Thursday, July 16, 2015

This Is Probably Going To Cause Some Arguments . . .

. . . but I'm going to say it anyway.

Have you been in an antiques store in the past twenty years? There is an interesting phenomenon. Items like mammy cookie jars, racial caricatures, pickaninny designs on printed materials, and lawn jockeys are almost non-existent. If you see one piece, the price will be exorbitantly high. Do you know why?

Because African-Americans have purchased those items and placed them in curio cabinets and display shelves all over the country. They have "taken back" the power of those symbols by reclaiming them as their own.

This was accomplished in much the way the gay community reclaimed the word "queer" and took its hateful power away in doing so.

My hometown had an extremely successful and beloved Jewish businessman many years ago who went to extreme lengths to collect Nazi memorabilia, including uniforms, guns and numerous swastikas for the same reason: symbols cannot hold power over those who do not concede it.

And while I strongly disagree, I understand that, to some, the rebel flag is perceived as prejudice and hate.

If you've been anywhere within one mile of me or my Facebook page, you know the Confederate battle flag represents nothing more to me than The South and my ancestors' defense of it. It does not stand for hate, for racism, for slavery, for anything negative in my eyes. Nor does it represent those things to the United Daughters of the Confederacy or the Sons of Confederate Veterans, both of whom have made that fact well-known. They do not tolerate racism and bigotry. If you are affiliated with a hate group, you are ineligible to join. Period.

If African-Americans truly accord that flag such power and symbolism, I submit they should consider adopting the flag and displaying it. Claim it the way other symbols have been taken up and rendered hurtful no longer.

Because the other thing that flag stands for—is indeed used for in variations around the world—is rebellion.

Sounds perfect to me.

Love from Delta.

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