Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Alright kids so lets be honest, I hated the last two things I wrote, and one of them was a funeral for my ds. So this no longer just affects me. This affects everyone.

So we are going to try this again.

Helium is a freelance writing site where you can make money. It would be like organized versions of me doing this. At the moment I've lost my swing which PISSES Me OFF. So here we are.

On the site though it had an interesting question, under the heading "race issues" it had the age old debate, "Should we ban the southern flag?"

The real question isn't a matter of should the flag be banned or not, (not btw due to 1st amendment reasons) but as to why it is a racial problem.

Why is race part of this question at all? Okay well you all know the obviouse answer, aka the abhorrent slavery thing our country did for quite some time, and it is important to not minimise this fact. The thing is though that the plight of the black people really aren't centeral to the issue. If they were then the nature of the racist problem would of shifted dramatically as a result of the wars outcome, but it didn't. Hell it still is a major problem today for both whites and blacks.

This problem is tricky and I am not thinking clearly so lets lay all the cards out on the table:

The rebel flag is a hyperburdended symbol which holds multiple meanings to multiple groups of people, many of these people feel very passionatly about these meanings and I kinda want to unpack some of them.

First and foremost it is important to take a step back and recognize how minute of a n issue this is geographicaly. Most of the stuff in the lousiana purchase wasn't a state yet, because a great deal of it wasn't settled. Then you have all of california which holds a massive amount of our population today. All the time I've spent in new england, no one really thinks twice about the rebel flag and the fact that it is still flown, to the point, the vast majority of the people in this country don't give a god damn about that stupid flag. I mean lets face it unless you are black or true southern than what does it matter.

It really is important to establish the geographical, and historical context of this problem. It is relativly minute in of itself. It is only because it is tied to racism that this problem gets any press at all. Racism is one of those topics that one can easily write about until the end of time and not really worry about running out of things to say.

So people give knee jerk reactions, racism bad, symbol of rebellion, symbol of freedom, heritage, and any number of other catch phrases. It is a cluster of ideas that doesn't even deserve the term ideology because ideology infers that there is some sort of idea involved. In this conversation there isn't one. Rebel Flag is! See it is that "is" that hangs everyone up.

I find it odd that the rebel flag isn't a part of more art pieces. I mean we get an american flag that's been used as an ass wipe for 15 diffrent homeless vietnam vertrens and it is art. We burn an american flag and it is protest.

We burn a rebel flag and? What are we protesting? Who are we offending? All the right people as far as I am concerned. Burning an american flag is a big deal because it is very much an internalized part of who we are. Even if we don't like it, want to move to canada, whatever. Hating America is an idea that sprang up as soon as there was an america to hate. The confederate flag, it isn't us. It isn't who america is. It doesn't represent its people, hell it doesn't even represent all the people within its intended geographic region.

People say it represents racism, but there are a lot stronger, clearer represntationsd of racism. We have shown in our regretable past that we as a people have little to no trouble demonstrating our racist beliefs. If someone is racist they are going to demonstrate it far clearer than that flag ever could. The flag sparks controversy and I like that, or more that I can respect that. It is important to realize though that this is a self perpetuating discussion that is really very small in scope.

Would/could/shoulds of the situation are all irrelevent. We have to allow it, that is what the freedom of speech means. Protest it any way you see fit. Seriously, I openly encourage you. But if we are really going to get anywhere with this issue and as to what it means, it is essential to move past the fact that this is just a racist issue. Because it isn't just a racist issue. It is also a free speach issue, it is heritage issue, and there is the issue of historical remeberance. We are one country, that almost became two.

There is no real way to end this with any sort of closure. It just is. A problem on the table. What do with do with our hyper burdered schizophretic symbol? Me? I ignore it. Its how I treat most manners of speech I find stupid but no offensive enough to stand against. I mean really REALLY racism has much bigger things to take care of first.

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