Why I Won’t Support Burn a Confederate Flag Day.
Some clever monkey got the idea to counter protest the Beck 9/12 rallies by burning the Confederate Battle Standard.I don’t recommend participating. It’s not that I have any special love for that flag, quite to the contrary I believe it is the flag of criminal traitors who were fighting their right to enslave their fellow human beings. I think people who fly it today either don’t really understand it’s history or are displaying their racist pride. Either way, I’m not going to burn one any more than I would burn a Koran or the Book of Mormon or Jonas Brothers CD’s. The simplest reason is that I’m not the kind of person who burns the symbols and effigies of those I disagree with. It is a very aggressive and provocative act that hinders understanding and reconciliation between people; I can’t think of anything positive that has ever been achieved by doing such a thing; although perhaps under a truly repressive regime such an act could conceivably have some benefit there surely are far more productive things one could be occupying themselves with.
Being a teabagger doesn’t mean you’re a racist or an idiot or even that you are spectacularly misinformed, regardless of how often these things may be the case. What it means for a lot of people is that they’re just scared, and who can blame them? How many Americans have watched their retirement plan vanish? How many Americans have gone from feeling comfortable to hungry? How many people bought into the system and did exactly as they were told to by all the experts just to have it screw them into dirt? The answer to these questions is ‘more than eleventy kajillion’, which is a significant number when you think about it. That sort of thing gets people fired up.
Of course, there’s the predictable demagogues whipping all this fury into a froth and trying to direct it to their political advantage; that they even play at this perilous ploy is evidence of their arrogance and ignorance. It’s no mistake that all the lethal domestic political terrorism is coming from the right side of the aisle; pathological sociopaths who like to polish their guns and make enemies lists tend to enjoy the ranting of Beck far more than a Michael Moore movie. There is certainly something brewing in the backwoods.
One of the great things Americans have long cherished and been able to be rightly proud of before the world is that we’ve only had the one civil war. Otherwise, power generally shifts among factions and parties without too much fuss and bother. There is no point in being coy; since the election of President Obama the talk of secession and political violence from the right has gone from muffled angry muttering to loud cries that are starting to form chants. Burning a confederate battle standard at one of these events could easily precipitate violence.
This is not to say that I am encouraging anyone to stifle themselves for fear of the scary teabaggers; quite the opposite, I encourage everyone to speak out and engage in informative debate. It’s just that on the freedom-of-speech scale, burning any flag is the equivalent of rolling your eyes back in your head and belching ‘ffffffffffuuuuuuuuuuuuuck yooooooooouuuuuuuu’ as loudly as you can into the face of a nun and calling it a theological discussion. I’d like to think that people who agree with me on the big issues comport themselves a little better than that.