This is making the rounds on my social media and I thought i’d share it here. MoveOn has a petition to remove the confederate flag from the SC government building. Please go over there and sign it.
Also in doing my research on helpful resources on why this flag is all sorts of problematic i ran across this excellent explainer on the WaPo. Here are the passage that stuck out to me, but please read the whole thing and share it if you can!
I take it that you don’t approve of the use of the flag.
I object to the use of the flag for a few reasons. On the one hand, I don’t condone it because it’s a reflection of the great treason of the South in the 19th century, of its secession from the Union in defense of slavery, and its rejection of patriotism and nationalism. So just on political principles, the flag is a reminder that the South was once a rebellious and treasonous actor on the global stage.
But what is far more problematic is that there is no way to separate the fact that it is on all of those flag poles and on those license plates, that it’s on t-shirts and coffee cups and other paraphernalia, precisely because it was resurrected in the 1940s and 1950s as part of a massive resistance campaign against the civil rights movement. It wouldn’t exist in our national popular culture without this moment, when African Americans fought for their equality, and the battle flag was recovered and redeployed as a symbol of opposition to it.
What was once a very blatant, full-throated defense of white supremacy has now become this gesture to heritage and history that is presented as though it has nothing to do with the civil rights movement. But it has everything to do with the civil rights movement.
Do you think it’s possible for someone to embrace the flag without explicitly or implicitly promoting racism?
The short answer is no.
Wearing the flag or celebrating it, putting it on your car window or coffee table in your house, it’s a reminder to everyone, to every guest, to every person who sees it, black or white, that you are a stakeholder in the Confederate history of the South, and therefore the defense of slavery and racial prejudice. No one is immune to this.
Even to say that it’s about heritage not hate, is to recognize that for many people it is inextricably about hate. You can’t filter out the racism and leave what’s pure and historical in the flag, because that purity doesn’t exist. Some things are so primitively stained or tarnished by history that that can never be set side. The flag is a perfect example.