I’m an American. I was born and raised in Ohio along the Southern shore of Lake Erie. I have ALWAYS considered displaying of the confederate battle flag to be an openly defiant and blatantly unpatriotic act. It represents a confederation of Southern states that chose to separate themselves from the United States of America.
There were other causes for the rift between the North and South, but the biggest reason was money, another word for slavery. Southern property owners needed slaves. Free labor meant more money. Why pay for employees when you can buy a slave and work them to death for years without ever paying a penny in wages? They considered slaves as property, as less than human, as undeserving of human dignity. This did not stop those same owners from raping their women slaves and making them bear their offspring.
When the Civil War ended, the United States retained its unity, though to say that all were in agreement would be a gross exaggeration of the facts. For those in the South, only the machinations of war ended…the violence, hate and resentment did not. The slaves were emancipated, but many Southerners, angry at their defeat, spent the next 150 years working hard to make sure that slaves and their descendants were treated as though they were beneath contempt.
People of African descent were harassed, tortured, lynched, humiliated and segregated by those who felt superior. Southerner’s hate toward those they considered beneath them was palpable. They started secret organizations, burned crosses in the yards of African Americans, refused them entry to public transportation, and would not eat in the same restaurants, or drink from the same fountains, or let their kids attend the same schools. This vile hate has crept into all corners of the country. Parents, brainwashed by their own prejudiced parents and grandparents, keep passing that hate downward to new generations, and as those generations move from place to place they spread the hate.
The confederate battle flag is a symbol of that hate. Like the nazi swastika, it represents everything we as human beings should abhor. It belongs in a museum so we don’t forget, but it should never fly in this country again. It should certainly never fly over or near any public or government building. And it should never fly higher than the American flag...ever.
I don’t know about the rest of the nation, but I am tired of seeing innocent Americans die for the color of their skin. Genetically we are all the same. We are all one species on this planet. Marking one for violence because of the color of their skin is the same as beating up all the short people, or all the tall people, or all the redheads, or all brunettes with blue eyes. When you strip away the physical characteristics that make us individuals, we all consist of the same thing underneath…blood and bone, organs and DNA. We are all the same.
Why are we killing our own? When will we stop killing our own?