July 12, 2015

THE RIGHT WAY TO REMEMBER THE CONFEDERACY:

Today, the Confederate battle flag may be going down again, perhaps for good, but it is worth considering what we allow to sink with it.

On Friday morning at 10 a.m., a vestige of a sad epoch faded when that flag was finally taken down from a flagpole in front of the South Carolina State House.  . .  .

This is an old debate electrified by the June 17 massacre of nine people at a historic black church in Charleston, S.C., a mass shooting that authorities call a racially motivated hate crime. . . .

Symbols matter. They say at a glimpse what words cannot, encapsulating beliefs and aspirations, prejudices and fears. Having no intrinsic value, they take meaning from the way we use them, changing over time along with our actions. The most obvious example is the ancient “gammadion,” which in early Eastern cultures meant “god,” “good luck,” “eternity” and other benign conjurations. We know it today as the swastika, and a quarter-century of usage by the Nazis forever poisoned it in Western culture.

Southern “heritage” groups who oppose removing the battle flag are reluctant to acknowledge that this same dynamic has tainted their cherished emblem. But it has.

Whatever the flag meant from 1865 to 1940, the flag’s misuse by a white minority of outspokenly bigoted and often violent people has indelibly shifted that meaning. . . .

That inevitably raises a question. Our landscape is peppered with monuments, parks, counties, towns, streets and private businesses named for Confederate leaders—not to mention the myriad road signs and markers commemorating the Confederate story. Are all of these to be purged? Where do we stop?

Guess this guy didn’t get the memo: Where do we stop? We stop when we stop offending liberals/progressives, of course. The fact that there is no stopping point with these microaggression-paranoid, politically correct totalitarians doesn’t matter. We don’t stop altering our “offensive” ways of life and accoutrements until they say so. You want to keep Confederate statues?  Forget about it.

Besides, statues are small potatoes. Think big. Time to take a stick of dynamite and blow up Stone Mountain, so the delicate flowers don’t have to cast their eyes on Confederate leaders Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson.

stone mountain

Or better yet, as with the movement to alter Mount Rushmore, get someone to re-carve it into our Dear Leader’s visage and maybe some other equally politically correct historical figures, such as Martin Luther King, Condoleezza Rice, Clarence Thomas, Colin Powell, Frederick Douglass, Rosa Parks and Al Sharpton.

mt rushmore obama