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Bigotry, hate and history


By TOM McMASTERS-STONE
Guest columnist
One hundred and fifty years after the first, it appears that the second surrender of the Confederacy has gained no-turning-back momentum concerning the Confederate flag.
It is horrific that it took the assassination of nine people to get us to this point.
The murders took place in a state that allows the state and federal flags to be flown at half-staff during these times of grieving, but not the Stars and Bars or the Battle Flag.
Are you kidding me?
Enough. Good riddance Billie Joe and Bobby Sue.
Am I being unfair? Maybe some, but not much.
For most people, the symbols of the confederacy, whether they are on flags, license plates, T-shirts or coffee mugs, represent slavery, white supremacy — and that nutcase from Duck Dynasty, to boot.
I love history, and my French/Scottish heritage, and I am proud of that background. I have been known to wear a kilt and eat escargot, but I don’t touch haggis.
Granted, for some the flag is simply a memory of their past, of their heritage, and has to do more with the State’s Rights issue than with slavery.
For others, not so much.
Especially those idiots in the big four-wheel drive pickup trucks, all jacked up, and a huge Confederate flag flying in the bed. My wife always has something very unflattering to say about their genitals. Consequently, any flag I ever fly is fairly modest.
To be fair, we do have some independent-minded people here in California, in the persons of those wanting to lop off the head of the state and form the State of Jefferson.
Are they legitimate? Some. Some truly feel they are not being represented well-enough because of their smaller numbers. Frankly, though, many want to escape the “liberals, the fruits and the nuts”.
And if we are going to talk history, let’s talk history.
Similar to the revisionist history employed by the religious folks concerning the timing of the placement of “under God” into the Pledge of Allegiance, and “In God We Trust” on to our currency, the Confederate flag has not waved gloriously and continuously over all these states since Appomattox Court House. At least one state, Georgia, modified its flag to include the symbol of the Confederacy in response to the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. The Board of Education in the 1950s.
They must be so proud.
History also tells us that the democratic “Solid South” crumbled after Lyndon Johnson got the Civil Rights Act of 1964 passed, and the south very quickly became what we now know as “red.”
No, no racism.
We also now have word that the white supremacist that tutored murder suspect Dylann Roof donated money to several Republican candidates for president. Maybe there are others not yet identified? I mean, there are so many Republican candidates for president that the Democrats might have to nominate the Mormon Tabernacle Choir just for equality of numbers.
Oh wait. That whole Mormon thing didn’t work out eight years ago, at least in part due to the very bigotry I am talking about here.
The very same people that have been criticizing Bill and Hillary Clinton’s foundation income simply brushed it off, saying that they were (all) returning the money.
Not so fast.
How do we know that the money hasn’t already been spent? We don’t.
Why are they not paying the same attention to donations that they are expecting — no, demanding — from the Clintons?
More importantly, what is it that Republicans say or do, or even what essence or aura do they give off that attracts white, bigoted voters?
Hmmm.
Even here in the far reaches of Oregon (my current residence), there has been a mild burp on the political scene. We have an historic flag-type park that includes the current flags of all 50 states. Enough said. Oregon officials have no choice but to be accurate in their display.
Corporate sponsors are jumping ship, too, like lemmings off a cliff. WalMart. Apple.
Whoa! Even the National Park Service? I am a little sad about the latter, frankly. After all, history is history.
We’ll see how it all plays out in the end, and hope that the movement retains its staying power for the long term.
Bigotry is bigotry. Hate is hate. And, as I said, history is history. History. Not the future. Not the present. The past.