TV Land pulls Dukes of Hazzard reruns over Confederate Flag!

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GoonSquad
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04 Jul 2015, 8:29 am

As someone who grew up and went to school in the south, I can attest to a few things...

First, most people who display the battle flag aren't racists and they are just using the flag as a symbol of 'southern pride.' Generally, the have a very romanticized, nostalgic view of an antebellum south that NEVER really existed and they're willfully blind to the social problems that still exist here today.

Second, American history, and particularly the history concerning the Civil War, isn't taught accurately down here. Hell, even in my first college class on US history the professor taught that the war was fought to determine and settle 'the nature of the union' which is just a different way to state the whole 'state's rights' argument. The confederacy is generally characterized as some noble 'lost cause' and the issue of slavery is minimized.

This second bit contributes greatly to the first bit. This is why we need a common core type curriculum to be taught everywhere, and this is just another reason why many in the south oppose it. We really need to destroy this myth of the noble, old antebellum south.
Here's a slight glimpse into how it really was--from Harriet Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl(ch. XII):

Quote:
NOT far from this time Nat Turner's insurrection broke out; and the news threw our town into great commotion. Strange that they should be alarmed when their slaves were so "contented and happy"! But so it was.
...

On that occasion every white man shouldered his musket. The citizens and the so-called country gentlemen wore military uniforms. The poor whites took their places in the ranks in every-day dress, some without shoes, some without hats.

...

It was a grand opportunity for the low whites, who had no negroes of their own to scourge. They exulted in such a chance to exercise a little brief authority, and show their subserviency to the slaveholders; not reflecting that the power which trampled on the colored people also kept themselves in poverty, ignorance, and moral degradation.
http://docsouth.unc.edu/fpn/jacobs/jacobs.html#jac97


Things aren't much different today in many parts of the south. The poor whites Jacobs describes here are a lot like the ones who wave the rebel flag today.

One last observation...

It seems like a lot of the arguments for the flag boil down to:

1) Whites have a right to honor/celebrate their heritage.
2) Whites have a right to adopt their own symbols.
3) Whites have a right to control how those symbols a defined.

The problem is, these arguments don't hold up unless we insert the word 'only' in front of the word 'whites.'

Because, if everyone has the right to honor their heritage, adopt symbols and define them, then African Americans are COMPLETELY justified in wanting to honor/remember the heritage of slavery and oppression their ancestors endured. They are COMPLETELY justified in designating the confederate flag as a symbol that is significant to their heritage. And, they are COMPLETELY justified in defining that symbol as a representing oppression and white supremacy...

And, what's more, they have a lot more historical evidence/justification on their side.


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GoonSquad
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04 Jul 2015, 9:26 am

GoonSquad wrote:

Things aren't much different today in many parts of the south. The poor whites Jacobs describes here are a lot like the ones who wave the rebel flag today.



Just to be clear, I don't mean that these poor whites are especially racist. I do mean they are supportive of power structures that oppress them as well as poor people of other races.


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04 Jul 2015, 9:50 am

GoonSquad wrote:
As someone who grew up and went to school in the south, I can attest to a few things...

First, most people who display the battle flag aren't racists and they are just using the flag as a symbol of 'southern pride.' Generally, the have a very romanticized, nostalgic view of an antebellum south that NEVER really existed and they're willfully blind to the social problems that still exist here today.

Second, American history, and particularly the history concerning the Civil War, isn't taught accurately down here. Hell, even in my first college class on US history the professor taught that the war was fought to determine and settle 'the nature of the union' which is just a different way to state the whole 'state's rights' argument. The confederacy is generally characterized as some noble 'lost cause' and the issue of slavery is minimized.

This second bit contributes greatly to the first bit. This is why we need a common core type curriculum to be taught everywhere, and this is just another reason why many in the south oppose it. We really need to destroy this myth of the noble, old antebellum south.
Here's a slight glimpse into how it really was--from Harriet Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl(ch. XII):
Quote:
NOT far from this time Nat Turner's insurrection broke out; and the news threw our town into great commotion. Strange that they should be alarmed when their slaves were so "contented and happy"! But so it was.
...

On that occasion every white man shouldered his musket. The citizens and the so-called country gentlemen wore military uniforms. The poor whites took their places in the ranks in every-day dress, some without shoes, some without hats.

...

It was a grand opportunity for the low whites, who had no negroes of their own to scourge. They exulted in such a chance to exercise a little brief authority, and show their subserviency to the slaveholders; not reflecting that the power which trampled on the colored people also kept themselves in poverty, ignorance, and moral degradation.
http://docsouth.unc.edu/fpn/jacobs/jacobs.html#jac97


Things aren't much different today in many parts of the south. The poor whites Jacobs describes here are a lot like the ones who wave the rebel flag today.

One last observation...

It seems like a lot of the arguments for the flag boil down to:

1) Whites have a right to honor/celebrate their heritage.
2) Whites have a right to adopt their own symbols.
3) Whites have a right to control how those symbols a defined.

The problem is, these arguments don't hold up unless we insert the word 'only' in front of the word 'whites.'

Because, if everyone has the right to honor their heritage, adopt symbols and define them, then African Americans are COMPLETELY justified in wanting to honor/remember the heritage of slavery and oppression their ancestors endured. They are COMPLETELY justified in designating the confederate flag as a symbol that is significant to their heritage. And, they are COMPLETELY justified in defining that symbol as a representing oppression and white supremacy...

And, what's more, they have a lot more historical evidence/justification on their side.


Southern pride isn't based on the Old South, it's based on the present South. Most people I know are not proud of the slavery before the War, nor are they proud of how the South was about Civil Rights. It's pride in having our own culture and traditions now, and our particulars that we engage in every day and not something that happened decades and a century ago.

Also, the flag isn't seen by most people I know as being for white Southerners only, it's for all Southerners. As I've said, I know quite a few black people who have things with the flag on it. The kid who lives with us is black and has one hanging on the wall in his room. He brought it from home along with the Crimson Tide one and the Bob Marley one. He's also got a Rush mirror, a Pink Floyd mirror and a Lynerd Skynerd mirror.

I don't buy into any kind of "White Pride" crap because any kind of vague notion of that is ridiculous. If I were to lean toward any ethnic pride it would be Italian. I've got some things with the Italian flag on it and identify with Italian American culture as well, but more of Southern culture. I don't see anything wrong with having a symbol for Southern culture and lifestyle, and with trying to make damn sure that people know that Southern culture and lifestyle don't have anything to do with racism. Sure, there are racists down here but there are racists all over the country. It's just associated more with the South because of the War and because the Southerners were douchebags about Civil Rights. Most people down here have gotten way past that and we have the same amount of racists that everybody else has, but it's the rest of the country that wants to keep that label on us. Just because we like the flag of the Confederacy does not mean we support racism or any of that bullshit. It was the flag that represented the South and so it seems logical to use it for Southern pride (NOT white pride, Southern pride, two different things). I don't think it's ok to just give up and let the racists have it and use it. I'm willing to fight to be able to fly my flag and to make sure people know that to the rest of us normal Southerners, black and white, it's not about racism, it may be about regionalism but not racism.

Believe whatever you want, but just remember that when you don't believe us when we try and explain something to you that you might as well be a Fundamentalist trying to tell the Pope what the Catholic Church actually teaches, because you heard from everybody in your church what it is.


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04 Jul 2015, 9:57 am

GoonSquad wrote:
One last observation...

It seems like a lot of the arguments for the flag boil down to:

1) Whites have a right to honor/celebrate their heritage.
2) Whites have a right to adopt their own symbols.
3) Whites have a right to control how those symbols a defined.


You could leave out the race of the pro-symbol defender, and just say that fans of the symbols think they should be the arbiters of interpretation of the symbol but this is a wish that is unconnected with reality.

If you know that a symbol that means good things to you is interpreted by others as a statement in support of bad things and that belief is deeply ingrained in them, you are not going to be able to claim that they should re-evaluate the symbol from your frame of reference and adopt your frame as more significant than their own.

Given this, it's probably best not to show the symbol that offends others unless you intend to be offensive.

A Buddhist from east Asia might have fond memories of swastikas as a symbol of their faith and might associate that symbol as a sign of infinite, transcendent compassion and have every reason in the world and many centuries of tradition on to back this view.

But if such a person were to open a meditation center across the street from a synagogue and festoon the facade with swastikas, that person would be creating terrible offense and harm.

Everyone is entitled to interpret the stars and bars however they want, but to choose to ignore the reality that it is a symbol of racial oppression for many or tell them that they are wrong because they have a different frame of reference is to be willfully insensitive.

OOM, you say:
Quote:
Believe whatever you want, but just remember that when you don't believe us when we try and explain something to you that you might as well be a Fundamentalist trying to tell the Pope what the Catholic Church actually teaches, because you heard from everybody in your church what it is.


This is the exact mirror of what a person who perceives that flag as a symbol of racism would say. You can believe what you want but that doesn't make your perception true for others.

Many people who don't know that you mean something inoffensive by it will see it and think you are advocating something offensive. You can say "not my problem" but that perception has already happened and will continue to happen.

Would it be possible to display regional pride with other regional symbols that don't have the same associations?



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04 Jul 2015, 10:02 am

Considering that my mum's family is from the South (with my mum not having a southern accent because she managed to grow up in Los Angeles of all places), and some of them might be old school (and my belated maternal grandparents certainly were), but I'm not sure I'd be keen to see them with their backs up against a wall and shot because of their views. There's a reason why we have the First Amendment.

This is in response to blau Samsting's statement on 7/2, which was inflammatory to say the least.


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04 Jul 2015, 10:17 am

beneficii wrote:
Considering that my mum's family is from the South (with my mum not having a southern accent because she managed to grow up in Los Angeles of all places), and some of them might be old school (and my belated maternal grandparents certainly were), but I'm not sure I'd be keen to see them with their backs up against a wall and shot because of their views. There's a reason why we have the First Amendment.

This is in response to blau Samsting's statement on 7/2, which was inflammatory to say the least.

I still own things that I purchased only because they were the brief target of being banned or otherwise made repugnant by certain "smarter, more caring" individuals who distained the First Amendment protections that allowed for their existence in the first place. Maybe I should buy the Dukes of Hazzard complete-series DVDs. I never liked the series' juvenile humor, but liking something hasn't been a determinant in my previous political purchases. I do it to defend free speech no matter how offensive the speech. 8)

Banned books? Got 'em! Banned T-shirts? Yep. Banned music or comedies? Absolutely. I love all things banned! As I wrote this post, I noticed my 2-Reichsmark coin sitting on my desk. The Swastika held by the Reichsadler is facing me. Because of that, I am pretty certain that the coin would be banned from private ownership in Germany.


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04 Jul 2015, 10:39 am

beneficii wrote:
Considering that my mum's family is from the South (with my mum not having a southern accent because she managed to grow up in Los Angeles of all places), and some of them might be old school (and my belated maternal grandparents certainly were), but I'm not sure I'd be keen to see them with their backs up against a wall and shot because of their views. There's a reason why we have the First Amendment.

This is in response to blau Samsting's statement on 7/2, which was inflammatory to say the least.


Agreed. Also blauSamstag keeps talking about "old-school white southerners" as if this phrase has a well established, clearly understood meaning. It does not.

If blauSamstag could see that this phrase might be interpreted in different ways, then he or she would be able to communicate more effectively without resorting to personal attacks and pissing people off who don't necessarily disagree with the main points being made.



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04 Jul 2015, 10:46 am

AspieUtah wrote:
because they were the brief target of being banned or otherwise made repugnant by certain "smarter, more caring" individuals who distained the First Amendment protections that allowed for their existence in the first place.


The First Amendment prohibits government control of speech. It DOES NOT require private citizens, or corporate entities to engage in any particular act of speech.

People advocating the use or non use of a particular phrase or symbol is not an act of government censorship and has nothing to do with the First Amendment. If people were to attempt to make it illegal to use a certain phrase or symbol, then that law should ultimately be rejected as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, if lower courts were foolish enough to try to support it that far.

But this has nothing to do with a TV network dropping a show. That decision has absolutely nothing to do with First Amendment rights.

I am curious about the idea that you support unpopular speech solely on the basis of people speaking against it... are you also an ardent collector of satanist and islamic jihadist speech and symbols? Both are unpopular and suppressed in many private contexts. Or does this issue draw your attention more with particular issues?



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04 Jul 2015, 10:50 am

Adamantium wrote:
AspieUtah wrote:
because they were the brief target of being banned or otherwise made repugnant by certain "smarter, more caring" individuals who distained the First Amendment protections that allowed for their existence in the first place.

The First Amendment prohibits government control of speech. It DOES NOT require private citizens, or corporate entities to engage in any particular act of speech.

People advocating the use or non use of a particular phrase or symbol is not an act of government censorship and has nothing to do with the First Amendment. If people were to attempt to make it illegal to use a certain phrase or symbol, then that law should ultimately be rejected as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, if lower courts were foolish enough to try to support it that far.

But this has nothing to do with a TV network dropping a show. That decision has absolutely nothing to do with First Amendment rights.

I am curious about the idea that you support unpopular speech solely on the basis of people speaking against it... are you also an ardent collector of satanist and islamic jihadist speech and symbols? Both are unpopular and suppressed in many private contexts. Or does this issue draw your attention more with particular issues?

Exactly. This is why I included the phrase "or otherwise made repugnant by certain 'smarter, more caring' individuals[.]" Too often, citizens, not the government, are those who wish to restrict others' speech. They are free to attempt doing so, but I am free to counter their attempts with my own to preserve the speech. I support more speech, not less. More ideas, not less. More debate, not less.


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04 Jul 2015, 11:31 am

AspieUtah wrote:
Exactly. This is why I included the phrase "or otherwise made repugnant by certain 'smarter, more caring' individuals[.]" Too often, citizens, not the government, are those who wish to restrict others' speech. They are free to attempt doing so, but I am free to counter their attempts with my own to preserve the speech. I support more speech, not less. More ideas, not less. More debate, not less.


Do you feel that the obligation to cultivate the free marketplace of ideas requires that the idea that some ideas are repugnant be supressed?

And are you trying to preserve all speech that people find offensive? It seems unlikely.

If Nazis began holding regular rallies in the park near my house, I would advocate and participate in shouting them down. I would consider this one act of speech against another and find it a perfectly reasonable exchange in the free marketplace of ideas. They are free to fetishize old Greman uniforms and symbols and I am free to tell them I don't want to hear it or see it. Would you say we under some obligation to hear them out without comment? Is debate inherently good, even debate about stupid or repugnant things? Does debate not include the idea that some ideas are not worth attending to?



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04 Jul 2015, 11:43 am

Adamantium wrote:
Do you feel that the obligation to cultivate the free marketplace of ideas requires that the idea that some ideas are repugnant be supressed...?

Suppressed? Nope, but individuals would be free to make that determination for themselves. Without their opinions, I wouldn't know what to go buy for my collection of banned stuff.

Adamantium wrote:
...are you trying to preserve all speech that people find offensive? It seems unlikely....

I can't know what "all speech that people find offensive" entails. As a result, I resort to protecting those examples that come to my mind by what opinions are offered by both the banners and anti-banners.

Adamantium wrote:
...If Nazis began holding regular rallies in the park near my house, I would advocate and participate in shouting them down. I would consider this one act of speech against another and find it a perfectly reasonable exchange in the free marketplace of ideas. They are free to fetishize old Greman uniforms and symbols and I am free to tell them I don't want to hear it or see it. Would you say we under some obligation to hear them out without comment? Is debate inherently good, even debate about stupid or repugnant things? Does debate not include the idea that some ideas are not worth attending to?

Depending on your community's laws, shouting down any lawfully organized and produced gathering would likely result in charges of criminal trespass if you refused a request to stop shouting and disrupting.


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04 Jul 2015, 12:15 pm

You see the flag a whole lot down here. There are some Southern blacks and Southern whites as well who see it as a symbol of racism but most don't. If the flag was so offensive to Southern black people then why isn't there always a big stink when you see it? Why isn't it vandalized? Why don't people who wear it get their ass kicked by those who believe it means they are racists? Why hasn't it been a huge issue down here? You can bet your bottom dollar that if somebody wore something with the Klan on it they would get their ass kicked. If somebody flew the Nazi flag or a flag with something to do with the Klan on it then it would be torn down, torn up, burned, etc. There would be a huge stink every time the flag was seen in public if the majority of people down here thought of it the way Northerners think of it. Race and racial insults and offense are still a sore spot down here. It's something that people do try to avoid upsetting the apple cart on because we are aware of our history and don't want to give that impression. There are some racists who want to give that impression but most people aren't racists. A lot of the Southerners who are against the flag do understand that it doesn't stand for racism to most people now and it means much more than the Old South and the slavery of the Confederacy, but they want to distance themselves from anything that will give Northerners the idea that we are still racist.

So let me ask you this, why is it a much bigger issue up North than it is down here, and why is anybody even safe flying or wearing it if it's always meant to be such a huge symbol of racism and oppression? Could it be that it's not taken that way by most people down here, and it's only taken that way by Northerners? Northerners who btw don't really have any reason to fly or wear the flag except being Skynerd fans or for a hate group that co-opted it.

Ask yourself that question and answer it please. Why is it even flown or shown without huge repercussions? Sure it happens sometimes but if it were seen down here the way it is up North then those repercussions would happen every single time. Also, you wouldn't have a ton of Southerners who are not racist by any means who defend the right to fly it and who try to explain to Yankees what it means to Southerners nowdays.

Do you think maybe that it really could mean something totally different to people south of the Mason Dixon and since we don't come up there trying to put one in your yards, why are you even worrying about it when most of us see it completely different than you do? If somebody in a Southern mixed neighborhood has a rebel flag flying in their yard and it's not bothering any of their neighbors, black or white, they why is it so damned important to the rest of the country that it should?


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04 Jul 2015, 12:39 pm

I think it's an issue in the South. Nascar has a southern following and the state that's doing the grappling over the old stars and bars at the moment is South Carolina so it does seem like a southern issue at the moment. Northern states aren't grappling with it.



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04 Jul 2015, 12:41 pm

OliveOilMom wrote:
You see the flag a whole lot down here. There are some Southern blacks and Southern whites as well who see it as a symbol of racism but most don't. If the flag was so offensive to Southern black people then why isn't there always a big stink when you see it? Why isn't it vandalized? Why don't people who wear it get their ass kicked by those who believe it means they are racists? Why hasn't it been a huge issue down here? You can bet your bottom dollar that if somebody wore something with the Klan on it they would get their ass kicked. If somebody flew the Nazi flag or a flag with something to do with the Klan on it then it would be torn down, torn up, burned, etc. There would be a huge stink every time the flag was seen in public if the majority of people down here thought of it the way Northerners think of it. Race and racial insults and offense are still a sore spot down here. It's something that people do try to avoid upsetting the apple cart on because we are aware of our history and don't want to give that impression. There are some racists who want to give that impression but most people aren't racists. A lot of the Southerners who are against the flag do understand that it doesn't stand for racism to most people now and it means much more than the Old South and the slavery of the Confederacy, but they want to distance themselves from anything that will give Northerners the idea that we are still racist.

So let me ask you this, why is it a much bigger issue up North than it is down here, and why is anybody even safe flying or wearing it if it's always meant to be such a huge symbol of racism and oppression? Could it be that it's not taken that way by most people down here, and it's only taken that way by Northerners? Northerners who btw don't really have any reason to fly or wear the flag except being Skynerd fans or for a hate group that co-opted it.

Ask yourself that question and answer it please. Why is it even flown or shown without huge repercussions? Sure it happens sometimes but if it were seen down here the way it is up North then those repercussions would happen every single time. Also, you wouldn't have a ton of Southerners who are not racist by any means who defend the right to fly it and who try to explain to Yankees what it means to Southerners nowdays.

Do you think maybe that it really could mean something totally different to people south of the Mason Dixon and since we don't come up there trying to put one in your yards, why are you even worrying about it when most of us see it completely different than you do? If somebody in a Southern mixed neighborhood has a rebel flag flying in their yard and it's not bothering any of their neighbors, black or white, they why is it so damned important to the rest of the country that it should?

In my opinion, it is because the vast majority of all Americans just simply don't care about the controversy, if it is, in fact, a controversy. You point out that it isn't highly controversial in your community. Mine, too. It just isn't something people care about, despite probably having a general opinion about it. I believe that it is the professional activists who get their credibility enhanced when they speak out and agitate against certain topics. I know this as a former professional activist. They have a sense that, if they aren't getting public attention, they aren't relevant and they won't sustain their contributors' financial interest. Most everyone who isn't a professional activist won't understand this, and will probably wonder why activists are constantly picking fights about which nobody else cares.


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04 Jul 2015, 12:42 pm

Even the Dukes of Hazzard mainly has a following in the south. It's a show about southerners. Northerners might not have an interest in watching it.



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04 Jul 2015, 12:52 pm

OliveOilMom wrote:

Southern pride isn't based on the Old South, it's based on the present South. Most people I know are not proud of the slavery before the War, nor are they proud of how the South was about Civil Rights. It's pride in having our own culture and traditions now, and our particulars that we engage in every day and not something that happened decades and a century ago.

Also, the flag isn't seen by most people I know as being for white Southerners only, it's for all Southerners. As I've said, I know quite a few black people who have things with the flag on it. The kid who lives with us is black and has one hanging on the wall in his room. He brought it from home along with the Crimson Tide one and the Bob Marley one. He's also got a Rush mirror, a Pink Floyd mirror and a Lynerd Skynerd mirror.

I don't buy into any kind of "White Pride" crap because any kind of vague notion of that is ridiculous. If I were to lean toward any ethnic pride it would be Italian. I've got some things with the Italian flag on it and identify with Italian American culture as well, but more of Southern culture. I don't see anything wrong with having a symbol for Southern culture and lifestyle, and with trying to make damn sure that people know that Southern culture and lifestyle don't have anything to do with racism. Sure, there are racists down here but there are racists all over the country. It's just associated more with the South because of the War and because the Southerners were douchebags about Civil Rights. Most people down here have gotten way past that and we have the same amount of racists that everybody else has, but it's the rest of the country that wants to keep that label on us. Just because we like the flag of the Confederacy does not mean we support racism or any of that bullshit. It was the flag that represented the South and so it seems logical to use it for Southern pride (NOT white pride, Southern pride, two different things). I don't think it's ok to just give up and let the racists have it and use it. I'm willing to fight to be able to fly my flag and to make sure people know that to the rest of us normal Southerners, black and white, it's not about racism, it may be about regionalism but not racism.

Believe whatever you want, but just remember that when you don't believe us when we try and explain something to you that you might as well be a Fundamentalist trying to tell the Pope what the Catholic Church actually teaches, because you heard from everybody in your church what it is.


Okay, I’ll give you the benefit of a doubt and accept that this is meant to represent ‘the new south’ and not hearken back to its racist past.

However, if that’s true, it’s a piss poor symbol considering all the history attached.
You’d really be better off just giving it to the racists, because clinging to it is not putting you in conflict with the racists. Instead, it’s helping the racists by putting you in conflict with everyone else who isn’t a racist…

You know, there are a lot of things I really love about southern culture too. At an individual level, we can be some really great, caring people. And, a lot of the time we exemplify the best things about Christianity… That’s why, even though I’m a bit skeptical about a lot of the supernatural and narrow-minded stuff, I describe myself as a nominal Christian. I really dig the golden rule and all that Sermon on the Mount stuff.

As a matter of fact, I think the way the victim’s families have reacted to Roof, is a prime example of why Southern culture can be great.

Also, damn, we make some good food! (Says the man with a belly full of sausage gravy and biscuits).

Why don’t we come up with a new symbol? One that isn’t associated with a racist past. One that more closely represents the great things about the South and includes all Southerners.

Here's my suggestion...

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No man is free who is not master of himself.~Epictetus