Today was the 2nd time I saw this big pick-up truck driving around town with these HUGE flags flying from each side of it. They flowed like massive banners alongside the back bed. One was an American flag. I am all for that. Go, America! The other, however, was a Confederate battle flag.
Really? Still? In Albuquerque? To me, it’s like saying, “We sure miss those good old days of slavery. We were willing to make a whole new nation so that we could continue dehumanizing others for free labor and make ourselves wealthy off the whipped blood, forced sweat, & agonizing tears of people we felt we had the right to own. But gosh, darn it, we lost. Oh, well, we can still take pride in what we TRIED to do.” Perhaps I lived too long in Chicago because I did not think people still boldly flew that flag in public, maybe in their SAE frat house, but you know, hidden, like most racism is these days. So for someone to boldly fly it around town all the time…it makes me want to keep my cell phone video handy in case a chant starts.
I do not buy the southern heritage pride argument. How many Germans go around flying huge swastika flags out of German pride? They don’t say, “Oh, it’s just to remember how powerful we were then and how we almost took over all of Europe but not at all about the anti-Semitic, racist, 11 million plus people murdered thing.” They choose to leave it in the past because of its shameful associations regardless of anything remotely positive connected. (Is there anything remotely positive about it?) They concentrate on something else to take pride in like Volkswagen’s or BMW’s. So instead of using a symbol rooted in racism, can you just focus on something less shameful for your southern pride, like cheesy grits or cowboy boots? I would proudly boast of delectable shrimp-n-grits or handcrafted footwear, but never the Confederate battle flag that was especially resurrected in more modern times when segregation was being challenged.
You may not think you are racist because you proudly display the Confederate flag. You may not be. Those 2 frat boys also did not think they were racist, but suddenly they find themselves chanting the n-word complete with lynching references. Just don’t play; put it away. It may not be as flagrant as a frat boy on a bus, but it still means something more than you think. That something is more horrible than whatever good you think you are honoring.