The Day The Confederate Flag Was Put To Rest
Southern pride or symbol of hate
To anyone that paid attention in school, knows the bitter sweet story of how America overcame the tragic shadow of the civil war and the long subsequent civil rights movement. Everybody ( Let's not fool ourselves) knows this, the state of South Carolina is covered in "southern pride" in the form of streets, monuments and museums glorifying the very people that raised against the union for many reasons, but primarily to maintain slavery. In 1961, that same flag was raised to remind the nation that South Carolina was against the civil rights movement.
When the mass shootings in Charleston; Calhoun Street, (witch ironically is named after John C Calhoun , a man that said that slavery was a "necessary good") the confederate flag was still flying at full staff even though our flag was lowered as a symbol of respect for those that lost their lives. In what should have been a sanctuary, a misguided young man, infected by hate, took the lives of nine people. This flag not only defines the essence of racial segregation, bigotry and ignorance but also is a living example that our great country was once almost split in half by an insurrection that wanted to oppress, and dehumanize African Americans. Why are they proud of this?
Putting the cards on the table
Is is possible to clean the Confederate imagery away from being used as hate propaganda?
The common citizen
Is obvious that as a nation we have to be appalled and disgusted by these events that occur too often in a nation that proclaims itself to be the land of the free. Of course, people took to the streets their outrage. They are just tired of the excuses, of the simplifying, of the minimizing of the problem. We have a society that stills denies, that we as a country still have racist factions within our own communities. Interestingly, everybody came together as a whole to not only demand justice but also a radical change.
In spite of the never ending parade of contradicting versions of the truth, the irony remains in the fact that this happened in a community plagued by racism that considers their constitutional right to display their ideals in symbolic form, with no apologies. After all this time, after everything that has happened, South Carolina, specifically Charleston has come to the conclusion that not all that our forefathers did and said will ever be acceptable morally. The cancer that it is racism, has crippled the minds and structure of communities all over the country. Given way to unspeakable acts of violence.
The time has come to remove that cancer from the heart of the people of the South. Not by force, not by intimidation, but by the request of their own citizens that have acknowledged that things can change for the better. But first we have to make sure to separate ourselves from the mentality that accepting these symbols as part of their culture and Southern pride, can indeed damaged the very core of their citizens. And that's why they turned to the streets and demanded that this symbol that has reminded Americans of that horrible mindset of hate, that almost divided a nation in two, be put to rest.
The government's response
Is disgusting how everything is politicized especially a tragedy like this one. That did not surprise me at all. What did surprise me was the fact that instead of perpetuate a meaningless discussion on issues that we already know about, but we still do nothing, the local government responded in a very unusual way. Not to say that they didn't debate over the consequences over doing nothing, ignoring the problem as always. Or taken this opportunity to once and for all have a serious discussion, and making some rational decisions regarding what they call symbols of their heritage. And that's why when yesterday it was announced that they were going to take the Confederate flag down and retired it, I was actually surprised.
I also learned that for the last year there has been legislation because of the same flag now after this tragedy occurred it became obvious that it was cruel to add insult to injury. In an article published on the Belfast Telegraph it mentions how today Friday at 10:30 AM the Confederate flag will be retired. After the governor Nikki Haley signed the bill to remove the Confederate flag, from the first state to secede the union. This is a quote from the same article:
"South Carolina's flag removal bill passed easily in the senate, where state senator Clementa Pinckney, the pastor gunned down at the church, had served, but was stalled by debate in the house of representatives as dozens of amendments were proposed.
House members deliberated well into the night, amid anger, tears and shared memories of Civil War ancestors.
Representative Jenny Horne, a white Republican who said she is a descendent of Confederate president Jefferson Davis, scolded her party members for stalling.
"I cannot believe that we do not have the heart in this body to do something meaningful such as take a symbol of hate off these grounds on Friday," Ms Horne said.
The bill ultimately passed 93-27 in the House - well above the two-thirds supermajority needed to make changes to the state's "heritage" symbols.
Some lawmakers hugged, cried and high-fived, while others snapped selfies and pumped their fists."
As it reads in Fox43 News:
"The steadfast support for the flag as an affirmation of Southern heritage waned against the overwhelming awareness of the battle flag’s deeply painful meaning: a banner of racial subjugation for many.
It was time to go.
The ceremony will be brief. The governor will make no remarks.
The flag’s presence was loud. Its departure will be quiet and quick."
Then again the media will serve it to us raw
South Carolina hate groups TODAY!
- Two factions of the Ku Klux Klan
- Four White Nationalist groups
- Six Neo Confederate groups
- Two branches of League Of The South
Are we still divided?
Maybe we have been asking ourselves the wrong questions. Maybe we have addressed these vital situations with a sense of carelessness. As to not offend, irritate, inconvenience anybody. Maybe we have been distracted by petty issues for too long. Maybe we have looked outside the United States of America for enemies that are easily labeled as not our own. But we forgot about the internal grudges, the invisible barriers, and those plagues that have corroded the very essence over a nation that is supposed to be, a united nation.
We have forgotten that we never needed outside help to divide and segregate ourselves from each other. We have not addressed the fact that in order to be that great nation that we want to be, we need to heal the scars that mar our dignity and our humanity. And for this to happen we have to accept that we made mistakes. That we keep making mistakes. And only by addressing the truth we can correct the errors of the past to ensure that we as a nation can leave to our children the kind of place where everybody feels safe, no one is left behind, and everybody at last can proudly call themselves American.
© 2015 Anan Celeste