A Time to Speak: Growing Up Southern

The point in history at which we stand is full of promise and danger. The world will either move forward toward unity and widely shared prosperity - or it will move apart.

— Franklin D Roosevelt

This issue is much larger than a flag.

Does chipping away parts of history change what happened?

Each of us comes from different experiences.

Never once was I taught nor did I believe that the Confederate flag heralded slavery or the division the Civil War caused in our country Nothing could be further from the truth.

The purpose of this article is to share my experiences...as I state at the end of this piece of writing.


Every Day My Daddy Raised and Lowered the U.S. Flag in Front of our Home

Source

A few weeks ago, a small town not too far from where I live is where I happened to be with my eldest grandson, Jay. We were out and about and the traffic was moving at a normal pace until we came to a section where the cars were creeping along.

We inched along while we watched many who were in much more of a hurry than we were, drive off the highway, onto the grass, and raced own to the traffic light, where they too waited.

After some time had passed we finally were close enough to see what had caused the jam up in traffic.


And then we knew...

The traffic congestion had been caused by a parade of trucks and cars bearing Confederate flags and American flags. There were about 2000 in all...they drove in a loop around a designated area of the town. It was peaceful primarily but at the very end, shots were fired ---thankfully no one was hurt.

This was a result of the recent upsurge in focus on the Confederate flag and the wish to have it removed from locations around the country.

And as I sat and waited my mind was awash with so many questions.

How can we come to this?

How had we gotten to violence on violence...hate and discord? There are so many answers and so many ways to view all that has happened in our country just in my lifetime.

Something that is excruciatingly troubling to me is that even the mention of that flag in the presence of some, makes me the object of derision and scorn.

Without knowing anything about my thoughts or feelings or beliefs, if I do not wish to eradicate every such flag, I become the enemy, the one of the other side of the table.

I know that many will wish to hurl words of disdain in my direction. I can take it.

But we should all be able to voice our opinion.

Google Results

Googling 'racial divide'....8, 500, 000 results are shown.

Googling 'racial unity'...4, 700,00 results are shown and even as this is being read no doubt more articles are being posted.

Obviously there is a LOT being said on this issue..because they really are part and parcel of the same topic..

Action is needed. Words are great. But doing, making the change, making the effort is what will swing the pendulum the other way..toward more unity and less divide.


A Work of Fiction---Some Say the Characters are REAL----"Secrets Revealed"...A Look at Experiences that I Never Knew

Not to Me....

And it is concerning to me.

It is concerning to me because to me and my family and most of my friends, it does not symbolize any hidden or overt disdain toward any other race.

Period.

It never has meant that to me or to my family or to many of the people who reside in the South.

Starry-eyed Young Woman who Learned So Much about How All Races Can Live and Work Together While in Japan for Four Years...

Source

We all Have Opinions....We all need to come up with Answers....

There it is that flag, the Confederate flag...the hot potato, the elephant in the room.

Anyone who has followed the conversation about this flag sees that it has been the object of much consternation and disagreement.

I have heard that it is a symbol of racism and all those who wave one of these flags is a declared racist. Not only have I heard those words, I have read them many times. In articles far and wide and right here on HubPages. You can read Ron El Fran's hub at this link:

http://hubpages.com/hub/Just-Seeing-the-Confederate-Flag-Triggers-Racism-Research-Says

He gives you another perspective on this topic which is important. We need to KNOW how others are feeling and thinking.

And I respect anyone's opinion but I have one too. (And, as I have said before, I DO know what is said about opinions!!

Concerns

It is concerning to me because it suggests that 'those people in the South are all racist---just look at them with those damn flags.'

It is concerning to me because it is one more way to cause divisiveness in our country.

It is concerning to me because here is one more way to drive us apart even more than we are already.


Questions????

Do I have the right to tell my neighbor to remove this or that from his or her yard because I find it offensive to me?

Is it then that we cut out, remove, parts of history as if to say they never happened?

Will removing Confederate flags or any other flags or symbols that someone may find offensive change what happened ?

Will the future be better because it is removed from sight?

I think not.

And why? Because there is always always going to be something else...some other symbol that is going to offend one group or another....where will it stop?


Taking time for some Blues....

What is Next??

I DO get it.

Driving through neighborhoods, wearing white hoods over the face while brandishing a Confederate flag is one thing. It is something I would want no part of. All that is associated with such circumstances incites those on both sides of the aisle to violence.

I get that.

But for people to raise a Confederate flag in their yard or have one on their car is another thing. When I see the Confederate flag license plates or flags, I do not think anything except perhaps the person may be from the South. That is all.

That is my thought. My experience. I do understand that someone else may view it a different way because their own personal experience or belief system.

What frightens me more, much more than removing the Confederate flag, is this:

how long will it be before some one, some group, will make the same demands about the flag of our country, our American flag? Little prickles of angst run through me as I consider that thought....

Where will this end?

I just wonder how removing a flag or a statue or anything else is going to bring us closer together as a people.

Yes, whatever it is will be gone from sight....but along with it will the bitterness and discontent leave as well?

Walls have come down, statutes removed, around the world and in some cases, nothing changed except that they are gone. New ones were built...invisible ones, more insidious than the ones we are able to see

We need to make a concerted effort to see that we are not erecting new barriers that separate us even more.

Still More Concerns and Questions

And one thing is for certain. I cannot ever fully understand nor can I identify with the experience of being enslaved. I cannot imagine what it must feel like to have lived as a Black person even in the sixties.

And the truth is, most of us, regardless of our race, cannot fully grasp what it must have felt like to be treated so inhumanely...tearing families apart, for one, which is only the tip of the iceberg.

It just gives me great concern that if we begin to carve out parts of our history that we feel uncomfortable with, are we then denying that they exist? That those horrid things happened?


Time to Pull Together

Would it not be meaningful for us to discuss what symbols such as the Confederate flag mean to us? What we find offensive or what they mean to us as individuals?

Rather than being incited to violence and hate and derision in all areas of our country, can we find ways to pull ourselves together?

We have much that needs to be fixed in our country.

I am not blind nor am I deaf to the problems we face ....it seems that rather than trying to find a way to peacefully coexist, more reasons are being found to divide this nation.

And sadly, the negatives are much more newsworthy than positives.


.......We are at a crucial crossroad in the history of this nation--and we either hang together by combating these forces that divide and degrade us or we hang separately. Do we have the intelligence, humor, imagination, courage, tolerance, love, respect, and will to meet the challenge? Time will tell. None of us alone can save the nation or world. But each of us can make a positive difference if we commit ourselves to do so.

— Cornel West

First and Foremost I am an American

While I grew up in the South, I define myself not as a Southerner but as an American...

There was no Confederate flag in our house as I was growing up. Nor do I have one now.

I think I did see a paper one in a scrapbook I kept as a young girl but it was just a flag to me...the flag of Dixie..that's all....no hidden meaning.

We did have a flag though an amazing, cherished flag....an American flag~~~red, white, and blue~~~that we hung each day on a tall tall flag pole; each evening it was lowered in a kind of reverence and folded and stowed away till the next morning.


What it meant to me to grow up in the South

Growing up in the South....what does that mean?

This is what it meant to me...

it meant trips to the water's edge every day of summer, to swim, float, boat, build sandcastles.

To rush off to baseball games in the summer, football in the winter.

It meant blackberry pickin', strawberry pickin', digging potatoes, shucking corn. And blackberry cobbler and strawberry shortcake. Blackberry jam and strawberry jam.

It meant reaching into the hen house to gather up those large brown eggs that Bertie or Henrietta (yes, do you believe it?) were keeping so nice and warm for us.

It meant church on Sunday morning and Sunday night, choosing Sunday night church over the Walt Disney show.

It meant summer camp ...Four H camp or Church Camp.

It meant pajama parties with many best friends, styling hair, popping corn, watching late night tv, sneaking off to the boy's camp to peek at the campground while they were ensconced inside, sleeping. If the boys had ever come out, we would have all screamed and rushed off back down the road much faster than how we had come.

And, Sunday dinners with family from far away places.

And summers racing around a house full of cousins.


We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.

— Martin Luther King, Jr.

Two of the Young Who Will Carry On for Us

Source

Name Callin'

It also meant some friction, at times.

When I was eleven, I had to be rushed to a dentist's office. It was the middle of the night and the only dentist who answered his phone was the Black dentist. So I was bundled up in warm clothes on that January night (which happened to be my birthday) tucked in our car and driven to his office, quickly.

My Momma never paused for a minute about taking me to him and I, of course, thought nothing about his race. I was in pain. I needed relief. And this gentle, kind, giant of a man, explained everything he would do and from then on, he became my dentist.

We lived sixteen miles from his office. So when I had an appointment with him, I would be let off the bus at this office which was in his beautiful brick home just off the highway that would pass within feet of it.

When the bus would stop in front of his home, the distance from my seat on the bus to the door seemed endless and the two steps down surely had become twenty. And there was time for those ugly, hateful words to fly...."N***-Lover." And some of those who said them were supposed to be my friends.

But my Momma had always taught me that we are all equal and all valued and judging someone by the color of skin was not something we would do in our home.


Source

An Ironical Twist of Fate

When I was a senior in high school I went to live with my sister and her husband and her two children in Pennsylvania. My parents were quite ill that year so that is why I made the trip.

Here I was..this little girl from a tiny town in Virginia who had a Southern accent so strong there was no mistakin' where I was from.

And this little girl, who had been taught all of her life to say "yes m'am" and "no m'am" and "yes sir" and "no sir" was suddenly chastised often by her Civics teacher for saying it. On the third day I was in his class, he told me that if I ever said "yes sir" to him again, he would send me to the office. And the whole Civil War was my fault. It was scary and uncomfortable and not what I expected. I learned very quickly not to speak in his class.

A most wonderful thing happened that year.

A vivacious, beautiful Black girl took me under her wing and I soon became a part of the school. My class at my former school would have only 60 students that year ...the class I was in now had 365. So there was LOT of adjusting.

How cool was that. She made me a part of things...someone who might have found the most reasons to treat me with scorn because I was from the South did not even seem to notice. It just did not matter.

I was a person...that was all.

What a growing up year that was!!!

So Many Thoughts

While I was composing this, I decided to google "understanding those of another race"....

there are 217, 000, 000 possible sources.

There is no shortage of input on this topic. We can definitely read and make a decision using one or more of them if we choose.

We can also use our own judgment and experience and 'lessons learned' to help us come to terms with how we begin to have meaningful dialogue and resultant action in this area.

Who We Are....

Finding out that each person, regardless of race, has so much more that they share in common than they would ever imagine helps us find common ground.

Views on many topics will differ greatly because of our own personal experience.

Just the simple gesture of speaking to someone and beginning a conversation opens new doors to understanding for each of us. Someone cares...I matter...not because of the color of my skin but because I am.

I have seen many book titles that suggest race is THE defining characteristic of a person.

It IS important...but who we are is not defined by the color of our skin...it is what one sees initially when encountering another person. If I had used skin color as the way I chose my friends, my life would be so barren of so many lovelies that I know and call friend.

But who we are is so much more than that. Who we are is what makes us tick...

Just a tiny fraction of who we are is all wrapped up in how we feel about ourselves and how we feel and act towards others. If we have preconceived ideas about someone because of race or gender or some other belief, then no matter what anyone says or does, that may never change.

We are a sum total of our experiences and belief system and who we surround ourselves with on a daily basis.

Trying to be a better, more understanding me has been a sincere goal of mine ...it has helped me to walk in the shoes of others to an extent...only to an extent.

There have been times when I have felt the sting of prejudice. It works both ways...and it is too much to delve into here. But it did not make me hate ALL of another race or ethnic group.

It was a learning experience...."O, that is what it feels like"kind of thing. And it changed me.

Let Begin with Me

It deeply saddens me that so much divisiveness exists in our A M A Z I N G country.

We have so much that we should give thanks for each day.

But we have a lot of work to do.

We ALL do...not one group or the other....ALL of us..

If it will reduce stress for anyone, let the Confederate flags come down.

If we can get down to the business of building unity and civility, let it be so.

Just know that it is not a symbol for ugliness to many of us.

Many times I have said these words...

we need to make a difference one person at a time. In our communities...with the folks next door and down the street.

That is where understanding begins.

Each of us must be a instrument for change, for the good of all of us.


As we light a path for others, we naturally light our own way.

— Mary Anne Radmacher

Purpose

The reason I wrote this to share some thoughts, opinions, experiences... to let you be on the inside looking out in one person's life.

Each of us has had and continues to have a view and our own experiences.

I do believe and know that so much of how others react to us is determined by how we approach them. When I am out in public shopping, running errands, whatever, I speak to everyone...kind of one of those folks who would talk to a tree if I thought it would listen...

When approaching someone who has a scowling face, I do not hesitate to greet them. And most of the time, the scowl disappears and a friendly reply is returned.

Try it....try smiling and speaking to everyone you encounter and see what happens. A few will ignore or rebuff you...most will smile and speak back.

One person at a time....sounds too simple...

It is a beginning...some place to start.


Please know that Angels are on the way to you this afternoon.


More by this Author


Comments 58 comments

pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 14 months ago from sunny Florida Author

Absolutely agree, Sheila. If the first thing I see is what I use to measure how wonderful a person is then I would miss out on really getting to know an array of fabulous. If we could without forming our opinions about others till we get to know them rather than making snap judgments then our life on our planet would improve 110% perhaps.

Thank you for visiting today ...hoping all is good with you.

Know that blessings and Angels are on the way to you and yours this morning ps


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 14 months ago from Southern Oklahoma

I know that for some, flying the Confederate flag has a very ugly meaning and I am sorry for that. However, I don't believe it should be erased, it is a part of history. I jut wish we could all live together in peace. The color of our skin means nothing, it is the person inside that matters.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 14 months ago from sunny Florida Author

Hi moonlake

I wish we could just get along with each other and learn to be cohesive as a nation rather than finding ways to cause division.

Our land is filled with such diversity and we should celebrate it and learn to listen to thoughts and ideas of others....sometimes if we hear what others think and feel rather than jumping to conclusions about a group of people and their ideas it would help us come together.

Once again, Angels are on the way to you this morning ps


moonlake profile image

moonlake 14 months ago from America

I am also a Southern and proud to be. I get sick of hearing people say Southerners are stupid and racist. People have the right to fly the Confederate Flag or any flag they want to fly. I think people are forgetting this is a free country, but each day we seem to lose more and more of our freedom.

Northerners can't say a word about how bad the south is to them, my father-in-law told me the Ku Klux Klan was as strong here as it was in the south.

My south accent shows up often and I'm always being corrected. Today the girl in the ice cream shop corrected me when I said PECAN. This is the second time she has done this. My parents had pecan trees all over the yard. Pecans come from the south I think I know how to say pecans, not PEE CANS.

Great Hub.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 14 months ago from sunny Florida Author

Again, we are not defined by our skin color..it is a part of who we are but there is so much more to each of us.

Angels are on the way to you this afternoon. ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 14 months ago from sunny Florida Author

Hi Shyron Yeppie...for most of us, it is a flag of a part of history not a symbol to remind anyone of anything...or to cause discontent.

Hopefully we will find a way to come together as a nation.

Hoping all is well with you...Angels are once again headed your way ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 14 months ago from sunny Florida Author

Me too Nell...it is time to move on and quit making excuses for being unhappy with another race, gender preference, ethnic group, religious group and all of the other skadillions of ways we find to have divisiveness in our world.

Angels are on the way to you this afternoon ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 14 months ago from sunny Florida Author

Big E the reality of life is that we are what we are...and I for one am much more than the color of my skin. I feel sure that you are too.

Appreciate you stopping by.

Angels are on the way to you and yours this afternoon ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 14 months ago from sunny Florida Author

You know, Marlene, your last words on your comment, why can't we just all get along, were the ones I thought of...just like Rodney King said...why?

It would make everyone's life so much simpler.

Thank you for stopping to read and comment.

Angels are on the way to you this afternoon. ps


Big E 14 months ago

Black skin would make the average white man look like a tough SOB! I think the white man should change his appearance to black. You got so much more protection. You don't have to watch what you say. You can get into college easier and cheaper from what I hear. Your less likely to get robbed.

A white boss that appeared to be black could get more out of black employees. The white police need to be disguised as black.

The safest thing to be in america is a black male. Hands down. If it is possible for a white man to change his appearance to black it is time to make a change.

Ps the ladies love black men!


Big E 14 months ago

BLACK skin would protect the white man. Real talk.


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 14 months ago

Patricia, this is a wonderful hub, I was born in the deep south and I had family fighting on both sides of the Civil War, most fought on the Southern side, then there are my Native American ancestors, who were driven out of their homes and off their lands by greedy white men, and I never hear it mentioned how they were treated, and still are in some parts of OUR GREAT COUNTRY.

I, like you do not see the Confederate flag as a symbol of anything but a by-gone war, that I had nothing to do with. I do not see it as bigotry in any way shape or form. But I do not think that history should be re-written to say that the Confederate flag in indicative of any person's views or feelings.

I am so glad that you wrote this.

Blessings and Hugs.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 14 months ago from England

Hi, yes I saw this over here in England, I wouldn't have known about it unless I saw it on the internet, I don't think it was shown on the news on tv, but it doesn't surprise me. over here in England if we show the English flag, red cross on white background, we get yelled at for being racist! I am sick of it! being told what to do in my own country pees me off, and its not the foriegners that cause the trouble, its the darn do gooders who are english and in power!


MarleneB profile image

MarleneB 14 months ago from Northern California, USA

Beautifully said. Sometimes I feel like people work extra hard to keep racism alive. When things die down, people find something else to become upset about. When I can remember talking to someone who was the son of a slave, it hasn't been that long ago that slavery ended. The confederate flag, in my mind, is a symbol of that time. We can't go back and change history, but we should remember it and that is what the flag does. It reminds us of times when things were not so great. It reminds us of how people fought and died to end slavery. It reminds us never to go there again. And, you are right to wonder how far people will go. What next? People have already banned children from praying in schools. It is only a matter of time when people will demand that the American flag no longer be raised on any public ground. I wonder, too. How far will things go? Why can't we all just get along with each other?


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 14 months ago from sunny Florida Author

Hi Flourish I do not know. I do know that if removing things makes our country come together...I am all for it. But I am just not sure it works that way.

Another thing ....it is all of us who will turn this around...and to me it seems we should begin at home...right in our neighborhood trying to make a new beginning.

Angels are on the way this morning ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 14 months ago from sunny Florida Author

thanks for stopping by to read Ann....truly, if we would take the time to listen and really hear each other I think it may help us to begin to mend the broken fences that now exist. I remain forever hopeful.

Angels are headed your way this afternoon ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 14 months ago from sunny Florida Author

Annanovice

thanks for stopping to read and comment.

We definitely need to learn to communicate...Symbols do mean something to some...that is the point..obviously or we would not have had so many things to be taken down. As I said if it is for the good of all of us, so be it.And even though I am an eternal optimist I know that is not what will make changes...it has to begin with us...just as I mentioned above.

Angels are on the way to you this afternoon. ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 14 months ago from sunny Florida Author

Thank you izettl, (I hope I got that right)....for both comments.

It is a challenge to try to understand and unravel all of the things that can and do and might cause displeasure to others....O my...we need to focus on the positives.....thank you for taking the time to share and I read the article at the link (no problem sharing it) and it too is very insightful....

Wishing you well and sending Angels your way this afternoon ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 14 months ago from sunny Florida Author

Yes m'am, Linda. And you know I probably would never have written about this had I not gone into a store after the parade ended that Sunday and had a cashier call it a Redneck parade and how dumb we Southerners are...O my...had to respond to her and thought I would just share ONE view from whence I come....Always good to see you....hoping all is good

Angels are on the way ps


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 14 months ago from Orlando, FL

Well said, PS. I feel there will always be something that people will disagree on and to find a way to cause drama. I didn't keep up with all the ruckus regarding the confederate flag, but just like every thing else people bitch about...this too shall pass.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 14 months ago from sunny Florida Author

Love your quote, David....absolutely...thank you for your meaningful comment...I certainly agree that both of those (religion and nationalism) can yield unwanted reactions and consequences.

We need to have our eyes wide open, listen, and try to understand one another.

Angels are on the way to you this morning ps


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 14 months ago from USA

We need to be reminded what happens when we allow our country to become so fractured and embittered over an issue -- any issue -- that war breaks out. Taking down flags, changing the names of buildings and names/mascots of high school sports teams, replacing license plates that have the offensive emblems on them, doing away with statues that commemorate Civil War heroes ... where will this end? What is the objective really?


annart profile image

annart 14 months ago from SW England

This is outstanding and very wise. I'm not American but I've seen terrible things happening in Ireland because of a huge divide, the religious one.

They wanted to ban the traditional 'Orange' procession and told them to remove their flag. Would the others remove theirs? I don't think so. You're right, all that does is to increase hostility and denegrate someone's tradition, someone's beliefs.

Why oh why can't people discuss, listen, ask questions until they really know what it's all about? So many go by little snippets of knowledge alone and what's the old addage - a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

I totally agree with you that the media immediately takes up on the negatives. There are not enough positives heralded and rewarded.

I have an English flag flying in my garden - because I'm proud to be English. Being British comes second to me but it doesn't mean I don't like being British as well. I'm happy for the Scots, the Welsh and the Irish to display their flags in their gardens and I can't see the problem with being patriotic. The problem comes we don't tolerate another person's patriotism. Fanaticism is a completely different kettle of fish.

This is an important hub, an important debate, and you have set out the discussion fairly. Everyone should read this AND TAKE HEED so I'm sharing too.

Well done, Patricia!

Ann


aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 14 months ago from Stillwater, OK

Symbols really mean very little, if the average person stops to think about it. As kids growing up, we had plenty of symbols that were part of a trend. It was here today and gone tomorrow with many things. However, some people hate what they don't understand and run with the crowd. Sadly, it is their own inadequacies and need for reinforcement that causes this. All we need to do is get comfortable in our own skin, be willing to learn each other's culture, and at least have an open mind. We won't agree with everything that others are used to, but it is only because we are not living in the same way. There is good and bad in everything, but it is up to us to learn the true meaning of good and bad.


David Trujillo profile image

David Trujillo 15 months ago from Medellin, Colombia

I am not american but everywere in the world this same issue arises. But I will speak my opinion about it:

Two things I have come to fear and consider extremely dangerous: Religion and Nationalism. But do not take me wrong, I am not saying religion is dangerous because of its spiritual side, thats the good of it. The rotten part is the control it has over the minds of the masses and how easily someone can be manipulated to erradicate entire populations based on religious beliefs. ISIS and The Crusades for example.

Same goes for nationalism. This thought that people from a certain land are superior to others and that their state has to rise above all others and maintain its personal interests in first place... is just evil. If only religion and nationalism had righteous leaders, but when they do not the maximum evil can occur, and it is all over history.

Symbols are a powerful thing, and beautiful. But they need to evolve if we ever plan as a species to survive ourself. The flag carried a bad piece of American History, it should evolve into something new. Do not forget your past but do not deny your future either.


ogochukwu1 profile image

ogochukwu1 15 months ago from NIGERIA

Love it


izettl profile image

izettl 15 months ago from The Great Northwest

OK I will add a bit more...I just read an article in The Atlantic called The Coddling of Young Minds. The essence of the article was portraying mentally disturbed and depressed younger generations who can't handle any amount of offense to the point one professor said she can't even teach Rape Law to her law students because it's offensive material. Now fast forward many years when one of those students (who were not taught rape law) decides to represent a rape victim. Justice may not be done because these students choose not to learn it. Very sad. I don't typically post links and you don't have to post my comment but I wrote something similar to your hub here. I am glad others are concerned about this.

http://honestlylaura.com/2/post/2015/09/the-end-of...


izettl profile image

izettl 15 months ago from The Great Northwest

Excellent and well done. Geesh I have nothing to add! I recently wrote something on my blog concerning American traditions are being trumped by politics and political correctness. It's really made us identify with our immediate group of like-minded peoples rather than actually spread "tolerance". It's quite the opposite.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 15 months ago from sunny Florida Author

Hi drbj that is my greatest concern...we are losing our freedoms bit by bit with our eyes wide open. Are we powerless to stop it???

I am at a loss but refuse to believe that we cannot make it better.

Angels are on the way to you this afternoon. Thank you for taking the time to stop and to share your thoughts. Dialogue on all sides of the table is clearly needed.

ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 15 months ago from sunny Florida Author

You are so right..we ARE (some of us) being manipulated.

In order for us ever to overcome the disharmony that exists we need to find a way to make 'it work.'

And one important way is for the young to begin to try to understand and communicate with one another.

Thank you for sharing your insight...we all need to think about this more and do our part...do I sound like a broken record??

Angels are on the way to you today....ps


drbj profile image

drbj 15 months ago from south Florida

What a powerful piece of writing, Patricia, m'dear. You reminded all of us that PC (not the computer) is taking over our lives. Our freedom of expression - in all things - is being diminished every single day.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 15 months ago from Phoenix, Arizona

I had to come back and read this wonderful piece again. Why are we constantly being inundated with demands that we stop hating each other when we in fact, do not hate each other at all? Yes, we do all have our views and opinions, but they do not represent hate. That's called freedom of thought and speech.

When we sweep away all the clutter and look at the raw truth, we can see that race and the past is cleverly being used as a political tool to divide and conquer. So too are differences like male and female, rich and poor, gay and straight, North and South, young and old, etc.

We are being manipulated, and all we have to do is examine those who are constantly stirring the pot in order to understand who they are and what they want. They call themselves 'progressives', and that's an apt name because they are out to remake and 'fundamentally transform' America into something that only they, as the new political elitists, will love.

They are the creators of 'political correctness' and they claim the absolute authority to dictate what is and what is not, acceptable thought and speech. In that light, they have decided that the historic and beloved Confederate Battle Flag is now unacceptable and must come down and no other opinions or viewpoints are valid or tolerated. Period.

Does anyone else see where all this absurd political correctness is taking us and the damage it has already done? Any opinion that does not reflect progressive political correctness will be savaged via a label for the owner of that opinion. It's a way to silence all opposition to progressivism!

For instance, anyone who points out that 90+% of all black murders are committed by other blacks, will instantly be labeled a 'racist' by the very progressive 'black lives matter' movement. That label will also be slapped anyone who points out that all lives matter. In fact, one candidate for president who said 'All lives matter' was so severely attacked by the angry progressives, that he ended up apologizing for it.

Think about it...just a few years ago almost all Americans supported the traditional marriage of one man and one woman but after progressives began calling us 'haters and bigots' for daring to oppose their agenda, the majority of Americans wilted, and the progressives won...just as they won with the Confederate Battle Flag.

Progressivism and the demise of the traditional American journalism that used to expose such anti-freedom and American American movements has placed our country and all it stands for in great peril, because today it's a flag, and tomorrow, it's freedom itself.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 15 months ago from sunny Florida Author

Yes, bravewarrior (and I do so like writing such a powerful 'name')---we seem to have to always be trying to find something wrong to pick at and pull apart.

Finding the good and finding ways to bring us together needs to be our goal.

There are so many lovely people in our country that we often miss out on them because of divisiveness.

thank you for taking time to read and leave your thoughts. Angels are on the way this morning to you ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 15 months ago from sunny Florida Author

Thanks Peggy...It is a complex issue that often causes much strong reaction from individuals on both sides of the table.

Racism in any form, directed at any race, has no place in our society, in our world but it is here. And we need all of us to find a way to quit emphasizing what divides us and capitalize on what will bring us together as a nation.

Thank you for your meaningful comment, Peggy.

Once again Angels are on the way to you ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 15 months ago from sunny Florida Author

Thank you for stopping to read and share your thoughts, Faith...

We grew up in a time when our nation was learning new things about itself. The good old days were not necessarily the best old days but they were what I, for one, knew.

I pray that our nation will find a way to let go of the hate and bitterness.

Angels are on the way to you today Sending you many hugs and blessings, my friend. ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 15 months ago from sunny Florida Author

Theresa...We absolutely do. If we do not get to know the folks in our neighborhood and learn to understand their views, then we will not change the ill will that has become so common.

Thank you for taking the time to read and share your thoughts.

Angels are on the way this morning ps


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 15 months ago from Central Florida

Patricia, this post is one everyone should read. The Confederate flag is part of our history and a part of our heritage for many of us. While my family never flew the Confederate flag, we are proud of our roots. I am a descendant of Stonewall Jackson's. Will eradicating the flag or statues of soldiers and leaders who fought for the south change my lineage? Will it change history? No. All it will do is breed ignorance and contempt. I grew up knowing the Civil War and the war between the north and south. Slavery was part of it, but not the cause of it. That war was a mark on history. Period. It cannot be changed or forgotten.

Why is the current dissension just coming around? After all these years!

America, quit trying to find fault with yesterday and fix what we can today. Get off you high horse saddled by hatred and learn to love and unite.

The blood of those who came before us and made a stand flows through my veins. Stonewall Jackson was my grandmother's great uncle. I'm damn proud of that. I'm not a racist nor was I raised to be one. I was raised to believe that all people are equal. Wasn't that the final outcome of the Civil War?


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 15 months ago from sunny Florida Author

Aufait Thank you for taking the time to share your opinion. We all have our own thoughts and our own beliefs on this topic just as we do on so many others.

The purpose I had in writing this was not so much to give my opinion as it was to share what my experience was in reference to this flag.

Assuming that because one sees it that it means some horrid thing does not make it so.

It was a part of my youth, a part of history, and it did not represent ugliness or hatred or anything of the sort to us.

It has become a symbol of hate and discord because it has been turned into that.

As I said if it will make a difference, if it will stem this tide of hate and discontent that is trying to choke and kill our country then take it down.

There will always be another symbol, another reason to create a chasm in our country.

I hate that and I do not agree with some who have commented that things will never change.

THe only way things will 'never change' is if we refuse to have meaningful dialogue, not screaming matches, about the issues that divide us.

Once again, I appreciate you sharing your thoughts, AuFait. We need to talk and share and let others know from whence we come.

Angels are on the way to you this morning ps


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 15 months ago from Houston, Texas

Some symbols and names offend some and not others. It will always be the case. History cannot be erased and the only hope is that we learn from it to improve things in the future.

My hubby graduated from Sam Houston high school in San Antonio many years ago and the school name was the Cherokees. That has now been changed even though Sam Houston at one time lived with that tribe of Native Americans and even was married to a woman from that tribe.

That is one case (I believe) of taking political correctness a bit too far. The new name for the school is the hurricanes. No hurricane has ever made it that far inland to San Antonio with hurricane force. Ha!

Good hub Patricia! Racism will never be stamped out by merely changing names or removing statues, etc. It takes one person at a time as you mentioned doing their part in opening minds and hearts to others. Let us all do our part!

Sharing this. Wishing you and your family well.


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 15 months ago from southern USA

Hi Dear Ps,

I never thought of the Confederate battle flag as racist. I grew up in the South and both my parents never taught us to hate anyone. My dad was in the military and so we were used to all races of people and never really thought about it to be honest. I guess it's what people have in their hearts is what is racist not a flag ...

Great hub here as always, sweet friend. Thank you for sharing of your childhood and thoughts.

Peace and blessings on the wings of Angels heading your way.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 15 months ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Thank you for a wonderful exploration of your childhood and life. We do seem to be in such a divisive and hate-filled place. I think your most important point is about how we each need to be busy building relationships one smile, one handshake, one hug at a time. We will hope and pray that we learn to forgive each other and accept each other. Blessings. Theresa


Au fait profile image

Au fait 15 months ago from North Texas

I hope you understand that the Nazi flag is a symbol of ugliness to a lot of people and anyone who chooses to fly it will likely be subjected to unpleasantries. How would you feel if the Nazi flag were flown directly beside the U.S. flag, or your state's flag, on the premises of all government buildings in every state?

The Confederate flag stands for ugly things too. People continue to say the Confederacy wasn't just about slavery but also about states rights. The main states right they wanted was legal slavery. The Confederate flag stands for a time when slavery was legal and when Southerners were willing to fight and die for the right to own black people like livestock.

Do you know that some plantation owners relied on their slaves to run their plantations because as gentlemen and ladies they couldn't be bothered with such lowly things -- you've heard of the Gentleman's B? It's on the same order. A lady didn't know about such course things as money management or politics, and a gentleman never dirtied his hands or his mind with the details of manual labor.

So in addition to wanting slaves because black people were considered lesser beings, some people who owned other people also considered it beneath themselves to do anything their slaves did or any kind of manual labor, or even to have knowledge of certain things. They relied so much on their slaves that without slavery they were lost, could not in fact take care of themselves! That's not a reason to continue slavery however. It is a reason to want to continue slavery, but not a good reason, or an ethical reason. There are no ethical reasons for slavery.

The main states right that the Confederate states wanted, and were willing to fight and die for, was the right to legally enslave other people. Even today there are plenty of people who think anyone who looks or thinks differently from themselves is a lesser being. I am a liberal and Republicans vilify me and others like me worse than if I/we were Satan. I want everyone to have the healthcare, food, and education they need to have successful lives and that makes me evil. Conservatives want to deny people these same things, and in fact do deny them, and that is considered Godly. ??

Female Tea Baggers stomp their little feet and demand that we go back to the original Constitution. Do they know what that included? That women had no rights much less the right to vote, and that African Americans were considered 3/5 of a human being, slavery was legal? Do they know that and want to return to those wonderful days?

I say to these female Tea Baggers, it isn't necessary for the law to say they have no rights and that they are mere property of some man. By all means act as though the original Constitution is in affect. Sit down and shut up until some man tells you that you may speak and what you may say. If that 'man' who has authority to grant you speech is your 3 year old son, so be it. I wonder sometimes if people really know what they want.

The Confederate flag stands for oppression, slavery, and even death, to an awful lot of people, just as the Nazi flag stands for those same things to an awful lot of people. What kind of person would herald the things that happened under the Nazi flag and want to fly that flag in memory of that fabulously wonderful time?

Who wants to fly the Confederate flag in memory of THAT wonderful time when people with a bit of money could own another person to do their dirty work for them? When the better people in the South could oppress and abuse people of color (primarily black) and poor people in general? I think our history books do not emphasize sufficiently, exactly what the Confederacy stood for. Every time that flag is flown it lets black people today know that here are people who, if they could, would enslave them and treat them like sub-humans just like in "the good 'ol days."

The Confederate flag has no place on government property. The U.S. defeated the Confederacy, though some people have a hard time accepting that fact, and not many victors allow their defeated enemies to fly their flag alongside their own. Most importantly, the Confederate flag, because of what it stands for, whether some people are aware of its history or not, has no place on any U.S. government property.

If private citizens want to fly the Confederate flag on their own property -- their car, their mailbox, wear it on their person, I have no problem with that. I like to know who I'm dealing with and that will tell me a lot about who these people are. Just like placing the Nazi flag on one's person, one's mailbox, one's car, etc, tells me who they are.

If you support the practices of a particular group, don't be surprised if people think you're one of them. If you join a serial killer's club you should expect people will think you either are, or want to be, a serial killer. You support them in any case, even though your reasoning may be that by belonging you will lower your income taxes. No one is going to believe your only reason for supporting a serial killer's club is to save taxes. No one with a working brain, at least. But you may genuinely believe that is a reason to support them. Don't be surprised if you are loathed for being connected to and supporting the serial killer's club, or any organization that does ugly things.

By the same token, if you do not favor cutting food stamps to our veterans, or active duty soldier's families, or poor people in general, do not by any means support people who do favor cutting food stamps to these people. If you support people who favor these cuts with words, money, or votes, we will naturally think you are one of them. While many people believe it is Godly to make the lives of poor people even more difficult, some of us do not agree, and we will form an opinion about anyone who supports actions to do so.

Likewise, we know that people who fly the Nazi, or the Confederate flag are longing for those "good 'ol days" that those flags stood for, still stand for, and will forever stand for.

Not being black, and being a proud Yankee, the Confederate flag doesn't have quite the affect on me that it almost certainly does on African Americans. That is not a reason to rub their noses in it by flying it anywhere at all.

Personally, I think any way you can tell from a distance that someone hates you, the greater your advantage. I always like to know as much as possible about people I must deal with. For that reason I think everyone who wants to fly the Confederate flag on their private property -- how about a lapel pin? -- should do so, and everyone should chuck the politically correct jargon and say what they really believe and think. Then we will all know where we stand.

If a person does not know something, it is their responsibility to learn it. God holds people responsible for their sins even if they don't realize they're sinning. Our government can and does hold us responsible for breaking the law even if we aren't aware we are breaking the law. Flying the Confederate flag in ignorance of what it stands for is no excuse.

I promise you, neither the Nazi or the Confederate flags mean the same thing to me as they did, and still do, to those people who were oppressed under the regimes that flew them. Since they didn't affect me personally I should be able to fly those flags in the face of those people who object to them, don't you think? And with no repercussions. What would that say about me if I did? We're not talking about one or two people who are offended and for good reason. We're talking about thousands of people who are offended by them because of what they still stand for. Who cares about their feelings? They're just overreacting, right?

Why don't we fly some flags with the face of Timothy McVeigh on them while we're at it? He never did anything to harm me, or most of the people I know, so what's the big deal?

I know you have a kind heart Patricia, and I know you would never want to hurt anyone. I think it's great that you have opened this discussion.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 15 months ago from sunny Florida Author

Yes we do. We need to make efforts to see that others do not misinterpret our purpose for having any symbol on us or on our property.

This is a give and take situation...we all need to be willing to do meaningful things that will end all of this dissension.

Thank you for stopping, always exploring

Sending Angels your way this evening ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 15 months ago from sunny Florida Author

I know exactly what you mean...I saw it too as a young adult...and it is vile and disheartening.

Finding a way to make some connection to those who think and believe differently than we do could help us begin to come together a bit more, I think.

Thank you for visiting and commenting. Angels are on the way to you this evening ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 15 months ago from sunny Florida Author

MizB it is definitely a topic that we need more dialogue about...so that we can begin to respect the ideas and experiences of others...we can even agree to disagree....

Thank you for taking time to stop and read and then comment.

Angels are on the way to you ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 15 months ago from sunny Florida Author

Thanks for stopping Frank....whatever it takes to make our country more cohesive as long as it is within reason, you know.

Hoping all is well with you and yours....

Angels are on the way to you ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 15 months ago from sunny Florida Author

Hi bill so glad to see you today.

We all have our own frame of reference on issues including this one. I just wanted others to know one person's view.

Not saying that my view is the end all...just that there are more ways than one to look at an issue.

Hoping all is good in WA tonight...is it cool there yet? We had a tiny whisper of a breeze this morning and made we dream wistfully of cooler days...

Angels are on the way to you and Bev ps


always exploring profile image

always exploring 15 months ago from Southern Illinois

I wasn't raised in the south but I had about the same experiences as you. My baby sitter was a sweet black woman called N. Ford. I never knew her first name. There were only two Blacks in my little Il. town, the other was N. John who lived down by the Wabash river in a shack. Mrs. Ford lived next door to me. She worked as a cook at the Moose or Elks club, I don't remember which one she was my mother's good friend. When you told your story about the dentist it reminded me of the time she pulled my first baby tooth. She tied a string around my tooth and tied the string around a door handle, the door was open, when she closed it my tooth came out. I was about four at the time. I knew nothing about being prejudice. There were no Black children in my school. I was taught that God loves all his creation the same. He made different colors just like he made different colors in the rainbow. About the Confederate flag, to some it is a hurtful reminder of the cruel past of slavery. I say when anything hurts a group of people take it down. I see a few flags waving about here. They are usually in a trailer park with loud music blaring. Just my opinion.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 15 months ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Like so many others, I never thought of the Confederate battle flag (that's what it really is) as racist. To me it was always a symbol of America's rebellious nature, which was why it was prominently displayed in the very rebellious 'Dukes of Hazzard'.

But in today's PC world, I guess we are supposed to accept what the PC crowd tells us words, symbols, and flags represent.

The slightest thing can earn you the label of racist in today's PC judgmental world. Everything can now be viewed as some sort of slight, whether it was actually meant that way or not. We are danger of losing our right to speak freely.

BTW, I spent nearly 4 years as a small boy in the 1950's South Carolina, and I saw real racism. This is not racism.


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 15 months ago

This is a beautiful hub, and while I agree with most of it, I’m afraid Clive is right. I agree that Racism in any form is wrong. I, too, grew up in a Southern town in an area where my mom’s family established roots the year of the first New Madrid earthquake, 1811. I had family fighting on both sides of the Civil War, although most fought on the Southern side. Like the great oak, our roots run deep.

What actually concerns me is the fact that the South seems to always have to give in to the demands of the North. I have yet to see the North apologize, let alone acknowledge, the terrible horrors perpetuated against its own white race. They had their indentured servants, a form of slavery of their own race. And families, including children, that struggled 12 hours a day, seven days a week in factories just to keep food on the table. These families worked until many died from exhaustion, disease from unsanitary conditions, and their own heartbreak. Also, racism is not confined to the South. I’ve heard racism spouted from the mouths of Northerners. My point is that every time the North points a finger at the South there should be three pointing back at it.

Racism is wrong. We should do everything we can to ensure that the races don’t just get along, but actually respect and like each other. However, we Southerners should not always be the ones to give up our heritage in the form of losing our culture, our history, and our symbols in order to fit into the Northern-driven society.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 15 months ago from Shelton

another draining, but important read pstraubie48.. I do agree if we all just put our sticks down we can get by anything.. the symbols..flags et al.. just symbols.. I can get so much from this hub.. thank you for the share


billybuc profile image

billybuc 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

It's a fascinating situation...really fascinating...and you raised a very important question....will removing the Confederate flag really help in ending racism? Racism is a much deeper problem than some flag waving. We cannot legislate how people think, and we should never legislate against free speech. I am adamant about that...once we start qualifying free speech we have effectively lost it as a society.

I may not like that flag but I certainly do not think it should be removed. That does not solve a much bigger problem.

I'm glad you spoke out, PS, and I'm a northerner saying that.

blessings and hugs heading your way

bill


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 15 months ago from sunny Florida Author

I agree Chantelle...we have to be willing to go the extra mile to hear and try to understand one another.

Angels are headed your way this morning ps


Chantelle Porter profile image

Chantelle Porter 15 months ago from Chicago

It seems like as a country we are becoming increasingly intolerant of others views no matter whether you are left and right. Only when we can welcome everyone, different as we may see them, will things truly change. And all this violence needs to stop now.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 15 months ago from sunny Florida Author

So nice to see you Mary. It does break my heart that things are so divisive.

It seems that we need more dialogue, more efforts at understanding one another.

Yes, it does sound like we grew up with the same value system. It has held me in good stead all of my life.

Angels are on the way to you this morning...we are seeing the sun today...we have had incessant rain for weeks.

Not complaining as my plants love it...unfortunately, weeds do too :D


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 15 months ago from sunny Florida Author

O Clive....please tell me it isn't so...Am I just a dreamer?

I think we can make inroads if we all give it a shot....

Angels are on the way to you this morning


mary615 profile image

mary615 15 months ago from Florida

I grew up in the deep South, and I'm proud of it. Your childhood reflects mine to a great extent. Our schools were segregated, as was most other public places. I was taught by my Daddy never to disrespect anyone for the color of their skin, and I never did!

I just read in the news that someone suggested the great Stone Mountain in Atlanta be rid of the sculptures carved out because they are of presidents during the civil war!

I never thought of the Confederate flag as anything more than to say, "I'm Southern and proud of it"!

You have written a wonderful thought provoking Hub. I am deeply concerned just as you are about the way our country is headed. I wrote a Hub about Racial discrimination in the South. I never thought it was right, and I still don't!

Shared, certainly.


clivewilliams profile image

clivewilliams 15 months ago from Nibiru

nothing will ever change....

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