The Confederate Flag: A Symbol of Racism and Slavery

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Take a long look at this flag. It’s the flag of a long dead and defeated country. It’s the symbol of division and slavery. To say otherwise is forsaking the original intention of the Confederate States of America. To doubt that nullifies the very reason 625,000 souls perished in the Civil War.

For the Confederates Slavery was an inherent right, and protecting this “right” was even built into their Constitution. Article IV, Section (3) states:

“No slave or other person held to service or labor in any State or Territory of the Confederate States, under the laws thereof, escaping or lawfully carried into another, shall, in consequence of any law or regulation therein, be discharged from such service or labor; but shall be delivered up on claim of the party to whom such slave belongs,. or to whom such service or labor may be due.” March 11, 1861.

Indeed, the casual mention of people belonging to other people, and even referring to them as property should horrify and outrage you. By what right did these men own another human being? We take it for granted that the North won the Civil War, but in those times it was truly a cause worth dying for…on both ends.

To glorify this flag in the name of “Southern Heritage” outright refuses to acknowledge the shameful foundations upon which the CSA was founded.

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I see and hear the phrase, “The South Will Rise Again” in a lot of places, but what does it mean exactly? Does it mean segregation will be enforced again? Perhaps it means that Slavery is about to make a comeback? Maybe another bloody civil war looms on the horizon? Should Black people be afraid? Just who is going to rise again? Lastly, how is this phrase, long uttered in the South, not identified as treason? Truly, it’s a divisive statement meant to undermine the legitimacy of the United States of America and it should be taken as such. I think that the First Amendment and its guarantee that citizens can assemble peaceably and petition their government somehow does not include a group that would use this phrase as a battle cry against it. Those people who are crying about Southern heritage, legacy, and history should take a careful look at what that same Southern Heritage means for the Blacks in the South. When you change the perspective that phrase suddenly takes on a whole new meaning. Both the phrase, “The South Will Rise Again” and the Confederate flag need to be laid to rest now.

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You could argue that no-one was making a fuss about the Confederate flag before the massacre at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, and you would be partly right. I counter that the reason why no-one was talking about it before was because there was no “out in the open reason” to do so. That is America’s hidden shame isn’t it? The racism in the USA is never acknowledged in the open, but there’s no hiding it now. It’s shameful and sickening that the names Walter Scott and Trayvon Martin did absolutely nothing to open this subject. We could call upon other questionable incidents that happened since the Civil War, all of which did absolutely nothing to dissuade Southerners to let go of one of the most recognizable symbols of racism in a nation plagued by racial issues since its inception.

For the ones mourning in Charleston, forgiveness is an integral part of their faith, their way of life. No gunman shouting racial obscenities was ever going to change that. On Sunday, Reverend Norvel Goff was quoted saying as much at the first service held at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston since the shooting.

“A lot of people expected us to do something strange and to break out in a riot,” said Goff, the church’s interim pastor until a successor for Pinckney is chosen. “Well, they just don’t know us. We are people of faith.” Emanuel AME Church Service

It’s fitting that an act of hate was turned into an act of forgiveness  that then spurred a national awakening. The indomitable Black spirit we have seen rise again and again since the Civil War will hopefully rise higher than that Confederate flag ever will.

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