Some things to ponder…
I’m really having a hard time wrapping my brain around the fact that some people in this world are either incredibly ignorant asses full of shit and they just don’t understand how full of shit they are or they are just stupid asses who do understand they are full of shit and simply don’t give a good goddamn about it and intend to just go along in their quasi-merry state of self-indulgent stupidity and damn anyone who gets in their way. Until, that is, the day their shit rises to the point where it begins to seriously interfere with societal life and something does get in their way and then something must give…
A cases in point of this observation, and the whyfors of my perplexity…
There is this dude in Missouri… Richard Geisenheyner… who likes to fly what is sometimes known as the bars and stars, as well as the flag of the confederacy. But, in reality… it’s really just an old rag of a battle flag… a battle flag that is so often associated with the confederacy that is really a symbol of racism and nothing more.
It is not anything but a representation that the person behind the display of that old battle flag is a person who… either knowingly and willingly, or completely ignorantly and stupidly, or maybe even both… believes that slavery is just okay with them.
Without getting into a overly protracted discussion on the issue, let me make what I think are salient points of observation about this so-called flag…
Back in 2015 there was this tragic and hateful incident that occurred when some racist fool went into a church full of Black people and killed nine of these people… people who had actually welcomed the racist into their church and at one point prayed with his racist ass. Yes, I am referencing when Dylan Bundy killed nine Black folks in Charleston (SC) church.
As is the usual norm in tragedies where innocent life is lost, federal and state flags at government building or sites are flown at half-staff. It’s called offering a symbolic… and in my opinion a proper… gesture of respect and mourning. However, while this occurred with the federal and state flags in South Carolina, the confederate battle flag flew high and mightily. Of course, this initiated an entirely new debate… it irritated people on one side who said this symbol of racism and hate needed to be not only lowered but banished from any and all state facilities whatsoever. Even the state’s governor… Nikki Haley… said, the battle flag needed to be removed and that it “does not represent the future of our great state.”
And, it irritated those on the other side of the debate who said… what the hell… the confederate battle flag is nothing more than a symbol of our great southern heritage. Nothing more and nothing less. Leave that flag alone.
But that’s where the problem lies…
Sorry… believe what ya’ll want… but anyone who says the southern battle flag that is so often confused with the state flag of the so-called Confederate States of America, or the confederacy, is not a racist flag/symbol… then I feel damn sorry for ya’ll and because you are simply wrong.
The simple fact is when Abraham Lincoln campaigned to be president he ran on a platform that opposed… among other significant issues… expanding slavery into the relatively newly formed western territories. After he won the election, seven states … South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas… announced they were seceding from the United States of America to form the Confederate States of Americas (CSA). The essential reason… some say the only reason… was their agricultural economies were based primarily on the production of cotton and a feudalistic plantation style system that was dependent upon using slave labor… mostly Black people who were brought from Africa by slave ships. In other words, these states primary power brokers wanted to maintain an economic system whereby they could maximize their profits with the least amount of their expenditures being spent of paying for labor. They may have had the pretensions of appearing like royals within a feudalistic society but they knew their lessons regrading capitalism quitter well: Spend little; earn lots and stuff as much as you can into your pockets while doling out mere pittances to everyone else. And, if it took slaving an entire race of people to enable that to be done, then god damn it, so be it and make it so. Even if it meant rationalizing and basing their labor market on falsehoods about specific members of the human race based upon racist innuendo. And if some upstart country like the United States of America tried to tell them differently regarding how they were to run their salve labor economy then they would just take their cotton and go play in another part of the sand box.
Hilary Hanson, an editor for the Huffington Post, makes that point very well in in article she wrote for HuffPo back when this controversy over the confederate battle flag arose after Bundy murdered those nine Black people in South Carolina in 2015.
In “Why The Confederate Battle Flag Is Even More Racist Than You Think” she writes that “Those who believe slavery was not a central point of conflict in the Civil War may wish to peruse the South Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi and Texas declarations of secession. Those documents all explicitly cite threats to slavery as reasons for secession. Mississippi’s declaration goes so far as to say that ‘a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization.’”
She then quotes Pulitzer Prize-winning author James McPherson, who says, “The Civil War started because of uncompromising differences between the free and slave states over the power of the national government to prohibit slavery in the territories that had not yet become states.”
So, you see, every flag of those Confederate States of America… be it the real state flag or the so-called state flag which was really just a battle flag… is a symbol of a racist political system… a racist economy… a racist reality based upon owning and using Black slave labor.
But wanna know something else?
This use of the battle flag as a false indicator of a phony and/or racist bullshit southern heritage is relatively recent… just like many of the statues and monuments “honoring” men… mostly confederate soldiers… of the CSA is relatively recent.
And, Hanson clearly delineates that reality in her article… “It was not until long after the Civil War ended, however, that the battle flag began to take on even stronger connections to racial injustice. In the late 1940s, the flag was adopted as a symbol of the Dixiecrats … a political party devoted to, among other things, maintaining segregation. They also opposed President Harry S. Truman’s proposals to instate anti-discrimination laws and make lynching a federal crime.”
She then alludes to John Coski’s The Confederate Battle Flag: America’s Most Embattled Emblem, and says that “Coski writes that though the Dixiecrats soon faded into obscurity, their campaigns ‘made the flag a fixture in places where it had been only a novelty before.’”
Furthermore, she says, “Coski gives the example of the University of Mississippi, which he notes rarely used the battle flag as a symbol prior to 1948. He says the university began heavily incorporating the symbol into school activities and events a few months after students protested against Truman’s civil rights proposals.”
She goes on to point out that in somewhat rapid order starting in the 1960s the following occurred…
1962: The University of Mississippi “… is the same institution that erupted into riots in 1962 when the federal government insisted that the school accept a black student.”
1963: “… the year after the Ole Miss riot, Alabama Gov. George Wallace raised the flag over the state Capitol in protest against desegregation, as described by the Georgia State Senate Research Office in a 2000 report.”
She then notes that that year 2000 report also “found that the integration of the battle flag into the Georgia state flag in 1956 was racially motivated. When the pattern was incorporated into Georgia’s flag, the researchers wrote, the state ‘was in a desperate situation to preserve segregation.’” And, that the report also added, “Resisting, avoiding, undermining, and circumventing integration was the 1956 General Assembly’s primary objective. The adoption of the battle flag was an integral, albeit small, part of this resistance.” (Hanson’s italics)
She ends the article by declaring, “… the reality is that in far more recent history, the flag has been used as an explicit symbol of racism and racial inequality.”
Now… got all that?
The so-called confederate flag is not in any way, shape or form a symbol of protest against the ever-growing reach and tentacles of big government. It is, in fact, a symbol of racism and white supremacy and a direct insult and affront to black people everywhere.
So, how exactly did this Missourian respond to suggestions he was flying or brandishing a symbol of racism and honoring the idea of slavery?
Geisenheyner said that it was utilized to reject the label of “racist.”
In truth, it had the exact opposite effect as many local community people either got more pissed off at him… or… those who may have been willing to look the other way and take a “live, and let live” attitude to his flag display were now adding their voice to the growing chorus against
Geisenheyner eventually relented and took down his sign but he being not one to just shut the fuck up and let things quiet down on their own when he could open his yap and insert his big old foot he told a local news station, “If I’d be selling slaves, I’d have to sell one of my grandchildren.” He then said he had biracial grandchildren and then once more claimed… it all started because he was being called a racist for displaying a confederate flag that… in his words… is a representation of being a southern rebel.
Ye gods and little fishes! The man’s illogical and circular reasoning knows no bounds. I ask is he really this obtuse? Did he get hit in the noggin with a rock or maybe had a tree fall on his pate when he was but a lad growing into the body of a man?
And… as far as that line about his grandchildren and he can’t be racist because they are biracial… why does that remind me of when I was growing up in the late 1950s and the 1960’s and heard white folks often say something like this: “I am not a racist. Why, gosh darn it and hell some of my best friends are Jewish and colored people.
A local man told the Kansas City Star that Geisenheyner sign was “very wrong” and that someone needed to “have a serious talk with him.”
You can try but in my opinion I doubt anyone would get very far with this dude. I mean, it is really, really, really hard to reason with someone who is totally and completely locked into his narrow-minded ways… I mean it’s sort of like he i saying … “Don’t rock and knock my world, baby. I am happy living under a rock.”
Unfortunately, every once in a while he crawls out from under that rock and has an effect… a very negative effect… on the society and the people who live in it. People like Richard Geisenheyner need to crawl back under their rock and take their racism and racist symbols with them and just stay there.
There are those that have voiced the opinion that people like Geisenheyner need to just go away and die. I won’t go so far as to say I wish death upon people like Geisenheyner but i will say death needs to come to racism. The sooner the better. It has been around for way too long and it is killing us loudly with its existence. It does no one any good… even the damn racists that promote the hate and greed that is its dark soul. It needs to be expunged. However the racists of the world become enlightened to the stupidity and folly of their ways it needs to be done.
One way or the other. Some how… some way… the death knell must come for racism. And those who persist in promoting racism in any manner must suffer consequences for their actions.
The only place for the flags… as well as other symbols… of the confederacy and white supremacy are in museums or the history books… as a dirty footnote to an ugly reality of how humans can sometimes be inhumane.
Another thought worth pondering…
In the face of the many tragedies, maladies and catastrophes that are happening around our world… multiple hurricanes attacking parts of America… some as horrific as the worst possible… category fives… that have caused inconceivable destruction… wild fires raging across the American Northwest… earthquakes in Mexico and China… monsoons and flooding in India, Nepal and Bangladesh… countless left homeless… thousands left dead… and… somehow we see people coming together. People seeing other people in need and trying to their best to help correct the situation.
Black folks helping white folks… white folks helping Black. Hispanics pitching in to help wall builders… wall builders welcome the aid. Muslims… Jews…. LGBT community folks… lending a helping hand to Conservative Christians… Conservative Christians helping immigrants. Suddenly there is no distinctions. Just people who need a helping hand and it is given wherever it can be extended. Willingly and with some sort of care. Maybe even love.
There is no Black… no white… no religion… no gay… no rich… no poor… no elephant, no donkey, no politics whatsoever… no young… no old… there are just people in the middle of a godawful situation who need help and people willing to do whatever is in their power to do something… to do anything to take a bad thing and make it better.
But as things begin to abate… as the broken pieces are begun to be put back together… as time inserts itself and the catastrophes become part of the historical record and begin to fade into the past… all those damn distinctions will come flooding back and the same old bullshit will begin to beguile our lives once more.
Why is that?
Another thousand words…
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