So Long, Dixie

It was just past midnight. I had worked well past my scheduled time, and as gratitude for that my boss offered me a ride home. I accepted. 

We approached his car, a teal Pontiac Grand Am flying a confederate flag. I knew what the confederate flag was, of course, but had never actually seen it smeared upon a vehicle before.

We got in and buckled our seatbelts. 

After turning the key in the ignition, my boss pulled a nightstick from a pocket in his car door, one just like a police officer would wield, and with a crooked grin announced, “This is my nigger beater.”

I didn’t know what to say. Never before had I been faced with such blatant racism. A million thoughts swarmed through my head like bees in a hive, but none of those thoughts led to words. I’m not often shocked into silence, but that night I was. I never got in a car with him again.

I’m a little irritated. You see, there’s been another mass murder in my country. I normally refrain from commenting on such atrocities because pleas for gun control seem to fall on deaf ears. Guns are a big business in this country and as long as they keep funneling money to politicians gun laws will never change.

This barbarity, however, was racially motivated and has sparked a debate about the confederate flag. Is it a symbol of bigotry? Depends who you ask. Some folks will tell you it’s a symbol of southern pride. Of tradition. Or that it’s a symbol for states’ rights.

This all has me a little irritated. Most people would tell you it’s a racist symbol, and I agree.

I’ve had more than one person tell me that the Civil War was not fought over slavery, but over states’ rights. Outside of the Bill of Rights, I’ve been told, the states are supposed to govern themselves without interference from the federal government. That last is true, of course. I, however, learned in school that the Civil War was fought because the south didn’t want to give up their slaves. I just assumed everyone else had been taught the same thing I had.

Turns out that, on the surface, the Civil War was technically about states’ rights. You see, Abraham Lincoln made it pretty clear that he intended to abolish slavery if elected, and that would have infringed upon the rights of the 15 states who’d legalized slavery. South Carolina wasted no time seceding from the union (the first state to do so), and in their declaration made it abundantly clear that their rights as slaveholders were the reason why.

So you see, it was about states’ rights, and the right they seceded to protect was the right to own slaves. People. Mothers. Fathers. Sons. Daughters. They wanted to own people. I cannot even imagine such a fucked up society.

South Carolina’s declaration goes on and on about how the northern states and the federal government had overstepped the boundaries of the Constitution by harboring escaped slaves and threatening to outlaw slavery, but never once does it mention the United States’ declaration to England (which was written by a lot of the same people who drafted the Constitution) which says that all men were created equal. I’m no genius, but I’m pretty sure if one man owns another man there’s no equality there.

The confederate flag became the symbol of the south during the Civil War. The confederate forces flew that flag into battle. It represented a rogue nation who believed it was their right to own people. Black people, to be specific. For that reason, anything representing the confederacy absolutely sickens me.

I know there are people who believe that our federal government has become big. Unwieldy. There are some who believe that states should be free to govern themselves. Those people do have valid points. However, justifying the flight of the confederate flag as a representation of states’ rights or southern tradition is just ludicrous. It is not in question what “right” the south fought for. They did not even attempt to hide it. They tried to form their own country, represented by the confederate flag, all in the name of slavery.

Disgusting.

Frankly, it is time for the confederate flag to disappear. You may believe it represents southern pride. You may believe it represents states’ rights. You may even believe it represents southern tradition. The fact of the matter is, though, that an illegitimate government flew that flag while fighting for the “right” to own black people. That flag should not be flying on any government property, state or federal. Ideally, it wouldn’t fly anywhere. It is a symbol of inhumanity.

Advertisements
About Twindaddy (330 Articles)
Sometimes funny. Sometimes serious. Always genuine.

41 Comments on So Long, Dixie

  1. I recently was asked to explain slavery … by Li’l D.

    The idea of it is so preposterous, I can’t fathom explaining it in a way he could possibly believe. And yet, his great grandma’s grandpa was a freed slave. Unthinkable, all of it, then and now.

    Like

  2. I’m not American, and don’t particularly know the history, but from afar, it seems to me that that flag represents pure evil. Sure, people can remember it as representing other things too, they’re well within their rights, but a mass murderer can still help a little old lady cross the road (well, before he eats her or something)… There are parts of history that are worth letting go. The German people have let go of a horrid past – they don’t celebrate it. They let it pass. Maybe there’s a lesson there.

    And for other equally great news… there is still slavery in this world. 2015 and people are still buying and selling other people. That is the definition of an atrocity.

    Like

  3. Hell yes! And, the confederate flag was not flown at the SC State Capital Building until the 1960’s. It was raised in protest to civil rights legislation. Before that, just the US and State flag were there.

    Like

  4. That flag was not flown for most of 120 years following the Civil War. It was in mothballs. It was hauled out again in the early 1960s in response to the laws that were being passed one after another to give African Americans more rights. It was a symbol of resistance to equality, to voting rights, to ending Jim Crow laws.

    Anybody who says it isn’t a symbol of racism is a liar or a fool. Probably both.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. plaguedparents // June 23, 2015 at 9:12 pm // Reply

    Here! Here! That flag and all it represents needs to go the way of the dinosaur. If the Confederate flag represent the proud history of the South, as some southerners suggest then I question the basis and meaning of historical pride.

    Like

  6. Agree. The fact that their flag is flown in the name of hate is deplorable. I’m glad people are fighting against it, people running stores are refusing to sell it, and even SC wants to remove it from their capitol.

    Like

  7. The flag may represents Southern pride in the minds of some people – but it matters how it perceived by everyone else, whether others make the same connection. After all, swastika is an ancient Buddhist symbol, but it is hardly ever perceived as such anymore.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m glad you wrote this – I’m still learning about all the ins and outs surrounding this symbol but the more I hear about it, the less I like it, and the more I feel it’s time for it to be taken away and burnt. Why people should feel the need to protect a racist symbol at the expense of compassion and humanity is BEYOND me. And those who DO want to proliferate it should be told that their mindset is archaic and NOT okay.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I have no idea why fools can’t find other symbols to make a statement with, if they absolutely must make statements. Prejudice and bigotry are two things I’ve never understood. Being in the Army, you quickly learn that everyone bleeds red no matter what the packaging looks like.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. So long and good riddance. You’re preaching to the converted here, my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Yeah I don’t get it. The Swastika is a part of German Heritage, but you don’t see it being flown. Nor the Iron Cross, or anything fascistic.
    As for the right to bear arms, I think it’s hilarious how misinterpreted that has become. It was written at a time when there was the worry that the British would return, and that people should have a right to form well-trained militias to fight off an oppressive government. You know, back before there was a separate armed forces. So, if it’s about the public having enough gun power to fight off an oppressive government, then it’s not about home defense, it’s not about arming gangs, it’s not about rednecks who like to shoot off guns. In fact, it’s kind of pointless. Could you imagine any militia in the United States that, if they felt that the US Government were oppressive, could take on the US Military? Like it or not, the United States is already a military totalitarian state. Sure, there’s democracy. Sort of. But if any government ever decided to enforce itself on its people, there’s nothing the people could do about it.
    When you’ve got AK-47s but your enemy has tanks and nuclear devices, the whole concept of the first amendment and a citizen’s right to bear arms becomes something of a joke. And the punchline is a state of fear and violence, and weapons manufacturers are the only ones laughing their way to the bank.

    Like

    • You’re right, of course. I honestly don’t know what these people are thinking. A lot of them genuinely want some sort of revolution, too.

      Frankly, if all those people would move to Texas, and then Texas seceded, I think I’d be happy.

      Like

  12. The ONLY time anybody should be using the term “buying >a persona person< dinner" (or something similar.)
    Any time someone uses it in the context of ownership of said other person, and are actually doing thus, makes them a scumbag.
    Just a thought.

    Like

    • Ugh!
      EDIT:The ONLY time anybody should be using the term “buying >a persona person< dinner" (or something similar.)
      Any time someone uses it in the context of ownership of said other person, and are actually doing thus, makes them a scumbag.
      Just a thought.

      Like

  13. It’s got to go. It just does.

    Like

  14. I admit to being confused here….if the flag is a symbol of Southern pride, what is that pride in? Losing a war? Or naming a school after a “great” General. He might have been great, but he lost. Would you name a school after Rommel or raise the Iron Cross as a symbol of your pride? Talk about everyone getting a freaking trophy. Oh wait, white supremacist do this…

    BUT I also do not think history should be rewritten. The flag belongs in a museum with the truth of the war. It should not be flown as a symbol of pride but rather memorialized as a symbol of rebels who fought a war to own people (masqueraded as States rights) and were defeated so that all men were equal.

    My main issue with having the flag be such a media/political topic is that the shooting wasn’t because of the flag. It was because a man was mentally ill.

    Or was he? Are we labeling everything now, is my question. Was he mentally ill or was he just a jerk who decided he hated someone based on their color? Can we never just say this is wrong and there is not one excuse for this person’s behavior. They cannot say they were ill or the black guy made me do it.

    He did it. There is no excuse and the explanation might only be that he was a jerk.

    I wish instead of focusing on the flag we would focus on the fact the Civil War ended in 1865. Black men got the right to vote in 1870. The Civil Rights Act was passed in 1964. Why is there such hatred based on skin color still today?

    That is the question we need to answer (in my opinion) and we need to figure out how to fix it.

    (Sorry for the novel. I added way more than my 2 cents, what do I owe?)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I honestly haven’t researched anything about that man who did this. From what I’ve read, that man was trying to incite a civil war and there were pictures of him on Facebook waving the confederate flag. I suppose I could look into it a bit more, but frankly I don’t feel like this piece of shit is worthy of my attention.

      The reason that the controversy over the flag is brewing, so far as I can tell, is because of John Stewart. He pointed out how ludicrous it was that the confederate flag (because of what it symbolizes) flies over the state capital in South Carolina. Then people started questioning it. And rightly so. I had no idea that reprehensible flag flew on any government grounds. Furthermore, I definitely had no idea that it was raised again back in the 60s to combat the civil rights movement.

      As to your questions, I have no clue why there is still race-based hate today. My only guess is that it has been passed down from generation to generation. How sad.

      Like

  15. Well said. Good riddance, giant symbol of racist fucks everywhere.

    Liked by 1 person

1 Trackback / Pingback

  1. It was perfect… | (Un)Diagnosed and still okay

Deposit 2 cents here

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: