Friar Bijou wrote:
So just by declaring a symbol you don't like to be "a symbol of racism", you can safely justify eradicating it.
But when someone displays a symbol advocating racism we can safely call them racist.
Symbols don't advocate anything at all. People do. Some people may interpret a symbol a given way, but that's 100% subjective. If enough people decide that a symbol means X, then to them, it means X. Period.
Sorry that hurts your feelings, buddy.
When did I say it did? It's not about feelings. It's about a rational interpretation of the events in question. If there was zero connotation or historical use (or opposition to) Lee's battle flag with the institution of slavery, then no one would bat any eye at it being waved in support of a statue to Lee. It's only because you have decided that that flag means "support for slavery/ violation of civil rights" that it has that meaning. It's 100% inside your own head (ok, the collective heads of those who view it that way).
There are a ton of people living in the South who do not see that flag the way you do. There are a very small number of white nationalists who do, and a much much larger number of anti-white-nationalists who do. But that's the issue here. You're basically adopting the meaning based on what people you presumably disagree with want. Why not just ignore them, tell them that's not what the flag stands for, and make fun of them for being so dumb as to think that way.
For someone who claims to oppose white nationalism, you sure seem happy to follow their lead on this one.
And before you go blah-blah-blah: The Virginia Battle Flag was carried by soldiers on behalf of a "nation" that
advocated for insisted that slavery was ideal (indeed, the foundation of their "nation") and that "negroes" were worth less than white people. That's called racism.
That is a gross simplification of the issue, and not at all what that flag stood for then, nor what it stands for to most people in the South. I get that you need to believe this is true so as to support a previously chosen narrative, but it's just not true.
By that same argument, any flag of the US older than 1865 is also a symbol of slavery and racism, since the US during that time period had legal slavery and special rules for treating its black citizens as "less than white people" (literally, in terms of census counts). You're choosing to obsessively focus on just one aspect of an entire period of history.
You would have a legitimate point if we were talking about the actual Confederate Flag, since we could readily argue that defense of the institution of slavery was a core tenant of that nation. However, extending that connotation to every flag used for any purpose by anyone who served or lived under the Confederacy, no matter their own personal actions, honor, or service, is ridiculous.
The irony here is that the Battle Flag was latched onto by many Southerners as a sign of pride specifically because it did *not* have any connection to slavery. It was about fighting spirit. Which was very important to those living in the South after the civil war. They'd just lost a horrific war. One in which many of those who fought and died did not have any great stake in (especially in terms of slavery itself), but who fought anyway because they felt that's what they should do. I get that in this age of conscientious objectors we assume that folks can and should chose not to fight for a nation if they don't agree with what they are fighting over, but in those days, that's now how people thought. How about we don't condemn them for this?
How about we also honor the fact that they did choose to fight. They did serve their country. Even if we disagree with what that country stood for, we can at least honor those who did the fighting. The absurd thing, is that we have somehow developed greater hatred for those who fought in the civil war over a century ago, while at the same time finding it in our hears to honor those who fought against us in Germany (in two world wars), in Japan, in Vietnam, etc. We don't dishonor or hate those who fought for the ****'s in WW2, because we understands that the overwhelming majority of them were not themselves adherents to that ideology. They were serving their country.
Why can't we find it in our hearts today to extend the same courtesy to those who fought in the Civil War? They were defeated over a century ago. That flag represents, not the ideology of the Confederacy, but the honor of those who fight for their country, regardless of what that country is. That's why it was selected to represent southern pride and honor. But that's not good enough for some people. You have to take that away from them as well.
I'm all for people flying that flag; it let's me know who the a-holes are without having to guess.
Wow. Um... You get that there are a lot of black folks who proudly fly that flag, right? I suppose they're all just self hating or something? Way to inject your own mental narrative there.
I'm with Samira in that if there is a monument to a Southern General for anything other than their Civil War stuff then they should stay.
Tell that to the angry mob. You get, thought, that the very same "anyone defending this symbol is a racist" methodology will be applied right to you though, right? You wont do this because you'll be called a racist too.
The problem is the methodology at play here.
There are idiots on the left, after all, just like on the right.
Sure. But right now, it's the idiots on the left who are the most problematic. I'm not seeing anyone on the right using violent protest to block anyone's free speech. I'm not seeing anyone on the right going around tearing down things they don't like and destroying public property that offends them.
There's kinda not an equivalence here IMO.