Racists and Their Precious Confederate Flag
Before I get into this, I would like to note that I realize that not all confederate flag wavers are racist, though I would say the vast majority of them are, on some level. I also know that not all racists carry, wave, or even support the confederate flag, but most racists here in the American South do.
Take a trip south of the Mason-Dixon line, and you’ll cross into a land where the cotton still grows, picked by black hands from white-owned land. You’ll cross into the land that gave birth to NASCAR, where the favorite car is the ‘General Lee’, and everyone’s tea is sweet. Here, everyone knows at least the first line to ‘Dixie’, and the confederate flag still flies high and proud above state capitals, and in people’s back yard.
But therein lies the problem. Many people here, including the large African American population, don’t see a need to keep flying the confederate flag. They just don’t see the point. It’s a symbol of hatred, flown by the Klan and draped over the dead bodies of many a lynched (or drowned/burned alive/beaten to death) soul. Many atrocities were committed under the flying ‘bars and stars’, and many in the south, including some whites, don’t see the pressing need to keep it flying.
But it’s our HERITAGE, it’s apart of our past. This is true, and it’s also a part the past of many African Americans, but I can guarantee you that most African Americans would be glad to see the last day of the confederate flag. Take for instance, the Ku Klux Klan. Firstly, many people think that the mainstream Klansman is nothing but an old ‘Johnny Bob’ redneck that lives in a trailer somewhere. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Many Klansmen today are well-educated business people who use influence, rather than force, to squash the rights of well-deserving minorities. Still, at the heart of the Klan mentality is that of ‘heritage’, as in white supremacy and preserving the ‘white way of life’. Also at the center of the Klan mentality is the confederate flag, as it is central to their idea of heritage. It’s these same ‘white-life’ preserving people that frequent NASCAR races. It’s a known fact that where there is a NASCAR race, there will be confederate flags, and lots of them. With stock car racing being born in the south (mainly from liquor runners during prohibition), it’s really not surprising that the ‘southern national past time’ should also play host to ‘every southerner’s flag’. I know from experience that the rest of the world views NASCAR as a ‘slightly backwards thing’. Of course this doesn’t bother the average southerner, as the going ons of the rest of the world have little to do with their way of life.
Also, let me say now that any southern state that refuses to remove the confederate flag from its official state flag is a state thats choosing to be blind to the past and is deliberately being calloused to the wants and needs of its population. Ask any group of southern minorities and whites what they think of the confederate flag, and you will begin to understand just why it is such a divisive issue. Yes, it’s a part of our collective southern past, but somethings in our past should not be waved in the face of those who had to live through, and are still living with the consequences of, that past. The bars and stars is nothing but a racist symbol used to teach hate, kill, rape, and terrorize. After all, no one is really fighting over whether or not the swastika should be flown over their state capital, now are they?