Thursday, June 5, 2008

Confederate Flag = Hatred and Racism??
"We're all big fans of the Dukes of Hazard," said Dan Fredin, who was suspended, along with Joe Snyder and Justin Thompson. "It's just us showing we have our own style and we aren't going to conform to whatever anyone else thinks."
That will get you in trouble right from the get go with the conformists.
School officials say at least one of the students waved and carried the flag in the parking lot. The boys argue they never took the flags off their trucks, but they admit they brought them to the school.

Officials asked the students to remove the flags. Eventually, all three students were suspended for three days -- which, in this case, included graduation. Officials say a Student Code of Conduct prohibits behavior that may provoke or offend other students.

"We are very clear that the Confederate flag is a symbol of hatred, bigotry and racism," said Rick Kaufman, the Executive Director of Community Relations at Bloomington Kennedy High School.
Hmmm. The Confederate Flag equals hatred and bigotry (against who?) as well as racism? Why is it a symbol of racism? Because it was used by the KKK during their rallies? Does that mean the Duke Boys and the show "Dukes of Hazard" was racist? Was that show about hatred and bigotry?

Now, you can say that the KKK was about hatred, bigory and racism as it was directed against Jews and Blacks. But, does the Confederate Flag represent those ideals as well? Let's go back to the earlier days of the Confederate Flag. From WikiPedia again...

The first Confederate Flag was called "The Stars and Bars" and somewhat resembled the then current US Flag. It was changed to the second confederate flag that was called "The Stainless Banner". It was this flag that incorporated the symbol that later became known as the Confederate Flag as part of its design. The third flag was square and was the battle flag of the confederate states in order to distinguish its armies from the northern Union armies' flags. Ultimately there were 13 stars within the blue crossed banner on a field of red. A navy flag was developed from this but made into rectangular shape and a much lighter blue field. This flag was not widely used. The final flag, that became the widely known "Confederate Flag" utilized the rectangular shape of the navy flag and the colors from the battle flag.

The flags were designed over many years to help distinguish armies from opposing armies and to denote who is involved and identified under that flag. Thus there were 13 stars for the 13 states near the end of 1861.

So, here we see the formation and history of the flag and how it was not intended as means to promote and instill fear and hatred upon the Confederate State's enemies. The ideology of the Confederate States is one of rebellion and standing up for what you believe in and fighting against the big government rules.

From comes this definition of bigot: Bigot is often used as a pejorative term against a person who is obstinately devoted to prejudices even when these views are challenged or proven to be false or not universally applicable or acceptable.

So get this. To be a bigot to means to be intolerant of other people's views, to be prejudiced against others and to hold opinions that are counter to common knowledge. To me, it is the school officials that are bigoted here. They are the ones that are being hateful and bigoted towards the views of these High Schoolers. To me, this is clearly a violation of free speech.

And, the Civil War was not about racism. It was about state's rights over federal rights. It was about the feds telling the states what laws they will be forced to enact and how to live their lives. That war was not about the hatred of blacks. While some in the south probably did indeed hate blacks (that feeling was world wide actually), the reason for secession was over the fact that the states did not want to be told how to operate by the feds.
"It's truly unfortunate that the bad decision they made will prevent them from walking across the stage in graduation," Kaufman said adding that the school has dealt with students bringing confederate flags to school before.
Now, was this after school and in the parking lot? Or was it in a classroom? If it was after school, then I think something could be made that they were on their own time.
But the students argue the punishment doesn't fit the crime. They say they show the flag as a sign of rebellion, not racism.

"The confederate army was in rebellion to the U.S. Army who were about money and power," Fredin said. "We never took it as racial or anything like that."

Meantime, the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota said the students would likely not have a case in court.
Yeah, wonder why that is?!?! Hmmm?
"If the authorities can make the claim that the presence of the flag can reasonably disrupt the educational process than they can censor it," said Charles Samuelson with the ACLU of Minnesota.
Yeah, not like the ACLU to stand up for normal decent people. ACLU is all about trashing christianity, protecting deviants and freaks, and demolishing established historical and cultural norms.


Midnite said...

Well, OBVIOUSLY, this is a horrible policy. And like you said in the post, it suggests that the school system has either little knowledge of what led to the war between the states or the unwillingness to stand up for what is right in the face of conflict. While that flag may incite feelings of racism and hatred, it should be the school's place to educate its students why it should not cause these feelings, not promote them like the policy currently does.

However, there's one thing in this story that should have some emphasis. The school system had previously communicated that the flag was explicitly banned. There is a proper way to protest, and it doesn't sound like that is what is going on here. These students violated the policy on the books, and the school punished them. They should be punished. They broke the rule. If they wanted to make a statement, they would (or at least should) have gone about it differently. Instead, they denied what they did, at least to what degree they did it, which tells me they weren't proud of it, but were rebelling against or just ignoring their authority.

The Captain said...

Oh, I agree. They were definitely rebelling. They admitted as much. However, I don't think the school had a policy against the flag.

"Rick Kaufman, the Executive Director of Community Relations at Bloomington Kennedy High School. Kaufman said adding that the school has dealt with students bringing confederate flags to school before."

I think that they have only had an "issue" with the flag and not a policy specifically against the display of this flag.

I do agree with you in some way. If they were told, or made aware, that the display of this flag would be met with some punishment, and they went ahead and displayed the flag..... then yes they should be punished in some way.

I don't think a suspension was warranted though. Maybe some after-school time or something. It's a flag after all. It is not like they were drawing up plans to bomb something.

I agree as well, the school staff has failed the entire school over this incident. They could have used this incident as a way to teach history, to teach knowledge of why there was this flag, and shown how this flag (in its true sense) is not about fear, hate and racism. But, they chose the side of bigotry.

However, their actions actually reinforced the erroneous views of the intolerant, bigoted illiterate few who believe that the Confederate Flag stands for hate, racism and bigotry. Again, its not the flag, it was the people who stole the flag for their own nefarious use (KKK).

I am also not surprised that the school's history teacher did not speak up. The state of our schools is very sad indeed. All schools.