The Confederate Battle Flag is finally meeting its' end. Personally, I couldn't be happier. I just hope this is just the first step to finally ridding ourselves of bigotry and hatred and I hope it sends a message to those who want to continue to hate they will no longer be tolerated.
I have read since Gov. Terry McAuliffe ordered Virginia's Dept. of Transportation to discontinue issuing the "Sons of the Confederacy" license plates, some are crying their rights are being trampled on and taken away. Really? Which ones? They haven't outlawed flying the Confederate Battle Flag, however if you don't have one now and you still want one, you better learn to sew. Of course there will be websites from small merchants who will continue to carry Confederate items just to prove they're "rebels" that is if they have a way to resupply their inventories once they've been depleted. They'll probably turn to foreign countries in order to continue production of Confederate merchandise. So the redneck's next Rebel Flag may also say, "Made in China".
Some are also saying we're trying to erase history by taking down this negative symbol. To that I say no one flies Nazi banners any longer but people still remember Adolf Hitler and World War II. So to say history will be erased because a symbol of bigotry and hatred is no longer available at Wal-Mart is totally unfounded.
I've heard arguments the flag never represented bigotry and hatred and extreme hate groups in the twentieth century basically stole the flag in order to further their own agenda of hatred. That simply is not true. The Civil War was all about continuing to enslave a population to the point the southern states tried to secede from the union in order to continue a way of life involving persecution of black slaves. It's spelled out quite clearly in The Declaration of Causes of Seceding States passed by southern states in the 1860's. That sounds pretty bigoted and hateful to me. The flag was then used in the 1950's and '60's to protest desegregation.
(See The Declaration of Causes of Seceding States)
I am really surprised the Republicans are rallying with Democrats to take down the Rebel Flag from government sites. I thought the Republicans would be all for continuing to display the flag in southern states in the name of "history" and "heritage". I'm glad to be wrong here.
The Rebel Flag has been one of those sacred cows Republicans were afraid to touch in order to prevent committing political suicide. Politicians have been voted out of office, even in the 21st century, when stating their opposition to flying the flag on government properties. Now that the Republicans will see they can finally rid themselves of this image and the sky will no longer fall, perhaps they can gather up enough courage to tell the likes of the National Rifle Association (NRA) and Grover Norquist to go to hell as well then pass better gun control laws and tell the richest 1% of the population to start paying income taxes.
*******WARNING: EXPLICIT LANGUAGE IS USED IN THIS ARTICLE*******
The shooting at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC made me remember another tragic shooting here in Roanoke, VA on September 22, 2000. That was of course the Backstreet Cafe shooting where one man, Danny Overstreet, was killed and six others seriously wounded.
I knew Danny quite well. We had once worked together, we used to party together and he was absolutely one of the most fun people to be around. Overall, Danny and I had been friends for about twenty years. He was one of the first people I met when I first came out in 1980. Nothing can prepare you for the shock and sadness when a friend or loved one is senselessly gunned down as Danny was on that terrible night.
Fifteen years later and many mass shootings later, we now have the Emanuel AME shooting in Charleston, SC. It really amazes me how people or groups who hate cite the objects of their hatred by saying they are a threat to white people when it is obvious it is these white people themselves who are the threat. On the heels of this shooting is the debate over state governments flying the Confederate Battle Flag.
I have a Confederate heritage where my great-great grandfather, Burwell Stanley, actually fought for the South in the Civil War. He survived the war though. Still, that doesn't make me romanticize or idolize the Civil War. Nor do I go running around saying, "I am a Son of the Confederacy". I wish that war never happened because the repercussions of it are still being felt 150 years later. These fools waving the Confederate Battle Flag and screaming blacks, Jews, gays or whoever is undermining American values and traditions and trying to destroy the white race are so full of shit they stink!!
I am as white as they come. It's not blacks, Jews or gays that scare me, it's these young, white straight mother fuckers who scare the shit out of me. I even find myself being cautious around young, white straight boys I don't know when I see them in public. This day and age, I feel safer around blacks, Jews and gays more than anyone else.
Unfortunately I have had family members who were extreme racists. My grandfather was one and I can't tell you how many times I heard him say the "n"-word from the time I understood speech to when he died in 1981. Especially in the '60's my grandfather would regularly spit hate speech towards "hippies" and blacks. Even further back in my family history there have been extreme racists. My great grandfather's uncle was a member of the KKK and no one knew it until he died and his family found his KKK robe buried deep in his closet. Currently I still have family members who are racists and I refuse to have anything to do with them because frankly, I'm tired of listening to their ignorant shit. I think it's just dessert my family with such a history now has a liberal very out gay in it. I'm sure I've been the topic of discussion in some my families' table chats over the years. The majority of my family now is just made up of some cousins and some very distant ones at that.
To think of this Dylann Roof panty-waste going into a church, sitting with a Bible study for an hour then shooting nine people which included old ladies really makes my blood boil. No one deserves to die like that and for no reason at all other than some 21 year old white supremacist redneck thinking blacks needed to be exterminated.
Now we are seeing right-wing media and politicians attempting to spin racism away as the cause of this shooting by throwing up their hands exclaiming they don't know what could've caused such a thing. That's the biggest bunch of bullshit I have ever heard. They know damn well this shooting was race motivated. Republican politicians merely want to cushion themselves from even more demands for gun control in this country because conservative politicians are in the pocket of the National Rifle Association (NRA) and they are scared to death of them.
I can imagine the Charleston shooting will be a talking point for the presidential campaign in 2016. Watch the Republicans say they want better race relations while still throwing gays under the bus and trying to yet again ban same-sex marriage if the Supreme Court rules in favor of marriage equality in the coming days.