Friday, May 29, 2015

Confederate Flag- History or Racism?

April is Confederate History Month designated by six state governments in the South for the purpose of recognizing and honoring the Confederate States of America.  In my town, the Sons of Confederate Veterans paid for a flagpole that had a Confederate battle flag flying from it.  Tensions were high. The United Daughters of the Confederacy and the SCV naturally felt it was part of our heritage and should be celebrated.  It had nothing to do with racism.  Of course, the black community felt otherwise.  And I totally agree with them.  To me it is easy to see how it could not be anything but racism.  If they would stop and realize, why was there a civil war to begin with?  What was the South fighting for?  The right to own slaves.  The right to own a person and put a price tag on a human being.  How can that not be racism.  That is what the confederacy was all about.  How can someone celebrate a heritage of keeping a race of people suppressed?  Slaves were beaten and separated from their families.  Women were raped and were forced to have the owners children. And after their birth, a lot of the children were sold.  In most cases, they were never reunited.  I was born in the south.  I know through research my ancestors go way back.  I have no doubt they owned slaves and fought in the civil war. I am not proud of this fact at all.  For me it would be like Germany having a swatchita on their national flag.  The Germans have distanced themselves from WWII and Hitler.  This comparism has been brought up here.  Some felt the circumstances were totally different.   The only reasons blacks were allowed to live was so they could work for a white man.  If they did everything they were told to do and if it met with approval they would survive.  Even after they were declared free, they still were treated horrible. They still were met with hatred.  Separate bathrooms, water fountains and separate seating areas.  If they spoke out about equality, churches were bombed or many were lynched from the nearest tree.  I just have a hard time finding reasons to celebrate any of this part of this past.

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