Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston



Friday, June 19, 2015

The Confederate Flag

The Confederate flag still flies over the South Carolina state house, and, by law, cannot be lowered to half staff as all other flags have been after the massacre in Charleston.

The link below documents the explicit meaning of the flag of the Confederacy:   White Supremacy. 

The designer of the second national flag of the #Confederacy, explaining what it stood for.


"The Confederate flag’s defenders often claim it represents “heritage not hate.” I agree—the heritage of White Supremacy was not so much birthed by hate as by the impulse toward plunder. Dylann Roof plundered nine different bodies last night, plundered nine different families of an original member, plundered nine different communities of a singular member. An entire people are poorer for his action. 

The flag that Roof embraced, which many South Carolinians embrace, does not stand in opposition to this act—it endorses it. That the Confederate flag is the symbol of of white supremacists is evidenced by the very words of those who birthed it: 

 Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner-stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth... This moral truth—“that the negro is not equal to the white man”—

is exactly what animated Dylann Roof. More than any individual actor, in recent history, Roof honored his flag in exactly the manner it always demanded—with human sacrifice."

 More thoughts and analyses on the massacre in Charleston, South Carolina: 





Shaw Kenawe said...

So. Carolina's governor, Nikki Haley: "Michael, Rena, Nalin and I are praying for the victims and families touched by tonight's senseless tragedy at Emanuel AME Church. While we do not yet know all of the details, we do know that we'll never understand what motivates anyone to enter one of our places of worship and take the life of another. Please join us in lifting up the victims and their families with our love and prayers."

From the blog, The Field Negro: "That was the governor of South Carolina, Nikki Haley, posting on her facebook page. Her statement offers a clue about what is currently wrong with America. "...we do know that we'll never understand what motivates anyone to enter one of our places of worship and take the life of another"

Ahhhm, hellooooo!! We do know what motivated this young man: His hatred for black people. For her to try and ignore that very glaring reality speaks volumes about the tenor of purposeful cluelessness that is so prevalent among a certain segment of our population.

"Instead of posting messages on her facebook page, Nikki Haley should demand that the flag of hatred flying over her state's capitol be removed. That would be a profile in courage. That would go a long way towards letting the rest of America know that hatred and bigotry will not be tolerated, and that proudly flying an official symbol of hatred and bigotry is not how you stop the next massacre of innocent unsuspecting Americans in their house of worship."

Shaw Kenawe said...

skudrunner, your comment did not address the subject of this post: The Confederate flag and its white supremacy roots.

Instead you came here with your usual talking points about the president and his wife and what a lucky life Mrs. Obama had: Her father worked the swing shift in the boiler room at Chicago's water purification plant. She grew up with her older brother, Craig, and parents in a one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment. She shared the living room with her brother, which was separated by a room divider. That was their bedrooms. I grew up middle class. My brother and I each had our own bedroom.

Your other usual whine was about how President Obama is responsible for the racial tensions in this country. Really.

Nothing about the racist Confederate flag. That's why your comment got deleted.

Ducky's here said...

The right is going through hoops to portray this tragedy as anything but a racist terrorist act.
The expected points have all been posted.

It happened because Obama has set back race relations in America.
It was an attack on Christianity.
The solution is more firearms.

Everything except racism. After all that flag is all about tradition and has nothing to do with racism.
Racism will not even be acknowledged.

The denial on the right is just stunning.
It's not that they fight back so much as just put their fingers in their ears and shut everything out.

The pope comes out with an encyclical on climate change and they go nuts.
What qualifies the pope to speak on climate?
How can a man with a masters in chemistry possibly match the qualifications of Jim "Snowball" Inhofe?

That flag will continue to fly without invoking shame. They can't start to acknowledge its purpose as a symbol without the whole house of cards starting to fall.

Dave Miller said...

Shaw, I know this is long... it's something I've been thinking about for some time, and I think it relates to today.

Years ago a group of people decided they wanted to see change in their country. They banded together, and after a while were strong enough to begin the push towards what they felt was the better path for the country.

The loved their country, were fiercely patriotic and were willing to make whatever sacrifices necessary to advance their goals. Literally, they changed their country. Government was subjected to their rules, and the military. Soon they identified the people who had held them back from achieving the greater glory God had for them.

And they set about to enslave them. In camps. And when the people were unable to work hard, or fast enough, the final solution was set in place. Soon, millions of people of Jewish descent lost their lives as the German people, proud protectors of their heritage and the fatherland, carried out a systemic execution of heinous proportions.

There watching over all of this was Adolph Hitler, standing proud as the Nazi flag rippled in the breeze.

Soon the United States and her Allies were moved to action and eventually, Germany fell. The dead and wounded were the largest the US had experienced since the Civil War in the mid 19th Century.

Today, Germany is a transformed country. They have moved into the family of nations, are now our allies and have left their evil pasts mostly behind them.

Gone are most, if not all of the vestiges of their past nationalism. This includes the most visible reminders of that past, their flag and the Nazi symbol that adorned it. No civilized person in Germany would ever think of raising the Nazi flag, as it is illegal to do. While there are some who would like to see that flag fly as a reminder of Germany’s proud past, the great majority of Germans support the ban.

And the Allies, who lost millions of lives in World War II, would never permit.

The Nazis lost. Their racist past was vanquished to the dust bins of history as people began to move past the recent evil that forever changed their country.

Call it the spoils of war, might makes right, or the tyranny of the majority, but the fact remains that the winners of war make the rules for the future. In Germany that meant no flags, no Nazi symbolism.

Today in our country, in South Carolina, while state and national flags are at half staff for the people brutally murdered as they prayed in a church, the Stars and Bars, the flag of a group of states that declared war on our country, indeed, on our soil, proudly flies at full mast.

All of the arguments the people of the south make for continuing to fly this flag were made by Nazi Germany. They are the arguments of Dylan Roof, the alleged killer of the people in South Carolina, and millions of southern apologists.

We didn’t accept those arguments then, and, as a country, we shouldn’t today.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Ducky: "That flag will continue to fly without invoking shame. They can't start to acknowledge its purpose as a symbol without the whole house of cards starting to fall."

The inability of certain groups of people in this country to see evil and acknowledge that evil when it is represented by a flag is a big part of the problem. Politicians ignore what is in front of their noses and make excuses for continuing to honor a symbol of white supremacy, racial hatred because of tradition? What does that say about people who honor that sort of tradition while being willfully blind to the evil it represents?

Shaw Kenawe said...

Dave, that was an eloquent example of how one group of people, the Germans, had the courage to face the atrocities they committed and had the determination to never let it happen again. That is national character. Something we lack here.

It's a shame there are too many people in this country too cowardly to face up to evil and reject it as the Germans rejected it. Maybe people like Nikki Haley who defend the Confederate flag and who pretend they don't know where this sort of racial hatred comes from need to look in the mirror to find the answers.

Shaw Kenawe said...

I found this over at Green Eagle's blog:

"Lindsay Graham, proud resident of the State of South Carolina, and current candidate for the Republican nomination to run for President, speaking about the Confederate flag:

'this is part of who we are.' "

See what I mean? Do these southern politicians know ANYTHING about the history of that flag? Are they that ignorant? Or just cowards, disgusting, pandering, cowards who, like Dylann Roof, are PROUD of what that flag represents?

Dave Miller said...

Yes, Lindsay, and the Nazi flag is part of who the Germans are. I am sure there are people who mourn the deaths of fathers, mothers, grandfathers and more, who died for the Nazi cause, just as southerners did here at places like Bull Run, Shepherdstown and Port Royal.

I do not deny that those southern soldiers fought bravely for their cause, just as the Germans did in the Battle of the Bulge and others. But, and this is where we part company... the south lost, not just in their bid to secede and continue to own slaves, but in their bid to be a separate country with a different flag.

Do they have a history? Yes, and it is as ugly as Nazism. You have no more right to flaunt that history than do the Germans, and over 1,000,000 Americans were wounded, or killed to say so.

Les Carpenter said...

Ducky- It happened because Obama has set back race relations in America.

The guy may be a racist but he is also a psychopath.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Don't people like Lindsey Graham know their own history? Do they not know that it was Confederate Vice-President Alexander Stephens of Georgia, who said this in the famous Corner Stone Speech:

"Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner- stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth. This truth has been slow in the process of its development, like all other truths in the various departments of science. It has been so even amongst us. Many who hear me, perhaps, can recollect well, that this truth was not generally admitted, even within their day. The errors of the past generation still clung to many as late as twenty years ago. Those at the North, who still cling to these errors, with a zeal above knowledge, we justly denominate fanatics."

The Confederacy itself was based upon racism, and its flag is the symbol of white supremacy.

What don't people like Graham get about this? And why do they defend the indefensible?

Dave Miller said...

Pure and simple Shaw... votes. That and lack of courage. While people like Christie will try and take on social security and say Dems are afraid to deal with the issue for fear of losing votes, who among the GOP will take on this, and other forms of inherent racism?

At least Ben Carson saw the connection between the acts in So Carolina and race relations. Sadly, many others, like Señor Bush didn't, or chose to ignore it, for fear of alienating right leaning voters.

You need go further than conservative blogs that are bashing libs for saying this is about race and not a persecutions of Black Christians for the faith.

BB-Idaho said...

Back in '64 while in army officer training outside a small Alabama town, I met a
young black, son of a physician. We walked through the town and were twice passed
by a bunch of teens with coon tails flying from their jalopy, "Which one of you is
the nigga boy?" they would shout. In place of a front license was the confederate
flag. Some things never seem to change.

D.K.J. said...

Rick Perry is a major a**hole:

Rick Perry Says Obama Administration Always Overreacts To ‘Accidents’ Like Charleston Shooting

Accident? Roof planned this massacre and said he wanted to start a race war. That's an accident?

Obama overreacts to 9 people being murdered in church? What did Perry expect the president to do? Say "Oops!"

(O)CT(O)PUS said...

Dave Miller posted a long comment with apologies (unnecessary, IMO). My reply is also long – but without apologies.

Why is a Confederate flag still flying over the South Chinalina capital? Why have the guardians of state refused to take it down, or fly it at half-mast, in deference to and respect for mourning families? Why is this symbol of slavery, segregation, hatred, persecution, and oppression still flying? Why THIS flag on THIS day? The reason is pure DEFIANCE! The same reason why a certain in-your-face troll, knowing the values and viewpoints of this forum, chooses to willfully taunt under cover of country bumpkin-ism. Only a naïve sap falls for this sucker ploy!

Consider the German post-WWII experience: A country in total ruin; abject poverty; long lines of German citizens filing past piles of corpses; newsreels of concentration camp atrocities; privation; national shame; and world condemnation! These are powerful experiences for any nation, and there are people alive today who recall these traumas as lived experience.

In contrast, the South got off cheap. It happened too long ago. And Southerners -- like scud-the-crud -- don’t give a shit. The Confederate flag continues to fly because there are bigots and racists in South Chinalina who defy or deny history.

Southerners raise the Confederacy to the level of mythology. They make no apologies for slavery or cruelty; feel no shame over segregation; show no remorse for the lynching and murder of innocent people; and offer no admissions of guilt. There are no moral lessons learned. Unlike Germany, the South escaped the definitive rebuke of history … with depraved indifference.

Our news media sanitizes the experience. We hear over-hyped news accounts but do not see the blood, the dead bodies, a look of terror, or the glazed eyes gone under Earth's lid.

Having lived and worked in London in the 1980s and Paris the 1990s – with extensive travel throughout the EU and former East bloc states – I can tell you that there are neo-Nazis everywhere. It did not end with WWII. There are skinheads, hooligans, and Nazi sympathizers in every working class neighborhood. Everywhere, you see swastika graffiti sprayed painted on walls and on the sides of buildings. In recent years, there has been a disturbing rise in anti-Semitism … overturned tombstones, murders in Paris, Hamburg, Nice, Marseilles, and Toulouse, and inside the Holocaust Museum in Brussels, as examples.

If you wonder why my comments are strident – and why I utterly despise stealth trolls like scud-the-crud -- it is because bigotry, racism, anti-Semitism, and hated are on the rise worldwide; and no amount of knuckleheaded naïveté will make it go away. Hyper-vigilance is the only remedy.

My great-grandfather was a college professor, a scholar, an author, and a human rights activist who was persecuted by the Nazis and executed by Adolph Eichmann. Let’s just say these concerns are hardwired in my genes.

Infidel753 said...

The actual founders of the Confederacy were very clear about what they were standing for, as the quotes make clear (here are some more). They believed in slavery strongly enough to fight like hell for it for four long, bloody years, and they fought for it under that flag. They would probably be disgusted at their modern successors' sniveling dissimulation and hypocrisy.

Dylann Roof seems to have had an interest in flags, having decorated his jacket with the apartheid-era South African and Rhodesian flags, something which took at least a little research and effort. Symbols matter.

DKJ -- yes, "accident". It looks like Rick Perry isn't any smarter this time around, even with glasses. No doubt this is just the first of many facepalm moments he'll provide.

Paula said...

The inability of some people on the right to face facts:

"I mean, why pick a church? You can kill black people anywhere."

Whoever wrote that is obviously trying to make the race-based murders committed by Roof into an attack on religious freedoms. That person deliberately ignores the fact that the shooter said "you rape our women and are taking over the world." Do Christians "rape our women?" What did that statement from the killer have to do with oppression of a religious group? Roof said he wanted to start a race war.

Read any of the statements by the GOP presidential candidates and understand how most of them don't want to see the murders of those 9 people for what they are: racial hatred. The GOP candidates know that they won't get the black vote, so people like Graham and Perry and Bush need to appeal to their white southern base and people who don't want to face the fact that Roof was motivated by racial hatred, not hatred of religious freedom.

There is no attack on religious freedom. The government is not shutting down churches, temples and mosques. People can pray in the streets, preach in the streets, and no government agency stops them. This idea that Christianity/religious freedom here in this country is under attack is a lie concocted by a class of professional victims.

Infidel753 said...

I mean, why pick a church? You can kill black people anywhere.

Given that most public places aren't segregated any more, a black church would be an obvious place to find a large number of black people with few or no whites around (presumably Roof didn't want to shoot other white people). Also -- critically important -- people in church are usually unarmed and unable to defend themselves.

Anonymous said...

President Obama says the confederate flag belongs in a museum. I think the banner of Southern treason belongs in a garbage can or a furnace.

Angry? Yup. Tired of the b.s. excuses from people for flying that symbol of oppression, hatred, and murder. It's as vile as the Nazi swastika.

History said...

"It's not a coincidence that white Southerners were embracing the Confederate battle flag just as the South's system of violently enforced white supremacy was under its first real threat since Reconstruction. President Truman had vowed to do more to promote civil rights, integrating the military and telling the NAACP that civil rights could not wait.

In response, the Ku Klux Klan surged. Southern politicians displayed the Confederate battle flag when they railed against Truman.

And when Southerners at the time said the flag represented their culture, they made it very clear whose culture they meant: "It means the Southern cause," Roy Harris, a legendary Georgia politician, said in 1951, according to Coski's book. "It is becoming… the symbol of the white race and the cause of the white people."

The KKK waved the Confederate flag. So did the Citizens' Councils, white supremacist groups of prominent and successful people who opposed integration. White mobs at the University of Alabama carried Confederate flags when they threw rocks at Autherine Lucy, the university's first black student, before the university decided to expel her rather than protect her. Mobs fighting to protect segregated schools wore Confederate flags in Little Rock and New Orleans and Austin and Birmingham."

These are hard truths a lot of people don't want to face.