Sunday, July 12, 2015

About The Traitors' Rag....

I keep seeing people ask if we really think taking the traitors' rag down from the SC statehouse will cure racism. No. We don't think that. We don't think it will have any effect on racism at all.
I also keep seeing most of those same people point to South Carolina and go on to say it shouldn't come down because it's about Civil War heritage and honoring the descendants of Civil War veterans, not about hate. That argument might hold half a drop of water except for one thing. South Carolina has no Civil War heritage in the flag it took down. Not one of South Carolina's Civil War regiments ever carried that particular flag into battle or flew it, at all. The only heritage SC has in that flag is the heritage that began in the middle of the last century when it reappeared as a symbol of opposition to the civil rights movement and de-segregation. And that particular heritage is specifically and solely racist as spelled out very clearly by the people who decided to adopt it for that purpose and raise it in that state.
If it was about the state's Civil War heritage (which is concerning enough that a region/state with a rich post-Columbian history stretching back to the 1500s, would choose to focus on the 7 and a half years it chose to be an enemy combatant waging war against the United States of America) the state would have been flying the South Carolina Sovereignty (aka secession) flag or the Citadel battle flag or any of the battle flags carried into that war by its own regiments.
If anyone is really confused over what taking the flag down will do, start with a different question: What problem did flying the traitors' rag over the South Carolina statehouse cause?
Did it cause racism? No. Sadly, racism was and will remain alive and well with or without a symbol for it. So, if not racism, then what?
The answer lies as much in what was being flown as where it was flown. Flying that particular flag over American soil from the SC Statehouse sent a loud and clear message to a whole lot of American citizens, including but not limited to citizens of South Carolina, itself, that they were not welcome in that state.
Taking the traitors' rag down from the SC Statehouse stops sending an official state message from that flag pole to those American citizens that they are not welcome in that American state. That's it, that's all.
Arguing that the message wasn't intended doesn't change that it did send that message. We've all said or done something that we didn't realize would send someone a different message than we intended -- and when we realize we've sent the wrong message by mistake, most of us immediately try to correct or undo it. SOooOOooo....
If sending that message was NOT intentional, then taking it down to stop sending that message shouldn't be a big whoop. It should be a no-brainer to willingly and apologetically and even cheerfully effect such a quick and easy fix.
If, however, the message it sent was intentional, then that traitors' rag is as anti-American today as it was when the army of northern Virginia carried it into battle against our troops in the Confederacy's war against the United States and it should never have been raised over American soil by any official governing body, at all. (Which honestly, I have a huge problem with any governing body flying an enemy battle flag over American soil, regardless of intention, but... that's me.)
If you, personally, want to display that (or any other) traitors' rag on your private property, possessions or person -- go right ahead. Whatever it means to you, you're free to try to express that by flying it, but know that whether intentional or unintentional. the message you send me (and lots of others like me) is that you're a knuckle dragging bigot who hates the United States of America and who probably thinks your state should secede and try another go at the Civil War so it can get another thorough ass kicking courtesy of the United States Military.

No comments: