Today I read an interesting article in the Washington Post about the history of the much maligned Confederate Flag. It was actually designed in Fairfax City so that troops could distinguish between North and South.
Most people were unfamiliar with the history of this flag. People on the street were questioned about their opinions. The article is a must-read.
One man’s comments struck me:
But the issue is complicated, and opinions vary. Jim Webb (D), a former U.S. senator and a potential 2016 presidential candidate, defended the flag’s historic significance Wednesday.
And on Main Street in Fairfax City, Mike Mpalong, who is African American, applauded the marker and defended the use of the flag.
“I really don’t think they should take it down,” the 20-year-old said, explaining that he was worried about a racial backlash, among other things. “Taking down the flag would just create more stuff, more problems.”
Besides, Mpalong added, “It’s a part of history.”
How interesting that one so young would see the possible ramifications rather than just living for the victory lap moment. It isn’t really about “taking down the flag.” I don’t agree with Mr. Mpalong. I do think that the states who fly various Confederate memorabilia should take down those relics from state-owned property unless the flags are over museums and cemeteries.
What scares me is the bandwagon mentality going on all around us and that really is what we should all fear. There are people calling for the destruction of the Washington Monument and the Jefferson Memorial because those edifices honor slave holders. There are those who want to rename schools, various buildings and anything else that has a Civil War General’s name or anything remotely connected to that war. Some are calling for total historical whitewashing. There will be backlash, especially the more absurd the banning of “all things southern” becomes.
Meanwhile, Ebay and Amazon continue to feature merchandise with swastikas, the KKK depictions and logos of South Africa. Isn’t that just a little hypocritical? Those merchants hopped aboard a rather wobbly bandwagon. They are clueless.
The bottom line is, you cannot regulate good taste and you can’t wipe out history. This is the United States,, not the USSR where if something bad happens, it just disappears. Surely people still think?
I simply wish many people who hate that flag would also hate hearing the N-word or variations of the N-word in song after song after song. No it isn’t alright.
I am more than willing to never see another Confederate flag soaring above state property…just because some pool of legislators said it was OK. No, it isn’t alright. Just please spare me from the musical N-word.