Tuesday, June 23, 2015
The Ridiculous Argument by Confederate Flag Defenders: "Our Flag Is Mis-Appropriated By Haters'
Whether through political calculation after the furious reaction nationwide to the Charleston Massacre- or because she really was committed to it in her heart- Nikki Haley did call yesterday for the Confederate Battle Flag to come down in her state capitol. Within a very short time, a MS state rep also called for that state's Confederate flag to come down - and lo and behold- Walmart has announced it will cease carrying Confederate flag merchandise and other paraphernalia.
Much of the response I actually attribute to two things: 1) the multiple media images of Dylann Roof holding Confederate flags - while even spitting on and burning the American flag, and 2) Mitt Romney, coming out in the wake, to call for the flag to come down over South Carolina's state capitol.
Romney's tweet, dare I say, began the political cascade to take that damned battle flag down - which, btw, is not even a South Carolina -related flag but the flag of Northern Virginia, flown by the armies under Robert E. Lee. This was pointed out by Rep. James Clyburn in an appearance last night on 'All In', while observing most Southern states still flying some form of Confederate flag have its origins wrong.
But what astounded me, is that despite all these Reepo politicos finally finding their respective consciences, they're still making excuses for the odious symbol of hate which they actually claim was "misappropriated by haters and racists".
I think not! First, in the case of the SC flag, let's get it clear in our heads it has not been flying since that state entered the Civil War in 1862. No- it was sent up in 1962 as a symbolic, in your face attack on the growing civil rights movement. It was the racist swine's reaction to calls by Martin Luther King and others for de-segregation.
As Maddow observed last night:
"It was put up as a symbol of resistance to de-segregation in the early 1960s as South Carolina and the rest of the deep South burned and marched and lit up with gunfire, bombings, intimidations and rage in that catalyzing and epic fight that we had as a country to try to desegregate the South"
This point, which has escaped too many, removes any connection to the Confederate flag in SC being a "southern pride", "heritage" or "historical" symbol - and clearly reveals it as a reactionary hate symbol. Embraced by southern haters to show off their allegiance to the flag of slavery and oppression when faced by "Yankee interference" in race relations.
This interpretation is reinforced by the subsequent history. Because after the civil rights bill was passed, South Carolina continued to fly the Confederate flag rather than take it down in acquiescence to the new legal reality, In other words, the flag continued to fly in Columbia, SC as a means of symbolically spitting on the new federal laws - including the voting rights act.
So the hate symbol link is undeniable and inextricable.
Yet there was SC state Sen. Tom Davis last night on Chris Hayes' All In, ostensibly supporting Nikki Haley's call for removing the flag, but asserting multiple times that it had been "misappropriated", i.e. by the likes of Roof, In one response he said:
"For many South Carolinians, this flag represents heritage and honor. But it's equally true that many hate groups have misappropriated the Confederate Battle Flag as a symbol of their hatred. We may not like that but it's a reality. It's largely seen now, incorrectly in my view, as a symbol of hate and it's something that divides us."
But the question that evades him - and others who've said the same - is: Why would a hate group or hater adopt this flag as a symbol of their hate? A parallel question is: Why would a hate group, say like Aryan Nation, adopt the Nazi swastika as a symbol of hate?
The answer is because it IS a symbol of hate!
A hater will always adopt that symbol that most brazenly embodies and reflects that hate toward whomever or whatever the hater desires. The swastika fills that bill, and so does the Confederate flag.
Again, why isn't the American flag used to express hatred? Why isn't it also "misappropriated"? The answer is because it is historically neutral. It has no aggressive hate background, other than to the treasonous secessionists and white supremacists in the Confederacy - or secessionist / supremacist lovers like that turd Roof. (Who almost looks in some of his website pics like he'd almost love to 'ball' that disgusting flag.)
This is why Dylann Roof was seen burning the Stars n' Stripes and spitting on it. It served no useful purpose to him to embody his racial hatred. The Confederate flag did for the reasons given earlier and cited by Maddow (and others this morning on MSNBC).
Look, if the "misappropriation" argument had any heft at all, it would be true that ANY flag could be misappropriated by hate groups to support their hatreds. But this is not the case! Only a tiny, minuscule subset of 4 flags fit the bill: 1) The Nazi swastika, 2) the Confederate flag, 3) The Rhodesian flag under white supremacist PM Ian Smith and 4) the South African flag under apartheid.
Only the first two have any significance for American haters and hate groups, though Roof was cognizant enough of the last two to sport them on one of his jackets in a Facebook image, e.g.
It was also no surprise that Roof described himself as "the last Rhodesian" in his over the top manifesto recently unearthed by the FBI.
What all this means is that it's supercilious nonsense to try to make excuses for some southerners to want to preserve flag no. (2) given its background and actual use as a hate symbol. That includes idiots like one Sons of Confederate Veterans twit (Paul Graham) who burped: "The flag didn't kill anybody, a boy did". Actually, the 'boy' used the Confederate flag to support or justify the massacre performed!
Misappropriation? Hell no! Actual knowledgeable appropriation based on its sordid history, the same as the swastika - which btw, flies over no village or hamlet in Germany!
As I said before, the best place for all Confederate Battle flags - like swastikas- is in museums. Once ALL the flags of hate are retired there, the hateful users will be seen (and depicted) as supporting anachronisms that no longer have currency in the present.
Lindsey Graham finally got it right yesterday when he said:
"Let's put it this way, if we fail to take it down now we'll pay a price for generations. We have to get this right."
It is hilarious seeing the rightists and Fox News fools doing backflips after Obama used the n-word in a WTF podcast over the weekend. As Michael Eric Dyson pointed out, they merely make Obama's point, of failing to appreciate genuine racism in the appropriate context. They go bonkers and ballistic over the use (for emphasis) in a signification - but fail to distinguish the actual epithets that have been hurled AT Obama!