Taking flag doesn’t stop beliefs
(My Clovis News Journal column for July 24, 2015)
Silly fights over the Confederate flag — actually the Confederate Navy Jack- are still being waged weeks after an evil mass murderer was seen holding it in photographs. The real issue, aggression, gets pushed aside by a non-issue: a flag.
Some people who fly the Confederate flag are undoubtedly racists, as are some who fly any flag. Many aren't racists, but fly it because of love for "The South" today. For them, the Confederacy may have nothing to do with it. Some who fly the flag are showing support for separation from a tyrannical government- I agree with them.
I never owned a Confederate flag. I never felt the desire to have one-- until they started being banned and stigmatized.
I was never much interested in the War of Northern Aggression, other than recognizing it as the second American Revolution; the one the wrong side won.
No, it wasn't "about slavery", although many tried mightily to make it so after it began. It appears they succeeded. Government schools promoting the winning side's propaganda have done a good job rewriting history and making people believe ending slavery was what the war was about. I'm vehemently opposed to slavery of every kind, which is why I'm libertarian.
It also wasn't a civil war, by definition, since the Confederates weren't fighting the Federals for control of the US government, but had divorced the abusive union and set up their own household. The North forced them back into an unhealthy relationship against their will. Again, "public schooling" slants the narrative to benefit the winning side.
But so what if racists fly Confederate flags? If you equate Confederate flags with racists, you should encourage racists to fly them openly. Don't you want racists advertising themselves as such so you'll know who they are? How will you know who needs to be ostracized if you ban or socially suppress the flags? (Oh, wait, that might be illegal and the state might force you to bake a same sex, Confederate wedding cake against your will if you refuse to do business with someone who hates you!)
Personally I like when those who want to violate me display symbols to let me know what they think of me. If the flag gains popularity among non-racists, then you still win by taking away its sting.
The only real wrong is using violence against someone who isn't physically harming anyone else, nor violating anyone's private property. Ideas and beliefs can't be banned- even if they are ridiculous. Making them illegal or dangerous to hold only reinforces them. You get more of what you try to forcibly stomp out.
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