Friday, May 20, 2011

Honoring dishonorable deeds for regression and the rapture.

It was announced this week in the local paper that a group of people from Sons of Confederate Veterans want Kentucky to approve a specialty license plate bearing the image of the Confederate flag. The effort is stalled and there may be law suits on both sides.

The plates would raise money for the Tennessee based organization. Their goal is to promote pride in Confederate history. This specialty plate is available already in nine southern states and 15,000 people have already put them on their cars.  As to the heritage of the Confederacy I wonder if they know what it is.  From history it was enslavement of humans brought over to America from their ancestral homes to work for free.  There's also the fact that they sold those same people like you'd sell a thing and this included the children of their slaves.  The rapes, beatings, murders, are also shameful.  Wanting to honor these horrors seems insane.
My experience with the Confederacy is from listening to my maternal grandmother speak about it. She was born in 1882 the oldest of fourteen children. Her father and mother remembered the war. As far as I know our family did not fight for the south. Our family on both sides were from a northern Kentucky county and ancestors moved there before Kentucky was a state.

I was born in 1951 so when things were lighting up in the '60's I would sit with my grandmother and watch the news seeing cities burning with race riots and police trying to deter peaceful demonstrations with water hoses and dogs. Grandmother would say, "I don't understand what those people want. They have the vote and they have public schools, why do they want ours?"

The county I grew up in was in southern Indiana within an hour's distance from Louisville. There were no blacks or Hispanic people living in the county. People bragged how there once was a sign posted at each road into the county about not staying over night if you weren't white. I never saw these signs but I have no doubt they existed.

When I was older gong to school in town my sister had a part time job after school and I walked to the town library to wait the few hours until she got off work and picked me up. The library was a Carnage Library and I would find a chair at a table behind the shelves and explore. I read encyclopedias. I read Ian Fleming novels. I read history. I read newspapers from Chicago and New York. I read Life and Time magazines. Opening those books and newspapers opened the world to me.

My attitude about people who were of a different religion or different color or home country was that really we were the same, human. I talked to my grandmother about this. I did not talk to my teachers or other kids at school. The Civil War and the then current fight for civil rights were covered in my classes as history. There was no overt sympathy for the south or the Confederacy. We learned to recite the Gettysburg Address.

I remember telling my grandmother that it seemed to me there couldn't be real peace among Americans of different kinds until we all had brown skin. She was shocked and wanted to know where I got such strange opinions. I told her the problem was I learned to read so I discovered how to think.

Now here we are one hundred fifty years since the Civil War and people who are hanging on to their white history want us to regress to make their flag an emblem on American license plates. If they want to put the Confederate flag on their cars they can paint them, use a bumper sticker or put a flag plate on the front. But a state issued license plate like that should not be sold.

This all started with license plates allowing you to personalize your plate with a quote or name and paying extra for it. I won't buy special plates because I'm too cheap. I'll buy whichever color plate that's issued that year and if anyone wants to raise money for their cause or have their name and cute quote on the plate hold a bake sale!

How would these guys like to see a state endorsed plate that celebrates Islam? I mean, the In God We Trust plate doesn't say a Christian god! How would these guys like a plate that celebrates the Underground Rail Road?
We do not need anymore things to divide us.
Also, some very rich old fellow in California is saying the Rapture is tomorrow about supper time. I'll be spending it with a good friend. He says we should try to end it with a bang!


  1. I am from the South, raised in the southern customs. I also was raised watching the KKK march, but I was too young to go to their meetings. My dad wasn’t one, because he was always home when that shit happened. I lived through and witnessed the racial tensions of the era. I remember white and colored water coolers and riding in the back of the bus. I also remember the fight over the flag. The Confederate flag is not the Confederate States of America flag. That was the battle flag. It was designed that way so as not to confuse it with the American Flag – they were so similar. But with all my heritage (I have yet to find where any of my family on both sides ever owned slaves. They say that had so many kids that they could afford or need them to farm.) I sided with the State of Georgia in changing the state flag. I don’t see the need to have the Confederate Flag to remind me of my heritage. Besides, everyone, black and white, lived under the US flag. We are one nation.

  2. It's another example of tribalism - that symptom of the human condition.

    Basically (both biologically and psychologically), we're still cavemen, living in a modern technological world that depends on co-operation and the elimination of differences to make progress.

  3. Looking at this from Europe I wonder when certain sections of American society particularly in the south are going to grow up and stop playing at being the Taliban. It's fear, of course, that governs any form of sectarianism. Come and live next door, Charlene.

  4. I would imagine that if you studied as deeply as you purport to have done, on the topic of the civil war, I would think that you would know that only a very small percentage of the southern whites "Owned Slaves". And you are picking only one aspect of the confederacy to hang it with. In the spirit of truth and knowledge, why not explore the full topic, rather than equate confederacy with slavery?

  5. why don't they just put up little pointy white sheets on there and get it over with..sigh*

  6. Krippled Warrior - Unfortunately, that "very small percentage" of southern whites that owned slaves also owned the majority of the wealth. I think it's fair to equate confederacy with slavery when the Confederate economy was dependent largely upon the institution of slavery. Here's an interesting article that might shed some light on the subject for you...

    I find this comment from said article to be most illuminating:

    "In the seven states where most of the cotton was grown, almost one-half the population were slaves, and they accounted for 31 percent of white people's income; for all 11 Confederate States, slaves represented 38 percent of the population and contributed 23 percent of whites' income"

  7. It's incredible at how both quickly and slowly the USA and the World has moved with racism. Just 50 years ago people wanted to control and persecute non-whites and now you have a black president. It's a pity the World hasn't moved on as quickly with rights for women...

    It's also a shame that people aren't judged more on the content of their hearts and the merit of their usefulness rather than the lottery of their birth and ancestry.

  8. Coffeypot: That's right. Remember the words of the Pledge.

    Chairman: I agree.

    Christopher: I wonder the same.

    KrippleWarrior: I will admit this moment that I have not made a hobby or career of studying the Civil War as you may have. I have read a lot about it from the POV of the south and from the POV of the north. Anyone with a mildly objective outlook knows the Civil War was fought because those owning others as cattle and unpaid workers to make their lives easier were not willing to stop without a fight. Those not owning slaves were poor people like my ancestors who were farmers on small acreage. Those people did not band together to stop slavery but took up arms with their wealthier neighbors to fight for their "rights" to enslave. Regardless, it was a shameful time and people wanting to remember their ancestors' deeds are welcome to do so. The state supporting that is wrong.

    Yellowdog Granny: Yeah. It would be easier to identify the bigots if they'd wear a sign.

    Annoying Joe: Thanks! I knew you readers could say it better than me in rebuttal.

    Urban Cynic: Exactly. I believe a majority of the US is moving forwarding. There seems however, there are a few who will continue to argue for the old ways, even when they are not moral ways in any regard.

  9. In France recently they banned the wearing of the Burka. If a woman is seen to be wearing it in public she will be fined 150Euros.

    In the UK, it is not banned, but there is a lot of debate. I would not like to think my child was being taught in a school by a woman wearing what basically amounts to a mask. How would my child know what this woman really means if he can only see her eyes?
    Why do people need to display things to make them separate? For me it only serves to show a form of defiance.
    For my sins I do not know much about American history, but the one thing which sticks out in my mind is the Ku Klux Klan.
    I agree with you about the License plates.

  10. you raise a good point,,,well maybe more than one,,,:)

  11. I agree they should not be endorsing a confederate flag, on a state license plate.

  12. You're right -- What we definitely do not need in this country are these divisive ass clowns.

  13. amen, sister! as a country we have got to look at our history with all of its warts and blemishes to understand how far we've come and how far we still need to go in terms of ethnic equality. we're all one race and that's the human race! our nationality, no matter what the color of our skin or our style of dress, is American and the last time i looked, we didn't need papers to travel from georgia to new york or any other state in our glorious union! xoxxoo

  14. I agree, we do not need more to divide us. The fools who want to flaunt the racism of the Civil War and Jim Crow South are just itching for a rematch and they hardly care with whom.

    If we really mean to remove divisions, however, it's important to realize that we can't put an end to romanticizing history by ignoring parts of it. The entire country, as it existed prior to the Civil War, flourished on the backs of those Southern slaves.

    We became financial independent (not just ideologically independent) as a result of selling cotton, rice, and indigo to the Europe that colonized us; we wouldn't have needed a civil war if we hadn't--all of us--milked the labor of those enslaved humans for all it was worth, because we wouldn't have been an independent country without them.

    There were slaves in the North. There were slaves in Canada. Enslaved blacks built pre-Civil War America. All of it.

    We can't end the hideous, ignorant divisiveness by divorcing the South. That's more division. I speak as a Southerner who grew up in the Jim Crow South and remember it well. It was the very essence of sin. It was a national sin, not a regional one.

  15. I've tried for days to post a comment to the comments with my Google ID and it sends me on a circular trip which never resolves. SO, I'm posting anonymous. Sigh. - Charlene

    Sarah: I guess that is a difference between Europe and America. We don't get all that wound up if people dress in their cultural garb. Heck, we don't get to making laws about dress at all unless you're inside a strip club and there nakedness can not be in the same room with alcohol you paid for!

    Glnroz: I can make accidental points without using my hands!

    Bathwater: So glad.

    KathyA: Ass clowns are so not funny.

    Savannah: Psst. Don't mention papers some small town council will pass an ordinance.

    Nance: I don't think any of the fools would actually flourish in another Civil War. I'd bet a dollar or two that the moment that confrontation happened, they'd be in their basement with their canned goods and a rifle pointed at the door vs. fighting like soldiers.

    On the subject of slavery, immigrants in the times were treated as slaves to earlier arrivals. If you arrived on our shores a poor uneducated person you worked as the lowest of the low and others profited greatly by it. There are arrogant people today who view workers as a means to production and believe they should pay what they like. This is why we cannot allow regression to those "good old days" where few days were good.

  16. Hi Charlene. You might be interested in reading "Slavery by Another Name," a book by Douglas A. Blackmon. It's a fascinating study of how "slavery" in essence did not stop until WWII...

    The book deserves wide dissemination but I'm afraid too many people wish to live with their delusions.


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