Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Business of a War

So, I live in the south. Have lived in the south I guess most my life since the state of Kentucky calls itself the south. The rest of the time, good ole' Southeast Texas. I would be blind or in coma not to be aware of the current debate over the confederate flag. 

Let's not even discuss the sick murderer who killed those people for it was pure and simple - a hate crime. He hated. Now he pretty much told us he's a racist. Done. No need for discussion...I personally hope his hatred filled ass gets the death penalty. The color or creed of his victims doesn't even need to be discussed, so I won't. He's hateful. Simple as that. did make for a very heated debate about the confederate flag. Let's clear up a little history in a simple way.  

The confederate flag came about when some states decided not to support our president - Lincoln when he took the step to emancipate the slaves of the United States. When he decided that all men (because women got their rights after the African-American's did) had the right to be free and therefore the right to vote. 

Seems honorable and in my opinion, it was. 

But back to that flag. The southern states hated that idea. They relied on slaves to do their free labor. Now, focus on that. Free. Labor. A slave was normally given a meal a day, worked long hours, the simplest clothes and sometimes the simplest of housing--if they were given housing. Some masters treated their slaves better than others. Some whipped them and beat them and killed them. Some mated with the females only to have children they refused to acknowledge. Now before you get your hackles up...I'm not making this up. It's the history. Not the history they show in  movies, but the actual way it was. There were good masters. And there bad masters. The same could be said for about every person in power.

So, the southern slave owners, some of them very prominent government officials, did the math. If they had to start paying slaves to do the work, they would lose a lot of money. If they had to pay other immigrants (let's not forget that the Irish and the Scottish were also traded as slaves in our country) then they would have to pay more. Keep in mind that most plantation owners were rich. As in, in some cases, treated like royalty. Real blue bloods. 

But above all, they were businessmen, so right or wrong, they made a business choice. It had nothing to do with heritage, being proud of being southern or fighting for what was right (because enslaving any person is wrong. By today's standards and at the time, their own, due to new laws). 

That choice was to protest the government. Go against it's laws and disobey and declare war on their fellow man and the president that ruled over them all. But they needed a flag that symbolized their cause. So the confederacy flag and it's own currency was created. (There are actually several different versions...but lets stick with the one everyone knows). 

For those that aren't clear about the civil war, let's summarize that with the facts:

Until the Vietnam war....the Civil War...aka the right to own slaves war between the Northern States and the Southern had more lives lost than all other wars before Vietnam combined. That's right folks. And who were those lives lost? Americans. Yeah, we were killing each other. 

  1. Roughly 1,264,000 American soldiers have died in the nation's wars--620,000 in the Civil War and 644,000 in all other conflicts. It was only as recently as the Vietnam War that the amount of American deaths in foreign wars eclipsed the number who died in the Civil War.

For a business plan.  The South lost by the way. Just in case you didn't know.

Now, lets fast forward to now. 

All over local and state governments are taking down the confederate flag. Uh, it's a flag. I  understand Southerns are pissed that it's being done. I've heard the reasons - It's our heritage. It's our right to show our history.

Uh...I myself am kind of ashamed of that part of our history. And not because I'm racist. I'm not but because...620,000 lives were lost. Brothers fighting against brothers. Fathers lost and never seeing their families again. And those lives...were all  colors.

The confederacy is no more. It hasn't been a governing body in a very long time. Why does its symbol belong or have the right to be hung next to that of our United States (see that word? UNITED)?  Why does it fly next to our States, some of which - Texas - had it's own war to be a part of that United status.  And won. 

I live in the South. I've been raised in the south. And ANYONE who lives here will tell you--you fly that flag, you are not exactly considered a opened minded person if you support the beliefs that flag represents. Sure, it doesn't mean slavery supporter per se. Nor does it say, "Hey, I'm a racist. Someone go get me a slave," but it does say that you are proud of some of the portions it represented. And since we can't label it with just what portions you do support, the racist and redneck ignorance label going to be applied.

It's a flag of a lost war. Of a business decision of the rich to go against their own country. And before you vilify me with your I'm not loyal to my heritage crap, back off.

I love the South. I love the people and the kindness that we show. I love how when bad times hit us we bond together and help any way we can.

But proud of a history that deserves to be put away and not reminded of by a flag of an ideal lost in battle long ago....probably not. In fact, not at all.

Isn't it time the South is known for more than what that flag represents? Yes....finally.

Take it down, put it in museums and let the past go. 

We have ENOUGH problems in our present. As a country, we ONLY need one flag--and I would like to point out it has different colors too. It may not represent ALL the colors that make this country so great in its threads of red, white and blue, but we as a people know that all colors can stand proud under those colors as it waves overhead. It's the only one that matters. For if we lose sight of being a UNITED states of America, UNDER god....then we might as well just roll up all the flags and let them fall because our future is doomed. 

Thank you. 

1 comment:

  1. Very well said.
    I would only have added that not only was it a business decision, going to war, the act of sedition, made those who served the Confederacy treasonous traitors to the United States of America. President Lincoln forgave all those men; however, any statue that honors the Confederacy and its servants is a statue representing treason. They belong in graveyards or museums, but they do not belong in places of honor.
    And the Confederate battle flag, the one flown widely today, was actually never the flag of the Confederate States. As a rectangle, it represented the Army of Tennessee, and as a square, the Virginia regiment. Never was it adopted in that state as the flag of the Confederate States, though movies such as "Gone with the Wind" helped popularize that misconception.
    (I'm a *HUGE* history nerd! 😊)
    I live in southern Ohio, a northern state, a state which fought for the union, yet idiots around here fly the Confederate battle flag and decry their "heritage, not racism." I tell them they truly don't know the history of that flag and have no racial sensitivity or understanding, or even truly understand racism and privilege (white, class, gender, etc.) if they don't believe flying that flag makes them racist. Because people can be racist whether they believe so or not. They can "have black friends and family" and still not understand they are modern-day Archie Bunkers, only backhanded and subversive, which is worse.
    People of all colors need to have more open dialogue with each other to open up understanding, and most importantly, to realize beneath the largest organ of our body (skin) we are all human beings.