Confederate Flag: Controversial

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Summerlander
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Confederate Flag: Controversial

Postby Summerlander » 23 Jun 2015 21:22

To those who think the Confederate flag should be removed: Give it a rest! It's a historical symbol, it's what happened, it reminds us of progress that has been made. It's a fucking flag! What is wrong is what's inside people's minds, not the object that represents different things to different people. I could also argue that the American government discriminates against atheists and that its flag is offensive - I would, of course, be a fool to do so. Remove the Confederate flag all you want; racism will continue guaranteed. The country was pro-slavery from the start, so, is the Constitution offensive? Should the United States cease to exist? Need I remind everyone that the president is not black? (Not really!)

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"Empty cognizance of one taste, suffused with knowing, is your unmistaken nature, the uncontrived original state. when not altering what is, allow it to be as it is, and the awakened state is right now spontaneously present."

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deschainXIX
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Re: Confederate Flag: Controversial

Postby deschainXIX » 24 Jun 2015 06:53

Well, first of all, you're absolutely right to say that flags are silly and imprudent; all they do is encourage nationalism, ethnic identity, the affirmation of international borders, pride about a certain color, all things I hate.

But to those who fly the Confederate flag in America, believe it or not, it is more than just a historical symbol--and it is positively ludicrous to think that it reminds these people of the progress made in America. We must think about not what it means to people like us to wave a flag (nothing, that is), but what it means to people who really do wave flags. There are all sorts of towns in the Deep South in which the flag is still flown, and there are people who insist upon the "right of the state" being more important than the power of the country overall. I don't even look at it through the lens of racism (though that is undeniably a part of it); I look at the larger principle, the principle that encourages fragmentation and sectarianism, the longevity of Thomas Jefferson's agrarian vision for America, in which localized institutions get to mandate what is allowed and not allowed. I'm a big, federal, centralized government sort of thinker, and so are you, Summerlander--I even go so far as to say that the entirety of humanity should be homogenized. What a radical idea! Human beings seeing at each other as human beings, rather than seeing each other as flags. If we let it continue on the state level, how are we to transcend the state and go on to the more massive, species-oriented solidarity I envisage?

By the way, the whole country wasn't necessarily pro-slavery from the very, very, very beginning. There was free soil in primordial America (the Quakers in Pennsylvania, for example). The Civil War wasn't even necessarily a triumph of federal government over secessionists; it was the triumph of one ideology over another. Egalitarianism won! Lol.

But you're right. The Constitution, of course, wasn't even written by people who believed in democracy. And they certainly didn't believe in equal suffrage or equal rights--what they really meant in principio was, "All white, land-owning men are created equal." People like to romanticize America's origins. And even though Obama isn't black, he looks black, and that's enough for racist bigots to attack him even when he sneezes (or says the n-word in an interview).

And liberals fail again in their battle against racism. They encourage racism by referring to races in the first place. They say that "White people enslaved black people," assigning a collective condemnation and guilt upon many individuals who happen to be white and had nothing to do with slavery. Isn't saying "Some human beings enslaved other human beings" enough? Isn't that the surveillance of history that is required to truly end racism, to truly end the collectivity of any "people"? Like Hitchens, we should be suspicious and wary whenever someone ascribes the word "us" or "them." This mentality is never helpful, even if one's intentions are good.
Well said.

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Summerlander
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Re: Confederate Flag: Controversial

Postby Summerlander » 24 Jun 2015 11:02

I totally agree with what you said. When I said the flag might remind people of the progress they've made, I only meant it in a comparative sense -- today's America is different to yesterday's.

I would also maintain that removing the flag for the reasons some people highlighted won't do any good. For instance, take a look at the Islamic flag flown by ISIS. How would I feel if it was flown here in Britain? I would shake my head for sure, but...

Despite the flag being a symbol that stands for their way of life -- which represents Sharia law, a literal interpretation of the Quran, and the killing of infidels -- it wouldn't do any good banning it even if it causes alarm. The right thing to do is to stop and punish those who act upon such beliefs and start harming others. It is a mistake to go against freedom of expression or even to stifle fanatical voices. Let them have their say so that we can point out where they are mistaken and expose their fatuity for entertaining the idea that theocracy is a viable way of life. Let them write and publish books about why Islam is the only salvation and we will expose the fallacy of their argument and the roots of their ignorance.

Let even the Holocaust-deniers have their say, too, and we can point to evidence that impugns such position. Never ban books and the expression of ideas however much you disagree with them. If you do, you have already lost points as you show yourself to be incapable of even discussing controversial material and will come across as oversensitive and bigoted to your opponents.

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"Empty cognizance of one taste, suffused with knowing, is your unmistaken nature, the uncontrived original state. when not altering what is, allow it to be as it is, and the awakened state is right now spontaneously present."

- Padmasambhava

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deschainXIX
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Re: Confederate Flag: Controversial

Postby deschainXIX » 24 Jun 2015 23:27

Those are good points, and we should certainly encourage everyone be as open and loud and explicit about their convictions; that way, there's no hiding from refutation or abnegation of ugly ideologies. But flying a flag that stands for "hatredism" ... how are we supposed to rationally deconstruct something like that? Isn't that what racism basically is? Like Plato, I think dogmatic censorship and suppression of some things might be necessary.

Besides, I seriously doubt that every single person in South Carolina supports the Confederate cause. It's just a lame tradition at this point, and that's egregious enough, since we all know how that tradition started. It's like me flying a Nazi flag on my porch simply because I'm of German descent (I'm basically a European mutt, but I'm pretty sure I've got some German in me).
Well said.

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Summerlander
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Re: Confederate Flag: Controversial

Postby Summerlander » 25 Jun 2015 08:22

Suppressing it will not make it go away. Look at the war on drugs debacle. And the removal of a flag, as though it will change people's minds, simply won't do. Ridiculing racism is the best tactic. If we expose it through discourse, people will be embarassed of having adopted such views. Censor it and they will remain racist and believe they are at war with a Zionist influence on worldwide policy, or that black supremacists are winning without argument (to provide a couple of examples).

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"Empty cognizance of one taste, suffused with knowing, is your unmistaken nature, the uncontrived original state. when not altering what is, allow it to be as it is, and the awakened state is right now spontaneously present."

- Padmasambhava

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deschainXIX
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Re: Confederate Flag: Controversial

Postby deschainXIX » 25 Jun 2015 19:48

I agree. I just don't see how that is applicable to this situation. Are we supposed to condemn all of South Carolina, and write discourses about how racism makes no sense and send them to the SC government? :D But I agree. Freedom of unpopular beliefs for all. But I doubt all (or even most) of the South Carolinians are unabashed, fully-advertised bigots.
Well said.

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Summerlander
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Re: Confederate Flag: Controversial

Postby Summerlander » 25 Jun 2015 23:18

We are not supposed to do anything. What happened in South Carolina was an isolated event (or should have been) and Dylann Roof has been caught and will pay for his crime according to the law. It's been dealt with and I just think people are making a mountain out of a molehill now.

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"Empty cognizance of one taste, suffused with knowing, is your unmistaken nature, the uncontrived original state. when not altering what is, allow it to be as it is, and the awakened state is right now spontaneously present."

- Padmasambhava


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