Daintiness, Blather, and the Confederate Flag

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tags: slavery, racism, Confederate flag

Leslie Kitchen is a former book review editor for HNN

Many southerners, though thankfully not all, love to pule that their old flag is not a racist symbol, but is instead a symbol of their heritage. I agree that it is a symbol of their heritage, but theirs is a heritage that has been saturated in racism from its very beginnings. They know this. They just don’t like to talk about the truth that much. They prefer blather and obfuscation.

That hasn’t always been so. There was a time, not long ago, when their parents and grandparents proudly admitted the disgusting facts freely and openly. But the white racists have now lost the power they once had. They are no longer so straightforward. Now they act as if cut to the quick when confronted by the mere mention of racism. They have become dainty. They deny. They adopt the pose of martyrs. They snivel. Mind you, these are the descendants of the brave souls who once screamed out the rebel yell and were willing to follow Robert E. Lee through the gates of hell. Now they snivel.

Lest we forget, the rebel flag was the flag of the C.S.A, the Confederate States of America. The rebels called themselves a nation, but all bloviations to the contrary, they were no more than a large band of armed insurrectionists who sought to destroy the United States of America. The soldiers who fought in the insurrection killed hundreds of thousands more Americans than al-Qaeda and Isis ever have or ever will. Those insurrectionists marched under that flag.

Alexander Stephens, the Vice-President of the C.S.A., called the Declaration of Independence a lie and said: “Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner-stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition.“

Of course, it all didn’t end with that. Historian John Coski has recounted how when James Meredith, a veteran of the United States Air Force, sought to become the first black student at the University of Mississippi, white students lowered the American flag on campus and raised the Confederate flag. That action was accompanied by a raucous rendition of “Glory, Glory, Segregation” sung to the tune of “Battle Hymn of the Republic.” In the following days, Confederate flags were rife across the campus and throughout the surrounding town of Oxford, Mississippi, Meredith was able to gain admission to the university only after several bloody clashes and a show of force by the government of the United States. And so on, down to the present day.

Make no mistake, Dylann Roof clearly knew the symbolism involved, which is why his car had three Confederate flags on it.

Still they snivel.

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