Following the death of nine African-Americans at the hands of a racist animal who attacked a church in South Carolina, the debate has once again been refueled over the fact that the Confederate flag still flies at the South Carolina State House. In fact, according to state law, it’s illegal to remove the flag – which is absolutely absurd. It does appear that there’s enough momentum – and pressure being put on Republicans – that this flag which represents hatred might finally be taken down, but nothing is set in stone.
Naturally, there are still plenty of conservatives who defend this flag, claiming it doesn’t represent racism, hatred or slavery; rather, they say, it just represents “states’ rights” and their “Southern heritage.” I’ve already addressed those folks so I won’t get into that again. To believe that the Confederacy was just about “states’ rights” in general is absurd and blatantly misleading if you don’t specify that the number one “state right” they wanted to preserve was the right to own slaves. Just take a look at the Texas Ordinance of Secession or some of the other state ordinances and declarations from the time, then come back and tell me that racism wasn’t the primary focus of this treasonous act of sedition.
Well, I thought I’d list 10 questions I think everyone should ask these people who continue to defend the use of the Confederate flag.
1. While it’s true the Confederacy used several different flags, why is it mainly just this one – the one used by the KKK and many white supremacists all over the world – that many in the South have clung to so tightly?
2. Speaking of the KKK, if the Confederacy wasn’t about racism or slavery, why did this white supremacist hate group use a battle flag from that movement to represent their bigotry? They could have used any flag, or made one of their own, so why that one?
3. The state of Georgia literally changed their flag in 1956 to include the Confederate flag in its design. Now, considering the 50’s was when the civil rights movement really began to take off, do you think it’s really just a coincidence that a state with a very racist past decided to incorporate a symbol from the Confederacy in their flag at the moment that African-Americans began moving against Jim Crow laws, demanding real equality and equal rights?
4. Our Constitution determines how we elect our government and how it represents us. So, when the Confederacy seceded from the U.S., then fired shots at a U.S. military installation, that was treason. Why would you want to honor a flag that represented those who rejected our Constitutional law, declared war on this country and attacked the U.S. military?
5. Speaking of that, what would you call an Islamic group comprised of American-born Muslims who attacked one of our military bases because they opposed something our federal government supported?
6. Timothy McVeigh was very anti-government and believed it could no longer be trusted. It’s these beliefs which drove him to bomb a federal building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people including small children. Tell me, what’s really different about him and those who joined the Confederacy and attacked one of our federal government’s military installations?
7. If racism and slavery weren’t primary factors driving the Confederacy and the Civil War, following the South’s defeat, why did these Confederate states then enact Jim Crow laws that segregated African-Americans and often treated them as subhuman?
8. Even if you want to believe that the Confederacy was just about “states’ rights,” you do realize that the main issue these states were fighting to preserve was the “state’s right” to own other human beings as property, right?
9. What exactly is there about “Southern heritage” that you should be proud of anyway? Aside from supporting slavery, most of these same Southern states supported Jim Crow laws, opposed giving women the right to vote and thought interracial marriage should be illegal – what the heck are you “proud” of?
10. Let’s imagine for a moment that Republicans took over an overwhelming majority of Congress and occupied the White House, then proceeded to pass bans on same-sex marriage, forced religion into public schools, legalized discrimination against homosexuals and stripped women of their equal rights. Let’s say this prompted several liberal states to secede from the U.S. claiming “states’ rights” and attack one of the country’s military bases. Would you consider those people patriots and heroes or cowards and traitors?
Well, I’ll wrap it up there. I hope you enjoyed the questions and feel free to hit me up on Twitter to let me know what you think.