It’s been 150 years since the War Between the States concluded, preventing a confederacy of primarily Southern states from seceding from the Union of the United States. During that war, also known as the Civil War, hundreds of thousands of Americans were killed, and while the Northern coalition won the battle, many continued to wage the war in various ways including display of the banner flag, the Confederate Navy Jack, which was one of five, but most well-known, flag of the Confederacy. Today, while most Southerners with heritage back to that time will tell you the war was a fight for states’ rights versus a strong central government, others will say that “states’ rights” is a softer way to say slavery should be retained.
The Confederate flag to many has become a symbol of hatred to African-Americans, and the display of such only propagates that message, especially when it is held high by a 21-year old white male who guns down innocent African-Americans attending a bible study in a church in Charleston SC. Though the flag is a reminder of a terrible past, a reminder to us all that looking to the past is a way to create a better future by avoiding mistakes, the time has long evaporated for it to be removed as much as possible from public view. Placing it in a museum with historical references is okay but otherwise it should not be flown on the grounds of any state capitol, nor should it be displayed on any license plate, though the Supreme Court says it’s okay because of freedom of speech (though the high court ruled last week that the plates are state property and therefore the state could deny the display of the flag or any display without denying free speech), nor should it be displayed on any college campus. Such abolition of the Confederate flag will not stop its complete display, but it not being there will soften anger from those who see it in public places.
While it was not the flag that caused the white male to gun down the African-Americans, the flag was a symbol that kept the young man full of hatred to a group of people he disliked. But he didn’t get the idea of dislike or hatred or killing by looking at a flag. Somewhere his life was wrongly influenced, and those who instilled that kind of hatred are disgusting and are as guilty in the shootings as he. It’s time that such bias and resentment and hatred stop for the overall betterment of the USA. If removing the Confederate flag from public view helps that effort, if taking down that symbol that reminds everyone of a terrible time in our history is a positive influence, then so be it. Let’s do what we can to forget the past, to stop dwelling on the time of slavery and mistreatment of African-Americans, and look ahead to a better future for our children and grandchildren.
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otiose (adjective) [oh-shee-ohs; oh-tee-ohs] being at leisure; idle; indolent