My Voice: Yes, dear friends, the Confederate flag is a symbol of racism and treason

For many of you who know me personally, you may know that I’ve had the experience of living in an another country (Kenya, if you’re curious). While living there, I figured out that little truth that most Americans don’t realize: most of the world loves America, but everyone hates Americans. If you’re American, and you don’t understand why people think that way, well here goes. We Americans tend to be ignorant. Most of the world that interacts with American tourists in their countries tend not give them points for knowledge (I’m not generalizing here, just using an average, there are smart American tourists for sure).

One anecdote I was told by one of my cousins who lives in Kenya, puts this in perspective. Once she met with an American for a work project and takes her out to the mall for lunch. The American lady was shocked at how the mall was there. She told my cousin, “I never imagined that there are malls here!” How does this relate in any way, shape or form to the Confederate flag? It’s a really simple extension, we Americans tend to be ignorant- of our own history, especially about the truth behind the Confederate flag and why it truly is such a racist and treasonous symbol.

Why the Civil War was Fought
Let’s work our way forward in this timeline, beginning from 1860. Abraham Lincoln was just elected as president and many Southerners were alarmed. This was because he was known to have an anti-slavery stance, which they thought could lead to slavery being abolished nationwide. Lincoln on the other hand, did not actually want to abolish slavery where it already existed. All the same, Southern slave-owning states decided that slavery was worth breaking up the Union for, so they seceded and formed the Confederate States of America. (Fun fact, the so-called “Confederate flag” was not the Confederacy’s actual flag. That flag we refer to as the Confederate flag is actually the battle flag for the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia.) That’s the treasonous part, but unfortunately is only the beginning of the racist part.

All this does affirm, very negatively, claims of Confederate flag sympathizers: that the Civil War was fought over “states’ rights”. Yes, “states’ rights” to allow people to own slaves. If all that didn’t make it clear, South Carolina’s Articles of Secession will definitely do that (FYI: South Carolina was the first state to secede) I searched the word “slave” in that page, and it pops up 18 times, most referring to anger at Northern states for not returning runaway slaves and for many in those states wanting to end slavery. Yes, the Confederacy definitely fought “Northern tyranny”. The “Northern tyranny” of not getting their slaves back if they stepped foot in a free state.

The Resurgence of the Confederate Flag
The Confederate flag begins to fully take on it’s racist attributes in the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s. It wasn’t much of a popular symbol in the South before then. It became popular due to the rise of the Civil Rights Movement. Many Southerners used it as a symbol of Southern defiance against attempts to have the federal government abolish Jim Crow laws (for those who slept in their history classes, that was the common name for the racial segregation laws in Southern states). The flag went from a little presence, to flying on state flags, over state capitols, in Ku Klux Klan rallies and as the primary symbol of the Dixiecrats. I’m not going to into detail about the State’s Rights Party (aka the Dixiecrat Party, I’ll leave you a link to read further), but their main platform idea was opposition to desegregation. This isn’t looking great, is it?

Conclusion
Why does it seem that so many unsavory characters and ideals lie at the feet of the Confederate flag? That’s a simple question to answer, it’s an unsavory symbol and does represent ideals like racism and treason. I am in no way stating that all people who fly the Confederate flag are KKK members, promote rebellion or are even racist at all. I am simply letting the facts and history of the matter shine for themselves. If it is such a terrible symbol, why fly it? My simple advice for Southerners who see it as a symbol of Southern pride: please, for the sake of progress and reason, put that flag away. I’m sure a less problematic symbol could be found for the South. Until then, all of us will always have the American flag, which does represent something good to all Americans, things like one nation under God, with liberty and justice for all.

(The above photo is courtesy of Snopes.com)

My sources

Spring Bimonthly Update- Shifting Seasons, Shifting Gears

Easter has just passed us, it’s getting hotter (especially in the Southwest) and the flowers and trees are in bloom. Spring is here, here for sure. And with the change in seasons, comes a change in some plans I previously announced and some new ones too. Let’s get started!

General Updates

  • I have decided to shut down this blog’s Instagram page quietly, due to it never catching on (even with myself, to be honest).
  • I have separated my personal Twitter account from the blog’s today.
  • If you are a photographer or someone who does some graphic design and want any of your images featured on any blog post, please contact me at gideonsnook@outlook.com or DM me on my Twitter account (this blog doesn’t bring me a cent, so I can not pay for anything, this is just for free promotion of your work).
  • Feedback is always encouraged, please always feel free to leave constructive criticism in the comments section (note that it is moderated and your comment will be blocked if it’s irrelevant or rude) or contacting me through the contact sheet, email or social media.

Creative Updates

  • So, probably the biggest announcement I have here is that I’m shelving my short stories until the summer. This is because of my incredibly busy schedule during this time of year especially. I’m thankful for your patience, good writing takes time, doesn’t it?
  • Poetry still has a front seat, I’ve really been working on some good ones for a new collection coming soon (I’ve already wrote the poems and they have a theme, I just have to edit some).

Commentary Updates

  • What topic do you want me to talk about head on and with full facts and honesty? Let me know, I’m always up for starting a constructive conversation about almost anything.

Well, that’s been your Spring Update. I’ll be back with an update in June. Until then, keep a close eye on great pieces to come on Gideon’s Nook! Hope you had a blessed Easter, enjoy your Spring.

(The photo above is a picture of a park in Anthem, taken by a friend, used with permission)

With well wishes always,

Gideon

A Taste of Odd

So, in the process of writing (especially for my English class), I end up creating some interesting things. Special thanks to Josh and Mackenzie for the 2nd one. Here’s just A Taste of Odd (see what I did there)…

Mustard

Mustard, you are yellow

Bright as a tulip,

Tangy as its flavor twists,

A unique flavor.

Mustard.

 

Not an Idea

I am not reading mine

But I will read Mackenzie’s

Mine is terrible.