Fly the flag of the Confederate States of America?

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This topic contains 61 replies, has 16 voices, and was last updated by  SteveInCO 5 years, 6 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 62 total)
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  • #486

    _Robert_
    Participant

    @gm,
    Your analogy is way off base. Nobody is denying that slavery and it’s horrors existed. I am changing my mind, and now agree that the flag should be removed. Let me re-articulate my original objection

    The battle flag is NOT a racist symbol to anyone in my circles in GA and Fl. It may be to you, but not to us. It really is only a stupid Southern pride thing and that is all. Pride that the south with like one cannon factory gave the inept Yankee generals 4 years of hell. That sort if thing. There is NO pride here that we were the last region that held on to slavery. So yeah, it’s a bit like WWI. Treat the losers with enough disrespect and they resent it. It makes them hang on.

    Now if enough people believe that the battle flag flying over a cemetery where rebel soldiers lie, truly propagates racism, OK lets get rid of it for their sake. We should never pretend the war didn’t happen.

    #490

    SteveInCO
    Participant

    You know, when I was down in Louisiana, I discovered the people there do not call it the “American Civil War”. They call it the “War of Northern Aggression”. They also claim some of the northern states still had slaves, and that the war was fought because the north was losing out on import taxes etc when the southern plantations decided to develop and use a southern port instead of transporting their produce up to the northern ports.

    Yes, I’ve heard “War of Northern Aggression” before myself. They’re actually right about northern states; some were still slave states but didn’t secede for one reason or another. (Keep talking to these folks and they’ll claim Lincoln prevented secession votes in those states by force of arms.) The Emancipation Proclamation specifically excluded slaves held in Union territory. Since the Confederate areas didn’t consider themselves bound by anything the United States government did, it therefore had no immediate effect. Only by having union forces gain territory covered by the proclamation were slaves freed by it. (Slaves escaping and crossing the lines, however, were instantly free men.)

    Nevertheless I reject Southern-sympathisers claims that the war was not really about slavery. All the tensions that led up to it were over the south’s increasing butthurt over the number of non-slave states that were being admitted to the Union; they clearly felt threatened by that more than anything else.

    I’ll see these sorts of arguments erupt in internet fora that I am a part of, and it’s striking how the southern side of the argument will cite Northern sources talking about “preserving the union” but the northern side of the argument cites the statements of southerners as to why they had seceded (e.g. the Mississippi constitution and secession declaration). The most neutral statement I can make on the basis of all of this is that perhaps the North really just wanted to preserve the union, but the south left because they feared slavery would be abolished if they did not. So the north’s issue was causally secondary to the south’s issue.

    The south may have asserted their right to run their societies as they please (“states rights”) but my response to that is quite simply, you don’t have a collective right to violate someone else’s right. Rights are individual, you don’t gain new ones that supersede others, by the act of banding together and voting on them. That’s why, for instance, it’s fucking jackassical (and infuriating, to me) for some biblethumper village in Tennessee to complain that they have a right to establish their religion and the small minority of non-Baptists that has managed to put up with their bullshit for generations, can pound sand.

    #551

    PopeBeanie
    Moderator

    The battle flag is NOT a racist symbol to anyone in my circles in GA and Fl.

    That’s good, but that doen’t mean that only the white majority gets to determine what’s “racist”.

    #560

    _Robert_
    Participant

    That’s good, but that doen’t mean that only the white majority gets to determine what’s “racist”.

    Excuse me Holy Father, but please don’t put words in my mouth. Each person gets to decide what a symbol means to them. Florida, Georgia, Texas, Mississippi, and Virginia all voted for a black president in 2008. Even the song “Sweet Home Alabama” by that battle flag waving band is misunderstood. Yes, the same band that has an anti-Saturday Night Special handgun song.

      One Southerner Boo-ing another…(with the help of a black back-up singer)

    “In Birmingham THEY love the gov’nah BOO BOO BOO
    WE all did what WE could do

      He’s not painting all Northerners as corrupt so don’t paint us all as racists…

    Watergate does not bother ME
    Does YOUR conscience bother YOU

    #562

    PopeBeanie
    Moderator

    Excuse me Holy Father, but please don’t put words in my mouth.

    You’re right, mea culpa.

    I’m happy to see how white-majority SC lawmakers took down the flag, and hope that AL can also overcome its white majority cultural momentum. I’ll side with the states rights advocates, for now.

    #571

    Gallup’s Mirror
    Participant

    @gm, Your analogy is way off base.

    In what way?

    Nobody is denying that slavery and it’s horrors existed.

    Nobody accused you of denying the existence of slavery.

    I’m suggesting your argument willfully ignores that Confederate flags actually represent the Confederacy. That purpose is true as a matter of fact, not opinion. It remains true even if Confederate flags hold additional meaning for some.

    I am changing my mind, and now agree that the flag should be removed.

    I admire the rare ability to rethink a conviction, Robert.

    Let me re-articulate my original objection. The battle flag is NOT a racist symbol to anyone in my circles in GA and Fl. It may be to you, but not to us.

    There is no intellectually honest claim that the Confederate flag is not a racist symbol, aside from ignorance (sincere or willful) that the Confederacy was founded on genocidal racism, slavery and white supremacy. These unpleasant thoughts may not enter your mind, but that does not extricate the Confederacy from the very Confederate symbols which represent it by design.

    It really is only a stupid Southern pride thing and that is all. Pride that the south with like one cannon factory gave the inept Yankee generals 4 years of hell. That sort if thing. There is NO pride here that we were the last region that held on to slavery.

    I understand that for many the Confederate flag symbolizes “regional pride in the South”. I don’t dispute that. I’m pointing out that Confederate flags symbolize “the Confederacy and its values” as powerfully as any other meaning. This is the reason why white supremacists use them.

    So yeah, it’s a bit like WWI. Treat the losers with enough disrespect and they resent it. It makes them hang on.

    The Southerners of today generally do not want warfare, slaves, white supremacy, racism or genocide, which (in addition to 150 years) separates them from the losers of the Civil War. Setting identity politics aside, I don’t think Southerners today are treated disrespectfully overall, any more than I think you personally have been mistreated in this conversation, Robert. I like and respect you personally. It’s the argument you put forth that I find fragile and unworthy.

    That said, I do not respect dead Confederate soldiers any more than dead Nazi soldiers or dead Khmer Rouge fighters. I abhor them. If their deaths however wasteful and tragic were detrimental to their causes, then I am glad they died.

    Now if enough people believe that the battle flag flying over a cemetery where rebel soldiers lie, truly propagates racism, OK lets get rid of it for their sake.

    How much is “enough people”? And which people in what location? For instance, if 70% of African Americans in the U.S. see Confederate flags as symbols of racism, should a memorial at a cemetery in Alabama fly the flag or not?

    We should never pretend the war didn’t happen.

    Nobody is suggesting we should. Even if someone did, insisting the Confederate flag “is NOT a racist symbol” would be no less pretentious.

    #668

    DrBob
    Participant

    You know, when I was down in Louisiana, I discovered the people there do not call it the “American Civil War”. They call it the “War of Northern Aggression”.

    Every time I run into this I respond “Oh, you mean the War to End Wicked Southern Human Rights Abuses? Somehow saying ‘Civil War’ just seems more civil…”

    #670

    _Robert_
    Participant

    You know, when I was down in Louisiana, I discovered the people there do not call it the “American Civil War”. They call it the “War of Northern Aggression”.

    Every time I run into this I respond “Oh, you mean the War to End Wicked Southern Human Rights Abuses? Somehow saying ‘Civil War’ just seems more civil…”

    Yeah DrBob and unlike the American Methodist and Baptist churches that split into Northern and Southern churches, the Catholics held together; some pro some con. Why, in 1965 the Second Vatican Council even declared that forced slavery was an infamy that dishonored the Creator and was a poison in society.
    Damm, I am so impressed !!!

    #684

    Unseen
    Participant

    I am for taking the flag down in general, but this whole thing can easily turn into a witch hunt of sorts. Kind of like rewriting history. Locally, apparently there’s a cemetary with a few Confederate veterans and there’s a little memorial with a carved version of a Confederate flag. There are people who won’t feel their lives are complete until the memorial is torn down. The next step, I fear, will be to exhume the soldiers and urinate on their corpses before using a trebuchet to launch them into a shit pit.

    #696

    SteveInCO
    Participant

    We are also now seeing demands that the Stone Mountain relief sculpture be removed.

    #701

    Unseen
    Participant

    The past is safely in the past. Let’s not try to erase it. Let’s discuss it.

    #705

    PopeBeanie
    Moderator

    I think the smaller stuff will blow over, unless somebody pisses carelessly.

    #1025

    Unseen
    Participant

    I think black people see the Civil War as The War of Slave Liberation, but it was a lot more complicated than that. Almost none of the Confederate infantrymen were slave plantation owners or even owners of a single slave. If they had two functioning brain cells, they might have realized that every slave sent out into the field represented a job that poor white guy couldn’t have. Slavery made the slaveholders rich and the poor whites poor. Thus, one has to assume that most of the Confederate soldiers were NOT fighting to ensure the slave system but had other reasons.

    #1165

    erock68la
    Participant

    I was born and raised in Louisiana and I never once heard a real person say “War of Northern Aggression”. I’ve only ever heard it said in movies by actors doing a bad imitation of a southern accent. I don’t know who “the people down there” are who say that but I never met them.
    That being said, there are plenty of toothless morons who fly their flag hoping the south’s gon do it agin.

    #1171

    Strega
    Moderator

    @erock68la I was down in Louisiana, Baton Rouge are and stayed around a month. Admittedly they weren’t the most educated people I stayed with, but they were fun. I heard the expression “War of Northern Aggression” for the first time in Bourbon Street Market and when I questioned what it was, I realized they meant the Civil War. Fascinated by the terminology difference, I probed on one or two other occasions and had it confirmed. Without that trip, I’d never have heard of the term. I was led to believe it’s a common expression, but that may not be true, based on your statement above. Always willing to learn 🙂

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 6 months ago by  Strega.
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