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.