Why does the southern part of the U.S. still insist on flying the Confederate flag? - Page 3 - U2 Feedback

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Old 02-19-2002, 08:08 PM   #31
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Melon: I agree that history is what it is. I know that no one here is suggesting that Germany is defined by anti-Semitism, and I hope that no one here is suggesting that the South is defined by racism.

But the mainstream media has defined us thus.

In my last semester at school, my great books course focused on Southern literature, literature written about the South, mostly by Southerners. With the exception of "All The King's Men," racism was key to EVERY BOOK.

Look at Hollywood movies (many based on books):

To Kill a Mockingbird
In the Heat of the Night
Forrest Gump
Driving Miss Daisy
Ghosts of Mississippi
A Time to Kill

Granted, many films about Germany revolve around WWII, but not ALL focus on the Holocaust, as horrible as it was. (Hell, did Run Lola Run - a German-made film - even MENTION WWII?)

At the same time, most films about the other parts of the country do not HARP on their racial problems. The strain caused by immigration in the west (particularly Mexican and Asian immigration) DOES NOT DEFINE the west.

I hope you can see my point. It's overkill, how the media portrays the South, and there's bound to be backlash.
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Old 02-19-2002, 08:59 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally posted by Achtung Bubba:
I think it's a stretch to suggest that the VH1 documentary is "on a related note."
or...instead of trying to attack me for saying that, you could give me a chance to tell you why i thought it was on a related note.
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Old 02-19-2002, 10:53 PM   #33
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Only two Civil War battles were fought in the North - Antietam and Gettysburg...which means the rest of them were fought in the South and many of them had to defend their own homes and families, some of which did not own slaves. The South was almost completely annhilated at the war's end. I think the Stars and Bars can honor those people.

Also, I agree with the other people who have said that the flag is a part of the South's history, for better or for worse. I do not agree with racism, but maybe the flag also serves as a reminder to us that such a hatred did exist in this country and to not let it happen again. We shouldn't forget our past, as horrible as some of it has been.

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Old 02-19-2002, 11:04 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally posted by Achtung Bubba:
Melon: I agree that history is what it is. I know that no one here is suggesting that Germany is defined by anti-Semitism, and I hope that no one here is suggesting that the South is defined by racism.

But the mainstream media has defined us thus.

In my last semester at school, my great books course focused on Southern literature, literature written about the South, mostly by Southerners. With the exception of "All The King's Men," racism was key to EVERY BOOK.

Look at Hollywood movies (many based on books):

To Kill a Mockingbird
In the Heat of the Night
Forrest Gump
Driving Miss Daisy
Ghosts of Mississippi
A Time to Kill
Well, Bubba, we've hit a rare moment of clarity. I finally understand what you're getting at. With that, it is my hope that this situation changes. Yes, I do think that *some* of these racist books do need to be taught--to ignore it wholly would be unbalanced--but I also think that, for purposes of balance, there should be more favorable Southern books.

Honestly, I have never read any of those books, nor can I really suggest any alternative Southern literature. I took four straight years of the Honors English curriculum in high school, with none in college, and the main emphasis was on Victorian-era English Literature.

My point, personally, was *just* on the Confederate flag itself. I really don't think that the South of the present is anything like the segregationalist past. However, to outsiders, the Confederate flag makes it seem like the South has never gotten past it. The South may see that flag as a symbol of Southern pride. I do not doubt that for a moment. To outsiders, though, it reduces the South to the same old stereotypes of small-minded, reactionary white supremacist KKK members. I am not trying to be a smart ass...this is what *a lot* of people think. I believe that the South would be much better off without that flag, both blacks and whites, because it would show the South for what it really is: a modern, diverse community like everywhere else in America. That is really the point I'm trying to make.

Quote:
Granted, many films about Germany revolve around WWII, but not ALL focus on the Holocaust, as horrible as it was. (Hell, did Run Lola Run - a German-made film - even MENTION WWII?)

At the same time, most films about the other parts of the country do not HARP on their racial problems. The strain caused by immigration in the west (particularly Mexican and Asian immigration) DOES NOT DEFINE the west.

I hope you can see my point. It's overkill, how the media portrays the South, and there's bound to be backlash.
I do see your point; and I am an aspiring screenwriter. I'm sure I'll revisit this relatively "new" idea in the near future. I always love to go against the grain...

Melon

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Old 02-19-2002, 11:36 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally posted by KhanadaRhodes:
or...instead of trying to attack me for saying that, you could give me a chance to tell you why i thought it was on a related note.
It wasn't an attack - just an observation that I thought it was a stretch. If you want to elaborate, feel free.
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Old 02-19-2002, 11:49 PM   #36
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My point, personally, was *just* on the Confederate flag itself. I really don't think that the South of the present is anything like the segregationalist past. However, to outsiders, the Confederate flag makes it seem like the South has never gotten past it. The South may see that flag as a symbol of Southern pride. I do not doubt that for a moment. To outsiders, though, it reduces the South to the same old stereotypes of small-minded, reactionary white supremacist KKK members. I am not trying to be a smart ass...this is what *a lot* of people think. I believe that the South would be much better off without that flag, both blacks and whites, because it would show the South for what it really is: a modern, diverse community like everywhere else in America. That is really the point I'm trying to make.

Oh, I agree wholeheartedly that the South SHOULD let go of the whole flag issue. I'm just trying to explain why many can't. It seems to be a cycle that's very difficult to break: Holywood portrays the South as backwards, pisses off Southerners who then fly the Rebel flag, thereby confirming Hollywood's stereotypes.

And I say, go against the grain.
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Old 02-20-2002, 10:29 AM   #37
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very good discussion melon and bubba.
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Old 02-20-2002, 10:41 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally posted by Achtung Bubba:
Oh, I agree wholeheartedly that the South SHOULD let go of the whole flag issue. I'm just trying to explain why many can't. It seems to be a cycle that's very difficult to break: Holywood portrays the South as backwards, pisses off Southerners who then fly the Rebel flag, thereby confirming Hollywood's stereotypes.

And I say, go against the grain.
Well stated.

This is an interesting phenomenon with various groups. I mean, let's face it. Hollywood has stereotyped everyone and everything. At the same time, while we are all generally angered by these stereotypes, it seems that, in response, we cling to them more. It isn't that the stereotype originally holds a grain of truth as much as we eventually conform to them for some reason. It would be an interesting long-term study I think.

Melon

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"He had lived through an age when men and women with energy and ruthlessness but without much ability or persistence excelled. And even though most of them had gone under, their ignorance had confused Roy, making him wonder whether the things he had striven to learn, and thought of as 'culture,' were irrelevant. Everything was supposed to be the same: commercials, Beethoven's late quartets, pop records, shopfronts, Freud, multi-coloured hair. Greatness, comparison, value, depth: gone, gone, gone. Anything could give some pleasure; he saw that. But not everything provided the sustenance of a deeper understanding." - Hanif Kureishi, Love in a Blue Time
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Old 02-20-2002, 11:51 AM   #39
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There's too much here in this thread to try and jump in after traveling for two days, but I just want to drop in a few thoughts on the whole issue.. However related or unrelated they may be..

Being from The last capital of the confederacy, and still living there I do feel that the south still has some resentment towards the north because of the war/reconstruction,

However, turning to the topic of racism, I have found out, after living in the south my whole life, and visiting my parents families in Michigan and going to college up north with many northern friends, that the northerners tend to be more racist.. Now, what I mean is that that people in the south have much more exposure to blacks, and interact, study with, work with them on a daily basis.. And When I came up here, when I put up a Confederate flag up in my dorm quad, my roomates about shit in their pants, Because they don't have really the exposure, and I'm not going to say they're racist because they quote unquote hate blacks, but they have a more racial tendency, or racist precautionary attitude. (Another quick anecdote... I was talking to a friend about Savannah GA, talking about how beautiful it was to which she immediately replied, "Oh.. I didn't like it there, there were too many Black People.")

I'm not sitting here saying the south is wiped clean from racists et al, but in my lifetime I've encountered more racially biased, or 'Racist Tendency' people in the north, and here at college than back home, and even further south.

And about the flag, I personally don't think that it is offensive, but I see how it can be, and I feel that regardless of people wanting to fly the flag for southern pride, or just as an artifact of the south, It will never be viewed as that.. only as slavery.. And that was my big gripe with the South Carolina.. I think.. capital building flying a confederate flag.. It was put up there during the civil rights movement of the 60's or what not, and it doesn't take a genius to realize the motivation for that.

I'm sitting here debating the nazi issue, as they persecuted Catholics as well as polish in addition to the jews during the holocaust, but I do agree that it stands for more than that, but in teh same way.. like ya'llve said about slavery and dixie.. The nazi symbol goes the same route.

L.Unplugged


[This message has been edited by Lemonite (edited 02-20-2002).]
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Old 02-20-2002, 01:05 PM   #40
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Many very astute insights into the Confederate-flag issue here. I think AchtungBubba hit it on the head - major economic differences between South and North, and a harsh reconstruction.

Let's remember that the reason why the Civil War was fought (and the reason the reconstruction was so harsh) was not slavery (someone here did mention this). "Fight against slavery" was the propaganda line that the North used to convince people the awful destruction of the South was just (as some have pointed out, slavery was not limited to the south). Fundamentally, this was a war between two entities with different economic systems that were each vying for dominance of the U.S. The South were losing and therefore wanted independence. The Northern elite were slowly moving towards an industrial and manufacturing predominant economy (obviously more so later in the 1800s), while the South was primarily agricultural. Slavery was prevalent in the South not because northerners had moral objections to it, but because the crops on which the South was economically dependent were amenable to a plantation-style system (PLEASE DO NOT NOT NOT INTERPRET THIS AS A JUSTIFICATION OF SLAVERY - IT ISN'T - IT'S JUST AN EXPLANATION OF WHY IT WAS PREVALENT IN THE SOUTH VERSUS THE NORTH). The North of course still wanted to keep these resources in the republic, and to be able to control them within their political system. For the most part, pre-war attempts to erode the slavery system were simply methods to try to erode the economic power base of the South - they were not actually directed at eliminating slavery on moral grounds.

Hence, slavery was one (horrible) part of an economic and cultural system, of which may elements are considered worth preserving or at least honoring by Southerners. So I think the vast majority of Southerners don't view raising the Confederate Flag as supporting slavery; it's the other elements of that culture (and its independence) that they feel should be supported.

But I also don't think such symbols are appropriate for government buildings, government-sponsored projects, etc.
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Old 02-20-2002, 01:35 PM   #41
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Melon, Lemonite, sv: all very well said.

On a lighter, but related, note, I know a way for all Southerners to REALLY, REALLY scare their Yankee acquaintances.

Refer to the Civil War as "The War of Northern Agression", and watch their jaws drop.

Heh, heh, heh.
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Old 02-20-2002, 01:36 PM   #42
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Adolf Hitler spoke German. So did Albert Einstein, Lise Meitner, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and Immanuel Kant.

Removing German from the language catalog...that's extremely sad and extremely funny at the same time.



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Old 02-20-2002, 01:52 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally posted by Achtung Bubba:
Melon, Lemonite, sv: all very well said.

On a lighter, but related, note, I know a way for all Southerners to REALLY, REALLY scare their Yankee acquaintances.

Refer to the Civil War as "The War of Northern Agression", and watch their jaws drop.

Heh, heh, heh.
lol, bubba. I've done that before just to see the reaction. Usually they don't even know what you're referring to.

btw, since I moved up to Minnesota to go to college, my Louisiana family refers to me as a "Yankee" and whenever I visit they tease me about betraying them.
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Old 02-20-2002, 01:56 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally posted by Achtung Bubba:
Melon, Lemonite, sv: all very well said.

On a lighter, but related, note, I know a way for all Southerners to REALLY, REALLY scare their Yankee acquaintances.

Refer to the Civil War as "The War of Northern Agression", and watch their jaws drop.

Heh, heh, heh.
Ha ha!!! I'll try that!

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Old 02-20-2002, 02:01 PM   #45
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Also remember: "Yankee" isn't necessarily an insult, just a recognition of the fact that, a-hem, "you ain't from around here, are ya?"

Now "Damn Yankee" is an insult, but most reasonable Southerners reserve that for those who not only migrate to south of the Mason-Dixon Line, but impugn the South compared to their blessed North.

Honestly, I've only met two honest-to-goodness Damn Yankees, brothers from the People's Republic of Vermont.
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