Thursday, June 25, 2015


Carrying on a conversation about race with semi acquaintances has gotten to be like walking on eggs. A friend I highly respect said, if you look for racism, you will find it. At first, I did not understand the significance of what he had said. As time has gone by, I understand more and more what he meant, which this thing that is currently brewing about displaying the Confederate battle flag has brought this front and center. A significant group of people shoves the historically significant civil war battle flag in your face to promote their racism, which is their intent. They display the flag as a bumper sticker or in the rear windows of their pickups along with a rifle. Others carry the flag to political events, which obviously has nothing to do with history. Of course, history is the background, but that is not the message. As my friend said, if you look to find racism in what someone says or does, you can find it meaning you can twist words and meanings to distort the speakers or writers intent. However, speakers can display their intent by selection of words or deeds. For example, Peoples’ use of the “N” word is almost invariably intended to be offensive. However, on very rare occasions it is not offensive. The Confederate battle flag has gained that status of that word. In a Civil War museum, it represents a symbol soldiers honored and fought for and were even willing to die. In that setting, it is not offensive. We can debate the idea of the correctness of that war and debate how slavery fits into the development of our humanization without being racist. For comparison to the symbolism of the flag, I think of the pictures and statues of Confederate Generals and politicians in government buildings. Picture or statues of Robert E. Lee do not offend us unless we look for racist intent in displaying such things—if we look for it, we not only can find it, we will find it. URL: Comments Invited and not moderated

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