What is Bigotry? The Confederate Flag Debate

IMAGE COURTESY OF ARROWHEAD.CHURCH

IMAGE COURTESY OF ARROWHEAD.CHURCH

In South Carolina there was a debate over the Confederate flag, a symbol many consider to be racist.  However many argue that anyone who finds it racist needs a history lesson.  And those same people drive past me on the street every day with that flag (sometimes two of them) hanging off to their trunks.  So the question is?  Does that flag have anything to do with the racism?  Because while the flag may not be racist, it is a symbol for those who are.  

I looked at it before as people waving in the air that, “We are bigoted jerks who forget we lost that war!”  I thought it was an old symbol that should be retired, like “Don’t Tread on Me” or “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.”  But some people just see it as a symbol for the South, which I am actually from.  The fact is it is probably subjective.  Not everyone sees it the same way.  

However, the people who advertise the flag sometimes are racists.  They speak ill of African Americans, such as saying that black man got the job over them because of his race, or that Obama is really a Kenyan.  They are proud of their heritage from the Civil War.  Which by the way, what was that war about?

An anti-slavery Republican candidate was elected to the Presidency, which made several states wish to secede from the union to form their own government.  During the war, slavery was made illegal by Lincoln.  And he was the first assassinated president by John Wilkes Booth.  But there was more than just slavery being ended and the union being preserved.  The Civil War also devastated the South economically.  Some people found that wrong to take individual state’s rights away by nationwide legalization, and still do today, just not only about this one situation.

Another example is the nationwide legalization of something not everyone agrees on is gay marriage.  It was originally done state by state, that was another way of seceding  I suppose.  But then it was passed that every state had to legalize it.  Some people take offense to that.  Some civil servants try to stop gay people from receiving marriage licenses, even though they do not have the right to oppose.  Some think it took rights away from people, ironic I know.  But they decided that human rights should not be decided by the state, because they are for all humans.  So giving every gay person the right to marry is kind of like making it illegal to enslave African Americans.

But let us not forget that despite the end of slavery, the persecution of black people did not cease.  We had segregation and the civil rights movement later on.  If racism and homophobia are at all similar, the fight for gay rights is not over.  We will still face prejudice and discrimination.  Because if racism is any indication, it has been hundreds of years and racism still exists.  Will I see the end of homophobia?  I have not seen the end of racism certainly.  There is no flag symbolic of homophobia, but there are hateful hearts that still beat.