(Closed) NWR. So. The Confederate flag…

posted 5 years ago in The Lounge
  • poll: Displaying the Confederate flag AND the Mason-Dixon line is a statement of...
    racism. I'm from the South. : (35 votes)
    18 %
    racism. I'm from the North/not the South. : (97 votes)
    49 %
    racism. I'm not from America. : (16 votes)
    8 %
    southern pride/not racism. I'm from the South : (14 votes)
    7 %
    southern pride/not racism. I'm from the North/not the South. : (20 votes)
    10 %
    southern pride/not racism. I'm not from America. : (3 votes)
    2 %
    Really, Harry Potter? : (11 votes)
    6 %
  • Post # 31
    Member
    2680 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: September 2014

    peachacid:  I find it hard to believe the students would think this would be well received at Bryn Mawr. My guess is that they did it intentionally to be oppositional or attention seeking. Countdown til they give their first interview to Fox News…

    Post # 32
    Member
    1731 posts
    Bumble bee

    peachacid:  As a black person in the south, I always feel uncomfortable entering establishments  that are displaying a rebel flag. The flag may symbolize “southern pride” to some, but this kind of “southern pride” is almost always accompanied by racism and intolerance.

    Post # 33
    Member
    1731 posts
    Bumble bee

    Atalanta:  You make a good point. I have never seen or ever expect to see a black person flaunting a rebel flag lol.

    Post # 34
    Member
    2455 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: June 2017

    I was always taught that it was the intention that counted, not the actual object itself.

    If we insist that something cannot be reappropriated for another reason, there are many, many things (including words) considered “inapparopriate” today that ought to come back, as they originally meant something else.

    Post # 35
    Member
    1382 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: September 2014

    I am from PA near Bryn Mawr and one thing about PA is that in rural areas especially (but also in suburbs or exurbs occasionally) you see a fair number of confederate flags. PA is north of the mason-dixon line and was on the northern side of the civil war, so the flag really only signals virulent racism when people fly it there, which is really all too common.

    But racism isn’t only outright hate, it can be a lot more subtle as well. The confederate flag symbolizes a nostalgia for a certain vision of the south & southern identity and it’s an identity that is generally exclusive of POC in its subjectivity. And its continued use is unsympathetic to their very different experiences of the type of southern culture it symbolizes. The disregard among those who display it for the pain it causes to people different from themselves qualifies as racism to me.

    Post # 36
    Member
    2455 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: June 2017

    It’s too late for me to edit, but there are only two instances where I remember seeing the confederate flag displayed in a personal residence.  One was in a history buff’s living room (he had a wall of all kinds of flags, it was amazing).  He is white.  Another was above a group partner’s dorm bed.  She is black and was from South Carolina.

    Post # 37
    Member
    23 posts
    Newbee

    I’m originally from Mississippi,  the EPITOME of the South. There, the Confederate flag is used as a non – verbal weapon and is undoubtedly often USED as a symbol of racism. I think the flag is what people make it, and it has been waved while people do so many awful things that  it can no longer really be a symbol of pride. In fact, as an African American woman (highly educated lawyer) I get heart palpitations every time i see it.

     

    I am  now a Georgia transplant and of course MS has made many advances, but couple of years ago (A COUPLE) a group of teenagers advanced the flag on their pick up truck as they DRAGGED a man around a gas station parking lot. TEENAGERS. A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO (Just for emphasis lol). When you see things like this, you can’t help but associate the flag with the evil that is racism.

     

    When a local college was trying to decide whether to change their mascot from the Rebel ) who waved a Confederate flag) you should have seen how people’s claws came out. I completely understand wanting to keep the rebel and keep with tradition, but when you begin hanging effigies on a normally quiet college campus and using the flag for intimidation, something is wrong. Why do you think the KKK still uses it?

     

     If the flag is waved, I agree with previous posters, you must also support what it stands for – bigotry and hate.

    Post # 38
    Member
    5219 posts
    Bee Keeper

    As a Southerner, it’s going to be very hard to find the intent across an entire region and make it align to what you think it does. I could see the flag as one thing, while my neighbor sees it as something else. I could use it to represent one thing, while the person in the next town uses it to symbolize something else.

    As a whole, Southerners are very “prideful” of their backgrounds.  As a matter of fact, state pride is something is very prevalent here. I now live in Tennessee, can you guess how many stickers I see on a daily basis of the state flag of Tennessee on the back of someone’s vehicle or in local establishments? A lot, almost as much as the display of the American flag!

     I suspect it is easy for those not from here to read about the South, Civil Rights, the Civil War and draw conclusions about what they think it means. Living here does make me look at it differently. I don’t assume someone who flies it is automatically a racist. I also have known plenty of African Americans to wear it. Interestingly enough, my high school banned “Dixie Pride” t-shirts ( Google it if you don’t know what I am talking about) not because it was causing racial tension, but because students ( white, black, Hispanic, Asian) would wear them when we were supposed to wear patriotic clothing (my high school had a uniform policy where we could wear specific street clothes a couple of times a month). And this was in a very rural town in south Alabama.

     So, while I personally do not own a rebel flag and have no plans to—I don’t assume something about a person who does because I know many people who use it for various purposes.

     Last thing, to the “Southern Pride” point. A lot of Southerners associate their regional pride with that of resiliency, family values, work ethic, regional nuances , etc. It’s not, IMO, a big “ the South will rise again!” type of pride, but pride that Southerners always have a little fight in them and many people here do associate souther pride with that of, like I said, values–traditions–southern culture–etc…

    Post # 39
    Member
    2704 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: September 2012

    beeintraining:  This is what I was thinking – that the flag strikes me as treasonous.  But I am from the Midwest so it’s not something I was really exposed to.

    I once had this conversation with my friend who’s from middle-of-no-where Florida and he said that most people flew the Confederate flag in his town did it as Southern Pride thing and had this us vs the world mentality.  That the flag was to say “You are NOT better than us.”  So I do think some people do fly the Confederate flag as some sort of Southern Pride thing but I agree that others -the majority of others- definitely use it as a symbol of racism and white supremacy. 

    Now I will say that I find it strange that people whould chose the Confederate flag to show their Southern pride.  Sure the Civil War was more about state’s rights and less about slavery, but what kind of society was the South during the Civil War era?  What kind of country were they trying to create?  Why would you take pride in associating yourself with a society that was blatently racist and built on the backs of slave labor?  I mean, that society isn’t exactly a good ethical model.  The truth is that you can’t really seperate the racism out of the Old South and therefore you can’t really seperate it from the Confederate flag.  So even if you (general) do use it as just a symbol of Southern Pride and are not racist yourself, you can’t really claim that there’s nothing racist about it.

    Some PPs brought up the fact that America and England also did some pretty terrible things in the past and it seems hypocritical to dismiss those atrocities and still fly those flags.  And it sort of is.  However, these societies have had time to grow and mature and have attempted to make ammends for their depolorable behavior.  The Confederacy did not.  We can actively try and change our countries for the better, but we can’t do anything to change what the Confederacy did and what it stood for.

    Finally, I don’t think you can really equate the Confederate flag to the Nazi flag.  The Nazis commited genocide and starged a world war, and while slavery and racism are terrible, evil things, it’s not the same.  People didn’t bring slaves over for the sole purpose of killing them and the sole purpose of eliminating all black people off the face of the Earth.

    Post # 40
    Member
    1245 posts
    Bumble bee

    I’m not American… I studied American History in University and travel to the US often. I see the Confederate Flag as a representation of the South and old-world South which to be includes segregation and prejudice.  It’s also strange to me that you can see this flag in the back of a beat-up old pick up or fling outside a beautiful Estate. I don’t think class or social status has much to do with it.

    But IMO: racism is all I see when I see that Flag.

    Post # 41
    Member
    86 posts
    Worker bee

    beeintraining:  Dude.  Tell me you aren’t implying that American slavery wasn’t as bad as the holocaust.  Because you are very much Godwin’s lawing it up here.

    Post # 42
    Member
    86 posts
    Worker bee

    Fiance and I were camping recently and as we came back from a hike, we saw two RVs flying the Confederate flag.  He just pointed at it and got really tense.  He’s usually really mellow and so the fact that these people were able to threaten him with a symbol still makes me upset.  Racist.  Especially in northern states.

    Post # 43
    Member
    1678 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: May 2014

    peachacid:  i was born, raised, and still live in the south (north carolina) and i don’t just THINK its racism, i KNOW its racism…because unfortunately i know people first hand who proudly display it and will openly tell me and others why they do.

    there is a sense of southern pride attached to it for some, but unfortunately the symbol is what it is…and it is part of what doesn’t allow this part of the country to move forward. i am proud of my roots and where i come from…i LOVE being southern…but this portion is a point of embarassment for me.

    Post # 44
    Member
    3451 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: September 2013

    I don’t think the flag itself is racist. I think that displaying it is.

    Post # 45
    Member
    599 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2016 - Charleston, SC

    This debate always drives me nuts. Unless it personally affects you, if you don’t like it, ignore it. Everyone is never going to agree on it.

    I don’t find it racist, but I can see how people do. I also don’t think think the Civil War or the Confederacy was all about racism. No one I’ve ever met who displayed the flag was racist, but I know there are people who use it who are. There are also people in the north who dont display the Confederate flag yet are very racist. To me, identifying racism by a flag is about the same thing as identifying someone’s intelligence by their hair color (the whole “dumb blonde” thing). You can’t tell without actually knowing the person.

    I’m southern born (NC) and went to college there (SC) but grew up in the north (not far from Bryn Mawr actually), if that matters. 

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