because the CSA wanted to retain the right of states to allow people to keep other people enslaved.

There you have it. Defense Secretary Esper says all flags that fly on U.S. military installations must comport with the ideals of the nation. Slavery and treason aren’t part of the package.

Now I am wondering at this moment whether the commander in chief is going to override that order. Donald Trump has the legal authority to do it. Will he dare?

Toss in ‘hate’ to replace ‘heritage’ and ‘history’

So much for the “heritage” and “history” argument for flying the Confederate flag.

Let’s consider “hate” as well, shall we?

NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace, the only African-American driver among the top tier of drivers in the popular sport, recently led the call for NASCAR to remove the Confederate flag from its events. NASCAR listened and issued an order banning the flag that is the symbol of the Confederacy, the group of states that seceded from the Union in 1861 and went to war with the U.S. of A. They went to war because they wanted to preserve states’ rights to sanction the enslavement of human beings.

Not all of NASCAR’s base of fans is happy with the removal of the flag. They disagree that it symbolizes racism, that it merely reflects people’s respect for their “heritage” and the “history” of the nation.

Well, what do you suppose happened over the weekend?

Someone got into Wallace’s garage at a Southern track and left a noose. Hmm. Heritage and history … my a**!

You know what the noose represents. It represents hate in a raw, despicable form.

Let’s quit the crap about the Confederate flag symbolic importance to people’s heritage and the nation’s history. The flag represents a disgraceful chapter in America’s story.

KKK = Confederate flag

I cannot let this photo stand without offering a brief comment about the juxtaposition of two key elements this picture contains.

Look at the fellow gesturing. He is a Ku Klux Klansman demonstrating in 2017 in Charlottesville, Va., the site of that terrible riot that killed a young woman protesting against the Klan, neo-Nazis and assorted white supremacists.

Now, look at the flags flying behind him. Do you see a familiar pattern? It’s the Confederate flag, the piece of cloth that some Americans want to keep displaying in public places because it “symbolizes heritage” and is a “piece of American history.”

It seems to be lost on those pro-Rebel flag folks that the KKK stands with that flag because of what it represents: the maintaining of slavery in states that seceded from the Union in 1861 and launched the Civil War, the bloodiest conflict in U.S. history. Then again, maybe it isn’t lost on them at all!

The Confederate flag represents the very thing that the moron seen in this picture snapped by the New York Post represents.

It represents oppression, which my reading of history tells me caused our founders to create this nation in the first place, to live in a place free of the kind of oppression symbolized by the Confederate flag.

Spare me, then, the clap-trap about “history” and “heritage.”

Flag means more than ‘heritage’

I am so glad that NASCAR has decided to strike down the Confederate flag, banning it from being displayed at its events.

My Southern friends contend the flag symbolizes their “heritage.” Here’s my take on it.

The “heritage” includes:

  • States rights. Sure it does. The states rights issue precipitated the Civil War, the bloodiest conflict in our nation’s history. The Confederate States of America started that war so that they could preserve states rights to own slaves, to put Americans in bondage.
  • Racial hatred. That, too. It is no mystery why the Confederate flag is seen flying at Ku Klux Klan rallies. The hate group that used to lynch African-Americans flies the Stars and Bars at its rallies to this day as a statement of solidarity with what the flag represents to them. In the KKK’s eyes, the Stars and Bars symbolizes their desire to continue their hatred against citizens who happen to be of African descent.

NASCAR shouldn’t be condemned necessarily for waiting so long to do the right thing. Instead, I merely will salute the racing governing body for doing it … period.

The organization that was born in the South but which seeks to expand its fan base far beyond its Southern base has lined up on the right side of history.

So long, Confederate flag!

What do you know about that? Hell has this way of continually freezing over.

NASCAR, the Southern-based sports giant that features cars that roar around race tracks, has decided to ban the display of Confederate flags at its events.

It’s a response to the Black Lives Matter movement that has erupted around the country in the wake of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis. What’s more, Floyd’s death is just the latest involving the death of African-Americans at the hands of police officers.

Race car driver Bubba Wallace, one of the few black drivers active with NASCAR, called on the sports giant to ban the flag. NASCAR heard Wallace’s demand and, by golly, acted on it!

In some way, this isn’t all that surprising. NASCAR has sought for years to expand its fan base beyond its Deep South roots. It conducts races at tracks all over the nation. It’s big in California, in New England, in the upper Midwest, in the Rust Belt, all along the Atlantic Seaboard, in the desert Southwest.

The Stars and Bars to some represents a symbol of Southern heritage. To others it represents slave ownership, repression of human beings, disloyalty to the United States … given that the Confederate States of America went to war with the U.S. of A. to preserve their right to continue slave ownership.

It’s no coincidence, of course, that the Confederate flags fly during Ku Klux Klan rallies or those events sponsored by neo-Nazis and assorted white supremacists.

NASCAR did what it had to do. I am delighted to see this news. I am glad Bubba Wallace’s demand did not go unheard. It remains to be seen, of course, how NASCAR will deal with fans who come to these races in the future carrying the Confederate flag or wearing it on t-shirts.

Striking the Stars and Bars colors from NASCAR events, though, is a constructive start in the effort to rid the nation of a symbol that means divisiveness and hatred.

What’s with the Stars and Bars at the anti-pandemic restriction rally?

This picture was snapped at a rally today in Wisconsin, where some folks are seemingly angry about the restrictions being imposed on them by that state’s governor.

The issue? It’s the coronavirus pandemic. Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, has declared a state of emergency. The shut down orders have frozen the state’s economy, as similar orders have done throughout the nation. Indeed, the entire nation has been frozen economically in place.

Worse, though, is that Americans are being felled by the deadly virus. Thousands of Americans are dying … still!

Here’s what is puzzling me: the presence of the Confederate flag. What in the name of civil violence is that all about? It appears to be a classic TEA party dodge. You remember those folks. They argue for less government, fewer taxes. They want government to get the heck out of people’s lives.

Some of these TEA party fanatics have been known to fly the ol’ Stars and Bars at their rallies. I saw a rebel flag pictured at a similar rally in Lansing, Mich. Do you know what that flag symbolizes to me? I am about to tell you.

It symbolizes high treason, a Civil War, a call for a return to the old days when white Americans could own black Americans and treat them like property … you know, sorta the way they treat their, oh, livestock.

Is this what we’ve come to in this country as we fight a deadly worldwide pandemic? That it’s OK to march under a banner that symbolizes — in my view — the darkest time in our nation’s history?

This bizarre juxtaposition appears to validate my own long held notion that those who want to rush the country back to the “old normal” are as insane as those who wanted the nation to go war with itself over slavery.

Wondering about POTUS’s stated anger at NFL players

Donald J. Trump stood before an Alabama political rally crowd and called professional players “sons of b******” if they don’t stand while they play the National Anthem at the start of a game.

He got big cheers. He lapped it up.

But when white supremacists, neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klansmen marched in Charlottesville, Va., provoking a conflict earlier this year with counter protestors, he said “both sides” were responsible for the violence and that “very fine people” were among those who marched with the KKK, Nazis and white supremacists.

He talked in Alabama this weekend about “disrespecting” Old Glory and “The Star Spangled Banner.” He didn’t talk at all about flying the Confederate flag — which is an enduring symbol of a 19th-century movement to destroy the United States of America.

Trump talks about standing up for our democratic principles. But he hasn’t yet condemned the Russians for hacking into our electoral process — a virtual “act of war” against those very principles he now defends against professional athletes who are protesting police policies as they relate to African-American citizens.

It needs to be said that the bulk of the protests over the Anthem are coming from African-American athletes.

The president of the United States then calls them “sons of b******” because they are engaging in a peaceful protest of a government policy.

Is this argument being waged along racial lines? Donald Trump today said “no!” He said he’s never raised the issue of race. It’s about respecting the symbols of our “great country.”

Someone will have to explain to me in language I can understand just how all of this is not related to the racial makeup of those who are protesting.

Flag becomes easy target … with good reason

confederate flag

A flag is coming down today. TV networks are going to cover the event live, such as they did when we launched men to the moon or when we held state funerals for a murdered president.

This is a big deal for an important reason.

The flag — which symbolizes the kind of bigotry that helped launch the Civil War — is an easily recognizable symbol. Its intent today, in many quarters, is to inspire fear and to terrorize Americans.

It has to come down and it has to be placed in a museum, where adults can tell their children about what this flag means to so many millions of Americans.

The flag in question has flown on the state capitol grounds in Columbia, S.C., the state where just a few weeks ago nine African-Americans were slaughtered in a Charleston church. A young white man has been charged with murder; and that same young white man has been revealed to harbor hatred for African-Americans.

And yes, he’s displayed pictures of himself waving that Confederate battle flag.

You see the flag and any number of things come into your mind.

I see the flag as a symbol of oppression. That it would fly on public property — which is owned jointly by African-Americans and white Americans who see the flag as many of us do — is an insult in the extreme.

Moreover, the flag is different from many other Confederate symbols, such as statues.

There’s a statue at the west end of Ellwood Park here in Amarillo of a Confederate soldier. To be honest, I drove by it for years before I even knew what it represented. To this very day I cannot tell you who it represents, and I doubt most Amarillo residents even know the name of the individual depicted by that statue.

Should that artifact come down? I don’t believe its removal is as necessary as the removal of the flag from the statehouse grounds in South Carolina.

We know what the Confederate battle flag represents to many Americans.

And because it is so easily recognizable as what it is, then it needs to come down.

Today.

 

Tumult unlikely to let up

gay marriage

It’s been a tumultuous past few days, right?

The Confederate flag has come under intense fire; then the Supreme Court steps in and — in order — affirms the Affordable Care Act and then legalizes gay marriage.

Let the arguments ensue.

As for the gay marriage issue, I want to make only this point.

Those who oppose the court’s ruling as a threat to traditional marriage ought to take a deep breath and wait.

They need to wait to see — and this will take time — if the rate of traditional weddings drops off; or if the rate of traditional divorce increases.

I suspect we’ll see an increase in gay marriages across the land, as same-sex couples now are able to marry openly — and legally.¬†Would that increase¬†signify a disproportionate representation of the number of Americans who happen to be gay? That remains to be seen as well. I continue to believe¬†the percentage of gay people is as it’s always been; we’ve seen a spike in the percentage of those who have “come out.”

I only can speak for myself and — on this matter — for my wife. Neither of us feels threatened by the court decision. We’ve been at this marriage game for going on 44 years. It’s worked pretty well for us.

In that regard, I’m not yet willing to concede that the court majority’s ruling is going to trigger an avalanche of divorces among heterosexual couples. Nor am I willing to believe that a serious decline in weddings involving men and women marrying each other is on the horizon.

Patience, please. Let’s see what transpires.