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Friday, June 26, 2015

Confederate flag fight

I've been seeing a lot of posts on this confederate flag business, cheering for the flag, disparaging the flag. So. . .

First I'm going to say I personally don't put any stock in any flag. Pledging allegiance to any thing, especially a flag, is ridiculous to me. *takes cover* Taking pride in your particular neighborhood, state, country, etc to the extreme that you are ready to fight if someone states an opinion or looks at you funny- this over an accident of your birth in a particular place? Why?? An arbitrary border is more important than people starving, people being mistreated by other people, trashing the environment we ALL depend on to live?

On one hand, it's just a flag and it's your right to fly anything you want. Fine. And it's in the past and who cares about flags anyway. They're meaningless. Not to mention, taking down a flag isn't going to get rid of racism, racial profiling, police brutality, poverty and the rest of the inequalities slavery helped entrench. . .

On the other hand,
Why are we up in arms over our "right" to fly this flag that represents division of this country that I'm guessing a lot of people upset over the contentious flag coming down will say they will fight and die for, are so proud to be citizens of, are ready to kick people out of if they aren't sufficiently loyal to ( remember 'love it or leave it'?). It represents to so many the allowing of people to hold others captive and say they are property by law and fighting for this "right".. Like drawing Muhammad, sure, you have the right and it's no big deal to you, but do you really want to be the lout who finds the one thing most hateful and throws it in someone's face simply because you have the right to do it? Your "freedom" to do this trivial thing trumps another human being's right to live in peace? It reminds me of kids all trying to be the first through the double doors in college when we're all going to the same place and have plenty of time to walk several feet to a seat- or adults tailgating and cutting people off on the road- you'll get there, don't be a baby, your time is no more or less important than anyone else's. Your rights and "rights" are no less important than anyone else's. You are not special. I am not special. With all this claiming of trivial rights we are becoming a nation of people to take offense too easily. And I say "becoming" like this is new. . . but that's another soapbox. A nation of babies. We are children. I mean, you can blame Muslims for getting offended at cartoons and black folks for being offended by cloth, but you don't see it's equally stupid or more so to claim your rights are being violated when you can't put cloth anywhere you want or make everyone (not to say all confederate flag supporters are religious, just an example) abide by your religious law (abortion, gay marriage opposition) or say and do hateful things simply because YOU have the right. I know what the response will be. I agree, you can go too far bending over backwards for people, making allowances for all the quirks, but lets have some balance and common courtesy and respect and introspection. And grow the heck up.

7/26/15 edit- I heard a great comparison in the last few weeks on possibly the BBC's World Have Your Say, but maybe Democracy Now or the Diane Rehm Show because I've been listening to all of them and they're mixed up in my head. Some folks want to say the Civil War was more about states' rights than slavery, though this represents a shift from the actual event. Or they want to say that individual soldier's reasons were protection of home, family, farms, their state and not necessarily slavery. A guest on the show pointed out that the same was true for the Iraq invasion. We used 9/11, WMD and terrorism to go to war, those were the reasons (never mind that they turned out to be wrong!). Individual soldiers' reasons for going can be very different- freedom, protection of family or country, responding to a stated need, or because it's their job. It would be false to use those reasons as the reason we attacked Iraq. Ignoring the bigger picture is not accurate or helpful in understanding that time period as in the case of the Civil War.

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