Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Controversies over symbols are convenient distractions

(Many Americans don't know the "Confederate flag" evolved over time)

The recent requests to remove the Confederate flag from the South Carolina State House are a little late, and a little misleading.

The bandwagon diatribes by news station reporters and politicians over how the Confederate flag is a symbol of racism are either preaching to the choir or falling on deaf ears, depending on which side of the controversy one stands.  People who believe the flag is about racism will not convince people who see it differently, and people who stand behind their right to raise the Confederate flag won't be changed in whatever views they might have.  Either way, we as a nation are missing the point.

I'm colorblind, I am not a prejudiced person.  I find it ironic how culturally we can focus on one symbol, as if that symbol or its absence will change the hardhearted people who hate other people based on skin color or ethnicity.  I'm sure people who hate others without a cause, will hate no matter what flags are flown or burned.  

Either way the South Carolinians go, there will be no winners.  If the flag stays, then many Americans will spew hate speeches fired at South Carolina.  If the flag comes down, the people affiliated with the Confederate flag will be painted in a corner in shame and will lash out in renewed ways, targeting "enemies" who have forced their outsider's ways on them against their will.   

One question no one seems to be asking is, why didn't the public figures now taking a strong stance against the flag (the politicians and news reporters) say something about the flag before the tragic shooting in Charleston?   Maybe they did and we all missed it?  For some politicians, I think the Confederate flag is a convenient controversy they hope to use to gain votes.  

Also, what I'm not hearing, is why do people think maintaining or removing a flag will change the mindset of people?  Once the flag came down, will all sides magically hug?  Certainly, the flag being flown over the SC Capitol offends people, that's clear.  If the flag truly stands for the Confederate that was led by Jefferson Davis, then wouldn't that mean the Confederate flag represents not just a moral issue like racism, wouldn't it also reflect on rebellion and treason against the United States?  Why not try case this in a military court?  

Arguing over the Confederate flag would be like ER doctors complaining about the brand of car a victim was driving when they wrecked, and trying to settle the argument over the car before they operated on their patient...   Culturally, we have allowed racism to continue.  Politics won't cure us of the grievous sin of racism.  Banning flags won't heal our divide.  Until people have a change of heart, a transformation of the mind, and a spiritual awakening, and we begin to see each other as humans created in God's image, racism will rear its ugly head under the guise of whatever flag is waving.  

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