Monday, June 29, 2015

The Confederate Flag

The Atlantic -- Ta-Nehisi Coates

What This Cruel War Was Over
The meaning of the Confederate flag is best discerned in the words of those who bore it.

"It is difficult for modern Americans to understand such militant commitment to the bondage of others. But at $3.5 billion, the four million enslaved African Americans in the South represented the country’s greatest financial asset. And the dollar amount does not hint at the force of enslavement as a social institution. By the onset of the Civil War, Southern slaveholders believed that African slavery was one of the great organizing institutions in world history, superior to the “free society” of the North."

Chicago Sun Times -- Mary Mitchell -- Mitchell: South Carolina moves to shed itself of symbol of 'hurt, pain and humiliation'

I disagree strongly with those who claim the Confederate Flag is not a racist symbol. Slavery was a racist institution, and the manifestation of white supremacy.

Washington Post -- Karen Tumulty and Robert CostaOnce politically sacrosanct, Confederate flag moves toward an end

The banner was long considered politically sacrosanct in the South, at least among conservative whites. It now appears that a rush is on to banish it, along with other images that evoke the Confederacy and sow racial divisiveness.

The Daily Beast -- Jack Hunter -- The ‘Southern Avenger’ Repents: I Was Wrong About the Confederate Flag

Putting people before an agenda or broad prejudices puts us all in a much better place. It can, and should, make us repentant of our past behavior. It did for me.