Sunday, June 28, 2015
Stars, Bars, and High Crimes
To what I am speaking is, of course, this mass hysteria over the Confederate flag, which has now expanded to Confederate statues in state capitols, parks, and even cemeteries. There was almost an influx of air as individuals elected to represent the people rushed to remove the Southern Cross, as it's properly called, from every flag pole they could find. This was followed by retailers promising to remove anything which bore the vile image or any of the great leaders of the "Lost Cause" from their shelves. Hell, even Warner Brothers removed the Confederate flag from "The Dukes of Hazard's" bright orange "General Robert E. Lee", which, by the way, is no longer going to known as the "General Robert E. Lee". Now, there's talk about removing the remains of some of the greatest military and political leaders in American History---Nathan Bedford Forrest, Jefferson Davis, Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson and others---simply because they defended a cause they believed in, which ended 150 years ago (and this desecration includes their wife's graves too if they are buried in the same plot together). There is even some wanting to remove street signs and names of schools which bear the name of some long dead Confederate. Meanwhile, apparently a few "white haters" have started vandalizing Confederate statues and tombstones of fallen Confederate soldiers (I won't used the politically correct phrase, "tagging" since it implies some harmless fun, which this isn't).
Why I wondered? Why would there be so "much to ado about nothing"; this "tempest in a teapot" to borrow from Bill Shakespeare. It seems it all got started when some photographs appeared online of our most recent mass murder celebrity, Mr. Roof. It seems that there are two or three pictures of Mr. Dylann Roof, alone, holding a small Confederate battle flag. One picture, as I recall, taken on a beach, shows where he had written "88" in the sand---a referenced to the Hitler and Nazis used by white hate groups. Well, ok then. If this individual wants to be identified as Neo-Nazis or whatever, that's fine. I don't think there's any doubt that this was a hate crime to begin with and should be treated accordingly.
Yes, some have been successful in convincing people that the War between the States was fought solely over the issue of slavery, but
Maybe you didn't know too that Lincoln originally did not oppose slavery as long as it held the Union together, or that he thought the races would never get along together and intended to propose returning freed slaves to Africa or to relocate them out West. The famous "Emancipation Proclamation, issued by Lincoln following the bloody battle of Gettysburg applied to states which had succeed from the Union and not to the slave states which remained. Why? Simple military strategy. Stalemate. Freeing the slaves meant there was no one to bring in the crops. Therefore, Southern soldiers were forced to leave to tend the fields to keep their families from starving. This improved the odds for the North of winning. So, with only 4% or less of the population owning slaves, do you really think that 96% of the, mostly poor, farmers and merchants, left everything to fight for the 4%? No, I don't either.
Speaking of symbols, in those pictures I mentioned, Mr. Roof was wearing a Gold's Gym t-shirt. Are you prepared to call Gold's Gym
Maybe we should start at the beginning and go after those African tribes who captured and sold their fellow Africans to the white slave traders? Of course, we'll need to include the Arabs (who, along some African tribes, still carry on the practices today). If we really want to be back to basics, what about the Bible and Koran? Both condone slavery, not to mention, gender discrimination, mutilation, and enslavement, as well as ethnic and religious genocide. That ought to solve the problem don't you think?