Confederate Symbols and Things to Think About
Is it odd to anyone else that liberals are desperately trying to rid this nation of its history? What is their end game? For instance, we are all familiar with the push to eliminate Confederate symbols over the last several years (Ng, 2015). This included taking down a statue of a man who freed his slaves 20 years before he surrendered to the north (CBS/AP, 2017). It’s just weird to me.
This article is sure to ruffle some feathers, so let me start with some words from someone I admire on several different levels; Dr. Carol M. Swain, a professor of political science and law at Vanderbilt University (Swain, 2017). She says, “Since its founding in 1829, the Democratic Party has fought against every major civil rights initiative, and has a long history of discrimination. The Democratic Party defended slavery, started the Civil War, opposed Reconstruction, founded the Ku Klux Klan, imposed segregation, perpetrated lynchings, and fought against the civil rights acts of the 1950s and 1960s.“
That is pretty intense, but she goes on to say that “Johnson and the Democratic Party were unified in their opposition to the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery; the 14th Amendment, which gave blacks citizenship; and the 15th Amendment, which gave blacks the vote. All three passed only because of universal Republican support. During the era of Reconstruction, federal troops stationed in the South helped secure rights for the newly freed slaves. Hundreds of black men were elected to southern state legislatures as Republicans, and 22 black Republicans served in the U.S. Congress by 1900. The Democrats did not elect a black man to Congress until 1935.“
Now, if that does not destroy some narratives, I do not know what will. Of course, the argument often turns to the perpetuating myth that the Republican and Democratic parties switched somewhere in the mid-1960s. This is simply not true. In fact, out of the 21 Democratic senators who opposed the 1964 Civil Rights act, only one segregationist switched parties, and that was Strom Thurmond (Charen, 2014). The rest remained in the Democratic party, their constituents continued to elect them as Democrats, and they would be replaced with Democrats.
Let’s just use a little logic on this one. Remember Martin Luther King Jr.? His “I Have a Dream” speech was an attempt to get the President to do something about Civil Rights. Well, the President at that time was a Democrat by the name of JFK. Have you ever given that any thought?
Now, some might point to a phone call placed by Kennedy to King’s wife while King was in jail or to some of Kennedy’s speeches as evidence that perhaps I am wrong about this. That is okay, but I would point to the fact that Kennedy voted against Eisenhower’s 1957 Civil Rights Act, that he signed no obvious civil rights legislation during his administration, and that through 1961 Kennedy did nothing to help or push forward the civil rights issue and even ignored the violence in Albany as evidence that I am right (Trueman, 2015).
As for King’s speech in March of 1963, it should also be known that JFK initially opposed it because he believed that any march during his presidency would not only push Congress to do something but it would also publically demonstrate that the leaders of the civil rights movement were critical of him. So JFK endorsed the March instead, and King went along with it. Just remember its purpose. Even Malcolm X criticized King’s decision to allow this because he thought that Kennedy was attempting to do something shady (Trueman, 2015).
Do not try to pretend that this is ancient history. To this day, the Democrats are (clearly) consumed with race, and I would say they are as racist as ever. Many just don’t know it. Here’s a great example…
Of course, even the great Hillary Clinton has been caught joking about “Colored people’s time” or Mahatma Gandhi owning a gas station (Tesfaye, 2016)(AP, 2004). That is absolutely terrible, and that is just a couple of examples out of hundreds that I can think of. It is sad that more people cannot see the truth for what it is. Or maybe it is that so many simply refuse to see it.
Unfortunately, perception is often reality. Of course, this also means that if someone can alter your perception before you have had a chance to truly examine, then that perception has a strong chance of becoming your reality. That is kind of scary when you think about it, yet that is exactly why I continually tell anyone that will listen that they should always question EVERYTHING! This article will be no different.
I am going to use several different – seemingly unrelated – ideas to express a very specific point in the end. What I ask from you is that you keep an open mind and give me the benefit of the doubt. Keep what I have already provided in the back of your mind as we move forward. Remember, we are defeating a contorted narrative.
What if you woke up tomorrow and the news suggested that, as a nation, we must now classify all Native Americans as mass murdering racists that hate Jews? Then you look outside and see protests against the 45th Infantry Division of the United States military because of their racist roots. Would you go along with the perception, or would you question it and do some research?
I ask this question because if we have learned anything from recent events; if we are to believe what the media tells us; then it is evidently the symbols, not the actions or actual history of those symbols, that really matter. Of course, that is what they want you to believe. Let me explain.
As you know, Hitler’s main symbol was the swastika. Today, the swastika is viewed as a hate symbol by those who are not well cultured – which equates to most Americans. Therefore (and by popular rationale these days), anyone remotely associated with this symbol must be a racist, mass-murdering hate group, right?
Well, as it turns out, the swastika is a very common and very old symbol, used for thousands of years leading up to Hitler’s contortion. Even America’s very own Natives use it, and it is found in and on quite a bit in their symbolism (ICMN, 2012). It is normally a symbol of power and good. In fact, it was such a positive and powerful symbol that it was adopted as the official symbol of the 45th Infantry Division of the United States military and remained so for many years up until the second World War (45th Infantry Division (United States), 2017).
The swastika was first found in Mezine, Ukraine, and it dates back some 12,000 years (Black, 2014). You can find it in Ancient Greece, and it was (and still is in some cases) used all around the world as a positive sign, from the Hindus and Buddhists to some Asian countries. If you look, you can also find it in the works of the ancient Druids and Celts as well.
The swastika actually stands for “well-being,” a “good existence,” or even “permanent victory.” Can one man’s actions really take away 12,000 years of history? The answer is “yes… if we let it“. Now, I am not telling you to go wave a Nazi flag around; that is just silly. I am just saying that we have to use our heads once in a while. We cannot change what Hitler did, but what Hitler did should not erase the positive message that symbol represents. And regardless of how you feel about it, we cannot demonize Native and Asian cultures or symbolism because of Hitler’s actions.
On a similar note, does erasing monuments from the face of the earth somehow take away the fact that slavery happened? Educated people will tell you that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. This begs an interesting question. Does this mean that liberals are trying to erase our history (so nobody can learn from it) and are trying to get that horrible time to repeat itself? Or are they simply trying to bury their racist past while pointing the finger at others?
Let me talk about Dylann Roof for a moment. He was seen in a picture waving a Confederate flag and spewing hate speech before he went and shot up that church in Charleston on June 17, 2015. This is largely the reason why the media began a smear campaign against the Confederate flag as a response.
However, in what seems to be the same photoshoot as his proud display of the Confederate flag was a picture of Roof burning an American flag. By recent popular rationale, should we not conclude that anyone burning an American flag is just like Roof, a lunatic racist who is about to shoot up a bunch of people?
A racist is defined as a person who believes that a particular race is superior to another. Sort of like when a person of one race feels so entitled that they feel compelled to bestow some special privileges onto a person of another race because they feel that they are somehow not equal.
These symbols that people are attacking have nothing to do with race. The meanings of these symbols have been misinterpreted and have been wrongly associated with horrible actions or beliefs. It is really that simple.
Think about it. Is it racist when Kanye West wears his Confederate jacket or wraps himself in a Confederate flag? Is it racist when Southern black men wave the Confederate flag or dress in gray during Civil War reenactments? Many would say it is NOT, but if we replace any of these guys with someone who happens to be white, then all of a sudden, it is a racist act? I think that probably speaks more about the person who believes such nonsense.
Why is logic or reason not winning out? I hypothesize that it is because some leaders are spreading ignorance and inciting an emotional response for two very deliberate reasons; agenda and distraction. Let me provide the following as a point in case. This was something recently thrown at me during a debate over the Confederate flag as “evidence“:
“It is no accident that Confederate symbols have been the mainstay of white supremacist organizations, from the Ku Klux Klan to the skinheads. They did not appropriate the Confederate battle flag simply because it was pretty. They picked it because it was the flag of a nation dedicated to their ideals: ‘that the negro is not equal to the white man.’ The Confederate flag, we are told, represents heritage, not hate. But why should we celebrate a heritage grounded in hate, a heritage whose self-avowed reason for existence was the exploitation and debasement of a sizeable segment of its population?“
First of all, it is important to remember the words of Dr. Swain, provided at the beginning of this article. This is especially true when someone decides to spew nothing but a narrative at you. More than that, it is important to have the context of the flag itself because it is not about a heritage grounded in hate. Hate groups have chosen that flag because of their ignorance, nothing else.
But their debate makes very little logical sense when you think about it. To begin with, the Civil War was not based on slavery. It was about establishing the powerful centralized federal government we have today. In other words, it was about State’s Rights, the 10th Amendment, and personal and State sovereignty. Even Judge Andrew Napolitano has written on the subject and said, “one of the greatest misconceptions of American history is that the Civil War was fought over slavery” (Napolitano, 2015). If you would like to learn more about this, I would encourage you to read my article titled “Give Some REAL Thought to the Civil War.”
Sure, slavery ended up being a big part of it, but the federal government was engaged in things that quite a few people disagreed with because it was a contradiction to the Constitution. Folks in the South wanted to do something about it. It should not be too difficult to understand that the opposite side would need its own new symbols, flags, and identifying marks to differentiate itself from the bad guy. That rebellion – much like the American Revolution – brought about a lot of this.
We need to keep in mind that slavery was rooted in economics – not hate. This is why many blacks and reds not only owned slaves but also fought for the Confederacy. Were you aware of that? Sure, it was a twisted way to help achieve economic goals, but it was not a system of hate. Slavery was an economic model that had been in place for thousands of years.
Look, if a flag should be attacked, then the American flag bears more responsibility. Ironically, only people like Louis Farrakhan seem to be pointing this out (Ernst, 2015). Besides, the “Confederate Flag,” or “Rebel Flag,” as it were, was actually only one of several different flags used during the Civil War. None of them were about “hate“; they represented “rebellion” against the Federal Government.
Just because a couple of ignorant hate groups decided to use it for ignorant hate causes does not take away from the fact that the flag actually stands for the 10th Amendment and the spirit of rebellion. Similar to how Hitler used the swastika, it does not somehow negate the fact that the swastika meant something good, and it doesn’t make entire populations racist for having used it for thousands of years.
So am I suggesting that rebellion is something good? You bet I am. For the record, the rebellion was supposed to be looked upon as a GREAT thing by all Americans. Thomas Jefferson once said that…
“I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing “… …” Unsuccessful rebellions indeed generally establish the encroachments on the rights of the people which have produced them. An observation of this truth should render honest republican governors so mild in their punishment of rebellions, as not to discourage them too much. It is a medicine necessary for the sound health of government.” – National Archives. (1787, January 30)
Here is a curveball for you. If the Confederate flag really stands for hate, how exactly are we supposed to look upon guys like Pastor Clementa Pinckney, a black member of the South Carolina Senate that was killed by Dylann Roof at the church that fateful day?
That may seem like an odd question, but I want you to understand Pinckney voted FOR the “Southern Heritage Flag’s” display at the Statehouse (Bigelow, 2015). Was that done in hate? Or how about black southern “flaggers” who fully support keeping that flag-waving and say that the flag wasn’t about race at all (Kaufman, 2015)? Are they somehow racist or confused? The narrative we are being sold does not make sense, and this is why I urge you to question it.
By the way, if that flag represents racism, then we must be prepared to call the free Natives and free Blacks who fought for the Confederacy racists as well. Though, I am guessing that we would not get much support for that because it is confusing, and it cannot be a blanket statement if we do. That should tell you something.
Popular interpretation and contortions should not be enough to destroy either heritage or historical facts. Those who know the truth should not back down in the face of such unbelievable ignorance. Ignorance of history does not mean that such history did not exist, and it does not mean it is any less important to remember. It is my contention that we should embrace our historical mistakes and shortcomings as well as our victories. It is all a part of who we are.
And yes, I understand that growing up outside of the South comes with the popular notion that the Confederate flag is a symbol of hate. In other words, the popular interpretation is that whoever flies this flag wants to go back to war to get slavery back. This is so far beyond stupid that it is hard to know where to start, but this has a lot to do with government education’s lack of want to teach things like real history, international law, rebellion, the 10th Amendment or the reason for such rebellions in the first place. Nobody wants slavery back, except for maybe the Democrats.
I am tired of seeing all the ignorance fly in the face of REAL history. I am not going to sit back and ignore why the flag existed, what it stood for, who participated, or its role in our history or the history of the world. I am also not going to ignore the fact that loving relationships (both intimate and platonic) often existed between slave and master, regardless of the color of either slave or master.
Is slavery bad? Of course, it is, and this is true regardless of its form (like modern-day human trafficking or Islamic Slavery of Christian women). Is a little rebellion now and then bad? Absolutely not! Did both rebellion and slavery happen? Of course. Should we forget about it all and try to bury it? Absolutely not.
With all that being said, I understand the position that America only needs one national flag; a flag that can unite us all. I honestly think that is a great idea and a fantastic point. I can get behind that and I think others could get behind it as well. We have just one problem. Many of the same people crying about the Confederate flag are the same ones stomping and burning the American one. What is to be done about that?
And with that in mind, let me hit you with some historical irony. The KKK did not really use the Confederate flag that often – if at all. Honestly, I would challenge you to find very many pictures of the KKK with a rebel flag before 1950. Spoiler Alert! You’ll come up short. They usually used the American flag. Why? Well, because they wanted a white, Democrat-dominated America. Funny how we don’t hear that mentioned too often.
Now, some of you have probably picked up on the misdirection I have been using in this article. For the rest of you, let me reveal the intended underlying tone and point. This article is not actually about the Confederate Flag, the KKK, hate groups, or anything else like that. It is actually about the importance of real history and how a contortion or omission can change everything real and confuse the issue to an amazing degree.
To be honest, I could care less about Confederate symbolism. They lost. It’s not a threat. However, I believe that the Confederate Flag or similar Confederate symbols should NOT be removed. It is important to remember our history, and this is especially true if it includes the spirit of rebellion against an ever-expanding centralized government, and even if you believe that the side who rebelled had contorted ideas. The truth is that BOTH sides had contorted ideas, and BOTH sides should be examined critically.
Let me be abundantly clear. As much as I oppose slavery, and as much as I believe that the actions of many slave owners were atrocious, I think it is important to remember and learn from the actions of such Democrats. If we do, we will be less likely to succumb to slavery again. At the same time, we should critically examine the Republican push for a big centralized government so that we can see how unconstitutional expansions in government power are sold to the people.
REAL AMERICAN HISTORY is important because it is about all of us. It is important because we can learn from it. When we discover the truth it offers, we find we actually have a lot more in common than we were sold; we become much less likely to be led astray and to fight each other. When we discover the truth, we can unite. Embrace history and learn from it. Do not hide from it. THINK and guard against contortions.
Oddly enough, perhaps this is all best summed up by a meme I saw on Facebook: “History is not there for you to like or dislike. It is there for you to learn from it. And if it offends you, then even better. Because then you are less likely to repeat it. It is not yours to erase. It belongs to all of us.” Very true!
Did you enjoy this article? You might also like “The Dangers of Blind Nationalism.”