Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Southern Pride or Hate?

There's a community of eBay sellers that I frequent that is currently having a gigantic discussion about whether the Confederate Flag is offensive or not. Many posters are offended, many understand why others are offended but do not look at the flag as anything more than a symbol, and many have a "get over it" attitude that no one should be offended by a flag. The discussion goes on and on, being dropped and rehashed time and time again - because obviously, it's important to some of those posters.

I live in a rural community and it is a normal occurrence to see a huge rebel flag being flown off the back of a pick up truck around here. When I see one of these flags I can't help but feel sorry for anyone who sees the flag and feels pain from it.

Whether or not it means "Southern" to the guy with the flag on his 4x4, it means "Hate" to a huge population of people. Knowing this, it seems ignorant to me for someone to spread such a message. It makes me sad to think that these people think someone else should just "get over" their pain just because it didn't directly happen to them or it happened so long ago or "we're all equal now"... the ignorant viewpoints expressed as to why no one should be offended by such a thing is mind boggling to me.

Racism is alive and well in America today and anyone who thinks otherwise is just walking around with blinders on. I'm happy that my children grow up in a part of the country that is a cultural melting pot. I'm glad they don't blink an eye when they see a mixed couple or a child that looks different than they do. I love that my 5 year old describes people as brown, tan, and peach - but those distinctions mean nothing to him other than a way to describe how someone looks.

It's not easy to protect my children from the hate. I just hope I can educate them enough on how wonderful and special every person is and how deep we all are beneath our skin, that when they finally do realize how much prejudice and hate there is in this world they'll be prepared to speak out against it.


Julie said...[Reply to comment]

I do not appreciate seeing the confederate flag flying for any reason.

I agree that there is too much prejudice in this world and it is hard to explain to children why grown ups act and say what they do to hurt others.

The Virtuous Girl said...[Reply to comment]

I'm Southern and I believe that people should be able to fly whatever flag they want. However, they should also be prepared to accept the fact that others may believe that, by flying that flag, they are ignorant, mean, racist, redneck, in-bred trailer-trash, etc. We all make our own choices -- what we wear, what we say, how we treat others. But if we willingly choose to exhibit behaviors that we know will send a "mixed" and, to some, disturbing message, we shouldn't be shocked by the consequences it brings. Life's all about choices, and I don't believe that I would ever choose to associate myself with any symbol that would likely hurt or offend anyone.

Angela said...[Reply to comment]

I followed the same discussion as you.

I would not personally own or fly a confederate flag, as I do not believe that the flag represents anything that I want associated with me.

The flag is a symbol representing the Confederacy. It symbolizes a time when the US was divided and a new country was formed, the Confederate States of America. Once the Union was restored and the Confederate States rejoined the Union, there was no reason for this flag. 99% of people who claim this flag as a symbol of their heritage do not even understand the meaning behind it.

But praise be, we live in the USA, where people are allowed to espress themselves, even in their own ignorance.

I loved your post and I love reading your blog! Hope you are feeling cheerier soon, so you can write more!


Jenny said...[Reply to comment]

I miss the diversity of South Florida that I took for granted as normal growing up there. In all the places I've lived since then I've found the overwhelming homogeneity boring as hell. But nowhere has compared to Western PA in its level of racism and sexism.

charing said...[Reply to comment]

I really liked what you had to say. We have had this discussion many times.

Jason, as himself said...[Reply to comment]

I am also glad to live in a place where many, many cultures are represented. I grew up in a very mono-cultural state.