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Can I Take Pride In The Confederate Flag And Not Be A Racist?
For some time now the debate over the Confederate flag has been waged. Those that take pride in that flag, but do not want to be judged as racist are left wondering if it is truly and solely a symbol of slavery.
The question is real if the history of the south can be condemned as being solely about slavery. I think it can be reasonably argued that the history of the south was and continues to be about much more than that.
The history of the south has many aspects, and even the war was not simply about slavery, but about preserving a way of life for the plantation owners, and about preserving the Union for the President. At the time it seemed reasonable to most in the south to have slaves as it was seen as necessary to successfully run the farming plantations of the day.
It certainly seems outrageous now, but at that time many did not see it as so. The people in the south were not just slave owners or believers in slavery. They were every bit as diverse as any of us are today.
Most Americans take great pride in our early forefathers and rightfully so. It would be hard to say that because I admire George Washington, Thomas Jefferson or James Madison that I am a racist. All of them were slave owners.
Thomas Jefferson struggled with the idea of slavery but continued to be an owner of them. Even the Constitution of the United States did not exclude slavery from its context.
Our beloved Abraham Lincoln did not view blacks as being equal to whites and clung to the idea of the three-fifths rule of the constitution.
He clearly stated in one speech that he did not believe in the equality of whites and blacks. He did not believe they should vote, or intermarry, etc. But he did believe they should have the right to improve their lives.
From this, we could begin a national debate over taking pride in our forefathers, the Constitution of the United States and for having pride in those we consider some of our greatest presidents.
Since they believed in and participated in the ownership of slaves, should all that have pride in them be condemned as bigots and racist? If you have a picture of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Ulysses S. Grant and other slave-owning presidents, should you be called a racist?
The fact is that the U.S. was far from the first country or group of people to enslave someone. Slavery has been around since the colonization of society. It continues to take place today around the world.
I certainly agree that slavery is wrong. In the same way, however, I also think that condemning all owners of the Confederate flag to be dubbed racist is just as wrong.
As time passes we all hopefully grow and become better. Those who grow up and live in the southern part of America have every right to take pride in where they come from and its heritage. We can remember the past and see its flaws and its wonder at the same time.
The Confederate flag is certainly a part of southern history, and those that take pride in it should be able to do so without condemnation.
Many mistakes the Confederate battle flag with the national flag of the Confederacy. While this may be a small mistake, I think it shows how things can go awry when we take a stand based on emotion rather than facts and logic.
Someone who has strong emotional feelings over slavery can certainly feel anger and a desire to get rid of something they see as a symbol of the thing they hate. They have a right to their feeling, but not to force another person to feel the same way about the symbol.
The Confederate flag may indeed symbolize different things to different people. In a free society, you should have the right to feel however you choose about the flag. But you should not have the right to tell another person that their pride in the flag is racist.
Saying, someone, is racist because they like the confederate flag is an opinion and not fact. The problem today is politics. The politicians support issues they think will get them the votes they need rather than standing up for what the know is right and reasonable.
If the debate is a hot topic and the politician thinks it will get them the minority vote, then they will get behind the legislation that promotes the argument that the flag is racist.
Some Native Americans might say the American flag represents thieves, liars, and murderers, and some might feel Europeans that took this land are those above. Would that be reasonable?
Some might think so, but most of us take pride in our American flag. We know we didn’t do everything right. Even so, we continue to take pride in our country and our flag. I hope we alway will.
It is no different for those from the south that take pride in the Confederate flag. We know slavery was wrong, and we no longer support it, but we do continue to take pride in our southern roots. The Confederate flag is a gleaming symbol of those roots.
If you don’t like it, don’t own it. But do not infringe on my rights to do so. Otherwise, you are trying to infringe on my rights just as the slaves had theirs infringed upon.
Doing the right thing is not always easy, but it is always the right thing. If you feel bad about the flag, and you don’t like the idea of the rights of a person being infringed upon, then do the right thing and allow me my right to disagree with you.
If you take pride in the Confederate flag, then you should own it and display it with pride. If someone doesn’t like it, they have the right to their feelings, but not the right to infringe upon yours or mine.