8 comments on “The Swastika and the Confederate flag. Don’t just stop at the pictures.

  1. Lloyd,

    I’m impressed with today’s post. I understand and appreciate your logic but I believe the issue is really about a historically divisive symbol being flown at governmental buildings within South Carolina. As we all know, the confederate flag is offensive to most Blacks just like the swastika emotes rage from the Jewish community. We ALL know that many people use those flags as a mechanism to be hurtful and offend other tax paying members of the community. If South Carolinians’ tax dollars are being used to support this governmental building, then the government owes the respect to all its citizens of not flying such a hurtful symbol and offending its citizens even more. It is one thing to not choose to use your personal funds to buy such items, but to be forced to support it through your tax dollars is another issue. So, I understand and applaud the Governor of South Carolina requesting the removal of a symbol that has been so hurtful to many citizens of South Carolina. At least she is making the effort to unite the people in her state by showing that she is sympathetic to the feelings of so many members of her community.

    As for the private stores removing the flag, that’s all about commerce. These stores simply recognized the diminished return of keeping the confederate flag on its shelves versus removing it. If it wasn’t for that fact, I’m sure the results would be different in the private sector.

    Nevertheless, good stuff and your post today DID make me stop and read what you had to say about this issue.

    Houston M. Smith

    • You are absolutely right Houston. That flag has been used in a very negative way for a long time by a lot of people. I know what the symbol actually stands for. I also know many people who would and have put themselves into positions where they could be shot or blown up to watch my back and keep me safe. And I have done the same for some of them. If they were racist they would not have done these things. Some of those same people will proudly display that same flag as a symbol of their heritage. They are very proud to be “Southern Boys”, and that’s all there is to it.

      Being a black man I was always a minority on every team I served on in Iraq, Kosovo, Afghanistan and other places. For some reason very few of us (black people) gravitated towards those particular positions. In these countries we lived and worked together 24 hours per day for years. We knew pretty much everything about each other there was to know…… Sometimes too much. The environment forced us to be close. We may BS with each other one day only to see the other being pulled from burned out wreckage the next. If these people had been racist they would not have treated me the way I was always treated.

      Were there some that I did not get along with. Yep. And many that to this day I hold as dear as family that I share the same bloodlines with.

      Because of my past exposure to these “Southern Boys” ( not all necessarily from the south) I have a unique viewpoint that many of us black people don’t get. We were thrown together and put into sometimes life or death situations. You would depend on the guy standing next to you even if he were green. If you don’t pull your weight or he doesn’t pull his you could both end up in a very bad situation.

      Now, with all that being said, the sight that flag still to this day will elicit a very visceral and negative, but short response from me. Because of experiences I had long before I worked and lived with these people. It is just ingrained into my psyche. If I had not been so exposed to them maybe I would feel the same as most of us do. So I consider myself fortunate.

      I DO NOT like it. But will I defend their choice to display it? YES, I will. Do I think it it’s cool to have it displayed on government buildings? I say let the people of whatever state vote and decide for themselves, but not get everyone else all stirred up.

      Now… there is something I want people, both white and black to let rattle around in their heads for a bit.

      Say we do start to remove flags and other parts of all OUR history from view because someone is offended by it? Where do we stop??????

      What about when someone living here from another country says they don’t want to see Christmas lights in an airport? Do we ban Christmas decorations from public places?

      How about when someone doesn’t want certain foods served in your favorite restaurant because it’s not acceptable to them? If you like that food I guess it’s too bad for you.

      Maybe someday someone will be offended because of us celebrating Martin Luther King day because he believed in Jesus. Want to see me go nuclear? Let me that happen!

      See, to me it’s getting a bit too slippery for my tastes.

      Another thought….. If you don’t know your history you are doomed to repeat it. Should we keep symbols viewed both positively and negatively (depending on who is looking at them) around to make us remember the past and not duplicate negative history? Probably won’t hurt.

      I have seen places where people tried to erase their history. Giant Buddas blown up in Bamiyan Afghanistan by the taliban. Churches that are hundreds of years old burned to the ground in Kosovo. Villages burned to the ground and people murdered. Some beautiful and some not so beautiful pieces of history destroyed. Like I asked…. Where do we stop.

      What would I like to see people do????
      I’m glad you asked. I would like us to look at these things and put them into perspective. They are historical artifacts. Good or bad, positive or negative they represent points in all our history. I would like people to remember where we were and how far we have come. Do we have a long way to go? Yea, we do.

      What do I do??
      I will walk by any flag or any symbol on any building in any state and not give it much more than a second thought. I don’t ask anyone for anything. I do not let people’s opinions of me break my will. Far from it. If they really annoy me I will use that rage as fuel to succeed. I try extra hard and I handle my business. When you do these thing you command respect.

      It’s a cycle. Keep it positive and good will follow you.

      Lloyd Hill

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