05 July 2015

Dreamer’s World July 04 2015 - Bree Newsome

Like most Americans, I will celebrate Independence Day with a mixture of revelry and remembrance. I will celebrate the freedoms that we have, and I will remember that we are not finished with the American Revolution yet. Whenever the freedoms that I take for granted are not available to all Americans, there is a problem that we must overcome together. For the freedoms that others have that I lack, this also means that the problems have to be overcome.
I do NOT have a confederate flag, nor do I want one. That flag represents TREASON and RACISM, and it has no place other than the trashcan when it comes to celebrating this country of ours. I was raised in the South ,and I knew plenty of friends who thought that the confederate flag was a symbol of rebellion, but as I grew older I came to realize that this was only the tip of the iceberg.
The confederate flag represents RACISM above all else. I have heard all the apologists trying to proclaim that flag is about “Heritage, not Hate” but we all know that deep down it represents a failed experiment under which a portion of the USA tried to secede and govern themselves according to a misguided and WRONG racial interpretation of humanity. Thankfully, these lunatics were defeated but there was a sense of forgiveness that has to be labeled as misguided at the kindest that ruled over the healing of this country.
For 150 years, the Civil War has been romanticized until the original cause is lost in the syrupy fog created by this inaccurate history. It has become practically impossible to tie the civil rights struggle to the Civil War because of this misguided interpretation of our own history. The issue of slavery has almost disappeared from history books in favor of “States Rights” as a justification for the conflict. In 1979, as the Presidential elections were underway ,the republican party raised the issue of States’ Rights as the cause of the Civil War to divert attention away from the racial strife that our country has experienced. White southerners were all too willing to go along with this line of reasoning and have been doing so with vigor ever since.
As the republican party has moved further and further to the lunatic fringe of right-wing politics, this intentional downplaying of racial problems by whites has accelerated. Even with a Black President, the wounds are still open. In many ways, the election of Barack Obama made those problems worse with the southern whites. Of course, southern whites will NEVER admit to any racial prejudice, at least not in mixed company and they will attempt to attribute any disagreements with the President, or with Black Americans in some other thinly-veiled racist terms. “Welfare queen, lazy, uppity, un-American” are nut a few of these terms that spout racism without actually spelling it out. This gives the 21st century American RACIST a clean conscience because only the most repugnant racist would ever openly say the things that were openly said 60-60 years ago.
Why is the link that started with the Civil War up until the 1950s a part of this? Simply put, it is because this represents a time when white Americans felt that they had the game rigged in their favor. Equality was nothing but a word that was used religiously and hypocritically to justify segregation and racism on a national scale. The South was not alone in this behavior, but it was much worse there than in other parts of the country. In the 1950s, African Americans began to discover their collective voice and their ability to affect change on the system using their political and their economic power. As significant events such as Brown v Board of Education occurred, white resistance stiffened. Racism became fashionable once again in the south. Most of the rest of the country was willing to move on and work towards a better future, but the South resisted.
The South realized that once the motion of progress started, that their shadow system of segregation and racism would have to disappear. At this time, many states in the south began the process of reviving the confederate flag using the excuse of “Heritage, not Hate”. This was, and still is, a LIE. The confederate flag represents the same racism then as it did during the Civil War, and the same racism as it represents today.
Bree Newsome climbed the flagpole outside the South Carolina statehouse to remove the confederate flag. For taking this action, I consider her to be a true American hero. The confederate flag has ON PLACE in our society anymore.
It is most appropriate that Bree Newsome took down the flag. An African American woman did what every true American secretly wishes would have been done years ago. After the TERRORIST attack on the church in Charleston SC, she finally felt like something had to be done. Unlike everyone else, SHE DID IT!
Bree Newsome represents the true spirit of America and I am thankful that there are people like her here in this country now.