First the Confederate Flag, but What Goes Next?
WARNING: this is a potentially offending post. I mention it because I don’t normally post things like this for a number of reasons, one being that I don’t like to offend people. So read on at your own risk.
“Let’s outlaw the confederate flag! They were our enemies – it is the flag of someone we fought and beat!”
Sure. Then, are we going to outlaw the Japanese flag because they used to be our enemy? So did Germany, Finland, Russia, and even England. Remember that war of independence we’re getting ready to (sort of) commemorate with fireworks? Yet I can still buy, wear, and fly the Union Jack all I want. We have a HOLIDAY commemorating DEFEATING these people, but their flag is acceptable, however the “confederate flag” – which was not the flag of their “country” – FYI – but rather a symbol of battle – is suddenly taboo.
“It’s not the war. It’s slavery.”
Funny story. When those slaves were shipped, sold, and purchased, those Confederate States were part of the good ‘ol United States – meaning they flew the Stars and Stripes. Remember that Union Jack I mentioned? Surprise! Britain had slavery too! Under that flag which I can buy, sell, hang, and put on t-shirts and still be considered PC. Why, because their flag doesn’t stand for slavery anymore than the confederate flag does!
“But you’re not from the south, why do you care?”
You’re right. I went to a fine northern school. And at the school I was a cheerleader with cool cheer-leading jacket. My brother was on the junior high football team with his awesome t-shirt. I got a letter jacket – AND THEY ALL HAVE THAT CONFEDERATE FLAG ON THEM! We were The Rebels, and the confederate flag – and an adorable little confederate soldier – were our school symbols – and we were perfectly proud of them. We painted our faces on homecoming with it, we drew it on posters, we hung it on banners – and it had NOTHING TO DO WITH SLAVERY! It wasn’t a “slave” school. It was a heck of a good school, that taught us things like “think for yourself” and “a flag is just a piece of cloth “. A flag did not shoot anyone. A flag did not burn anything down. A flag did not whisper evil intentions. Like a piece of art work, a flag hung there, meaning EXACTLY WHAT THE VIEWER WANTED IT TO MEAN.
And, aside from the school angle, THAT is what pisses me off. That flag “means” something “bad”. How long before “this song means something bad – ban it!” and “this book means something bad – ban it!” and “this painting means something bad – ban it!” They already cancelled a television show – not because of it’s offensive content, but because there is a confederate flag painted ON THE CAR! What other TV will be cancelled in the future because someone doesn’t like a part of the set design, a painting hanging in the background, a character’s name, or a character’s past? How long before everything produced – music, books, TV, artwork, comic books, etc etc. – have to pass through the “tut, tut, someone is offended” filter?
And you know what? People will STILL be offended. Just as with the confederate flag, they see what they WANT to see. They can read symbolism into it, they can see a bunch of meaningless colors, or they can see a homecoming game and band competition. If they want to be offended – go for it. That is their right, but quit shouting that everyone else who doesn’t is racist. After all, I’m the one looking at a flag and thinking parades. They’re the one worried about skin color.