Monday, June 29, 2015

Dangerous Tomorrows - Part One: The Confederate Flag

Wow! I picked the wrong week to take a vacation from this blog.

In case you were wondering what the hell was up with those six days of posts under the title Breaking Weird: Ask Doctor Hitler, the El family ventured forth from the Fortress of Ineptitude for a week at the beach.  Meanwhile 6 pre-written posts of incredible absurdity (not to mention stupidity) bubbled up on this blog o' mine.  

All the while, various events of considerable import on a social and historical scale were taking place. 

So let's see if I can play catch up.  

I'm calling these posts "Dangerous Tomorrows" because these key events have made the days to come dangerous. Well, dangerous for those who have a vested interest in keeping the present anchored to the past and walled off from the changing world of the future. 

Among the things that happened over last week was the rising tide of voices coming out in opposition to the Confederate Flag.  

In the wake of the horrific murders of 9 African American church goers by an admitted white supremacist who (quite literally) draped himself in the Stars and Bars of the Confederate South, various political leaders began calling for the Confederate flag to be brought down in various public venues. South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley (R) said it was time for this flag to come down from state grounds. 2012 GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney was explicit in calling for the flag to be removed. It helps when you're a Republican not seeking public office to be forthright; all the current crop of declared or would be seekers of the GOP presidential nomination for 2016 twisted themselves in pretzels to speak out against racism but not actually condemning the Confederate flag outright as a symbol of that racism.  

But over all, it seems the tide is moving against those who try to keep their flag separate from the racism the flag has become indelibly linked. The clarion call has been heard all over this country and from others around the world: the Confederate flag must go.  

But make no mistake: there are still strong ties to the Confederate flag in the southern United States. I have no doubt here are those who sincerely see this flag as a symbol of southern heritage and culture. But too many people have abused this symbol and whatever value it may have had as a symbol of southern heritage and culture has been eroded over time by those who would further their racists agendas. To the African American community, this flag is not just a symbol of slavery but of the systemic racism that has plagued them over many, many decades. And others through out America and the rest of the world see that flag as a reflection of regressive attitudes towards the very concept of life, liberty and justice for all. The Stars and Bars evokes a time and a place that did not hold forth the promises of liberty to all people. 

Side note: when I was a younger Dave-El, I was a big fan of The Dukes of Hazzard. Like most adolescent boys who followed this show, my attention was focused on the girl and the car. Oh, Daisy Duke, you totally warped my developing concept of sexually attractive women. 

Not that I'm complaining! 

And there was the car, the General Lee, a bright orange Dodge Charger with a Confederate flag on the roof. To me, the flag was a symbol of rebellion by the Duke boys, against the tyranny of Boss Hogg and Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane. Hell, it was a rebellion against the forces of gravity itself as the General Lee launched itself airborne over creeks and gullies. Bridges and paved roads were for wimps! There was to my mind no deeper meaning for that flag on the roof of that car than a big old "screw you" to an oppressive and unfair authority. 

But then again, no one has waved that flag in one hand while brandishing a gun in the other, threatening violence to me because of the color of my skin. 

Guys and gals in the good ol' South, it's time to face facts. Your beloved standard of the Confederacy can no longer be a fun time inspiration for the good ol' days and the good ol' boys who seek to keep to a certain way of life alive and well. Too much violence and hate and blood have become linked to this flag. 

And that's a scary prospect for many Southerners, acknowledging that the harsh and brutal meanings associated with an element of their heritage and culture. But its time of face up to that inescapable truth. 

Tomorrow: Obamacare  

Until next time, be good to one other, okay?

I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You 

Counting Down To Infinity