Taking down the flag is only a first step

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, reversing an earlier stance, has called for removing the Confederate flag from Statehouse grounds, after a white suspect shot and killed nine people in a historic black church in that state last week. Here’s a quote from her announcement on Monday:

“For many people in our state, the flag stands for traditions that are noble. Traditions of history, of heritage, and of ancestry,” Haley, a Republican, said. “At the same time, for many others in South Carolina, the flag is a deeply offensive symbol of a brutally oppressive past.”

And then, over in Mississippi (here’s THEIR flag:)


House Speaker Philip Gunn said that, as a Christian, he knows the flag is offensive to some, and his state should remove the battle flag from their state flag. The state has been through something similar before, with a football team mascot. Read more on that here.

The Confederate flags (all of them) are symbols of hate and it’s time to stop this nonsense. For more on that, read The Tattooed Professor, a Civil War historian (and thanks, Glenda, for the link).

Removing the flag is both good and righteous, but that’s just a start. The Confederate flag is a symbol of a racist system that still exists. So we lower the flag for once and for all as a symbol of that racist system. And then we fix the system, correct? One symbolic step cannot by the extent of our actions.

Published by datingjesus

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  1. Coates responds:

    Roof’s belief that black life had no purpose beyond subjugation is “sick and twisted” in the exact same manner as the beliefs of those who created the Confederate flag were “sick and twisted.” The Confederate flag is directly tied to the Confederate cause, and the Confederate cause was white supremacy. This claim is not the result of revisionism. It does not require reading between the lines. It is the plain meaning of the words of those who bore the Confederate flag across history. These words must never be forgotten. Over the next few months the word “heritage” will be repeatedly invoked. It would be derelict to not examine the exact contents of that heritage.

    The Confederate flag should not come down because it is offensive to African Americans.  The Confederate flag should come down because it is embarrassing to all Americans. The embarrassment is not limited to the flag, itself. The fact that it still flies, that one must  debate its meaning in 2015, reflects an incredible ignorance. A century and a half after Lincoln was killed, after 750,000 of our ancestors died, Americans still aren’t quite sure why.

    That ignorance is the victory of racism.  

  2. A song from a proud Floridian:

    No matter how brave his forebears were, they were still fighting for a system that allowed the ownership of other human beings.

    1. When the above video was posted to a list I’m on, a friend responded with this:


      “Here’s a full, relevant quote from the person who *created* that flag:

      “As a people we are fighting to maintain the
      Heaven-ordained supremacy of the white man over
      the inferior or colored race; a white flag would
      thus be emblematical of our cause. … As a
      national emblem, it is significant of our higher
      cause, the cause of a superior race, and a higher
      civilization contending against ignorance,
      infidelity, and barbarism. Another merit in the
      new flag is, that it bears no resemblance to the
      now infamous banner of the Yankee vandals.”
      ­William T. Thompson (1863), Daily Morning News”

  3. I never had thought of this before, but remember when back after the 9/11 attacks GW was saying things like yer either FOR us or yer AGAINST us? Why did no one ever question Conferderate flag enthusiasts where their loyaly was?

  4. Another song (Take Down Your Flag), this one by Peter Mulvey. He wrote it on Friday and sang it at the Calvin Theater in Northampton and posted it. Many of his musician-friends have contributed their versions of his song to Peter’s FB page — some of them adding an original verse for one of the victims:


  5. Peter also posted this:
    Margaret Walker, “For My People”, Poetry Magazine 1937

    For my people everywhere singing their slave songs
    repeatedly: their dirges and their ditties and their blues
    and jubilees, praying their prayers nightly to an
    unknown god, bending their knees humbly to an
    unseen power;
    For my people lending their strength to the years, to the
    gone years and the now years and the maybe years,
    washing ironing cooking scrubbing sewing mending
    hoeing plowing digging planting pruning patching
    dragging along never gaining never reaping never
    knowing and never understanding;
    For my playmates in the clay and dust and sand of Alabama
    backyards playing baptizing and preaching and doctor
    and jail and soldier and school and mama and cooking
    and playhouse and concert and store and hair and
    Miss Choomby and company;
    For the cramped bewildered years we went to school to learn
    to know the reasons why and the answers to and the
    people who and the places where and the days when, in
    memory of the bitter hours when we discovered we
    were black and poor and small and different and nobody
    cared and nobody wondered and nobody understood;
    For the boys and girls who grew in spite of these things to
    be man and woman, to laugh and dance and sing and
    play and drink their wine and religion and success, to
    marry their playmates and bear children and then die
    of consumption and anemia and lynching;
    For my people thronging 47th Street in Chicago and Lenox
    Avenue in New York and Rampart Street in New
    Orleans, lost disinherited dispossessed and happy
    people filling the cabarets and taverns and other
    people’s pockets and needing bread and shoes and milk and
    land and money and something—something all our own;
    For my people walking blindly spreading joy, losing time
    being lazy, sleeping when hungry, shouting when
    burdened, drinking when hopeless, tied, and shackled
    and tangled among ourselves by the unseen creatures
    who tower over us omnisciently and laugh;
    For my people blundering and groping and floundering in
    the dark of churches and schools and clubs
    and societies, associations and councils and committees and
    conventions, distressed and disturbed and deceived and
    devoured by money-hungry glory-craving leeches,
    preyed on by facile force of state and fad and novelty, by
    false prophet and holy believer;
    For my people standing staring trying to fashion a better way
    from confusion, from hypocrisy and misunderstanding,
    trying to fashion a world that will hold all the people,
    all the faces, all the adams and eves and their countless generations;
    Let a new earth rise. Let another world be born. Let a
    bloody peace be written in the sky. Let a second
    generation full of courage issue forth; let a people
    loving freedom come to growth. Let a beauty full of
    healing and a strength of final clenching be the pulsing
    in our spirits and our blood. Let the martial songs
    be written, let the dirges disappear. Let a race of men now
    rise and take control.

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