Thursday, June 25, 2015
The Confederate Battle Flag / Mass Murder, Mother of Emanuel Church, Charleston, SC / My Thoughts...
This is about The Confederate Battle Flag; and a thought precipitated by a discussion with a friend.
So now, it appears, The Confederate Battle Flag is directly, indirectly, or incidentally associated with / responsible for the mass murder at the Mother of Emanuel Church in Charleston, SC, on 6-17-15, by Dylann Storm Roof.
I probably don’t have ‘standing’ to have an opinion on this subject. I’m not a Southerner, or Black and never had any ancestors – as far as I know – who fought in the Civil War. I guess my main thought is how easily public opinion is manipulated; and how deceptively politicians pervert and use to their advantage almost any tragedy. It really is unconscionable.
That aside, I’ve heard this refrain numerous times recently about how symbols influence. Yes, that might be true. On the other hand, how can we hope to predict what type of symbol influences a psychopath? I’ve known psychopaths to be influenced to commit murder by the appearance of a woman’s bare feet, or by a woman’s straight brown hair (some of Ted Bundy’s favorites). But I digress…
Personally, I don’t really care if they stop selling or displaying the Confederate Flag. I don’t have one and never even considered owning one. I live in the West. I suppose it’s a mute-point in this venue. But, you know, somehow the banning of innocuous items or pieces of material seems somewhat un-American – not to mention that such an activity is always, and I mean always, indiscriminately applied. Nonetheless, many would say, ‘What the heck - get rid of the damned thing - who really cares anyway?’ OK. I hear you. But…
Now, some doofus politician, Mayor Mitch Landrieu, wants to tear down the statue of Robert E. Lee in Lee Circle in New Orleans. “Symbols really do matter”, he so eloquently, if not originally, opined. Alright, citizens of New Orleans go ahead and tear it down. This Oregonian couldn’t care less. But, I do think you’re getting your patties in a bunch about pretty much nothing.
For those who are familiar with the basic facts of the Civil War, the South was not just defeated, it was destroyed. If a Southern Civil War hero is revered by the South, so what? If a small token, a flag, is a form of solace, I say what can it hurt? General Grant, the Union victor, treated Robert E. Lee with respect and honor during the surrender at Appomattox in 1865, even though he could have had Lee hanged – which is what Lee actually expected would happen.
Where are we going with this process anyway? Should the statues of Jefferson and Washington be torn down? As most of us know, they owned slaves. Whereas, the vast majority of the Southern soldiers who were killed or maimed during the Civil War never owned a slave. If some flag (and it is an American flag after all) gives some people a bit of sentimental remembrance and respect for those soldiers who died when duty called. Well, as far as I’m concerned, let it be.