Why is the Confederate Flag a big deal right now?
Why wasn’t it such a big deal a couple of weeks ago?
Let me share a couple of thoughts…..
The Confederate Flag is a symbol of a time in the United States that was very bleak, very dark and very sad. Brother was fighting brother, thousands of men died and ideas, ideals and beliefs were questioned.
- Many people were fighting for their “economic way of life.”
- Many people were fighting to keep their country together.
- Many people were fighting to keep the slavery system in place and the black people as slaves doing the manual labor running their plantations.
While some people can argue that the Confederate Flag is a symbol of the heritage of the South, I think they are missing a couple of key points:
- The South lost. I’ve heard people compare the waving of the Confederate flag to people from Texas wearing cowboy boots even if they don’t ride a horse. Excuse me? Supporting a movement that cost thousands of lives and had as one of its goals to keep thousands of people in slavery and you’re comparing it to people from Dallas who like to ride a motorcycle and wear cowboy boots?
- There are many people in the United States whose direct ancestors were harmed and/or killed by the efforts of the Confederacy. In addition, there are many more who suffered for years because of the slavery that the Confederacy fought to keep.
So why now? Obviously there is a big and contentious history behind the Confederate Flag and it means different things to different people. Not everyone sees the flag the same way, this is a given.
But, the blatant racist events that happened in Charleston, the killer spending an hour in a prayer meeting before turning a gun on the prayer group members, the message that he sent about wanting to start a race war, that was like tearing out the stitches on a wound that had “almost” healed. It still hurt and wasn’t totally healed but it was better.
And then Bam!
Someone took a staple remover or a needle-nosed pliers and yanked out the staples.
The wound breaks open.
Blood comes out.
It hurts. It hurts a lot. Enough that you need to go visit the ER.
That’s why the Confederate Flag is an issue now. It is an old pain that has come back to hurt us.
It’s an old wound that has been reopened.
And if we are going to make progress in healing the wounds of racism in this country, this wound needs to go away and be confined to museums and history books.
That’s why the Confederate flag is an issue right now.