Confederate Flag, Racial Divide, and Perception

For many the Confederate Flag debate, is a very old and not so pressing issue these days, unless you live in South Carolina or Georgia, maybe.  However, it didn’t stop me the perpetual dead horse beater from making comments about whether or not the Confederated Flag represented hate or heritage.  My motivation behind that post came from a “spirited” debate I saw on CNN.  I wanted to examine this debate in-depth, and initially the post flew under the radar, but after about a week or so, the commentary ignited.

Being the person that I am, I approved all comments, even from those who saw their displeasure with my remarks about the flag as an opportunity to question my religion, patriotism, etc.  The reason why I did that and have always done so, is to show that I’m open to varying positions.  I understand my fallibility and realize I contain no monopoly on the truth, therefore I enjoy reading opposing positions.  By looking at varying ideas, one can learn a lot in this process we call seeking knowledge.

I believe through this little “expose’ ” that some truths are really subjective.  Some things never change, some do, yet no matter what perceptions will almost always be personal, localized, and foreign to those on the opposite side of the spectrum.  In my diatribe I commented that “many” blacks feel that the Confederate Flag represents hate in some forms, intolerance in many others, nevertheless leaves “many” blacks with a bad taste in their mouth.  Certainly, “many” is a very subjective term, so in order to clarify that term as it relates to this issue, I would like to acknowledge, that I have yet to meet one black person in my personal experiences, that doesn’t feel that the Confederate flag at some level not only represents negativity, but hostility towards blacks.  That is the truth.  In fact, just to do a quick polling, I visited a majority black MSG board I frequent and did a poll: “Confederate Flag: Hate or Heritage?”,  and every reader of that thread voted “Hate” with one exception, who voted for both and commented that the Confederate Flag represented “a heritage of hate”.  Now, I’m certain there are blacks out there that do not feel this way about the Confederate flag, but I have not met that person.  In fact, I would be very interested in meeting one and hearing their reasons.

Naturally, these feelings and comments especially those I made in the original thread upset several people.  I’m not sure their racial or ethnic background, I assume they are Caucasian, but I could be wrong.  Nevertheless, they are supporters of the Confederate Flag as a symbol of heritage.  I’m still not certain what that heritage is, while some maintain that it is southern heritage, I would love clarification as to what southern heritage that is.

I believe that these stark differences in opinion about something material such as a flag, exposes the still ever present racial divide in America.  While many will say that this is much to do about nothing, and I hope they are right, I am increasingly convinced, that in America there still exists a racial divide that has never really healed.  I believe that what appears today as a closing of the divide, maybe more akin to tolerating one another more than anything else.  I hope I am wrong, but I truly believe in the issues of white and black, many of the same old mentalities exist, and the perceptions held by each group still confounds the other.

I plan to devote some time to this issue on my next radio show, while its not the theme of my show, I would rather not wait until next week to address this issue.  If you would like to address me live on the show, go to “The American Muslim” at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/theamericanMuslim and call me Thursday 9pm ET and let me know how you feel.

Peace

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6 Comments

  1. As-Salaamu ‘alaikum,

    I’m not black, nor American, but I can quite understand why any Black American would object to seeing Confederate flags around, because it represents nothing other than slavery and a defeated state which perpetuated slavery. Any white person who doesn’t see this is a fool.

    However, perhaps you can explain why people are so concerned with the flag in South Carolina while at least one of the other southern states have flags with Confederate connotations? There has never been any boycott of any of these states. However, when Dennis Kucinich visited SC during the last Presidential campaign, he told his hosts that he would not spend the night in the state due to the flag issue, which demonstrated that perhaps he didn’t want to be President … To me, it’s a bit like boycotting Austria when the Freedom Party (chauvinistic right-wing party) got into government briefly a few years back, but when it comes to the Muslim minority, they are one of Europe’s more tolerant countries.

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  2. thw confederate flag bud does not represent slavery it it a symbol of the south and it was made to avoid confusion in battle. u need to do some research be fore you talk, and further more the american flag was used on every slave ship that brought slaves to america

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  3. i am a southerner, im proud of being southern and i understand where you’re coming from. the confederates (we southerners) seceded from the union because of states rights. but that was not so we could mistreat blacks. but so we could not pay unfair taxes. we had to pay more tax money on 1 slave then on 2 white people. that is why. and also, black people volunteered to fight for the confederacy because the union troops would beat the slaves, rape them, sometimes turn them into a temporary slave until they left to another battle. my family did own slaves, but all of them died in war because they volunteered. my family wasnt much of the kind to mistreat the slaves but also didnt have sexual relationships. wut we are showing remembrance of is not only confederate heroes but also the way we were raised, and since you were raised in north carolina, u should kno wut im talkin bout, swimmin in the closest creek, learnin bout all the cool animals from the american frontier. and since u were from the carolinas u should kno wut i mean wen i say tht fresh cool morning air wen u step outside w/ the cooling mist and the calming birds. i kno i been to south carolina, it’s like a home to me. but tht’s wut the confederate flag is in remembrance of. the way we were raised but also wut we kno from our heritage wen every1 was fighting to save their families from the common soldier of the union, though their leaders had the best of intentions of freeing them. and also the war wasnt about slavery at all, freeing the slaves was a military tactic used half-way thru the war to make the south poor. and the reason black people consider my national flag 1 of hate is because of a bunch of idiots who didnt understand the golden rule. or the 10 commandments. so just stop asking bout it now, cuz tht’s probly the best kind of answer u can get. it’s not only about the heritage of our ancestors but our child hood heritage. remember tht.

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  4. i believe that the flag stands for the right to do as we please (rebels) i see nothing that proves the flag is against blacks! the south will rise again boys

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  5. But is it ok for ok black to feel uncomfortable with it? Should a black person go and wear a shirt with it? On their car?

    We can’t think of how well feel and to for many. You may be proud and then your neo-Confederate groups and David Duke would love the push.

    Should a black person stop pulling the race card when a person has this on and they call me a n. ?????

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  6. Hey yall!! As you can probably guess I am a pure Southern girl. I find it very wrong how a black person can sit there and talk bad about the flag. But what they don’t understand is even some blacks fought under that flag. My great grandfather fought in that war, and if he was still alive today to hear how some of these kids talk about the flag, it would make him sick. We worked and fought dayin and dayout and not once today has any of these blacks ever thank us. But yet its ok for them to celebraite Black History Month, but we can’t be proud of our Flag. That just kinda baffles me. That’s today in my 4th block class, I was wearing a sticker of the Rebel Flag, when all of a sudden this black girl came up to me and asked me “why in the hell I’m a wearing that insualting S*** around this school”? An the only thing I could say was,” Why don’t you go home and google it up on the computer and once you get the facts straight then come back to me and we’ll talk more about it”. She didn’t like that to much, but I didn’t care because I wasn’t bout to let her talk down to the Southern Flag.

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