I’m not sure what to call it, but I’ll wade into the “discussion” on the confederate flag. I’m not sure why I feel drawn to talk about it, but I have a few observations – maybe I’ll add something new to the “discussion.” Than again, maybe I have nothing new to add.
Let’s start at the beginning – no not the very beginning of the flag, but more recent history. So let me get this straight. There’s a guy who goes into a church, prays with people and then shoots them. What the hell is that about? There are some pictures of him holding a confederate flag on some websites and now there’s a push to eliminate the flag and there is huge controversy over the whole subject across the nation.
How did we get into a fight over the Confederate Flag? I’m still confused by this. What happened to the shooting? Or the victims? This whole time I’ve been wondering what’s been going through the mind and heart of the pastor at the church where the shooter attended. No one talks about this person. That pastor needs prayers – I can only imagine the anguish that person is feeling and the self-blame they are probably heaping on themselves.
But seriously, how did we get into a big fight over the flag? Now that it’s coming down do we feel like we’ve actually done something? Mission accomplished? Or did we just do what seems to be the American thing – divert attention from people and attitude stuff to material stuff. It’s so much easier to deal with material stuff than people stuff isn’t it? And we feel like we’ve finished something. Yay us. Not much else changes, but gosh we don’t have to be offended at seeing a flag anymore. I don’t know if banning all images of the Confederate flag is a good thing or not, or if it’s an over-reaction of some sort. I’m not going to rehash all the arguments. I get that is offends many people and I also understand that it’s not a good idea to try to wipe away history either. Americans do have a tendency to have fits of intensity towards extreme actions from time to time. Let’s just not fool ourselves into thinking that because we ban a flag, we’ve now solved all our racial “issues.”
And of course, our wonderful politicians come to the rescue to save us from the flag. How great is that? I mean, never mind the fact that not one of them had a problem with the Confederate flag flying over a state capitol just a couple of months ago. Now that it’s politically advantageous to jump on the ban the confederate flag band wagon, they get to sound all righteous. Nothing beats that right? Especially when one is running for office and needs money and votes.
Let me be clear about something so that anyone reading this isn’t confused. I never understood why anyone would fly the confederate flag. Why would you fly a flag of a nation that was defeated about 150 years ago? They lost. Get over it. The war is over.
But then again, maybe the war isn’t over. When I have visited the south many times in the past, I would go to battlefields and whatnot – it’s hard to avoid them. History is written a bit differently there. In some ways, the North moved on, and the South is still fighting. The mere fact that we have a North/South division in the country, still to this day, makes me wonder how far we’ve come in 150 years.
Maybe a deeper issue is trust. The Confederate flag means different things to different people – we’ve heard the list before. One thing the flag also represents that I have not heard anyone talk about is this – it represents a lack of trust. It represents this in so many ways.
Two parts of a nation can’t get along because they don’t trust each other and have lost the respect of the other. They can’t even communicate anymore. There’s a flag for that.
One group of people thinks they can own another group of people. The people they own aren’t people anymore, but property – The property has to be guarded because there is a lack of trust. There’s a flag for that.
Laws have to be put in place to maintain a system because there is a lack of trust. So people have to be forced to support something. There’s a flag to represent that.
For me, the Confederate flag represents a lack of trust between people. It also represents rebellion, slavery, heritage, division, history, modern-day racism, etc. Watching people fight over it confirms to me that it is still doing its job – dividing people.