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Don't Blame the Confederacy: A Southerner's View

Updated on July 19, 2015

Now did you really think opponents of the anti Confederate Flag hysteria were just going to stop once they got the Confederate Battle Flag removed from South Carolina's State House? The "black lives matter" movement is now targeting anything, and everything that has to do with the Confederacy, but when do we Southerners need to say enough is enough with this nonsense?

Hundreds of historic monuments across the South have been vandalized in recent weeks, being spray painted with "black lives matter". This movement has a mob mentality, and history shows us that a mob mentality is never satisfied with the removal, or destruction of offending symbols. Now if the mob is left unchecked, then they will just move on to more statues, and more monuments, which has already begun.

Civil Rights happened a long time ago, does this movement not realize that? The NAACP along with this giant mob of support are acting like white racist roam America's streets numbering in the thousands, doing nothing except flying "racist" flags, and praising "racist" memorials all over the country. This entire situation is very hard to even fathom.

Shouldn't the NAACP be focusing on more important issues rather then targeting symbols that didn't seem to bother them much before the shooting in Charleston took place? For instance, how about focusing on black on black crime, which claimed around 6,000 black lives in 2012 or maybe focus on the high school drop out rate, where black students only have a 68% completion rate.

Its highly attractive for me to say "white lives matter" but of course that would be considered racist. In today's society a white person can't even look at a black person the wrong way without causing an uproar and people that is the god honest truth. You don't make a difference by vandalizing historic memorials, and just recently a challenge called the #noflaggingchallenge has challenged people to steal the Confederate flag whenever they see one.

Should Confederate Memorials be taken down?

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Stone Mountain, Georgia

As Americans today, we honor our veterans. We honor our veterans that fought in both World Wars, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan. These wars were all fought by men and woman preserving American Freedom. Even if you didn't support these wars, you stood by our troops. No American would call for the monuments and symbols of these past wars honoring those who gave so much, to be torn down. Now what makes the Civil War any different?

It does not matter what side you were fighting for, The Union or The Confederate States, both were fighting to preserve American freedom. Most of the men who fought in the Civil War, were not going out to fight for slavery, nor were they fighting to abolish it. They were fighting for what they thought was right, and to protect their families.

Civil War Memorials are all over the United States. General Robert E. Lee has more then a dozen schools named after him, Lee's Hwy. stretches from New York to California, along with courthouses, and statues. Washington D.C. has 18 statues of 11 Union Generals, Union Admirals, and nurses around the city amongst the thousands of other Union memorials located across the Northern United States.

The North holds their Civil War heritage, and history to the same level as Southerners do. Both North and South take pride in the great men who fought on both sides. So how come all the sudden people want abolish these historic symbols in the South? The Southern United States has over 13,000 Civil War monuments located across many states. All these Southern symbols aren't symbols of hate, and racism, they are memorials to the men who fought in that war.

If you agree with the removal of Confederate memorials, and flags then I guess you must support the removal of any war memorial that honors our men who gave the ultimate sacrifice for his country.

The commander of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, Charles Kelly Barrow, summarized everything going on with this,

"I’ll use the words of Jefferson Davis: ‘We just want to be left alone,’”

"We're in a country that's supposed to be tolerant, and suddenly they're targeting our culture," he said. "I can't wait to wake up from this nightmare."

Mr.Barrow couldn't have said it any better. This movement is literally dividing Americans across the deep South, from Florida all the way to Maryland, the debate has started on whether or not to remove all traces of the Confederacy.

The NAACP and supporters are pushing to get Stone Mountain destroyed, they want to see the Mississippi State flag thrown to the ground, and they want to see the removal of Lee Circle in New Orleans, along with every single Confederate symbol across the United States of America.

Lee Circle New Orleans, Louisiana

History shows us that every government, along with races of the World existed with slavery. 9,000 years is how long slavery has existed on our planet, but a mere 90 years it existed in the Confederate States of America.

People can't just condemn the Confederate States for instituting slavery without holding the rest of the World accountable for doing the same. The attacks on the Confederate flag by the media, and the ignorant, are attacks on the Southern people and our heritage.

The United States of America was founded on the core values that every single individual has the right to be free, along with choosing how the government is governed. And while it may be hard to fathom for some, the South did just that. It is a fact that 96% of Southerners did not own or have slaves, nor did they benefit from slavery. Slavery in the South actually hurt the white working force man by the free slave labor.

America, pre-Civil War, proves that slavery played one of the most important roles in our countries economic development. Slave-grown cotton provided over half of all U.S. export earnings and in 1840, the South grew 60 percent of the world's cotton. The United States provided 70% of the cotton consumed by the British textile industry.

With the huge amounts of revenue flowing in from cotton sales, it's safe to say that slavery paid for a tremendous share of the capital, iron, and manufactured goods that laid the groundwork for American economic growth as devolving country.

Furthermore, since the southern United States specialized in cotton production, the North produced businesses that provided services for slavery in the South, which included textile factories, insurance companies, shippers, and cotton brokers.

Many people have the misconception that the American Civil War was primarily fought over the issue of slavery, and while slavery did play a big role, it wasn't the sole reason the South left the Union to start the Confederate States of America.

State rights played a major role in the South's decision to secede . Southern states felt like they were entitled to the right to accept certain federal acts, and the idea of nullification was brought up, which allowed states to rule federal laws unconstitutional, that then led to secession.

Yeah, slavery happened in the United States people, but without it we wouldn't be the great country we are today.

The shootings at a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina, has caused the liberal media to shift focus on a completely irrelevant issue to the actual shootings: The Confederate Flag and now Confederate Monuments.

After images surfaced of mass-murder, Dylann Roff, with the Confederate Flag, a firestorm was started, that is likely not going to be put out anytime soon. This coward has prompted Wal-Mart, Amazon, Target, Esty, Sears, Kmart, Google, Apple, and Ebay to stop all sales, and distribution of Confederate Flags, and any materiel it appears on.

Even NASCAR asked it's fans not to fly the flag anymore, but it was just a polite request. Warner Bros. also announced they were halting production of the historic "General Lee" toy car made iconic by the hit television series, "The Dukes of Hazzard". Along with TV Land taking the show off the air.

Dylann Roff was expecting his actions in Charleston to start a "Race War", nobody can disagree that Dylann was openly a racist individual, but now a fight over the South's history and heritage has been ignited.

His manifesto included some pretty hateful, downright stupid stuff, here are of few of his quotes:

"As an American we are taught to accept living in the melting pot, and black and other minorities have just as much right to be here as we do, since we are all immigrants."

“N***ers are stupid and violent. At the same time they have the capacity to be very slick.”

“I wish with a passion that n***ers were treated terribly throughout history by Whites, that every White person had an ancestor who owned slaves, that segregation was an evil an oppressive institution, and so on."

The Flag

The flag that caused all this controversy actually wasn't the official flag for The Confederate States of America, it was a battle flag. The Confederate States had three official flags during the course of the Civil War.

What people don't realize is that the Confederate Battle Flag in no way, shape, or form represents racism in today's society, it was just a battle flag used by the Army of Virgina along with the Army of Tennessee. It was also used a Naval Jack by the Confederate Navy. Uneducated, and ignorant people that want to see it's removal do not understand history, and have no right to vilify the flag.

In some U.S. states the Confederate flag is given the same protection from burning and desecration as the U.S. flag. It is protected from being publicly mutilated, defiled, or otherwise cast in contempt by the laws of five U.S. states: Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina.

Also in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virgina, vehicle owners can request a state-issued license plates featuring the Sons of Confederate Veterans logo, which incorporates the square Confederate battle flag.

What do most Americans really think about The Confederate Flag? A national survery conducted in 2000, and 2015 both had almost identical results showing that 59% of the American public opined that the Confederate flag represented Southern pride rather than racism. The same poll conducted on US citizens living in the South yielded different results: With 75% of whites describing the flag as a symbol of pride.

Should The Confederate Flag be banned?

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The shooting in Charleston has shifted focus from what really matters, and that is that a racist young man murderer 9 innocent people in cold blood, does him holding a Confederate Flag really matter? No it does not, and that should have been the end of this controversy but sadly it wasn't.

People are using this tragedy to get rid of a flag, and memorials they know absolutely nothing about, or what it truly means to Southerners in the United States of America. The media is putting The Confederate Flag on a pedestal rite next the Nazi Flag, causing America's biggest retailers to pull the flag off their shelves, and punishing Southerns by doing so.

We shouldn't have to suffer because of one individuals actions. I find it highly offensive that I can longer purchase anything that has to remotely do with The Confederate Flag from a retailer store if I desire to do so.

Dylann Roff was motivated by hate, and a racist, who will end up getting the death sentence or serving the remainder of his pathetic life behind bars. Justice will be served. But justice will not be handed down by getting rid of the Confederate Flag and all our great memorials.

The Confederate Flag, and Confederacy memorials have both surpassed attempts in the past to rid them of flying high, and standing tall without prejudice. But now anything that has to remotely do with the Confederacy is on the verge of becoming extinct with everyday day that passes.

I never imagined this issue would gain so much traction within such a short period of time. Who knows, maybe another Civil War will be the end outcome of all this nonsense.

© 2015 nolamaddog

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    • Kathleen Cochran profile image

      Kathleen Cochran 

      3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Thank you for listing your sources. Even in the South, there are as many opinions as there are people and many points of view. I think the issue of the battle flag is different from the monuments and museums that document history. History can't be changed. What happened, happened. Being hateful about it, is what needs to stop.

    • profile image

      ghost 

      3 years ago

      Well done article with excellent facts.

      Unfortunately I doubt any in power will care about the difference between saying "no, that is wrong!" to Dylann's shootings at that church versus saying "no, that is wrong!" to removing the confederate flag from public use/ viewing. Instead this tragedy will be used as a tool to further special interest group’s agendas.

      I went ahead and read ( tried to read) all of Dylann Storm Roof's manifest. ( Very interesting that Dylann's "middle name" is being so widely used, kind of like John Wilkes Booth's was after his theoretically more notable killing of a president) Anyway, some of what was shared in select sections appears to be fairly well written and researched. For example " Trayvon Martin case and the related large scale black on white crimes and the efforts to cover up such facts by media. The effects to European culture due to unbridled immigration and resulting changes. (From personal experience, seeing almost more mosques around London than Christian churches as well as so many middle eastern and Indians living there was odd..)

      His comment about our school system.... and how " White parents are forced to move to the suburbs to send their children to “good schools”. With good school directly corresponding to how White the demographic is...it represents nothing but scared White people running.

      Well.. hmm.. actually many non- white friends of mine try and get their kids into mostly white /correspondingly highly ranked public schools by moving to suburbs and via busing. They also flee inner city school with high crime, low ranking and usually over 70% black demographic. If you live in city and do well you send your kids to private or vanguard schools.. everyone knows these truths are self-evident as they impact housing / real estate pricing .. Again from personal experience I saw my parent's home reduce in value 40% once a bussing program was started that turned a well ranked high school into more of a ghetto school in 1 year. My kids also mention how many scholarship opportunities that are announced over the load speaker in public schools are prefaced and concluded with “Class again this opportunity is only for blacks .. or Hispanics .. or females..”. What type of lesson are all those kids learning?

      While what happened in Charleston is horrible and not justified, what has happened in America to legalize and force discrimination against whites in the workplace, with respect to schools and scholarships, and with respect to not being allowed to organize a legitimate special interest group is socially mandated now and horrible as well.

      Again great job in your article but most of the blame should go to the government and its poor stewardship of the American people and their collective right to work and live freely. Losing our historical pride and achievements made in many aspects of the southern Confederate history may be part of the price we the people pay for not being braver.

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