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OliveOilMom
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21 Sep 2012, 3:08 pm

Whats your opinion on the rebel flag? Do you think it's racist or not, and if so why or why not?

I do not think it is, because it's simply the flag of the Confederacy and a symbol of the South, not of racism. Although slavery was a major part of the Civil War, that's not the main thing it was about. Yes, many white supremacist groups love to fly the rebel flag and lots of racists like it, but that doesn't make it a racist symbol. More people who aren't racist fly it and like it than racists. Those of us who aren't racist now seem to outnumber racists down here, and that's a good thing. To most people I know down here, black or white, it's simply a symbol of the South. I've seen just as many black people as white people wearing Dixie Outfitters tshirts and they all have the rebel flag on them.


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21 Sep 2012, 3:11 pm

I have to take the opposite tack. More than one state that attempted to secede from the Union directly referenced slavery as the cause of their desire to leave; slavery was the rallying cry that put boots on the ground for both sides, and it was the issue that helped keep Europe out of our civil war as well. The Confederacy was a racist institution, and while it did stand for other things as well, that makes its symbols racist too, for the same reason that you can't just use a swastika to repel Tibetan demons these days.


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thomas81
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21 Sep 2012, 3:16 pm

OliveOilMom wrote:
Whats your opinion on the rebel flag? Do you think it's racist or not, and if so why or why not?

I do not think it is, because it's simply the flag of the Confederacy and a symbol of the South, not of racism. Although slavery was a major part of the Civil War, that's not the main thing it was about. Yes, many white supremacist groups love to fly the rebel flag and lots of racists like it, but that doesn't make it a racist symbol. More people who aren't racist fly it and like it than racists. Those of us who aren't racist now seem to outnumber racists down here, and that's a good thing. To most people I know down here, black or white, it's simply a symbol of the South. I've seen just as many black people as white people wearing Dixie Outfitters tshirts and they all have the rebel flag on them.


Its the institution that the flag stands for that sticks in peoples throats, rather than the flag itself.

Its the same reason that people have a major hang up over this

V
Image



OliveOilMom
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21 Sep 2012, 3:18 pm

Well, you probably learned your history differently than we learned ours down here. It's easy to paint the losing side as evil, so that's what happened. I'm not going to debate the Civil War in this thread, but I can see why you would think it is a racist symbol if you believe that.

The Deep South, before the Civil Rights Movement was a pretty racist place. We have not changed our state flags since then. Are those flags symbols of a racist institution?


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21 Sep 2012, 3:25 pm

Honestly? I wouldn't paint the Confederacy as evil myself. Certainly they committed their share of atrocities, but the North has such peace-loving men as Sherman and Grant to hold up, so I'll call that one a wash. No, what I was referencing were the letters/declarations sent to the federal government by the states that seceded, almost all of which referenced slavery (one of the Carolinas calling it the natural order that one man be above another, in particular) and its use as a rallying cry to get soldiers onto the field on both sides (as well as the excellent timing of the Emancipation Proclamation - among other things, it kept Britain out, since they'd recently outlawed slavery themselves and couldn't afford to be seen as supporting the institution).

As far as the state flags of the Deep South, I'd have to say that in many ways yes, they are symbols of a racist institution, especially given the nostalgic sentiment I've found for the Confederacy or even 'the Good Old Days'. Those flags are symbols of a time when, at barest minimum, a whole class of human beings were second-class citizens.


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21 Sep 2012, 3:33 pm

OliveOilMom wrote:
Rebel flag, racist or not?

Not.

The Flag of the Confederate States is, in and of itself, not a racist item. Nor was the Civil War only about slavery. In fact, a resolution passed by the U.S. Congress in 1861 (07/22) declared that the war was being fought to "preserve the Union", not to destroy slavery. Further, it was not until 1863 (01/01) that the Emancipation Proclamation is issued -- only then did the war to preserve the Union come to be a revolutionary struggle for the abolition of slavery.

Considering that the Civil War began in 1861 (04/12) -- 20 months before the Emancipation Proclamation -- with an attack on Fort Sumter by the Confederates under Gen. Pierre Beauregard, it becomes plain to see that the war began before slavery became THE major issue in the war. According to This Website, the top five causes of the Civil War were:

1. Economic and social differences between the North and the South.
2. States versus federal rights.
3. The fight between Slave and Non-Slave State Proponents.
4. Growth of the Abolition Movement.
5. The election of Abraham Lincoln.

Of these five reasons, the first two were most significant before the war started. Economic and social stratification, and rights of the states versus the federal government are, even now, major issues facing America, and likely always will be. To claim that the Civil War was ONLY about slavery is to make an erroneous claim, just as it is to say that a piece of cloth with eleven stars stitched to it somehow represents the abominations that are racism and slavery.

No, flags are not racist; people are.



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21 Sep 2012, 4:29 pm

The condition of race in the United States is defined by its history of exploitation of slave labour, and the most potent symbol of that is the antebellum South. The CSA may have seceded for any number of good and rational reasons, but one must be living in a state of denial to believe that those reasons have any symbolic potency that is remotely comparable to the potency of slavery.

No flag is neutral. All flags communicate a message--and while that message may be differently understood by the sender and the receiver, it is always the interpretation of the person receiving the message that governs the discourse.

When you hoist a Nazi flag, I assume that you are a white supremacist, anti-Semite.
When you hoist a rainbow flag, I assume that you are pro-gay.
When you hoist an American flag, I assume that you are pro-American.

So when you hoist a Confederate flag, do not be surprised that people assume that you stand for what the CSA stood for--slavery and all.


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21 Sep 2012, 4:33 pm

I don't think of it as racist but I'm not African American so I can't speak from that perspective.I'm a southerner ,but the area I live in was mountainous so it wasn't a big agriculture area so not many slaves.It was more a state's rights issue here.My great-great grandpa fought Union Calvary in Missouri and his brother for the Confederacy,neither owned slaves.



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21 Sep 2012, 4:39 pm

visagrunt wrote:
When you hoist a Nazi flag, I assume that you are a white supremacist, anti-Semite.
When you hoist a rainbow flag, I assume that you are pro-gay.
When you hoist an American flag, I assume that you are pro-American.
So when you hoist a Confederate flag, do not be surprised that people assume that you stand for what the CSA stood for--slavery and all.

Fair points to make, I'm sure.

In the literal sense, no flag is racist; but the display of a particular flag might imply certain racist tendencies.

Personally, I put up "Old Glory" to commemorate veterans, laborers, and the founding of America. I do not, and will not own or display a Confederate flag, mainly because the Confederacy is dead, and I was never a part of it. The emotional connections just aren't there for me.



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21 Sep 2012, 4:46 pm

I don't consider the Confederate Flag to be racist.

There were many people in the south who did not own slaves.



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21 Sep 2012, 5:01 pm

thewhitrbbit wrote:
I don't consider the Confederate Flag to be racist. There were many people in the south who did not own slaves.

The same person who once said to me, "I cain't be racist 'cuz I ain't white!" also told me that I was ignorant for claiming to never have owned any slaves.



OliveOilMom
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21 Sep 2012, 5:28 pm

The rich planters that owned slaves were the minority in the South. Most white people were either middle class or poor. People tend to think that all white people who were descended from generations of Southerners come from families that owned slaves if you go back far enough. That's simply not so.


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21 Sep 2012, 5:33 pm

It's hard for me to say... On one hand, I think the flag is a representation of Southern Independence, an idea based more on politics, economics and culture than racism. On the other hand, racists have used the flag as a representation of racism and have really ruined it for everyone more interested in independence than racism (they're still alive and well). So the question is; is it too late for the flag? I hope not. I'd hate for my local independence flag to be ruined by bigots.



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21 Sep 2012, 5:39 pm

OliveOilMom wrote:
The rich planters that owned slaves were the minority in the South. Most white people were either middle class or poor. People tend to think that all white people who were descended from generations of Southerners come from families that owned slaves if you go back far enough. That's simply not so.

Even worse, some people think that because some white southerners (and most of the Founding Fathers) owned slaves over 150 years ago, that all white people alive today are somehow responsible for slavery and owe restitution to every black person currently living in America.



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21 Sep 2012, 5:41 pm

visagrunt wrote:

When you hoist a Nazi flag, I assume that you are a white supremacist, anti-Semite.
When you hoist a rainbow flag, I assume that you are pro-gay.
When you hoist an American flag, I assume that you are pro-American.

So when you hoist a Confederate flag, do not be surprised that people assume that you stand for what the CSA stood for--slavery and all.


What do you think when I hoist this?

Image


sorry couldnt resist :lol:



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21 Sep 2012, 5:42 pm

thomas81 wrote:
visagrunt wrote:

When you hoist a Nazi flag, I assume that you are a white supremacist, anti-Semite.
When you hoist a rainbow flag, I assume that you are pro-gay.
When you hoist an American flag, I assume that you are pro-American.

So when you hoist a Confederate flag, do not be surprised that people assume that you stand for what the CSA stood for--slavery and all.


What do you think when I hoist this?

I think your finger is broken.