Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A Very Unexpected Defense

Life is very strange sometimes, especially when we find ourselves defending views which we so vehemently oppose.

Consider the whole simplistic, hypocritical damning of the flag...

Wait a moment, where are you going with this lightwaveseeker?

Well, consider all these terrible actions of white Southerners--

On the sign of one city in Dixie:

N---, "Don't Let The Sun Set on YOU in----"

Wait a minute, that was a sign posted at the edge of Hawthorne, California in the 20th century! Hawthorne was one of those "sundown towns" including Goshen, Indiana. And then there were racist signs also in Colorado, Conneticut, Nevada, and many other places in the 20th century.

Notice none of those are in the Deep South, and none of them displayed the Confederate Flag.

Or what about all those horrific lynchings that white Southerners committed such
as the time the mob strangled Negroes from street lights!

Wait a minute, that was in New York City and done by Northerners.

Or consider these racist words by one of the Confederate leaders who opposed the freeing of slaves in Northern states:

"I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in anyway the social and political equality of the white and black races...nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together...and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race..."

No that wasn't a Confederate racist waving the Confederate Battle Flag,
Abraham Lincoln.

And even when Lincoln declared slaves in the Confederacy to be free in 1863, he intentionally kept slaves in the Northern states enslaved.

He also wanted Negroes to leave the U.S. and move to Africa or South America!

Lincoln even said that if he could keep the Union together, he would keep slavery legal in the states where it already existed.

Hmm, sounds racist. Oh, but he is our kind of racist, not as bad as those evil white Southerners with their despicable flags.

How about a few million other examples of the hatred, racism, violent and lethal injustice by Northerners...?

No, that's probably enough for a short blog post, enough to help us get beyond simplistic, hypocritical social and political correctness.

Read up on the 1800's from scholarly tomes and discover that the Civil War (which wasn't really a civil war at all, but rather a secession and an invasion by the North)...

That the Stars and Stripes--the American flag at the time of of the war--was a symbol of slavery and its support and had been since the very beginning in 1776!

That it was the British flag in the the American Revolution and the War of 1812 (not the American Stars and Stripes) which offered freedom from slavery to American slaves!

IMPORTANT NOTE: Keep in mind, I am not normally a defender of the South or flags which have been used by racists. I strongly oppose all violations of human rights, strongly support equality for all humans. Even when I was only about 13, I was drastically opposed to the Bible's support of slavery. Scripture should emphasize that slavery is one of the worst forms of evil.

Instead the Bible claims a slave owner may beat his slave so badly that the slave dies in a couple of days. As for the slave owner? NO PENALTY says the Bible, because a slave is the owner's property!

So ought we to ban the Bible along with flags?

HOWEVER, the Confederate Flag as bad as it was in that it represented war and racism and slavery, it ALSO emphasized other values as well such as independence and heritage and the Bible and Christianity!

The Confederates were correct when they emphasized they had Bible verses, Christian history, and the Founding Fathers on their side.

Four of the first five American presidents were slave owners while they were president!

Four of the next five presidents also were slave owners!

Two of the next presidents had been slave owners.

Zachary Taylor, president in 1849-50 owned slaves while president.

Even Ulysses S. Grant had owned slaves!

So let's now damn the South and one of the Confederate flags because they and it represent the evil of slavery, racism, etc.
unlike us good Americans...

Whew, talk about self-righteousness, hypocrisy, and a superficial understanding of American history and the Bible.

Nothing new under the sun when it comes to social, religious, and political soundbites.

This odd post is not in any way to cast doubt on the horrific slavery, racism, persecution, abuse, and murder of black, brown, and yellow people by racist whites in the 19th and 20 century.

For a tragic understanding of the horrific nature of Southern racism, read Reconstruction: 1863-1877 by the famous historian Eric Foner. In some ways, African-Americans were treated worse after the Civil War. In many states, the end of slavery was only a legal fact, not a living, social reality.

And often in southern states, the Black Codes, the murderous white organizations like the White League founded in 1874, the Redeemers who took over all governments only 5-10 years after the war, etc.
were as racist or more racist
than many white slave owners of the past.

Nor is my odd defense of American flags (all of them, despite their support of slavery, racism, and killing) any kind of ridiculous defense of red-neckism or thugs with Confederate flags on their cars, and least of all of mass murderers. Hey, even right-wing northern Christians always emphasize that "guns don't kill, people do."
Ditto for flags it would seem.

As they say, "Let's keep it honest folks."

Every day, trying to swim out of all this hypocrisy, racism, political and social posturing, despair and darkness...

Every day, remembering Langston Hughes' famous words: "I've known rivers...my soul has grown deep like the rivers." Langston Hughes

And Martin's powerful words: "I refuse to accept despair as the final response to the ambiguities of history. I refuse to accept the idea that the 'isness' of man's present nature makes him morally incapable of reaching up for the eternal 'oughtness' that forever confronts him.

But I am here to say to you this morning that some things are right and some things are wrong. Eternally so, absolutely so. It's wrong to hate, Its always been wrong and it always will be wrong." (from speech by Martin Luther King Jr., Rediscovering Lost Values, February, 1954)

In the Light,

Daniel Wilcox


Katya said...

Hello, Dan,
From your post, it is obvious that North, just like South, was - and is - guilty of racist attitudes. I agree: racism is not something that is isolated to a particular part of the country.
However, when it comes to racist attitudes, I do believe that in the South they are currently - and have always been - more prominent than anywhere else. My niece went to one of the Southern States to visit family with her husband (South Carolina I believe), and when they stopped at the restaurant for a meal, everyone was watching them disapprovingly, because they are a mixed couple. Something like that would not happen, say, here in California, or in New York - people may have their opinions, but they would not openly disapprove...
A flag is nothing but an object - but then again, it can be a symbol. Arguing over symbols is like arguing about religion: everyone gets really passionate and angry in the argument, and in the end everyone sticks to their own beliefs...

Daniel Wilcox said...

Hi Katya,

Thanks for the comment.

Yes, in some places, some Southern whites are still very prejudiced.

Symbols usually come from religion or some ideological variation of religion.

The real danger is when people begin to revere a symbol and care more about it than they do all other humans.

Also, even bad symbols shouldn't be banned. That leads to historical blindness. For instance, it's so sad that the U.S. park at Fort Sumter has removed all the historical flags this week.:-(