A Gentleman’s Agreement

Connie Chastain posted a challenge from Carl Roden on her blog. In that challenge, Carl agrees that if the answers to his questions (below) are adequate, that he will stop complaining. Connie wants comments on her blog so go there if you wish. Google Blogger is pretty limited in how much text you can write in a comment box, so I thought it best to post my reply here. Below is Carl’s challenge. Below that is my answer.


 A Simple Challenge

By Carl W. Roden (esq) ~ The man the Deniers fear the most.

I address this one to those who oppose the continued display of our Southern Cross banner, and condemn those of us who make the “horrible sin” of honoring it and the good memories of our honored Southern dead.

I would like to issue a personal challenge to one of you, one I welcome you to respond to on this forum…with your permission David.

My challenge is simple: I will concede the entire issue of the display of the Southern Cross banner – and effectively quit Southern heritage defense on facebook and other media online – if any member of the politically correct Establishment, Floggersphere, or any one of their useful idiots, can answer the following questions both logically and in such a way that the overall answer cannot be disputed rationally.

(1) How would the removal of the Southern Cross banner accomplish in any way, shape, or form – beyond a meaningless “symbolic gesture” – the advancement of Black Americans socially, academically, and morally?

(2) How would that flag’s removal and social condemnation reasonably constitute any significant victory over any lingering social injustice in America, or effectively strike a serious blow against bigotry?

(3) How does labeling the majority of people in America who honor that flag free of racial intent along with the handful who denigrate it as a racially charged symbol not in any way constitute an act of hate and bigotry itself on the part of the flag’s opponents, or taint their own “good intentions”?

(4) What is to gain from the continued status quo thinking of those same people in regards to labeling that flag a symbol of evil?

(5) Why would it not be better in the long run to advance realistic efforts to teach people – particularly young people – not to hate or fear the display of Southern Cross banner, or the people who honor it correctly, as a more effective way of taking away the power that flag – in the wrong hands – to offend another human being?

Well, there y’all go. If you can offer a reasonable, common sense response with flawless logic (I will settle for circular logic since it might be the best y’all can manage) to each of those questions. One that:

(A) Offers NO contradictions.
(B) That expressly explains how efforts to end a racial identity view of that flag are pointless.
(C) Reasonably makes the point that the “right answer” is to do away with that flag forever from public display and concede it to its historical negatives.

So, I leave it to you, the intellectuals, the so-called “Progressives” and “forward-thinkers” here’s your chance to educate, to offer enlightenment to the filthy masses (or at the very least get rid of me, a simple country writer from South Carolina)….thrill me with your arguments.


How can one answer any question ripe with logical fallacies adequately? Most of the questions are loaded and stand on a false premise. But here is a shot at it:

(1) How would the removal of the Southern Cross banner accomplish in any way, shape, or form – beyond a meaningless “symbolic gesture” – the advancement of Black Americans socially, academically, and morally?

I’d like to concentrate on the academic values first, as they are issues most prominent and most important. First one must define “removal.” Does one remove the flag from all sight, to wind up on the ash heap of history? Or are we talking about regulating the flag to its proper context (i.e. museums, classrooms, historic sites, etc.)? A complete and total removal of the flag does little to benefit anyone. The educational value will be lost which can impact the social and moral progression of any society. To regulate the flag to its proper context serves numerous purposes. The flags relegation to the classroom improves the academic growth of people of  all races. The aspects of that are obvious and limitless. It’s use as a marker for command tactics, it’s use as a rallying symbol for soldiers and veterans, and its evolution as a repressive race symbol can be studied so all can come to understand the colorful evolution of the Confederate Battle Flag. The flags relegation to proper context (museums, historical sites, etc.) ensures the flag’s appreciation as a historical entity and not a symbol of active oppression. Flags posted alongside highways void of context leave much to wonder. To people like David Tatum, such flags do not need context. The reality is much different. John Doe and his American family driving along I-95 will be free to interpret the flag in whatever manner they fit with the flag presented in such a way, this includes the feelings of racism and oppression. The flag alongside the highway does not command the same sort of reverence and/or resentment as the flag inside of a museum or classroom. In those contexts, they are historical images not active symbols of oppression.

It would be incredibly hard to estimate the social and moral advancement of any race of people with the removal of symbols, aside from perhaps general happiness.  Social advancement is usually ascertained by the defeat of poverty in the type of society we live in (consumerist). However, educational advancement usually leads to social progression. We, as a nation, become more intelligent and more accepting of differences in order to heterogeneously interact and compete. Such a situation would only lead to progress. One might argue that the removal of the flag is one step forward to the defeat of racism and a push for acceptance, helping millions to spring from poverty. The people that advocate the flag’s display void of context have already demonstrated their resentment towards different NAACP initiatives to ban the flag and other Confederate symbols. The flag’s ultimate removal in such a situation would lead to resentment from these groups.  Essentially, the removal of the flag would have both positive and negative effects in such a situation. Black Americans would see a general increase in the understanding of the flag, void of the competing rhetoric from Heritage advocates and White Supremacist Groups. This helps to provide a more accepting world around them. By consequence, Black Americans might fall victim to the resentment of having the CBF regulated to the confides of history. In short, social advancement will only come through the actions of those that advance the prominent use Confederate Battle Flag presently. Will they allow social advancement to take place?

Morality is a matter of perspective. One man’s moral advancement is another’s decline.  There really is no appropriate answer to this question as the answers would be circular between two different moral arguments; neither of which can, or should, be applied to humanity as a whole. Such an argument only leaves us with a view of the world from the confides of one’s own moral judgement. The question should be geared towards those that are currently oppressed, Black Americans. Do Black Americans feel that personal moral growth will take place, and how do they gauge that growth? These are not questions for me to answer.

(2) How would that flag’s removal and social condemnation reasonably constitute any significant victory over any lingering social injustice in America, or effectively strike a serious blow against bigotry?

The flag has a long and enduring history as a symbol of racism which is understood by numerous parties, not just one side of the debate. Numerous groups (mostly white) used and use the flag as a symbol of their rebellion against integration and the preservation of status quo (i.e. Jim Crow Laws). Millions of Black Americans view the flag as a symbol of that oppression, understanding the flag as held by White Supremacists, with a clear sign that relates the message: “You are not equal, you are inferior, you are not wanted, and you cannot live among us.” Gallup Polls in 1992 and 2000 show that more and more Americans are coming to terms with this reality. Black Americans remain adamant about the flag’s racist connotations in both polls. To see the flag’s relegation (not banning) to museums, classrooms and historical sites represents that Americans understand the flag’s history and decided not to tolerate it any more. It sends a clear and symbolic message that America does not appreciate nor condone racists. That is a serious blow to racism and to say that it is not, is simply an aspect of denial. Will it fix the disease of racism? No. If an overweight person stops eating cake, that does not guarantee that they’ll lose weight. However, cake will no longer enable that case of obesity much as the flag will not enable racism.

(3) How does labeling the majority of people in America who honor that flag free of racial intent along with the handful who denigrate it as a racially charged symbol not in any way constitute an act of hate and bigotry itself on the part of the flag’s opponents, or taint their own “good intentions”?

This is what I mean by a loaded question. First, how do you know that that majority of people in America who “honor” the flag, do so free of racial intent and that only a handful use it as a racially charged symbol? Polls do not address this. They may address how Americans view the flag, but that is not the same as how they wield the flag. Also, how did Carl Roden decide that people label all those who wield the Confederate Flag as racists? Lastly, why does Carl think that hating racism is a bad thing? For example, I hate racist acts. If that makes me a bigot, oh well. I do not hate the racist, I hate the act. Granted, I have never suffered the emotional hysteria that racism can cause for a person of color. I understand where a racist can be hated in such a situation, but I’d hope that said victim can understand that the racist actions were those of a fool not worth hating. I digress.

Hating oppression is not a bad thing. I do not hate “Flaggers,” despite what Connie Chastain says in her multitude of lies about me. I think what the Flaggers do is inconsiderate, rude, and an abuse of history and society. But I don’t “hate” them. I also do not lump Flaggers in with those that wield the CBF for racial intent. What the Flaggers do is different by design. Flaggers try to exonerate the flag, which is inconsiderate to those that know better. Racists  use the flag as is.

In short, the question is somewhat unanswerable without breaking down and explaining the false premises it is based on. I’ve done this above. Which leaves little to answer. I do not lump the two flag wielding groups together, nor do I ‘hate’ the groups. So what is there left to say?

(4) What is to gain from the continued status quo thinking of those same people in regards to labeling that flag a symbol of evil?

Did I say the flag was a symbol of evil? I admit, I may have said that somewhere in a moment of passion, so let me clarify. I see the flag as a symbol of racial oppression. I believe that term is applicable to its use in the Civil War and beyond. Beyond that, the question is rather redundant. Premises of it are answered above (What is to gain, how does it advance, etc.) Simply, what is to gain is that recognition of what the flag symbolizes will liberate millions of Americans living under its shadow. It allows America to socially progress past the racist symbolism which plagues its past. As said previously, what is to gain will be dictated by those currently oppressing others with inconsiderate uses of the flag in question.

(5) Why would it not be better in the long run to advance realistic efforts to teach people – particularly young people – not to hate or fear the display of Southern Cross banner, or the people who honor it correctly, as a more effective way of taking away the power that flag – in the wrong hands – to offend another human being?

Realistic? What exactly would be taught? That the flag is only the flag of the Confederate solider, that Flaggers wield the flag effectively and honorably, and that the CBF’s use in the 1930s, 40s, 50s, 60s, etc. is a violation of the flag’s interpretation? No one has a monopoly on the “honor” of the flag. To label one interpretation as correct and the other as incorrect is a perversion of the evolution of the symbol. Do the Flaggers have a more honorable claim to the flag than the League of the South? The latter of which advocates secession and racial superiority, just like the Confederacy. The Confederate government appropriate the flag as a military identifier used by a quasi-country that fought to defend and expand the institution of slavery. The flag became a symbol of the Southern rejection of integration laws and Civil Rights legislation. The flag is wrapped in the ideas the racial superiority from beginning to end. I can hear the replies: “The Flag is a symbol of ‘Southern Pride!’ Southern pride for what? Fighting a Civil War to keep slaves? Southern attempts to block federal legislation to mandate equality? “It’s Heritage!” Heritage you say? The Heritage of owning another human being, or the heritage of rejecting equality?  What makes you think that teaching people these things is more realistic? It’s revisionist whitewashing, intent on exoneration. More importantly than anything else, to teach the flag in this manner does not diminish, in any way, the power of the flag or the power of the symbol. To teach the flag as you want, merely shifts the flag’s power in your favor. If you want to decrease the power of the flag, then teach Americans how to know when to disregard the flag as a symbol of morons and when and where to study it in its proper context.

In closing I would like to ask one question, and one question only; what do you (Southern Heritage defenders who wield the flag) lose if the flag is relegated to historical sites, museums, and the classroom?

 

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17 thoughts on “A Gentleman’s Agreement

  1. Jimmy Dick

    When Carl Roden and the rest of the Causers accept the truth about the cause of the Civil War which was the expansion of slavery and the full history of the CBF which was racism, white supremacy, social injustice, and racial inequality throughout its entire history, then we can start talking.
    Since Roden phrased his third question incorrectly desiring to get people to think his views were a majority view which they definitely are not, I don’t expect him and the rest of the Causers to do anything but play the victim card which they are not victims so they can’t play it. The CBF needs to be in classrooms, museums, and in graveyards. It died with the confederacy and its desire to preserve the system rooted in slavery. Only a handful of diehards try to honor it. The rest for the most part don’t care about the CBF beyond proving they don’t honor it and instead fly it to prove their ignorance of it as well as their status as rednecks. That’s what it is becoming…a redneck identification symbol.
    You know, let them turn it into just that, a piece of cloth with no meaning and no honor.

    1. When Carl Roden and the rest of the Causers accept the truth about the cause of the Civil War which was the expansion of slavery and the full history of the CBF which was racism, white supremacy, social injustice, and racial inequality throughout its entire history, then we can start talking.

      That is the history from top down, yes. I understand the point of their argument; ‘the soldiers’ flag.’ As someone that spends a lot of time on Appalachian history during the Civil War, I understand the confusing aspects of communities in conflict. From 1862 on, the Confederate Conscription Act drafted thousands of Southern men into the war effort whether they wanted to go or not. Home guard harassed families and towns alike to maintain that citizens obeyed this law. The flag could serve as a rallying point for brothers in arms. However, I don’t dare to make the assumption that all these men were fighting to defends against invasion as Connie does. That is a such an asinine generalization. Soldiers went to war for numerous reasons…like conscription (being sent against your will), while that same government harassed their families. The flag, however, was used by the sword of the CSA, adopted by the CSA, and evolved in the memory of what the CSA stood for. To suggest the flag has no racial implications is denial of simple facts.

      As far as Roden goes, without throwing too much mud, here are a couple of links that tell you all you need to know.
      http://cwmemory.com/2011/12/27/the-education-of-eric-jacobson/#comment-32838
      http://cwmemory.com/2012/01/02/dear-amanda/
      http://deadconfederates.com/2012/01/02/amanda-sure-gets-around/

  2. Well done. At the root of Mr. Roden’s problem and those of the other flaggers is their denial of a very basic point: that the very creation of this particular symbol is inextricably linked with a devastating war that was incited by some slave states for one purpose and one purpose only: to protect the institution of slaveholding from a perceived FUTURE risk from a federal government at a point when it would become controlled by free staters/Republicans (before the withdrawal of Congressmen and Senators from rebel states in 1860-1861, the U.S. Congress was no where near domination by the Republicans and/or anyone else opposed to the expansion of slavery, much less the institution where it was already established). Even the swastika, which I don’t think anyone believes can be rescued from its appropriation by the Nazis (no, I’m not equating the Rebels with Nazis. We’re talking about the use of symbolism), had a long history as a benign (so far as I am aware) religious symbol.
    Further, even if, for the sake of argument, we accept their view that their “honoring” the CBF is benign, the fact is that it was used and continues to be used by more than a few people and was definitely used by states and a lot of Southern (and some Northern) whites during Massive Resistance to demonstrate support for white supremacy, hatred of blacks, and defiance of federal anti-discrimination measures. Roden & crew are attacking people for recognizing a message in the display of the CBF that was meant to be conveyed by at least some users. I have always said that the biggest problem for the CBF isn’t the 1860s, it’s the 1960s. You simply don’t see the same reaction to the First (Confederate) National Flag (provided people don’t confuse it with the US Flag or the Texas state flag) or to the REAL South Carolina state flag which is pretty much the flag that was raised in support of secession in South Carolina in December 1860.
    There is no real support for banning the CBF but there is a sense that its place is in museums, etc where it can be discussed as part of history.

    1. Thanks for commenting.

      that the very creation of this particular symbol is inextricably linked with a devastating war that was incited by some slave states for one purpose and one purpose only: to protect the institution of slaveholding from a perceived FUTURE risk from a federal government at a point when it would become controlled by free staters/Republicans (before the withdrawal of Congressmen and Senators from rebel states in 1860-1861, the U.S. Congress was no where near domination by the Republicans and/or anyone else opposed to the expansion of slavery, much less the institution where it was already established).

      I would only change that there were other purposes for secession, but none so decisive or prominent. Southern States lost their political power to sway elections in their favor. They knew they could not defend slavery politically anymore.

      Even the swastika, which I don’t think anyone believes can be rescued from its appropriation by the Nazis (no, I’m not equating the Rebels with Nazis. We’re talking about the use of symbolism), had a long history as a benign (so far as I am aware) religious symbol.

      I think that is a fair point. Hindus might like to use that symbol again, but I don’t see many “restore honor” movements from that faction of people.

      I have always said that the biggest problem for the CBF isn’t the 1860s, it’s the 1960s. You simply don’t see the same reaction to the First (Confederate) National Flag (provided people don’t confuse it with the US Flag or the Texas state flag) or to the REAL South Carolina state flag which is pretty much the flag that was raised in support of secession in South Carolina in December 1860.

      You’re right. This is probably because we recognize that flag in our collective memory more than anything else, primarily because of its use.

      There is no real support for banning the CBF but there is a sense that its place is in museums, etc where it can be discussed as part of history.

      I definitely agree with this as said before. Every time I here the argument that people want to “ban” the Confederate flag I shake my head in bewilderment. I’ve yet to come across anyone that takes that point of view seriously. It is an item of study. It is a historical artifact. Treat it like one. I do, I’ve got one in my classroom. It is in its proper context, hanging in a collage of Civil War flags (3 Union[1864 Union, 20th Maine, 69th NY] and 3 Confederate [3rd national, Confederate Naval Jack, Hardee Corp Flag]). The students know why it’s there and they understand the flag’s implications as a symbol. I try to let them make up their own minds as to how the flag should be viewed in public.

      1. >>I would only change that there were other purposes for secession, but none so decisive or prominent. Southern States lost their political power to sway elections in their favor. They knew they could not defend slavery politically anymore.<>The Whig party, thoughout all the States, have been protective Tariff men, and they cling to that old issue with all the passion incident to the pride of human opinions. Are we to go off now, when other Southern States are bringing their people up to the true mark? Are we to go off on debateable and doctrinal points? Are we to go back to the consideration of this question, of this great controversy; go back to that party’s politics, around which so many passions cluster? Names are much — associations and passions cluster around names.

        I can give no better illustration than to relate an anecdote given me by a member from Louisiana. He said, after the election of Lincoln, he went to an old Whig party friend and said to him: We have been beaten — our honor requires a dissolution of the Union. Let us see if we cannot agree together, and offered him a resolution to this effect –Resolved, That the honor of Louisiana requires her to disrupt every tie that binds her to the Federal Government. [Laughter.]

        It is name, and when we come to more practicability we must consult names. Our people have come to this on the question of slavery. I am willing, in that address to rest it upon that question. I think it is the great central point from which we are now proceeding, and I am not willing to divert the public attention from it. I believe the address, in this respect, cannot. <<

        Were any of the other grievances enough to provide the motive for secession in 1860 and not be something rebel states' Senators and Congressmen could deal with in Congress? I have trouble seeing that. Even on the ones that on the surface were non-slavery issues, when examined, related back to that issue as William Freehling's classic "Prelude to Civil War: The Nullification Controversy in South Carolina, 1816-1836" demonstrated.

        That's what I find ironic about the firm belief, rooted in the Lost Cause, that states' rights and being left alone was why secession occurred. The rebel states' were perfectly happy (except for South Carolina which made a career out of being unhappy) to be in the Union so long as they and their Northern Democratic allies controlled all three branches of government.

        1. Rob, somehow the first part of my comment got clipped out. After quoting you, II started with (not verbatim):

          >>I would only change that there were other purposes for secession, but none so decisive or prominent. Southern States lost their political power to sway elections in their favor. They knew they could not defend slavery politically anymore.<<

          I think we agree on the fundamentals and are now discussing nuances. Of course I know there were other issues but I really doubt that any would be of sufficient seriousness that Rebel state Congressmen and Senators could not have dealt with them in Congress. As Lawrence Keitt said in the South Carolina secession convention:

          1. I thought the comment looked awkward, no worries.

            I do not disagree with you. Which is why I said no other issue was so decisive or prominent. Outside of political power of course, but that political power was rooted in agricultural economics driven by slavery, so they are interchangeable.

  3. Jimmy Dick

    Just took a look at the responses on Chastain’s exercise in ignorance concerning this challenge. It seems that Roden still cannot get it straight. His posts are exercises in demagoguery and factually incorrect. Until they accept the truth there is no point in wasting time arguing with them. Until they learn how to use facts they will never learn the truth. Fortunately, these people are nobody and are headed to extinction. I’m gearing up for another semester of wiping out the Lost Cause!

    1. Don’t expect them to learn any “facts.” They only wish to relegate the entire conversation within their parameters. Carl doesn’t like to venture out past the blogs of those he knows. He gets embarrassed when he does not have a cheer section to support his idiotic claims. At least he has grown up a little. He isn’t prowling the web pretending to be a young southern girl from Georgia named Amanda.

  4. How can one answer any question ripe with logical fallacies adequately? Most of the questions are loaded and stand on a false premise. But here is a shot at it:
    (1) How would the removal of the Southern Cross banner accomplish in any way, shape, or form – beyond a meaningless “symbolic gesture” – the advancement of Black Americans socially, academically, and morally?
    I’d like to concentrate on the academic values first, as they are issues most prominent and most important. First one must define “removal.” Does one remove the flag from all sight, to wind up on the ash heap of history? Or are we talking about regulating the flag to its proper context (i.e. museums, classrooms, historic sites, etc.)? A complete and total removal of the flag does little to benefit anyone. The educational value will be lost which can impact the social and moral progression of any society. To regulate the flag to its proper context serves numerous purposes. The flags relegation to the classroom improves the academic growth of people of all races. The aspects of that are obvious and limitless. It’s use as a marker for command tactics, it’s use as a rallying symbol for soldiers and veterans, and its evolution as a repressive race symbol can be studied so all can come to understand the colorful evolution of the Confederate Battle Flag. The flags relegation to proper context (museums, historical sites, etc.) ensures the flag’s appreciation as a historical entity and not a symbol of active oppression. Flags posted alongside highways void of context leave much to wonder. To people like David Tatum, such flags do not need context. The reality is much different. John Doe and his American family driving along I-95 will be free to interpret the flag in whatever manner they fit with the flag presented in such a way, this includes the feelings of racism and oppression. The flag alongside the highway does not command the same sort of reverence and/or resentment as the flag inside of a museum or classroom. In those contexts, they are historical images not active symbols of oppression.
    It would be incredibly hard to estimate the social and moral advancement of any race of people with the removal of symbols, aside from perhaps general happiness. Social advancement is usually ascertained by the defeat of poverty in the type of society we live in (consumerist). However, educational advancement usually leads to social progression. We, as a nation, become more intelligent and more accepting of differences in order to heterogeneously interact and compete. Such a situation would only lead to progress. One might argue that the removal of the flag is one step forward to the defeat of racism and a push for acceptance, helping millions to spring from poverty. The people that advocate the flag’s display void of context have already demonstrated their resentment towards different NAACP initiatives to ban the flag and other Confederate symbols. The flag’s ultimate removal in such a situation would lead to resentment from these groups. Essentially, the removal of the flag would have both positive and negative effects in such a situation. Black Americans would see a general increase in the understanding of the flag, void of the competing rhetoric from Heritage advocates and White Supremacist Groups. This helps to provide a more accepting world around them. By consequence, Black Americans might fall victim to the resentment of having the CBF regulated to the confides of history. In short, social advancement will only come through the actions of those that advance the prominent use Confederate Battle Flag presently. Will they allow social advancement to take place?
    Greetings Hysterians….oops, I mean “historians” LOL!
    I do apologize for not getting around to you sooner but….well, frankly, nobody informed me that you actually responded to this challenge. Well, someone might have, but I’ve been somewhat busy as of late with a thing called a life and a job, oh and a novel I’m working on.
    I suppose I could have just passed it up, dismissed it, but I did in fact offer the challenge and you did respond to it. As a man of honor I always keep my promises and will respond to your answers.
    Let’s begin shall we?

    Morality is a matter of perspective. One man’s moral advancement is another’s decline.
    (There we agree sir.)
    There really is no appropriate answer to this question as the answers would be circular between two different moral arguments; neither of which can, or should, be applied to humanity as a whole.
    (Also in agreement.)
    Such an argument only leaves us with a view of the world from the confides of one’s own moral judgement.
    (Um, you misspelled the word “judgment” FYI…no insult just an observation. I make little snafus all the time, no big thing.)
    The question should be geared towards those that are currently oppressed, Black Americans. Do Black Americans feel that personal moral growth will take place, and how do they gauge that growth? These are not questions for me to answer.
    (No I suppose not, though you seem pretty worried about the plight of that personal moral growth…I am too actually. But if that growth depends greatly on the removal of a simple flag then it’s conceivable that some priorities are out of whack, wouldn’t you agree?)
    The flag has a long and enduring history as a symbol of racism which is understood by numerous parties, not just one side of the debate.
    (Again we are in agreement.)
    Numerous groups (mostly white) used and use the flag as a symbol of their rebellion against integration and the preservation of status quo (i.e. Jim Crow Laws).
    (Misuse I believe is the proper term since they do not have a moral claim to define that flag for their own gain, and their views are formally rejected by the SCV and have been since 1988.)
    Millions of Black Americans view the flag as a symbol of that oppression, understanding the flag as held by White Supremacists, with a clear sign that relates the message: “You are not equal, you are inferior, you are not wanted, and you cannot live among us.”
    (An unfortunate view, one that I fight daily to see eliminated in the future, and the power of that flag in the wrong hands to spread that wrongful message made irrelevant, rejected by American society – as it pretty much is in the rest of the world at large.)
    Gallup Polls in 1992 and 2000 show that more and more Americans are coming to terms with this reality.
    (Polls are not accurate portrayals of public opinion, and can be biased based on who put them out. I do not argue their validity, mere offer reasonable doubt to their usefulness as a sample of public opinion.)
    Black Americans remain adamant about the flag’s racist connotations in both polls. To see the flag’s relegation (not banning) to museums, classrooms and historical sites represents that Americans understand the flag’s history and decided not to tolerate it any more. It sends a clear and symbolic message that America does not appreciate nor condone racists.
    (By labeling anyone who does not conform to that bit of circular logic to be a “racist” even if the charge is not true? Speaks very little for “diversity and tolerance” or rather speaks very little for how some segments of America’s population define those terms outside of their literal meaning as defined by Webster’s Dictionary.)
    That is a serious blow to racism
    (Pfft hardly)
    and to say that it is not, is simply an aspect of denial.
    (Is it really? Love to know how that works.)
    Will it fix the disease of racism? No.
    (Technically if our side in this fight win it won’t fix the moral sin of racism. That is a human condition. I think it will however strike a better blow against racism if people of all ethnic groups reject the view of the flag advanced by white supremacists – even wave it back in their hateful faces. I’ve done that a couple of times myself, its kinda fun. He he!)
    If an overweight person stops eating cake, that does not guarantee that they’ll lose weight.
    (No it doesn’t, trust me I know!)
    However, cake will no longer enable that case of obesity much as the flag will not enable racism.
    (Rejecting the misuse of that flag as a symbol of hate will do the same thing if people open their hearts and choose that honorable path.)
    First, how do you know that that majority of people in America who “honor” the flag, do so free of racial intent and that only a handful use it as a racially charged symbol?
    (Because I do not rely on media spin alone to rule my ability to make judgment calls. I read other sources, both Conservative and Liberal – and Moderate and Libertarian, ect. More over I look beyond the words and look at the meaning behind those words. Plus it’s not just America. The world at large does not view this flag that way beyond some malcontents in Europe who copy their American hater pals. I look at trends and on a wider scale than just a few polls here in America. Dude, even Yahoo opinion pages on this subject appear to be at times 50 to 1 against that view of the flag, and Yahoo is far from a Conservative bastion. More and more I see individuals rejecting this view, speaking out whenever someone somewhere tries to intimidate another human being with that flag wrong – and not all of them are “white” voices either. I have seen over the last decade a strong undercurrent, a silent majority, who are turning on those who misuse that flag and defend its meaning as a living Southern symbol.)
    Polls do not address this.
    (Yeah we established polls are bunk anyhow.)
    They may address how Americans view the flag, but that is not the same as how they wield the flag.
    (A distinction! Sir you do surprise me, I honestly never expected that from you.)
    Also, how did Carl Roden decide that people label all those who wield the Confederate Flag as racists?
    (Did I say that? I think I actually said that those who have an active political motive to keep that view of the flag relevant for personal gain decided to label all those who dare honor it racists. You’d be a fool to deny that’s true.)
    Lastly, why does Carl think that hating racism is a bad thing?
    (Wow now please explain how I said THAT at all. I think I’m more than on record in stating that I defy racism and actively fight against it whenever and wherever I can. This is one of the main reasons I took up this fight in the first place.)
    For example, I hate racist acts.
    (Good for you.)
    If that makes me a bigot, oh well.
    (You actively support a view of the flag that racists accept to be true. In my worldview if you walk past a group of people beating up on another person and do nothing, you’re as guilty as if you were there stomping away yourself. It’s an uncompromising view to be sure, but I’ve never abided bullies. I would also point out that on many occasions I’ve made the same charge to fellow Confederate heritage activists, if you know someone is being unsavory and look the other way, you’re as much a part of the problem as the person committing the insult.)
    I do not hate the racist, I hate the act.
    (Hate the sin, not the sinner. Again we are in agreement – wow that’s more times than I thought we would find common ground.)
    Granted, I have never suffered the emotional hysteria that racism can cause for a person of color.
    (I have, or rather a girl I knew in high school I was dating was, and it’s not pretty. And people of color are not the only ones racism can be a victim of. To presume that again is a flaw in logic.)
    I understand where a racist can be hated in such a situation, but I’d hope that said victim can understand that the racist actions were those of a fool not worth hating. I digress.
    (No need to be insulting, but that’s sorta how I feel about you hysterians (Floggers I believe Connie calls y’all. For all of your juvenile insults of individuals you disagree with, I’ve never once felt hatred for any of y’all. Hell you guys never even managed to raise my blood pressure at all honestly.)
    Hating oppression is not a bad thing.
    (I certainly agree with that. Its why I choose to do something about it. You and I simply disagree about how we define fighting said oppression but for the most part we have many of the same enemies. The only disagreement is an ideological one.)
    I do not hate “Flaggers,” despite what Connie Chastain says in her multitude of lies about me.
    (Eh, Connie is Connie and they’re her opinions. We don’t have a conformist mindset on our side, we are all individuals who happen to agree on a few key points. I for one do not support Southern Nationalism, or agree with the League of the South, but I don’t judge every member of that group to be a raving lunatic with a grudge against the country of his or her birth either.)
    I think what the Flaggers do is inconsiderate, rude, and an abuse of history and society.
    (Funny, but some of us get the same vibe from y’all too. Again that ideological split.)
    But I don’t “hate” them. I also do not lump Flaggers in with those that wield the CBF for racial intent. What the Flaggers do is different by design. Flaggers try to exonerate the flag, which is inconsiderate to those that know better.
    Racists use the flag as is.
    (Perhaps from your point of view.
    Try this one though: what if it’s not actually about exonerating the Southern Cross, rather about putting it in a lineal modern context. Not all of that flag’s long history since 1861 is negative at all. The slavery, the segregation, the misuse, those are a part of the flag’s legacy. None of us have ever denied that at all. One would be a fool to do so. Neither though do we believe that those things alone define what that flag means.
    The US flag has the exact same legacy – indeed an even longer list of ugliness behind it – but that does not make the US flag a symbol of racism, nor does its own use by white supremacists. Why? Because people know its history, scars and all, and CHOOSE to define that flag by its better aspects. That does not exonerate the US flag of its past wrongs, but then again we would not love it if it was pure either. Like human beings both the US flag and the Southern Cross have dark parts, scars. But it’s not our dark parts that define us.
    Those of us who honor that flag don’t ask for it to be whitewashed. I for one do not want that. To do so would being no honor to those who suffered from its misuse. Neither would its removal. The same pain and misguided fear would still exist with people today who view that flag the same way regardless if it was banished to a museum. I would rather people were educated on its whole history from the War to today. I see that as the only honorable way this fight can end in a manner that show respect to everyone on both sides.)

    In short, the question is somewhat unanswerable without breaking down and explaining the false premises it is based on.
    (I think I just proved otherwise. That you may or may not accept the answer is another matter.)
    I’ve done this above. Which leaves little to answer. I do not lump the two flag wielding groups together, nor do I ‘hate’ the groups. So what is there left to say?
    (I think you said enough actually, and not all of it is wrong, just misdirected based on your own point of view. You’re not all-together wrong, but neither are you all-together right either.)
    Did I say the flag was a symbol of evil?
    (I don’t have an exact quote, but the company you keep and their rather repetitive opinions implies it.)
    I admit, I may have said that somewhere in a moment of passion, so let me clarify. I see the flag as a symbol of racial oppression. I believe that term is applicable to its use in the Civil War and beyond.
    (As I pointed out before, you limit yourself to the negatives.)
    Beyond that, the question is rather redundant. Premises of it are answered above (What is to gain, how does it advance, etc.) Simply, what is to gain is that recognition of what the flag symbolizes will liberate millions of Americans living under its shadow.
    (Um, I’m not entirely certain how millions are living under its shadow, and no I’m not being sarcastic or too literal here.)
    It allows America to socially progress past the racist symbolism which plagues its past. As said previously, what is to gain will be dictated by those currently oppressing others with inconsiderate uses of the flag in question.
    (Well, if social progress is to be defined by little more than banishing a piece of cloth to a museum and labeling it, then the bar for social advancement is set pretty damn low wouldn’t you say?)
    Realistic? What exactly would be taught? That the flag is only the flag of the Confederate solider,
    (You misspelled the world “soldier” but I concede that you didn’t have time to proofread.)
    that Flaggers wield the flag effectively and honorably, and that the CBF’s use in the 1930s, 40s, 50s, 60s, etc. is a violation of the flag’s interpretation? No one has a monopoly on the “honor” of the flag.
    (No sir they do not, a fact I myself have pointed out on many occasions.)
    To label one interpretation as correct and the other as incorrect is a perversion of the evolution of the symbol.
    (I think I more than proved before I did nothing of the sort, Derp.)
    Do the Flaggers have a more honorable claim to the flag than the League of the South? The latter of which advocates secession and racial superiority, just like the Confederacy.
    (Actually I don’t think that the League itself advocates anything of the sort – at least most of its rank-in-file membership don’t. Then again that particular bowl of fruit and nuts has gone through a number of changes since it’s conception and the people who run it now – well, I won’t bore you with the details.)
    The Confederate government appropriate the flag as a military identifier used by a quasi-country that fought to defend and expand the institution of slavery. (Not entirely true but I won’t be bogged down in an argument neither of us will “win” in any meaningful way.)
    The flag became a symbol of the Southern rejection of integration laws and Civil Rights legislation.
    (Actually I think you will find that even then many prominent Southern historians of the time openly spoke out against that misuse. I only regret that more people didn’t speak out. And if our side is successful, I sincerely hope that political use of that flag never falls into favor again since politics – like fish – stink after a day or so.
    The flag is wrapped in the ideas the racial superiority from beginning to end.
    (Pretty much every Europeans and American banner that existed since the Middle Ages to today can also be accused of that charge – or at least the first part of it, but as I pointed out those aspects alone don’t define them. As for “the end”….the history of that flag is still going on and I suspect will continue to do so for a very long time to come regardless of all the effort of “progressives”.)
    I can hear the replies: “The Flag is a symbol of ‘Southern Pride!’
    (Ah here we go, the generic presumptions….bring em on!)
    Southern pride for what?
    (Identity. Self-determination.)
    Fighting a Civil War to keep slaves?
    (Fighting to defend ones home from invasion, remember it was the boys in blue who crossed the Mason-Dixon first. Ultimately that War was the result of both sides not listening to reason. If you look for a defense for war, you responded to the wrong fellow.)
    Southern attempts to block federal legislation to mandate equality?
    (No denying that unfortunately, but then again America as a whole pretty much shares in the guilt there.)
    “It’s Heritage!” Heritage you say?
    (Actually YOU said. Derp.)
    The Heritage of owning another human being, or the heritage of rejecting equality?
    (What about the heritage of those whom that flag represented, the Confederate soldier that our own US government defines as an American Veteran, same as his Union counterpart and every other US Veteran, including the sons and grandsons of those same Confederate Veterans who literally saved this world from Fascism and Imperialism in World War 2 – two ideologies that produced far worse oppression than any whip-wielding Simon Legree did on his worst day. Their blood and their legacy are also a part of that same heritage too, a BIG part of it even if you fail to acknowledge it. Southern heritage is nowhere near as shallow as you perceive it, and thankfully more and more people are seeing that.)
    What makes you think that teaching people these things is more realistic?
    (A good deal of experience as someone who promotes education and reading initiatives.)
    It’s revisionist whitewashing, intent on exoneration.
    (Uh, see above to show you’re clueless.)
    More importantly than anything else, to teach the flag in this manner does not diminish, in any way, the power of the flag or the power of the symbol.
    (I would not want it to. It’s still going to be a powerful symbol. The only differences is its ability to create unneeded fear and pain on sight. I certainly think that a worthy goal.)
    To teach the flag as you want, merely shifts the flag’s power in your favor.
    (MY favor? I don’t desire personal power at all. I have never wanted to be anything more than a simple country writer. Beyond that I have no ambitions for politics or personal fame.)
    If you want to decrease the power of the flag, then teach Americans how to know when to disregard the flag as a symbol of morons and when and where to study it in its proper context.
    (Which is exactly what I said all along – and I certainly hope you’ve been paying attention since I’m beginning to get finger cramps.)
    In closing I would like to ask one question, and one question only; what do you (Southern Heritage defenders who wield the flag) lose if the flag is relegated to historical sites, museums, and the classroom?
    (I am so glad you asked that – not really glad, but maybe you’ll learn something.
    Lets begin with the prospect that those who have a vested political and social agenda to get rid of that flag will simply leave them alone if they were only relegated to historical sites, museums, and the classroom. I somehow doubt that, and have little reason to trust they would, even if you seem to think they would.
    Add to the fact that these actions are being taken without any say at all from those who disagree with all your presumptions – indeed their opinions dismissed entirely as irrelevant.
    That flag was surrendered once before in 1865 to a foe. That enemy – fellow Americans – at least showed it and the men who fought under it respect and returned it later in 1905. It will not be surrendered again. Not to this enemy. No so they can use it to commit evil. Not after we passed resolutions rejecting that misuse in 1988. Not after we firmly stood and said, “No more!” Heritage Not Hate may be just a slogan to you, to many of us it’s a personal code that we will stand up to that evil from that time forward.)

    As for what I would lose. I would have to stand back and watch white supremacists continue to wrongly wave a flag my great-great grandfather died under as a tool to frighten and hurt other Americans. Worse, I would have to do so knowing full well that society at large approves their misuse even as it rejects their message. To us, that flag is a living symbol that connects us to those who fought under it, to our own blood. Seeing that flag in the hands of evildoers, watching them laugh and jeer at people, is painful and unbearable to me on every level. And even worse, watching others frightened of a symbol of my birthright, a symbol that I have never once flown out of anger towards another human being – and never will – sickens me beyond description.
    If I gave up, if I conceded the argument and simply accepted your view, it would be the same as me saying to those agents of bigotry: you win, it’s yours forever.
    If you understood me at all, you know that I would never, could never accept that.

    Well sir, I hope that answers your questions. I don’t know what you will make of the answers themselves, of if you will take anything at all from them, but I answered as truthfully as I could. I owe you that much. ~C. W. Roden (esq)

    1. Oops, I forgot the first part. Sorry about that:

      I’d like to concentrate on the academic values first, as they are issues most prominent and most important. First one must define “removal.” Does one remove the flag from all sight, to wind up on the ash heap of history? Or are we talking about regulating the flag to its proper context (i.e. museums, classrooms, historic sites, etc.)? A complete and total removal of the flag does little to benefit anyone. The educational value will be lost which can impact the social and moral progression of any society.
      (Wow, something we agree on! No seriously, we do actually agree that the removal of that flag is unacceptable. We just fail to agree on what defines: proper context.)
      To regulate the flag to its proper context serves numerous purposes. The flags relegation to the classroom improves the academic growth of people of all races. The aspects of that are obvious and limitless. It’s use as a marker for command tactics, it’s use as a rallying symbol for soldiers and veterans, and its evolution as a repressive race symbol can be studied so all can come to understand the colorful evolution of the Confederate Battle Flag.
      (The evolution of that flag does not end with 1965 FYI, so I hope you would also include the modern fight to reclaim that noble banner from those who misuse it wrongly in your little history lesson.)
      The flags relegation to proper context (museums, historical sites, etc.) ensures the flag’s appreciation as a historical entity and not a symbol of active oppression.
      (Relegating the US flag to the same place would also – using your theory – accomplish that goal considering how some of the same people who actively oppress people also misuse our national colors – that’s also not including how much of the world sees our flag given the last two administrations and their pretty much giving us a black eye internationally.)
      Flags posted alongside highways void of context leave much to wonder. To people like David Tatum, such flags do not need context.
      (Don’t presume you know what’s in the mind of David Tatum. I don’t presume to know another person’s thoughts. Heck at times I doubt Tatum himself knows either, LOL – sorry David, I had to say it dude!)
      The reality is much different. John Doe and his American family driving along I-95 will be free to interpret the flag in whatever manner they fit with the flag presented in such a way, this includes the feelings of racism and oppression.
      (Unfortunately true. Ignorance and bigotry for the South is prevalent in many places in America today.)
      The flag alongside the highway does not command the same sort of reverence and/or resentment as the flag inside of a museum or classroom. In those contexts, they are historical images not active symbols of oppression.
      (Since the idea that the flag is recognized universally as an active symbol of oppression is highly questionable and can be debated at length for months, I think we should not presume to argue it now. Nor should we assume that the motive behind the display of those flags along the highway is mean to promote any alleged oppression. Indeed, those flags are there in response to perceived acts of oppression and bigotry – even if you don’t recognize blind acceptance of those flags as such.)
      It would be incredibly hard to estimate the social and moral advancement of any race of people with the removal of symbols, aside from perhaps general happiness.
      (Happiness is fleeting, no different than eating large quantities of chocolate).
      Social advancement is usually ascertained by the defeat of poverty in the type of society we live in (consumerist).
      (Save it for the classroom.)
      However, educational advancement usually leads to social progression.
      (Which is exactly what I promote myself.)
      We, as a nation, become more intelligent and more accepting of differences in order to heterogeneously interact and compete. Such a situation would only lead to progress. One might argue that the removal of the flag is one step forward to the defeat of racism and a push for acceptance, helping millions to spring from poverty.
      (One could argue that – with some mental gymnastics involved to be sure – but it does not really answer the question of how the blind acceptance of a flawed premise would advance anyone or anything, aside from a political agenda that may well not exist in a few decades.)
      The people that advocate the flag’s display void of context have already demonstrated their resentment towards different NAACP initiatives to ban the flag and other Confederate symbols.
      (I’m proud to count myself among that group.)
      The flag’s ultimate removal in such a situation would lead to resentment from these groups. Essentially, the removal of the flag would have both positive and negative effects in such a situation.
      (A mostly negative one in the long run I would wager sir.)
      Black Americans would see a general increase in the understanding of the flag, void of the competing rhetoric from Heritage advocates and White Supremacist Groups.
      (That can be done even as those arguments continue. I can assure you sir that those “Heritage advocates” – by which you mean Southern Heritage Defenders – are not going anywhere anytime soon.)
      This helps to provide a more accepting world around them. By consequence, Black Americans might fall victim to the resentment of having the CBF regulated to the confides of history. In short, social advancement will only come through the actions of those that advance the prominent use Confederate Battle Flag presently. Will they allow social advancement to take place?
      (You could give us a chance to try it our way, grant us the benefit of the doubt, and see what happens, you might actually be surprised. We may have a difference of opinion regarding how that social advancement will proceed, but I am certain we are all marching in step into the next century together. Hopefully by the time we get there, no child of color will ever look at anyone who displays that flag in fear, nor anyone who honors that flag’s personal meaning respectfully will be made to feel like a second class citizen for it.)

      1. Jimmy Dick

        Carl, the southern heritage defenders or to be more accurate, the southern heritage butchers are where they belong; in the trash heap of history. The Lost Cause is a myth and has no place in academia. It has no place in American history because the Lost Cause was constructed upon lies and used to further white supremacy. It has been rejected and will stay that way. The flags of the confederacy belong in museums. Anyone out waving a confederate flag that is not actively engaged in reenacting is declaring their ignorance of what that flag stood for.

  5. Nice try, Rob, but unfortunately you’re trying to educate someone who doesn’t want to be educated. Besides, his challenge was directed to, “any member of the politically correct Establishment, Floggersphere, or any one of their useful idiots.” What is the “politically correct Establishment?” Are you part of it? By Connie’s definition, a “flogger” is “a historian who hates the South.” No historian hates the South, and I’m pretty certain that would include you. And you’re not an idiot, so you’re not a “useful idiot.” So the questions weren’t addressed to you. Indeed, they don’t appear to have been addressed to anyone other than figments of Mr. Rodent’s imagination.

  6. Michael Rodgers

    John Coski has proposed the proper, common sense agreement on Confederate flags. Basically it’s this:

    (1) Confederate heritage groups should be free to display Confederate flags in their functions.
    (2) Confederate flags should be included in publicly sponsored displays of historical flags.
    (3) People should be accepting of displays of Confederate flags as war memorials and historical symbols.
    (4) Confederate heritage groups should be understanding of people who don’t honor the Confederacy.
    (5) Confederate flags should never be displayed as symbols of sovereignty.

    These are common sense and have already been agreed to by the population at large. These should be agreed to by the Confederate heritage groups. Except they want to fly Confederate flags in a sovereign manner, and they have zero tolerance for criticism.

    1. Jimmy Dick

      If they are flying for anything other than 1, 2, or 3, they need to be taken down and put away. Anyone flying them for reasons other than 1, 2, or 3 is doing so out of their ignorance of history, racism, or genuine stupidity.

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