Six flags amusement parks took down their Confederate flags. The city of Baltimore removed their Confederate statues during the night. New Orleans removed their final Confederate statue in May 2017. In a small Ohio town, a tiny monument to Robert E Lee, overnight without a parking space was removed overnight. In Los Angeles, a Confederate monument which stood for 125 years and memorialized more than 30 Confederate veterans and their families buried in the Hollywood cemetery was removed. This sudden need in recent years to remove Confederate monuments and flags from public places as symbols of national division and black oppression accelerate as if history can be rewritten. Statues that sat untouched for over 100 years as memorials to our fallen dead are suddenly pariahs of society and all those associated with them. Is that right? Is that how Americans suddenly honor their fallen? What happened to the American tradition of honoring our dead? Is this the road we’re headed on now? It appears so. Now, people are eying Stone Mountain in Georgia to remove next. Huh? What gives?
On the evening of June 17, 2015, during a prayer service, a young white man walked into the Emanual African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Charleston, South Caroline, United States. He sat down with the local prayer group and for forty five minutes remained. Suddenly, he pulled out a gun and began firing. Nine black people including the senior pastor, state senator Clementa C. Pinckney were killed. The gunman was Dylann Roof, a 21-year-old white supremacist. at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Charleston, South Carolina, United States. The country hasn’t been the same since that night. Two years later and America remains unhealed. As things stand now, the country may never heal at all. Dylan Roof wanted to start a race war and by looking at things around us, he is succeeding.
Because he was in photos holding a Confederate flag, this flag has become taboo. On June 23, 2015 a number of well-known retailers quickly stopped selling them. People began fighting about removing them or keeping them up. After much protest on both sides, Charleston, South Carolina took down the flag. Other cities soon followed. Some cities did not remove their statues. In some places, people decided to take things in their own hands and vandalize Confederate statues. This is just so sad and a very touchy subject for many. For some the Confederate flag is a symbol of Southern pride. Their ancestors fought and died in the Civil War. For them the flag doesn’t stand for hatred. Others don’t see it that way. Face it, the flag is just a flag and nothing more. Dylan Roof was also shown in photos wearing Gold’s gym shirts but we haven’t boycotted or destroyed Gold’s gyms, have we? A flag is nothing but a piece of material that has different meaning to different people. What it means to one person means totally something to someone else, but that doesn’t mean it’s a “bad” thing. People see what they want to see.
How many of you know that the Swastika symbol has been around a great deal longer then Hitler and the Nazi regime? They chose it as their symbol and all of a sudden it symbolizes hatred. But the real meaning is just the opposite of what you think it means. “The word swastika comes from the Sanskrit svastika, which means "good fortune" or "well-being.". The motif (a hooked cross) appears to have first been used in Neolithic Eurasia, perhaps representing the movement of the sun through the sky. To this day it is a sacred symbol in Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Odinism.” The World actually loved the swastika until Hitler and his cronies stole it. The same can be said of the Confederate Flag. For over one hundred years this flag bothered no one. Not one soul. It flew proudly all over the South or wherever a Southerner resided. No one cared about the Confederate Statues either. They just stood there in honor of the fallen. That all changed because of one person. Of course, Dylan Roof wasn’t the only one at fault with misusing this simple flag. For Jewish people, the swastika will always be a symbol of pure evil. For some black people anything that reminds them of the Civil War represents hatred.
Sadly, racists on both sides are taking advantage of our ignorance and stupidity. Neo-Nazis and other white supremacists use the Confederate flag as their symbol just as they use the swastika. Others are referring to the flag as a symbol of hate. People are at a crossroads and taking sides. The violence in Charlottesville, Virginia demonstrated it best. White nationalists and counter-protesters clashed violently and a car plowed into a group described as "anti-racist" demonstrators, killing one person and injuring 19 others. The Governor had to declare a state of emergency. Both sides were to blame for the violence because as anyone knows, it takes two sides to start any fight. It take two parties to cause an argument. One side can’t do it without someone else to instigate it with. Online petitions abounded in demanding the expulsion of several students that attended the rally. Fact: had the rally gone on without anyone countering it; no one saying anything, we probably wouldn’t have heard about it. Because violence abounded and people were hurt and even killed, its front page news. Does anyone seriously believe that if two opposite factions are in the same place that all will be peaceful? Really? Get real. History shows different.
How about the news where businesses are asking themselves when they should cut ties with white supremacist groups? Are they also going to sever ties with black supremacist groups for they exist, too? While the KKK and Neo-Nazi’s are anti-black, there is the Nation of Islam and the Black Panthers that are anti-white. Many companies have already severed ties with and denounced white-supremacist groups, citing a need to uphold the values and policies of their brands, but how does that stand in a country that values Freedom of Speech? “in a nation whose guiding document enshrines free speech, one person’s hate group could be another’s political organization.” Does this new kind of “discrimination” hurt or help the American economy? What about gangs that run free throughout America? Are companies also going to sever ties with them? They haven’t yet. What’s the difference? Aren’t gangs all about hate, stealing and killing, too?
Southerners, long proud of their southern heritage are losing a part of their history because others, mostly black want all signs of the Confederacy gone. The former states that the Confederate flag is heritage not hate. The latter states the flag and the statues are a reminder of hatred. People are toppling and removing statues on their own and not being accountable. Others are being held accountable and that angers others in support of removing the statues. Here are the undisputable facts in history: More Americans died in the Civil War than in any other wars. The soldiers who died were on both sides and of both colors, black and white. The Civil War was never about slavery. It was all about economics. The South was getting richer than the North. The North was running the country and the South left felt out. These men that served were fighting for what they believed in was right and for that time, it was right. When you take down statues and remove flags, you dishonor the memory of those who died fighting for what they believed in was right. Don’t we owe them our respect? Black and white?
I’m a Yankee born and bred up North in NYC. I’m not from the south but I live there now. I don’t know or understand the deep attachment that Southerners feel for their heritage, but I accept it. That’s just what people do. Just because you hate something doesn’t mean you have the right to tell others that they must hate it, too. Or vice versa. Like it or not, good or bad, the Civil War is a part of American history.
The fallen of the Civil War. Are they to be forgotten?Taking down the statues and removing flags will not make me or anyone else forget about it. Instead, all it does is build resentment because one part of the population tries to tell the other part what to do. Get over it. If you don’t like to look at something, turn away. If you don’t like what someone said, turn away. Being part of the majority doesn’t make it right. Telling someone what to do or say is a violation of our First Amendment. Like it or not, our country was built on the principle that people have a right to say whatever they want, even if it’s “hateful”. It’s called Freedom of Speech. Even the Bible says, to turn the other cheek. Since when does being offended become a right? For me, the Confederate flag is just that and nothing more. I respect those that served and died because it’s the right thing to do.
In closing, here’s something to think about. The Maine Governor said it best, “Tearing down Confederate statues equivalent to taking down 9/11 memorials.” And at that, I must ask, if Muslims start becoming offended at the Memorials for the victims of September 11, 2001, because it reminds them of hatred, are we going to begin removing those memorials as well? And what of our Memorials for WWI and WWII? And what of our founding fathers, all of whom were slave owners? Since when does those with the loudest voices overrule the silent majority? In a country that values Freedoms including Freedom of Speech, how does it allow those trying very hard to silence the past? It’s a very sad day when one demented racist, Dylann Roof in the end is succeeding in what he set out to do because we out of ignorance and stupidity are letting him do it. He’s dividing America. Racism will always exist no matter what you do. Dylann Roof didn’t begin racism. It was already there. He just brought it to light in a violent way.
Fact is, no one can make someone do something they don’t want to do. You can’t make someone like a person they don’t like. Ever hear the saying, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink”. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. So is hatred. Take down all the statues you want, and get rid of all the flags you can find and racism will always remain. It’s a fact of life. Racism is nothing new. Neither is hatred. Most importantly, no one owns the patent to either racism or hatred. They’re not particular to any race or ethnic group. A new hatred has arisen and that is the call to erase history. The Civil War happened. Americans on both sides of both races died. Interesting fact: Only six percent of white Southerners owned slaves prior to the Civil War. Being property like a house or car, most whites couldn’t afford slaves. That being the case, why do you think the other ninety four percent were fighting for? What about the blacks that fought in the Confederate army? Were they fighting to keep slavery, too? How many know that not all slave owners were white. Blacks, too owned slaves including those that were rich enough to buy their freedom. They did so only to enslave their own people.
That’s my opinion. What’s yours? Do you think that the Confederate flag, statues, and all reminders of the civil War should be removed because it offends a majority of people? Do you feel it’s right that those offended should tell other Americans what to do or how to feel? Isn’t American the land of Free, Free Speech and not oppression? Isn’t the USA a country where all allowed to speak their mind; honor their religion and more? If in the end, we try to rewrite history, how will we ever learn from it? Right or wrong, you can’t rewrite history no matter hard you try to do so. Without history, we would never learn from our mistakes and are failed to repeat them over and over again. But that doesn’t mean people won’t try to erase the past to suit them. Voltaire said, “History is the lie commonly agreed upon.” I guess people are hoping that if they say the Civil War didn’t happen, then perhaps, it didn’t. George Orwell said it best, “Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.” Do you control your future or does someone else control it for you?
For more information:
Court order blocks removal of Lee statue from Dallas park:
Stone Mountain poses another test for Confederate symbols:
Dylann Roof confesses to killing 9 people in Charleston church, wanting to start ‘race war’:
Restaurant owner in South Carolina can’t take down Confederate flag flying over his business:
Six Flags pulls down Confederate flags:
Trump calls removal of Confederate monuments ‘so foolish’:
Teens rally for love and peace at Robert E. Lee monument in Virginia:
Maine governor: Tearing down Confederate statues equivalent to taking down 9/11 memorials:
Confederate re-enactors pepper sprayed during parade in NC:
Here are the Confederate memorials that will be removed after Charlottesville:
Robert E. Lee’s great-great grandson ‘fine’ with Confederate statues coming down:
A new Alabama law makes sure Confederate monuments are here to stay:
Charlottesville White Nationalist Rally Violence Prompts State of Emergency:
Man who inspired Dylann Roof’s hateful radicalization said blacks taken into slavery ‘hit the slave lottery,’ but condemns Charleston shooting:
WHAT IS HISTORY?
When should companies dump white-supremacist customers?
Here’s what Robert E. Lee thought about Confederate monuments:
The swastika (as a character 卐 or 卍) is an ancient religious icon used in the Indian subcontinent, East Asia and Southeast Asia:
How the world loved the swastika - until Hitler stole it:
The Swastika: A Sign of Good Luck Becomes a Symbol of Evil:
Flags of the Confederate States of America From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
Little Ohio town swept into national battle over monuments: