Monday, September 8, 2008

Heritage and Hate

The Confederate Flag. The one above now flies proudly near tampa, fl. well, it would fly if it were not so heavy. Or limp. Maybe limp is the word.

I love to question cats about it. I mean, I am a philosopher and everything, questions are what I do. But I find that cats are quite resistant when it comes to the flag and would just as soon accuse me of some fanciful reverse discrimination as engage at the level of questions. So I have taken to pointing out a few facts of history.

The so called confederate flag was never flown to represent the CSA, nor was it the most popular flag of the confederacy. It actually isn't even the confederate battle flag (for the battle flag was was square and not rectangular, and anyway there were at least 180 other flags flown by confederate soldiers during battle). No, what they think is the battle flag is really the second confederate navy jack, a flag flown on a few measly ships, which made no appearance in any land battle.

The clown who claims "heritage, not hate" tends not to know any of this. They are then at a brief loss for words. That is when I get all ideological.

You say it is about heritage, but you don't know the full extent of this heritage, i say. I wonder if you can ever pick out any of the official flags of the CSA? It is cool to be down for states rights, i know. But one of the principle rights you wanted to protect was slave ownership. And by you, I mean the rich, landowning greedy people who swayed you into the war. But whatever, you lost the war, and it was so decisive that your enemy doesnt even exist anymore. People in the north, today, have no idea what a yankee is other than a member of a baseball team. I have students from the north who come down here and don't even understand what that flag means. But you clowns are over here talkin bout "the south will rise again." Rise against what? No, all that your belligerent flag display is about is the mourning of some imaginary lost glory. It is resentment over defeat. It is that same resentment that led your claimed ancestors to draft jim crow legislation. Which brings us to the issue of "not hate." Fact is, the defining marker of 'negroes ain't welcome' in any establishment is the presence of that flag. Put it on the signpost at a bar and magically it becomes a "whites only" bar. The one time in my life where i was attacked unprovoked by a a group of white men (well, other than every minute of my life), confederate flags graced the vehicles on which my instant enemies were chillin'. Now why do you think that is? Maybe my skin color was its own provocation.

But whatever, i know that you personally don't hate non-white southern people. You watch football after all. That's probably why you added "not hate" to the slogan in the first place. No, you just want to remind people who couldn't care less that you're still mad about a war that, had you won, would have allowed those of you that owned slaves to keep them. Oh, and it looks pretty sweet on top of an orange dodge charger. I feel you.

The south is my heritage too, by the way. I was born in a southern city where a massive bus boycott went down. A city where cats were beat down with water hoses and dogs in the streets. A city where a cat who now has a holiday named for him was arrested for parading without a permit when really, he was protesting the idea that people should be forced to drink the same water out of different fountains. When you think about it, these events were part of a kind of intra-southern civil war. Maybe I would fly a flag for this if there was one. But in absence of that, I just hold fast to the ideas that such a flag would represent. If you do the same for your flag, that might mean that you wish that boycott and related protests went differently than they did. In that case, I'm worried about our future together. But it's cool. At the end of days, my flag is just a fictional as yours.

Addendum: Hope i didn't straw man anybody. Just trying to get you to feel my status. Cause when I see that flag off I-75 I certainly feel yours.

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