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I don't get a chance to get here much so just stumbled on this thread and have not read anything but the OP.

 

I live in an area where flying the Confederate flag is common. It always bothers me. Every time. I have talked to many about this and what I have come to understand is that for many of these people their grandfathers and great-grandfather fought for the Confederacy and so it is about heritage. I could never fly it because I know that it stands for hate to so many people but I do try to understand or at least not judge.

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I grew up in Richmond and graduated in 1987. Our high school mascot was a confederate soldier. The team was called "The Rebels," and the school flag which we waved at all pep rallies and school games was the Confederate flag. As far as I was concerned, it meant nothing except school spirit. But the African American population of the school was only about 5% so I do wonder how they felt, and whether the flag is still used today at the school.

 

Ruth in NZ

 

 

I'm pretty sure I live right next to the school you went to and they have changed their mascot and do not fly the flag.

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I'm not from The South yet but my perception is flying the Confederate Flag is a matter of southern pride, not racism.

 

 

In general, where I am and where I grew up, it means Southern pride, and no college. Yes, yes, that is a generalization, but I've seen it over and over.

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Finally read the majority of this thread and it is depressing.

 

This so-called "Southern pride" is actually Southern white pride. How can it truly be Southern pride when it excludes a large portion of Southerners? I'm not talking about these phantom leagues of black "friends" who fly the Confederate flag. I am talking about your average black southerner whose ancestors were slaves and who would still be slaves if the Confederacy had anything to do with it.

 

The moral of the story is: The Confederate flag is a symbol of racism for many people. You may not be a racist, but do not be surprised when people assume you are one.

 

 

May I ask what you're implying when you say "phantom leagues of black "friends?"" I don't want to assume anything that you aren't intending. Do you think that my own friend and the people that others have come across don't actually exist? Or just not in the number that this conversation would suggest? Or that they aren't really our friends?

 

To be absolutely clear, my friend is a real person, although his opinion is very rare. Both the majority of the city of Memphis and my circle of friends there are black. He is the only person I had this conversation with. We were very close friends, but I haven't seen him for a while since I moved across the country and had three children.

 

If my friend would lay the same meaning on the flag as other southerners, first I'm going to believe his motives and not condescendingly brush off his own words in exchange for some other explanation. Then I think it is possible that some of the people who fly it in the name of southern pride and say they aren't racist are telling the truth.

 

I would never, ever fly one myself. I agree that it is often used by racists to advertise their foul opinions, and that makes me sad and angry. My only objection in this thread is to the statements that say or suggest there are no exceptions.

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May I ask what you're implying when you say "phantom leagues of black "friends?"" I don't want to assume anything that you aren't intending. Do you think that my own friend and the people that others have come across don't actually exist? Or just not in the number that this conversation would suggest? Or that they aren't really our friends?

 

To be absolutely clear, my friend is a real person, although his opinion is very rare. Both the majority of the city of Memphis and my circle of friends there are black. He is the only person I had this conversation with. We were very close friends, but I haven't seen him for a while since I moved across the country and had three children.

 

If my friend would lay the same meaning on the flag as other southerners, first I'm going to believe his motives and not condescendingly brush off his own words in exchange for some other explanation. Then I think it is possible that some of the people who fly it in the name of southern pride and say they aren't racist are telling the truth.

 

I would never, ever fly one myself. I agree that it is often used by racists to advertise their foul opinions, and that makes me sad and angry. My only objection in this thread is to the statements that say or suggest there are no exceptions.

 

I am not saying that they don't exist, but as you said yourself, his opinion is very rare. The fact that more than one person said this, leads me to believe that some of these black people are imaginary and being used to further an argument.

 

I do not mean to imply that any individual person is lying as there are always exceptions.

 

ETA: I would be just as offended if a black person flew the flag. I would feel as if the person is being intentionally contentious and probably has some issues with being black. I would assume they have ideals that are in direct opposition to my own.

Edited by YourFidgetyFriend
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I am not saying that they don't exist, but as you said yourself, his opinion is very rare. The fact that more than one person said this, leads me to believe that some of these black people are imaginary and being used to further an argument.

 

I do not mean to imply that any individual person is lying as there are always exceptions.

 

ETA: I would be just as offended if a black person flew the flag. I would feel as if the person is being intentionally contentious and probably has some issues with being black. I would assume they have ideals that are in direct opposition to my own.

 

Not imaginary. More likely it means that either people here are more likely to have a wider variety of friends than average (rather than all that fit into this or that box...not unusual for such a broad board, particularly one that is full of against the grain type of people) or that it's not AS rare (though still rare) as previously thought. Still not necessary to be dismissive about it. It's as insulting as a person dismissing people's experiences with the KKK. *I* have never seen any KKK activity and I've lived many places. However, that doesn't make them phantoms either (though we all wish that that was all they were). Again, this just shows that there are a variety of people with differing views and the views are not always divided by the tone of a person's skin.

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When I see it I assume Rascism. I don't know anyone personally who has one, but there is a guy a block away from us who flies one and he also has a large swastika tattooed on his back.:ack2:

 

They go together like nuts and bolts. Sorry but the only time I have seen it in places other than the South are in photos, films and documents from white power groups. Here is a great link for educational information on the shared interests and ideology of these groups. http://www.splcenter.org/

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Ah, this makes you a redneck, not necessarily a racist. Though banjo music is like a smoke alarm for us northern liberals.

 

My family fought for the Union. And I am in Kansas, a well known Abolitionist area.

 

 

Banjos are *awesome* haven't you heard of Bela Fleck?

 

here is a video of Steve Martin (the comedian) playing with him

 

 

Y'all are missing out.

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On the topic of music:.

 

A question to anyone who cares to answer, given their logos and stage backdrop are these guys racists?

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bkbSPPgUVIQ

 

how about these guys

 

 

 

I'm guessing you're not really much of a country fan. The first group was formerly David Allen Coe's back-up group. He has a song called, "N*gger F*cker," so you sort of jacked up your argument there.

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I'm guessing you're not really much of a country fan. The first group was formerly David Allen Coe's back-up group. He has a song called, "N*gger F*cker," so you sort of jacked up your argument there.

 

 

I was not making an argument simply asking a question.

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I'm guessing you're not really much of a country fan. The first group was formerly David Allen Coe's back-up group. He has a song called, "N*gger F*cker," so you sort of jacked up your argument there.

 

:lol: :lol: :lol:

 

Bill

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What do you have to hide?

 

My father was shot down in a booming raid on a Japanese held atoll in the Pelau Island group. He flew an F-4U Cousair and was a Marine (transfer from the Navy). He won a Distinguished Flying Cross.

 

Bill

 

Your dad must have been/is an amazing man.

No offense to you at all, Bill, but unless you have been a soldier yourself, I don't know that it is appropriate to back your opinion on the opinions of soldiers. I mean - I get that that was your dad's opinion, but from what I have seen of all od DH's friend, that isn't necesarrily the majority's oppinion.

MY DH is currently in the AF. Has been for 20 years. Been deployed, I don't know anymore, 12 times. He earned his Distinguished Flying Cross about 10 years ago now...

 

He thinks the those fighting for the South were courageous. As a soldier, who's personally seen a lot... he knows that issues aren't black and white. He wholeheartedly disagrees with the people/ideology of those who were the cause of him earning the DFC, but he still respects them in so far as they showed courage and held their ground against ridiculous odds.

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I refuse to condone or defend the actions of southerners which were caused by their ignorance (and I am using that word in its purest definition). I understand why they did what they did, but it was neither courageous nor something that should be celebrated.

 

:iagree:

 

I'm surprised by this discussion. I think everyone here is probably aware of the idea of historical context. However, throughout history there have been both slavery and those who oppose slavery. It's not like the idea that enslaving others is wrong is a thoroughly modern idea ... or that slavery is a thing of the past. My kids come from a country that still practices slavery. I know kids who were enslaved before they were adopted. There is still slavery in the United States. There will probably always be people for whom economics is more important than human rights, and there will probably always be cultures that operate on a foundation of slavery. I don't excuse the people in my children's native country for owning slaves, even if their culture allows for it. There is an active anti-slavery movement in that country, and everyone is aware of it. I don't excuse poor white southerners for owning slaves. They knew that people opposed slavery. It's pretty much impossible to say that people can own slaves and not know that it's wrong. We can make a million historical and cultural an economic excuses for slavery, but slavery is wrong. As long as we try to defend the people who practice(d) it, we are not calling a spade a spade.

 

Tara

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Your dad must have been/is an amazing man.

No offense to you at all, Bill, but unless you have been a soldier yourself, I don't know that it is appropriate to back your opinion on the opinions of soldiers. I mean - I get that that was your dad's opinion, but from what I have seen of all od DH's friend, that isn't necesarrily the majority's oppinion.

MY DH is currently in the AF. Has been for 20 years. Been deployed, I don't know anymore, 12 times. He earned his Distinguished Flying Cross about 10 years ago now...

 

He thinks the those fighting for the South were courageous. As a soldier, who's personally seen a lot... he knows that issues aren't black and white. He wholeheartedly disagrees with the people/ideology of those who were the cause of him earning the DFC, but he still respects them in so far as they showed courage and held their ground against ridiculous odds.

 

We can grant that many soldiers that fought for the Confederacy showed courage. The same can be said of the Japanese soldiers he faced, the German forces of the Third Reich, the Taliban fighters today in Afghanistan, we could go on and on.

 

But the bottom line is fighting courageously in a bad case is NOT a virtue.

 

Killing fellow Americans in order to preserve the institution of slavery, and killing fellow Americans to destroy the American Union was not a moral good.

 

True courage is to act on the side of "right", not to be "brave" while abetting a great wrong.

 

Bill

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Bill, you are making a moral judgement based on 20th-21st century, American values.

I like them, and hold those values personally, but it is not really appropriate to apply them to others in other cultures and especially in other times.

I am not defending the Taliban, I think the Japanese were brutal at times (my Great UNcle survived the Bataan Death March).... but, for example, most of the Japanese who fought were fighting for their country and for what they thought was right. Same with many in Iraq, and also many in Afghanistan.

I prefer Western Values, and cannot understand the mindset of Islamic extremeists (or any extremists for that matter), but I also cannot assume that in 100 years people won't look at what my DH did and say he was fighting on the wrong side and therefore had no virtue. Well - I am sure people in other countries are saying it already.

See my point? I am not saying it was right to hang on to slavery - but I think for a lot of the soldiers it was more about protecting the economy (as they saw it) in the South in general - and "national' pride.

I said this before - at that point there was far less pride in being "American", more pride was tied to the states individually, and so - it was not so much as "American vs American" as our states vs yours.

Again - looking at it any other way is applying our culture upon theirs and is not historically valid.

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Bill, you are making a moral judgement based on 20th-21st century, American values.

I like them, and hold those values personally, but it is not really appropriate to apply them to others in other cultures and especially in other times.

I am not defending the Taliban, I think the Japanese were brutal at times (my Great UNcle survived the Bataan Death March).... but, for example, most of the Japanese who fought were fighting for their country and for what they thought was right. Same with many in Iraq, and also many in Afghanistan.

I prefer Western Values, and cannot understand the mindset of Islamic extremeists (or any extremists for that matter), but I also cannot assume that in 100 years people won't look at what my DH did and say he was fighting on the wrong side and therefore had no virtue. Well - I am sure people in other countries are saying it already.

See my point? I am not saying it was right to hang on to slavery - but I think for a lot of the soldiers it was more about protecting the economy (as they saw it) in the South in general - and "national' pride.

I said this before - at that point there was far less pride in being "American", more pride was tied to the states individually, and so - it was not so much as "American vs American" as our states vs yours.

Again - looking at it any other way is applying our culture upon theirs and is not historically valid.

 

Sorry, but the Tablian are contemporaries. The moral evil of Nazism is not a "relative cultural evil" it was a plain evil.

 

Many Americans, including many in the South I imagine, knew human slavery was wrong. It was as wrong then as now, no matter how culturally acceptable it might have been in the South.

 

As to "pride" (as I mentioned earlier) I now see more clearly than ever why it is sometimes considered the deadliest of the 7 Deadly Sins.

 

Bill

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I would never include the Nazi's in what I said - they are beyond the pale. Notice that I didn't??

The Taliban - I think it is nuts - but they really do believe they are fighting for what is right. To them, it is a religious demand that they do so.

Obviously I disagree..... But what I was trying to point out is that different cultures do see right and wrong in different ways - even in the same centuries. Although - really, many of the "stan" countries are about a century behind or more technologically, so perhaps that explains the different values.... who knows.

 

We think we have reached the "Top" of the moral ladder - that we've figured it out, and that we - Westerners - for the most part are right in most repects. But,,,, so did everyone else in the past. And we will be judged in the future in ways we can't even imagine. I agree that there were certainly people in the South who were against slavery, and that many still fought, and I can't claim to understand them. But if you speak of "the South" as a whole - I do believe it was engrained in their culture enough (and in their religion) that they had - however they did it - rationalized it. Additionally, those of us who have the benefit of living in the here and now, and growing up with "slavery bad" "racism bad" paradigm are rather egotistical if we think we'd be immune to what EVERYONE around us believed. Sure, some would, but most wouldn't.... that is how cultures develop in the first place.

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By the time of the Civil War there were lots of abolitionist groups in the North and the South. We give to a charity *now* that is focused on ending slavery of children. Are you saying slavery is fine now since it exists now? No, slavery was wrong then and it's wrong now.

 

Are you suggesting that the Taliban are not brutal? Do you know how many girls have been burned with acid, shot or blown up because they wanted to go to school? Are you suggesting these things are morally acceptable because they have a different mindset from us?

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By the time of the Civil War there were lots of abolitionist groups in the North and the South. We give to a charity *now* that is focused on ending slavery of children. Are you saying slavery is fine now since it exists now? No, slavery was wrong then and it's wrong now.

 

Are you suggesting that the Taliban are not brutal? Do you know how many girls have been burned with acid, shot or blown up because they wanted to go to school? Are you suggesting these things are morally acceptable because they have a different mindset from us?

 

 

How many times can I say that I don't agree with any of it??? I think slavery is abhorent.

 

My DH is out fighting the Taliban half the year, and let me tell you - we had a rough weekend....

 

I am simply saying that when looking at the past, it doesn't do any good to judge those people with modern standards.

How many here admire the Greeks? Of course, we do. But we don't judge them by our modern standards at all. They were slave holders, oppressed women, children's rights were non-existent.... Just because it was a long time ago doesn't change their humanity, and I'm sure there were people then that opposed slavery.

Attempting to understand the past, and attempting to look through the eyes of those who were there, in no way implies acceptance of their morality or culture.

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I suppose that, being a historian myself, I have learned to not react emotionally to the past. It doesn't do any good, and only hinders our understanding.

I am not a moral relativist in anyway, and I believe there is right and wrong - absolutes. But I don't immediately apply my standards to the past. It doesn't work.

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How many times can I say that I don't agree with any of it??? I think slavery is abhorent.

 

My DH is out fighting the Taliban half the year, and let me tell you - we had a rough weekend....

 

We are in the same boat here. I assure you.

 

My point is if you think it is abhorrent, then it is abhorrent. There is no "looking at it in context."

 

I am simply saying that when looking at the past, it doesn't do any good to judge those people with modern standards.

 

And I am saying that I am judging them by standards that existed at the time. There was a Methodist abolitionist preacher named Anthony Bewley. He was brutally murdered for his beliefs. It was just as wrong then as it is now. Just because some people were able to rationalize it for themselves doesn't mean we are judging them by modern standards.

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By the time of the Civil War there were lots of abolitionist groups in the North and the South. We give to a charity *now* that is focused on ending slavery of children. Are you saying slavery is fine now since it exists now? No, slavery was wrong then and it's wrong now.

 

Are you suggesting that the Taliban are not brutal? Do you know how many girls have been burned with acid, shot or blown up because they wanted to go to school? Are you suggesting these things are morally acceptable because they have a different mindset from us?

 

Treading very, very lightly here, because I don't really want to get into this. I think what she means is that some day, in some later time, our place in history may be judged harshly because of a different issue that many people justify right now in our country.

 

One example is (in white, please don't look if you're looking for a fight- it is just an example): abortion

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Ah, this makes you a redneck, not necessarily a racist. Though banjo music is like a smoke alarm for us northern liberals.

:ohmy:

 

 

I happen to like banjo music :D

 

Not so fond of the Klan.

 

But give me some old-time or bluegrass and I'm a happy man.

 

Bill

I have a feeling you and I wouldn't agree on a lot of things, as I'm a redneck, southern conservative....but none of that matters if bluegrass is involved!! We are a bluegrass pickin' family here with the banjo, guitar, bass, fiddle and as my username suggests the mandolin represented.

 

My family fought for the Union. And I am in Kansas, a well known Abolitionist area.

 

 

Banjos are *awesome* haven't you heard of Bela Fleck?

 

here is a video of Steve Martin (the comedian) playing with him

 

 

 

Y'all are missing out.

 

Bela...you can't get much better than that!!

 

Ok, I'm new here, and really didn't want to get to involved in the controversies yet, but I will say that having been raised in the deep south, the Confederate Flag was a part of our culture growing up. AS much as the Dukes of Hazard or Smokey and the Bandit.....I went to a school (graduated in '82" where the flag was common among whites and blacks...for whatever reason we didn't seem to have the same race issues as there are today. I would tell that racism wasn't an issue, but only because "I" didn't see it....

 

When I was in the first grade, 1970, I had the first black teacher at that school. I came home that first day and told my parents I didn't like my teacher because she was black (up until that point, I hadn't really been around many (if any) black people.) My parents didn't say a word....BUT at dinner that night, my dad announced to my sister and I that our mother wouldn't be allowed to eat with us anymore. Why, why, we cried. Because she has green eyes and we all have brown eyes.

 

It was a lesson I have never forgotten. But in my teen years, with all the "redneckin'" southern rock playin' grits eating etc.....I would have flown that flag out of pride for my southern roots. No one that I knew of meant any harm and again, we were just as close to our black peers in school...small town we were all close.

 

HOWEVER, with age and wisdom,(and teaching in an inner city school for 13 years) I came to the conclusion that the flag is divisive and that alone makes it not worth flying.

 

I imagine that the hurt comes more from the Civil Rights era than the war itself, but that is just an opinion. Doesn't really matter. There is enough people that associate the flag with slavery and bigotry that I'm going to respect that as I would never want to make someone feel threatened.

 

FWIW....big scandal in my family as we were going through my grandma's things (when she moved to a nursing home) and found letters from my g-g-g-g(not sure how many greats) grandfather who fought in the war...FOR THE YANKEES!!

 

So now, I'm trying to embrace my yankeedom....much to my southern husbands dismay. :lol:

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I think the intent behind displaying it matters. Some do for historical purposes and others do it for slightly more nefarious reasons.

 

Having lived in Georgia for many years, I can tell you that it works both ways. Some people even fly the flag on a pole and others just put stickers on their car. I don't judge it unless I see some other racist symbol beside it (and often enough, on cars anyway, that does happen.) :glare:

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Well talking about the song- Sweet Home Alabama by Lynyrd Skynyrd- my youngest was in my car while we were moving here and started asking me about the lyrics of that song. In particular, the part "In Birmingham, they love the governor" who was George Wallace at the time, and the background singers sing boo,boo, boo. Which meant that the songwriter did not agree with loving the governor and is a position a non-racist would hold. By the way, George Wallace repented of his views and asked forgiveness for his actions and in his last term in office, in the 80's, he appointed blacks in his cabinet. So no, the song isn't racist.

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Treading very, very lightly here, because I don't really want to get into this. I think what she means is that some day, in some later time, our place in history may be judged harshly because of a different issue that many people justify right now in our country.

 

I am 100% sure that is true. Like I said before, I am involved in causes that I believe in now. I hope someday that everyone has clean water, that children are not dying of hunger in some countries while our country gets fatter and fatter. I hope someday slavery is eradicated around the world. When those things come to pass, our culture will be judged. We deserve to be judged. But, I am not going to condone it as we don't know better, we *do* know better, we *can* do better.

 

I am leaving your suggested issue alone because you don't really seem to want to go there.

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How many times can I say that I don't agree with any of it??? I think slavery is abhorent.

 

My DH is out fighting the Taliban half the year, and let me tell you - we had a rough weekend....

 

I am simply saying that when looking at the past, it doesn't do any good to judge those people with modern standards.

How many here admire the Greeks? Of course, we do. But we don't judge them by our modern standards at all. They were slave holders, oppressed women, children's rights were non-existent.... Just because it was a long time ago doesn't change their humanity, and I'm sure there were people then that opposed slavery.

Attempting to understand the past, and attempting to look through the eyes of those who were there, in no way implies acceptance of their morality or culture.

 

Kristy makes a couple of interesting points. We don't judge the ancient Greeks, Romans, or any other ancient civilization because they owned slaves as harshly as we judge the ante-bellum South. Maybe it's the passage of time? I don't know. Maybe it's because very few (I won't say no one) flies a Roman standard or the Greek equivalent these days from their front porch. And if someone were to fly such a flag what would be one's automatic thought about that -- that this person supported slavery? Again the passage of time seems to come into play here. Or maybe ignorance of ancient history. ;)

 

One of the preeminant Civil War historians teaches that in order to understand history (any history, not just American) one must "read history forward". In other words, try to place oneself (as much as possible, of course) into the shoes of those people who lived during the time period and look at the events as if the outcome weren't known.

 

The second point Kristy has made a couple of times is the perception of the US by citizens, the government, and foreign countries before the Civil War v. after. Before the War the US was commonly referred to in the plural; after and continuing up to present times the US is commonly referred to in the singular. Many people (on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line) aligned themselves with their state far more than with the country, probably because the opportunity to travel much beyond one's hamlet, village, county, etc was severly limited. I don't find it odd given this that someone could be against slavery, yet feel he should join his [southern] state's militia.

 

Given the connotations of the Confederate battle flag both during the War and after (including in present time) I wouldn't fly/display it. I also wouldn't automatically judge someone who did as a racist.

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Kristy makes a couple of interesting points. We don't judge the ancient Greeks, Romans, or any other ancient civilization because they owned slaves as harshly as we judge the ante-bellum South. Maybe it's the passage of time? I don't know. Maybe it's because very few (I won't say no one) flies a Roman standard or the Greek equivalent these days from their front porch. And if someone were to fly such a flag what would be one's automatic thought about that -- that this person supported slavery? Again the passage of time seems to come into play here. Or maybe ignorance of ancient history. ;)

 

It is because nobody is suggesting that the Greeks didn't know better or that really treated their slaves okay, that most slave owners were not cruel. Nobody has argued that it was completely necessary to their economic system to own slaves. Nobody is defending the fact that they owned slaves.

 

One of the preeminant Civil War historians teaches that in order to understand history (any history, not just American) one must "read history forward". In other words, try to place oneself (as much as possible, of course) into the shoes of those people who lived during the time period and look at the events as if the outcome weren't known.

 

I had many exercises in college where I had to put myself in the shoes of a small farmer or large plantation owner in this or that state, on this or that date. Understanding their rationalizations and fears does not excuse all of their behaviors.

 

The second point Kristy has made a couple of times is the perception of the US by citizens, the government, and foreign countries before the Civil War v. after. Before the War the US was commonly referred to in the plural; after and continuing up to present times the US is commonly referred to in the singular. Many people (on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line) aligned themselves with their state far more than with the country, probably because the opportunity to travel much beyond one's hamlet, village, county, etc was severly limited. I don't find it odd given this that someone could be against slavery, yet feel he should join his [southern] state's militia.

 

But, I think the point Sis made earlier is also valid. People often fight for what they aspire to. That is why so many people vote against their own economic interests.

 

I also wouldn't automatically judge someone who did as a racist.

 

But, again, as people have already pointed out, that is sort of a luxury. The OP is a person of color and there is a feeling among many that it stands as a warning in some areas.

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I have a feeling you and I wouldn't agree on a lot of things, as I'm a redneck, southern conservative....but none of that matters if bluegrass is involved!! We are a bluegrass pickin' family here with the banjo, guitar, bass, fiddle and as my username suggests the mandolin represented.

 

 

Well pass the jug and strike up the fiddles because I adore Bluegrass. And particlulary enjoy the beautiful sounds of mandolines.

 

It sounds like you had very wise parents.

 

I look forward to becoming better acquainted.

 

Bill

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One of the preeminant Civil War historians teaches that in order to understand history (any history, not just American) one must "read history forward". In other words, try to place oneself (as much as possible, of course) into the shoes of those people who lived during the time period and look at the events as if the outcome weren't known.

 

The second point Kristy has made a couple of times is the perception of the US by citizens, the government, and foreign countries before the Civil War v. after. Before the War the US was commonly referred to in the plural; after and continuing up to present times the US is commonly referred to in the singular. Many people (on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line) aligned themselves with their state far more than with the country, probably because the opportunity to travel much beyond one's hamlet, village, county, etc was severly limited. I don't find it odd given this that someone could be against slavery, yet feel he should join his [southern] state's militia.

 

.

 

:iagree:

 

Yes - that.....

I also wouldn't fly the flag - but I'm a Yankee anyway :)

I didn't say it was about "not knowing better", not necesarrily, but they were told from birth by their entire community that it was ok, that it was righteous, and that God condoned it. Some people just aren't as strong as they should be. Many people just go along the with crowd and try to fit in (kinda like so many here judge PS'ers as just going along with the crowd).

 

In fact - it takes expecially strong people to go against their communities - and let's be honest - the majority of people aren't like that. Then or now. We just don't have slavery to highlight the issue quite so clearly. It does not make it right, or ok,,,, and certainly we should learn from the past.

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It is because nobody is suggesting that the Greeks didn't know better or that really treated their slaves okay, that most slave owners were not cruel. Nobody has argued that it was completely necessary to their economic system to own slaves. Nobody is defending the fact that they owned slaves.

 

You're right. I wonder, though, if the passage of time contributes to this. This may seem a irrelevant bit of minutia; but, no one these days is upset that their great x nth grandparents were enslaved by those [insert pejorative adjective here] Greeks who everyone else thinks are so great. Yes, there are people who excuse and defend the slave owning society of the South even today. I want to be clear and say that I think they're wrong. But I think we should look at a society be it ancient Greek or ante-bellum South and judge it using the same criteria. If we castigate almost everyone in the ante-bellum South who fought for the South even though only a minority of people owned slaves, then shouldn't that same criteria be applied to ancient Greece, Rome, Celts, Maya, Egyptians, and almost every other ancient civilization.

 

I had many exercises in college where I had to put myself in the shoes of a small farmer or large plantation owner in this or that state, on this or that date. Understanding their rationalizations and fears does not excuse all of their behaviors.

 

The point isn't to excuse the actions and behaviours. The point, for me, at least, is to acknowledge the different viewpoints. To try to see how people envisioned the future given their frame of references and knowledge at the time. To try to understand why (in this case) such a disparate group of people over a wide geographic area -- the South -- so firmly held onto this practice, especially given that most southeners didn't own slaves and generally couldn't get ahead financially. I don't think it is helpful to use a broad brush to paint an entire era/group of people/etc. One too often misses the nuances.

 

 

But, I think the point Sis made earlier is also valid. People often fight for what they aspire to. That is why so many people vote against their own economic interests.

 

True. And I think there are many reasons why people vote against their own economic interests: aspirations, feelings of loyalty toward a specific place or tribe (to include family & friends), enculturation, altruism, selfishness, you name it. And, especially given the complexities of the human psyche, some combination of the above. One person's reason(s) don't invalidate another's reason(s).

 

 

But, again, as people have already pointed out, that is sort of a luxury. The OP is a person of color and there is a feeling among many that it stands as a warning in some areas.

 

Perhaps. It is based on my experiences just as the OP's and other's thoughts and feelings about it are based on their experiences. Again both are valid. And, to reiterate, I wouldn't fly/display the flag.

 

I hope some of this makes sense. It's late and I'm operating on 6 interrupted hours of sleep over the past 2 days.

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Treading very, very lightly here, because I don't really want to get into this. I think what she means is that some day, in some later time, our place in history may be judged harshly because of a different issue that many people justify right now in our country.

 

One example is (in white, please don't look if you're looking for a fight- it is just an example): abortion

I really is there were an applause icon!

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I'm not from The South yet but my perception is flying the Confederate Flag is a matter of southern pride, not racism.

 

There are those who say the Civil War wasn't actually about "freeing the slaves" anyway but that's a topic for another day...:001_smile:

 

I am from the South, and I completely agree.

 

No rotten tomatoes, please.

Edited by ereks mom
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You can believe what you want, but it doesn't change history or the facts. The differing economic situations in the North and the South were a primary cause of the Civil War. Go back and look at the debates that the members of Congress from northern states and southern states had on raising international tariff rates. Also, check how the average person in the North felt about slavery during the years leading up to the Civil War. You might be surprised.

 

BTW, all the Lincoln quotes you used were from the time of the Civil War. After the war had started, Lincoln did make the abolition of slavery one of the goals of the war-but not before the war. Lincoln was not an abolitionist. He wanted to stop the spread of slavery into the western area of the United States. Oh, and the Emancipation Proclamation only freed the slaves int he states in rebellion. The slaves in the border states, where slaery was still legal, were not freed because the slave owners there were fighting for the Union. I bet it sucked to be a slave in those states.

 

A lot of people miss this very important point.

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I haven't read all the way to the end of the thread yet, so forgive me if this has already been pointed out.

 

So many are using the term "Confederate flag" when what they really mean to discuss is the so-called rebel flag, or battle flag. It was never an official flag of the CSA. Anyone who is interested in displaying a tribute to Southern culture and heritage would be better off using one of the official flags of the CSA, in my opinion.

 

BTW, I happen to live in SC, and I have spent many hours on the statehouse grounds looking at all the Confederate monuments. If Nikki Haley really wanted this issue to go away, she would push our General Assembly to remove the battle flag and replace it with another, less inflammatory option. She won't do that, though, and I think we can all guess why.

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Treading very, very lightly here, because I don't really want to get into this. I think what she means is that some day, in some later time, our place in history may be judged harshly because of a different issue that many people justify right now in our country.

 

One example is (in white, please don't look if you're looking for a fight- it is just an example): abortion

 

:iagree:yep...

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I really is there were an applause icon!

 

:iagree:

 

Wonderful point.

To add to the Emancipation Proc. issue - Lincoln waited for a VERY long time to pass this. He was anti-slavery, but was afraid more border states would leave the Union if he outright banned it. Obviously this was a political issue - but still - Lincoln certainly didn't have the welfare of the slaves at the forefront of his mind. He was trying to keep the US together as one nation, not free slaves. Also - for quite a while as well, the Union military was required to return slaves who had run away to their "owners" (I hate using that term). Many in the North were more concerned about the economy and the Union, and had very little concern for the slaves. They just happened to be on the "right" side of the border historically.

Edited by SailorMom
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I am simply saying that when looking at the past, it doesn't do any good to judge those people with modern standards.

How many here admire the Greeks? Of course, we do. But we don't judge them by our modern standards at all. They were slave holders, oppressed women, children's rights were non-existent.... Just because it was a long time ago doesn't change their humanity, and I'm sure there were people then that opposed slavery.

Attempting to understand the past, and attempting to look through the eyes of those who were there, in no way implies acceptance of their morality or culture.

 

Such a good point. And as classical educators, many of us devote a good portion of our school year reading/studying/admiring the Greeks...

 

Another point, no one would immediately think I were a racist if I said I admired George Washington; yet, as great of a man as he was, he owned slaves. We are all a product of our time, and by thinking we are so much better than those of the past, we are deceiving ourselves...not that this justifies slavery, I'm just sayin... I like to think I wouldn't have owned slaves had I lived back then. I like to think that I would have been a Quaker, helping with the underground railroad...:001_smile: but who knows..."the heart is deceitful and desperately wicked..." (Just finished Amos Fortune, Free Man with my boys and loved the Quaker family! And loved Amos Fortune too--what an awesome inspiration he was/is to all of us.)

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(Just finished Amos Fortune, Free Man with my boys and loved the Quaker family! And loved Amos Fortune too--what an awesome inspiration he was/is to all of us.)

 

Loved that book when I was a kid, and love rereading it to my DD when she was old enough. Having said that, I realized that it left me with some complete misapprehensions about the Middle Passage and slavery. It was other children's books, interestingly enough, that filled in the gaps:

 

"Life on a Plantation"

"Amistad"

"Follow The Drinking Gourd"

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Loved that book when I was a kid, and love rereading it to my DD when she was old enough. Having said that, I realized that it left me with some complete misapprehensions about the Middle Passage and slavery. It was other children's books, interestingly enough, that filled in the gaps:

 

"Life on a Plantation"

"Amistad"

"Follow The Drinking Gourd"

 

Oh, heavens, yes! I agree--definitely doesn't do justice to the lives of the majority of slaves. Maybe he wouldn't have had such a wonderful attitude had he been sold to the plantations and worked to death. IDK. But either way, he displayed such a trust in His God, regardless of his place on this earth. I guess the reason I thought of this book was because I admired the kind, Quaker family that took him in so that he didn't have to have the life of the "typical" slave. As I was saying before, that's who I hope I would have been like... I've read other stories where the Quakers were very involved in the underground railroad (I think it was a biography of Harriett Tubman, or maybe it was Uncle Tom's Cabin...), and every time I read about the Quakers, they just seemed to ooze the unconditional love that shows the love of Jesus. (And, let me add, I don't know that much about the Quakers, just that how they were portrayed in a few of the books was very admirable.)

 

And speaking of Uncle Tom's Cabin...I cried the whole way through, and as someone else posted, had a hard time not wanting to hug every AA I saw when grocery shopping!!

 

I worked for an ophthalmologist for several years who is an AA, ancestors were slaves. I was chatting on FB with him (about marshmallows, of all things!), and I just emailed him to ask him his opinion on the Confederate flag... We'll see what he says. He's an awesome, smart, loving Christian man, so I'll be interested in his view point.

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:iagree:

 

Wonderful point.

To add to the Emancipation Proc. issue - Lincoln waited for a VERY long time to pass this. He was anti-slavery, but was afraid more border states would leave the Union if he outright banned it. Obviously this was a political issue - but still - Lincoln certainly didn't have the welfare of the slaves at the forefront of his mind. He was trying to keep the US together as one nation, not free slaves. Also - for quite a while as well, the Union military was required to return slaves who had run away to their "owners" (I hate using that term). Many in the North were more concerned about the economy and the Union, and had very little concern for the slaves. They just happened to be on the "right" side of the border historically.

 

It wasn't that those states wanted to be with the Union, but that they were divided. Kentucky tried to declare itself "neutral" but then some pretty bloody fighting occurred there. Missouri had two different governments and as most know also had some pretty severe fighting, St Louis was more loyal...but Western Missouri was full tilt fighting for the South.

 

They weren't perfectly loyal-but-slave states sending soldiers to the Union army. Kentucky and Missouri were sending soldiers to both. They had representation in both.

 

The border states were not cotton states and not as beholden to slave labor, their economies did rely on trade with the North so they were more divided.

 

And though the Emancipation Proclamation did not free the slaves in those states Missouri and Maryland did end it within their borders before the end of the war. Delaware did in December of 1865. Kentucky did not ratify the 13th amendment until 1976 (but before Mississippi in 1995)

 

Some of the bloodiest battles happened in states that were omitted in the emancipation proclamation, Antietam (Maryland), Stones Rover (Tennessee), Fort Donelson (Tennessee) and Shiloh (Tennessee)

 

And while the Proclamation did only free those slaves being held by the Union as "contraband" and those in occupied areas it did serve its purpose.

 

It ended any sympathies for the confederacy in Europe.

Edited by Sis
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