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Old 12-23-2004, 08:42 AM   #91
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I don't think it's fair to call everyone in the south in those days 'ignorant'. Remember this country was started by the 'ignorant' George Washington and Thomas Jefferson and many other slave owners. I know it does no good to tell you all this, but it's not really fair to judge those people by 21st century standards. They were raised and lived a different way, and as I've said about other issues, people will twist, justify, and rationalize ANYTHING if they want to do it and not feel guilty. Some of them even found passages in the Bible (and there are some) to back up the master/slave thing as 'okay.' (ignoring, of course, the entire Moses saga about how bad it was to keep slaves and they should go free, and many old slave spirituals mentioned Moses so I know they saw this) People will pick and choose the things that make them feel more comfortable with their position. When the abolitionists, who were mostly religious and some of them extremists, started bugging the southerners to end slavery, some of the slaveholders' comments were 'don't try to run my life, stay out of my business' and 'if you don't want slaves don't own them but don't deny me my right' sound familiar? They also used the old dehumanizing factor to make themselves feel like they weren't a total human being (again harking to another issue of today) and even convincing themselves that they were HELPING the slaves because they were like 'children' and couldn't take care of themselves! Of course, all this is wrong, but those people, even very otherwise good, intelligent and learned men, felt that way because they had been raised that way and it was convenient to them so they could go ahead and do it and not feel guilty. It happens with a lot of things. While this is no excuse, it is something to consider before you label them all 'ignorant' and 'evil.' In their time, in their place, they were not.

And while you're on 'human rights abuses' don't forget the shout out to the Union armies under Sherman and Sheridan who targeted civilians even if they had nothing to do with the war and owned no slaves. Homes were destroyed, women of both races raped, things stolen. Farms were burned, loaded barns and crops in the field destroyed. Houses were burned down around helpless women and children. Towns were under seige, the Union army hurling cannonballs and explosives which randomly hit homes and businesses until in some places, like Vicksburg, Miss., they were forced to live underground! Both there and in Petersburg, VA, the civilians resorted to eating rats! And some of you think Americans have never suffered from a war. This was a legacy of hatred that did not go away either. Then give kudos to those conquering heroes for going out west declaring 'the only good Indian is a dead Indian' and performing genocide, yes genocide, on the Native tribes, including women and children, some in places that had been declared 'safe' by the US government!
Great points. The problem a lot of people have is they want to be able to fit history into a neat little box and to be able to label everything when none of us today can possibly fathom what it was like to be raised in a society where slavery existed and most blacks were viewed as sub human(yes, even in the north). Many viewed blacks simply as animals. Many thought slavery was a blessing for blacks because it brought them into christianity. And don't forget, the VAST MAJORITY of southerners never owned slaves; they fought for something else...hmmm...my oh my things aren't fitting so nicely..So for these people is the confederate flag an evil thing?
I got my masters degree studying the Civil War so I've obviously studied it extensively, and I don't think it's fair for us to label people in this point in the past as "ignorant"...ect because we can never truely know what it was like to be a product of 1850's society. Both north and south people were raised to believe in the inferiority of Africans. This is a far out example, but think of this way. Maybe in 150 years people will begin telling of how ignorant people in 2004 were because we kept dogs as pets...I mean dogs as pets! "How could those ignorant people in 2004 not realize that those "pets" have complex feelings...ect."
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Old 12-23-2004, 09:16 AM   #92
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This sort of stuff is what bothers me about movies like "Gone With the Wind", which is entirely too syrupy for me. Fewer than 1% of Southerners had that kind of life, only the very wealthy lived in mansions, had slaves, all of those balls, etc, etc. More white Southerners lived on the bare subsistence levels and worked in the fields all day. It was hard, I've done research into my own ancestors who lived like this, and the average lifespan was something like 30 years, with many childhood and young adult deaths. It's not a society you'd want to idealize, not some sort of "golden age". That's the mistake some people make with it, I think. The whole mentality of "Gone With the Wind" is the sanitization of a very imperfect society.
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Old 12-23-2004, 09:27 AM   #93
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Originally posted by ImOuttaControl

Maybe in 150 years people will begin telling of how ignorant people in 2004 were because we kept dogs as pets...I mean dogs as pets! "How could those ignorant people in 2004 not realize that those "pets" have complex feelings...ect."
That's a ridiculous example. You are comparing the struggle between two people of the same species to two entirely different species. I think it will be more like those people were ignorant because they wanted to deny rights to homosexuals.

But the whole point is that none of what you said gives an excuse to what happened, and nothing shows me a reason to be proud of the confedercy. Ok so some of my ancestors fought to keep their land that's admirable, but it's 2004 why are people still wanting to hold on to this flag? No one has answered that for me.
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Old 12-23-2004, 10:11 AM   #94
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Great points. The problem a lot of people have is they want to be able to fit history into a neat little box and to be able to label everything when none of us today can possibly fathom what it was like to be raised in a society where slavery existed and most blacks were viewed as sub human(yes, even in the north). Many viewed blacks simply as animals. Many thought slavery was a blessing for blacks because it brought them into christianity. And don't forget, the VAST MAJORITY of southerners never owned slaves; they fought for something else...hmmm...my oh my things aren't fitting so nicely..So for these people is the confederate flag an evil thing?
I got my masters degree studying the Civil War so I've obviously studied it extensively, and I don't think it's fair for us to label people in this point in the past as "ignorant"...ect because we can never truely know what it was like to be a product of 1850's society. Both north and south people were raised to believe in the inferiority of Africans. This is a far out example, but think of this way. Maybe in 150 years people will begin telling of how ignorant people in 2004 were because we kept dogs as pets...I mean dogs as pets! "How could those ignorant people in 2004 not realize that those "pets" have complex feelings...ect."
Thank you, it's so good to have someone who knows enough about this not to judge in 'neat little boxes.'

As you said, blacks were also viewed as 'inferior' back then even by northern whites (except abolitionists) Some northerners were appalled that southerners trusted their children to be tended to and even wet nursed by black women ('mammies') Most northerners did NOT want a bunch of free blacks heading north to compete for jobs (remember "Gangs of New York?" That happened!) Even Lincoln himself did not approve of the mixing of black and white in a free society and wanted the freed slaves shipped back to Africa! (like some had been to Liberia)

What did they fight for? States' rights, of course, slavery was one of those rights, and while only 25% if southerners owned slaves and very few (less than 10%) lived the infamous plantation lifestyle, (once again rich man's war, poor man's fight) there were other rights. The southern states did not like the federal government to control things, they wanted more rights for the states, in commerce, laws and everything. Before the war, every state had their own militia free of the national gov't. Back during the days when the constitution was being ratified, the southern states feared being part of the central gov't (if you look some southern states were among the last to ratify out of the original 13!) The 10th amendment was worded to appease these gentlemen and leave a technical loophole in case anyone wanted out (so technically secession WAS constitutional and Lincoln should not have called for troops to put down the 'insurrection')

There was a lot involved besides slavery. Also, as I stated before somewhere here, the average southerner fought not for slaves but because, as the famous quote in the Shelby Foote book goes, 'because you're down here.' Most of the fighting was done in southern states, and southern people saw it as an invasion of their homeland (much the way the Iraqis see the current war) and they were angry and wanting to fend invaders out of their homeland. Like I said in my last post, there were atrocities committed by the Union army against southern civilians, and many people hated the Yankess for that and were fighting for that reason. Some who had never joined the war in the beginning, even some who were against the war, fought near the end when they saw their homeland being ravaged. Many men died or were crippled, many people lost their homes and land in the war and reconstruction. They fought hard and lost everything, and they were a very proud stubborn people. This has lingered for generations. I can't explain any better than that why some still hold to this flag, and how, believe it or not, many who do hold to it do NOT see it as a message of hate. I guess there is no way to explain this to someone who is only looking at the 'neat little box' the 21st century has decided to put this away in.

One footnote here: in a county near Richmond, VA, where some of my nephews go and went to school, there is an interesting phenomenon going on I have witnessed myself. There are white boys in pickup trucks with Confederate flags playing rap and hanging out with black dudes. There are also black guys who think it's funny to put Confederate flag stickers on their car. These guys joke about it and there are no hard feelings. Blacks and whites live side by side in most neighborhoods, and hate the rich white person or the newcomers from New York worse than each other. It's southern pride, and it's shared by all whose ancestors suffered there. Perhaps this is the best legacy southern culture has come to after all these years.
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Old 12-23-2004, 10:33 AM   #95
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Originally posted by U2Kitten

One footnote here: in a county near Richmond, VA, where some of my nephews go and went to school, there is an interesting phenomenon going on I have witnessed myself. There are white boys in pickup trucks with Confederate flags playing rap and hanging out with black dudes. There are also black guys who think it's funny to put Confederate flag stickers on their car. These guys joke about it and there are no hard feelings. Blacks and whites live side by side in most neighborhoods, and hate the rich white person or the newcomers from New York worse than each other. It's southern pride, and it's shared by all whose ancestors suffered there. Perhaps this is the best legacy southern culture has come to after all these years.
I have never heard of this, but it's pretty cool if they can actually unite around it. We've had so many controversies over the Confederate flag in Alabama, and our particular advocates of showing the flag anywhere aren't very diplomatic, to put it mildly, and the controversies have sort of left me with a bad taste in my mouth as per this flag. We're not currently having a controversy over the flag and I don't miss the controversy.
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Old 12-23-2004, 10:42 AM   #96
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It's the old guys who have such a problem with hit and want it taken off everything. In Richmond where there is so much history (it was the Confederate capital) black men on city council are trying to get Lee's face off things (they succeeded on the canal walk wall) and some even want the famous statues on Monument ave. taken down! It's the younger guys who are lightened up about it and think it's all lame. It was in the past, and you can't change history. I don't see how villanizing someone who has been revered as a hero is helping anything. Lee himself was against the war and against slavery. He fought for his native state. That regionalism and pride in home is something that has become lost in America's fast moving, ever transplanting society. It wasn't like that then.

No matter what their views were, all the people back then on all sides and in all states were honor bound and proud. Look at the end of the Declaration of Independence, it says 'we pledge...our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor" Their honor meant just as much to them as their money and their lives! Try to find a rich person like that today!
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Old 12-23-2004, 01:03 PM   #97
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Originally posted by LivLuvAndBootlegMusic

I've lived in the North all my life and I don't even know what the Union flag looks like....
you're probably more familiar with it than you realize

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Old 12-23-2004, 01:07 PM   #98
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Sorry...


I said sorry...

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Old 12-23-2004, 01:38 PM   #99
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Meh, while I agree that if the school didn't allow for her to wear the dress, she should've dealt with the consequences of wearing it anyway, and while I certainly agree that if you are going to do something controversial, you'd better be prepared to deal with the controversy that follows, I'm sorry, I still say it's a piece of cloth. It obviously means something bad to a lot of people, and I certainly do not agree with the horrible history behind that flag, but to others, it's just a piece of cloth. A similar example-to some people of other countries, our country's flag symbolizes a lot of bad historical events, so should we not bring anything related to our flag with us when we go visit those other countries now, for fear that we'll offend them?

Bottom line, there are things that people will do or say that will offend others. That's life (and this is coming from a girl who had many offensive things uttered towards her throughout her lifetime). We can't get rid of every single potentially offensive word or symbol or article of clothing or whatever. What offends one person won't offend other people. As I've said before, I believe the only way we can deal with potentially offensive things in this world is to let those who support these offensive things say so. By keeping this stuff hidden away, by brushing it under the rug and not allowing it to be exposed, that's not solving the problems. The problems are still there, we're just not hearing about them because we've decided to tune it out and told them to shut up and go away.

Angela
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Old 12-23-2004, 01:39 PM   #100
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Haha, yeah, I guess so! I thought maybe we had our own special flag and was like, wtf? how did I not know this?....and that one does have less stars/states than the flag now, so it's a tad bit different
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Old 12-23-2004, 03:06 PM   #101
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You've got a valid point Angela. We can't sanitize the world, we can't get rid of everything ugly or everything that offends us. What bothered me about the original story was basically the damn lawsuit. I think it's stupid. I think she's trying to blame someone else for a problem she created by using such a controversial idea for a prom dress. I really hate it when someone does this.
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Old 12-23-2004, 03:18 PM   #102
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I see lots of people wearing the Stars and Bars a lot around Atlanta.
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Old 12-23-2004, 04:31 PM   #103
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Another good point Angela

Actually the 'Stars and Bars' was the official flag of the Confederate gov't that flew over official places:

http://www.internet-encyclopedia.org...tes_of_America

Stars and Bars



What is commonly called the 'confederate flag' was actually the battle flag only used on the battlefield. It was called the 'southern cross'



I have seen some people in VA flying the real "Stars and Bars" (top flag) or putting that sticker on their cars, because most people have no idea what it is That way they can display their 'southern pride' without offending hardly anyone! As a Civil war buff from a young age, I am among the few who know what it is, and I have to laugh inside every time I see it used. Real sneaky there
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Old 12-23-2004, 05:01 PM   #104
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I wish people who simply want to show off their Southern pride would use the real Confederate flag, as opposed to the war flag! That blue cross is actually the cross of St. Andrew, who's the patron saint of Scotland, and it also shows up in the "Union Jack". The original St. Andrew's flag, which is just the white cross on a blue background, is really old, it's been dated as far back as the eighth century. It's the traditional flag of Scotland.
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Old 12-23-2004, 05:51 PM   #105
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I wish people who simply want to show off their Southern pride would use the real Confederate flag, as opposed to the war flag! That blue cross is actually the cross of St. Andrew, who's the patron saint of Scotland, and it also shows up in the "Union Jack". The original St. Andrew's flag, which is just the white cross on a blue background, is really old, it's been dated as far back as the eighth century. It's the traditional flag of Scotland.
I have a niece who wore a Union Jack shirt to school and was scorned by some for wearing a Confederate flag- this being VA, a place where you'd think people would know better (no matter how they feel about it)
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