Monday, September 21, 2009

Wilson, Racism and the Confederate Flag

Representative Joe Wilson of South Carolina shouted, “you lie” to President Barack Hussein Obama while the President was giving a speech to Congress. Even though Obama was lying, Wilson apologized for his outburst and the President accepted his apology. Some people are claiming that people who are opposed to Obama’s policies are racists because he is black. It’s the same old argument they want to use to stifle discussion and free speech on the issues.

Wilson is being called a racist because he supports the displaying of the Confederate flag at the South Carolina Capital. He stated South Carolina made great contributions to the civil war and hence as a tribute the flag should be kept flying over the capital. Wilson also fought to keep the Confederate Battle Flag over the memorial to a fallen Confederate soldier.

The Confederate flag has been called the Confederate Battle Flag, the Rebel flag, Southern Cross or Dixie. It is a source of pride to Southerners and was carried into battle during other wars by troops from the South.

Like it or not the Confederate flag is a part of history. Opponents of the flag like the NAACP do not want it displayed because it might hurt someone’s feelings. They say that the flag is a symbol of racism because of slavery in the United States and the establishment of the Jim Crow laws in the Southern states.

Supporters of the Confederate flag like the Sons and Daughters of Confederate Soldiers who view it as a battle flag and symbol of pride of their Southern heritage and freedom from the oppression of the Northern government.

Several politicians have called for banning the Confederate flag and that it should not be flown in this country. Some examples regarding banning the Confederate flag are: In 2003 Representative Dick Gephardt stated, “the flag is a hurtful, divisive symbol and in my view has no place flying anywhere, in any state of this country.” At the urging of Rep. Gephardt and Democrat Governor Bob Holden the Confederate battle flags were removed from the Confederate Memorial Historic Site and the Fort Davidson historic Site, which are Confederate cemeteries. Mayor Francis Slay of St. Louis had the Southern flags with the confederate flag incorporated in them removed from the rotunda of City Hall.

What about the feelings of those that support the flag because of their heritage and want to display it? Isn’t that discriminatory when the views of supporters of the flag are not taken into account?

The American flag, the Stars and Bars, still flies and has flown over the country during the time of slavery and the Jim Crow laws. Therefore, using the same logic, shouldn’t the American flag be removed and banned from flying at the various buildings and cemeteries in the United States? The answer, “Of course not.” The flag is a symbol that means something different to different people. People should not get offended so easily.

Speaking of flags I believe the Obama administration is going to allow the Communist Chinese Flag to be flown over the White House. What’s wrong with that picture? Where are our priorities? What is this administration thinking?

Greg Zotta

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