The Confederate Flag – A Sign of Our Times

confederate flag

I really try to stay out of political debates.  Most of my family is right wing, most of my friends are left – extreme right and left in a few cases – so usually I just don’t want to hear about it from either side, because I don’t care.  I’d try, but it would only irritate people and get me into fights about things which none of us have any real control over.  But from time to time the political pot just bubbles over and I have to say something or give myself an ulcer.

So let’s talk about this Confederate Flag business and what I think it’s really about.

This is America Hulking out just a bit.  Brutal truth, but I suspect that’s what it might be.  A terrible, terrible crime happened and we have to sit on our hands and wait for the justice system to grind its slow wheels before we get any satisfaction.  We want to take out anger out on something here and now.  And there is the Confederate flag – a piece of fabric that often finds itself running with the wrong crowd – hanging out with someone who has gotten it in trouble.  Again.  Like it had any choice in the matter.

I don’t think the companies banning the Confederate flag are creating the problem.  They are adding to it, no doubt about that, but they’re not creating it.  They’re just reflecting the loudest public opinion – ’cause they’re afraid.  Afraid of losing business, losing face, losing what good reputation they have left (read: not a lot).  They’re not the disease.  They’re the unpleasant and painful symptom that lets us know the disease is there.

That being said, they have every right to pull those things from their shelves and ban them from their websites.  It is their place of business.  But I don’t think it’s helping them.  Amazon in particular is looking seriously stupid for banning non-fiction books about the Civil War because they talk about the Confederate flag and Esty is seriously not making any friends – since this is not the first thing they’ve banned that’s upset people.

Back on the subject at hand though: I don’t think the Obama administration is responsible for this either, though they are taking advantage of it, like any skilled political organization would.  The liberals are already in on the act and the conservatives aren’t far behind.  They didn’t start this either, but they do have agendas.  If you don’t like them, don’t play into those agendas.  Fight them if you like, but don’t get hysterical.

The problem is us: We, the People of the United States of America, are the driving force behind this.  We are fuel the fire burns from – everything else are just accelerates.  And Americans have a history of having these fits of rage: we put thousands of Japanese-Americans in concentration camps after Pearl Harbor because we couldn’t get to the Japanese fast enough.  The Civil Rights Movement gave rise to the Black Panthers because change wasn’t happening fast enough.  The KKK started because Americans thought the government was wrong and the way this country was going was immoral.

Sound familiar?  It should.  This time around, there have only been attacks on a piece of fabric and stupid requests like wanting a mountain torn down – so far.

Let’s keep it at that way – okay?


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