Monday, January 19, 2015

Hate and Heritage

Today is Martin Luther King Day.  It takes on a  bit more meaning in my house this year since we just saw Selma, which reminded us that MLK kept pushing and pushing when he knew his life was at stake. 

It led to a conversation with Frosh Spew--she said she had learned that the appearance of the Confederate battle flag on state flags in the South was not something that had been around since the Civil War but was a response to the Civil Rights Movement.  Yep.  So, the flag came to symbolize not the war and whatever heritage might be involved but opposition to Civil Rights. Which means it stands FOR segregation.  It stands for Voter Suppression.  It stands for ... White Supremacy.  

It is just that simple--that the timing of its re-emergence as a symbol means that the heritage that is bound up with the confederate battle flag is not brotherhood in battle in the Civil War or States' Rights but racism. 

Which is why I am appalled to find out today something that I did not know or had forgotten: that in some places in the South, MLK Day is also Robert E. Lee Day and Stonewall Jackson Day.  FFS!!!  It is perhaps the perfect way to diminish the day--combining MLK with those who fought to perpetuate slavery and White Supremacy. 

Whenever I discuss inequality and discrimination with my daughter (racial, gender, whatever), I tend to emphasize the progress, and she always sees and finds unacceptable anything short of equality.  She has tremendous impatience with the way the world is.  A tremendous passion for seeking change.  And, as a result, I have a hard time arguing with her.  Because she is right. 

As long as we have states continuing to lionize those that fought for inequality and politicians undermining the gains of MLK via Voterfraudfraud, we will need to be passionately impatient.


Anonymous said...

When I see confederate flags in Europe, I always wonder what they stand for. I've been told freedom from the Nanny state, but do you believe it?

Steve Saideman said...

Not really. I don't know anything about this, but if you are going to pick a symbol for your group/movement, it seems to me that picking one that is associated with racism might just be not so accidental.

And folks who complain about the nanny state usually are upset about how the state helps "Others" and not so much themselves.