I suspect we’re being manipulated on Confederate flag issue

ACHTUNG: The following is a not “fair and balanced” story. It is an editorial by the editor.

The furor over the Confederate flag Confederate flagflying at the capital of South Carolina is approaching frenzy, yet it isn’t really necessary. I suspect someone is helping ratchet up the anger and emotions for some kind of benefit.

Despite what some claim on Facebook posts, Fox News and conservative news sites, the Confederate flag is not being outlawed or banned. What is happening in Charleston is performing the simple act of removing the flag from public space. And I support that.

I have no issue with anyone displaying his or her Confederate flag on his or her property. Nor do I have an issue with a business that prominently displays this flag on its premises. The flag is personal property and its owner has every right to display it on private property.

However, it is inappropriate to fly a flag that has been a huge symbol for a group of states that seceded from the United States of America, principally over the right to own and enslave other human beings.

Regardless of what some pseudo-historians claim, the Civil War, or the War Between the States, essentially was fought because of the South’s insistence on continuing a barbaric practice. I’ve read material to the contrary, and as a lifelong student of history who earned a degree in the subject, I find such revisionism a load of hooey.

I still must stress that individual people, groups and businesses have a right to display the Confederate flag. No one should be allowed to confiscate what is their property, especially on their property.

However, flying what is widely regarded by African Americans as a symbol of racial hatred and the defense of the barbarism of slavery should not be permitted on public property by a public institution. It is reprehensible to dismiss their feelings on this issue. It demonstrates to victims of the institution of slavery an endorsement of what amounted to the defense of an evil practice and also involved sedition against this nation.

Now comes a lot of stuff on Facebook showing that the Confederate flag on top of the “Dukes of Hazzard” car is being eliminated. That is not a government decision. That is a business decision. As is the decision by NASCAR to continue flying this flag at its races.

There also are many references to Americans being offended by the “Stars and Bars,” but not by Muslims or dissenters burning or walking on an American flag. This shows very clearly that a flag is not just a piece of cloth, that it rightly or wrongly has deep meaning to citizens.

What’s missing here is that when the U.S. Supreme Court decided in 1989 to permit flag burning as free speech, the number of such incidents decreased remarkably. Those who do it simply want attention, just like those ISIS nuts who send us videos of beheadings.

We Americans are famous, unfortunately, for getting really geeked up about emotional issues that really aren’t all that important in the greater picture. I’d like to see a serious and honest discussion about racism replace this furor over a flag.

My greatest fear is that we Americans can be so easily manipulated by emotional issues that we lose our sense of critical thinking and rational thought. This is why we’ve made huge military mistakes such as Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan over the past 50 years. I fear we are too easily misled, by Democrats (think Lyndon Johnson) and Republicans (think George W. Bush) alike.

Then think about why it’s been happening. Somebody is making good money here, and it ain’t us.

1 Comment

  • Mr. Editor,
    I agree with you and by the way so does FOX News. To be fair, the flag you show in your editorial is the Confederate Battle Flag, not the national flag of the Southern States of America. To be fair, you could mention the Stars and Bars was flying over a Confederate military cemetery, on the State Capitol grounds yes, but not over the capitol.
    A commentator on MSNBC stated the United States has never atoned for slavery. 410,000 soldiers, the equivalent to 3,840,000 American soldiers today (97% of them white) who died to free the slaves would disagree. More Americans died to abolish slavery than died in all our other wars combined; we must ask, what will it take to atone for something no one alive today had anything to do with?

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