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Thread: Confederate = Racist?

  1. #31
    Bananarama Confederate = Racist? Pete's Avatar
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    Re: Confederate = Racist?

    Well from several accounts that I've read, Skynyrd embraced the "rebel" flag for just that reason. Rock n roll was considered to be rebellious music back in the 60s and 70s. Using the rebel flag pays homage to their Southern roots and is meant to convey the general rebellion of rock in that era. I think that it could have feasibly done both. Seeing Skynyrd utilize it could have made some people think that it was socially acceptable, and fans of the band may have thought it was just cool to show it off. I feel like to each person it has it's own meaning.

    Some people today use the confederate flag as a means of iconic rebellion and a means of holding on to their southern roots. Granted, most northerners, see this as "holy shit, we've got klan members on our hands." That's not necessarily true. The flag can just represent rebellion and a tribute to the "simpler" Southern ways.

    I guess, in short, it depends on the context. I'd say that the safest bet is that it represents rebellion in general. Depending on where you are and where it's flying, you can make whatever argument you'd like.

    Klan rally= racism, roots of slavery and oppression
    In the North= you're a redneck
    Skynyrd concert= FREE BIRD!
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  2. #32
    Sir Prize Confederate = Racist? Sinister's Avatar
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    Re: Confederate = Racist?

    I know I'm necroposting in this thread, but couldn't help share an experience where at a play I was watching, a guy wanted to put up a confederate flag in his dorm. His roommate was african-american and objected saying that it stood for a tradition of hatred. They had a fist fight over it...etc...

    Semiotics are, like slang, ever evolving. Once again the old Shakespearian proverb: "Nothing is either good or evil, but thinking makes it so." The history of the Confederate flag has nothing to do with it's current standing. How it is percieved determines it's symbolic significance.

    An upside-down cross means what, ladies and gentlemen? It's a satanic symbol, yes? Well guess what? It originated from Saint Peter who requested to be crucified upside-down....because...he didn't feel he was worthy to die in the same manner as Christ.

    Meanings change...symbols evolve.

    It says much more about the state of our education and public awareness or lack thereof, if a symbol is grossly misunderstood from the situation surrounding it's origins.

    Fact is...in the public mind and for all intents and purposes, Confederate=Racist=Bad... It's too difficult to delve into the details so generalization of the facts are necessary. It's not the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, it's vulgar association and it's there to stay.

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  3. #33
    Confederate = Racist? Jin's Avatar
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    Re: Confederate = Racist?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sinister View Post
    The history of the Confederate flag has nothing to do with it's current standing. How it is percieved determines it's symbolic significance.
    That's not entirely true. While you're not incorrect in pointing out that this issue is a matter of perception, the flag's history is at the heart of the debate, for what are we perceiving if not the flag's history? Those who view the Confederacy's history as being predominately or even exclusively tied to slavery and racism view the flag as a symbol of such, while those who percieve the history of the would-be state as primarily or exclusively tied to some other idea (states' rights, perhaps) view the flag instead as symbolizing that.

    It's not enough to take the flag in a vacuum and simply ask what it means in the "public mind". It's also necessary to deconstruct that meaning to determine why it is so. Meanings change, this is true, but never outside their respective historical, social or cultural contexts.
    Last edited by Jin; 09-22-2010 at 06:31 PM.

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  4. #34
    Sir Prize Confederate = Racist? Sinister's Avatar
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    Re: Confederate = Racist?

    Oh, jeezuz, you're talking about facts and the actual history! lol Is my face red... Well, yea, I guess...but...

    I've got a book you'd love, Jin. Granted it doesn't go as far as physical symbols...it's on phraseology and the origin of weird phrases like "Cat's out of the bag" etc... There is tremendous drift in meaning...sometimes almost to the opposite of it's origins. I can't prove that's the case with symbols, cause I'm lazy...but... Who knows.

    As for history, history itself is suspect. Incredibly suspect. If for any other reason because of information overload. Nothing in History is certain, it might as well not have happened at all; because people will look at it at from so many different angles and write "History" books with so many different words. Do I think that one day someone's going to say: "Hang on, the Civil War was started by Slavery!"? Sure, its already happened. As Sasquatch has pointed out, people have said other reasons as well and attempted to debunk the "slavery" theory. This is a clash not only of bias but of prejudice and no one knows which side is which. It's a grueling game of tug of war between interpretations and opinions while fact is tearing at the seams. There are "proponents" and "propoganda" and vicious things like that lurking everywhere. It's a no-man's land.

    Do I claim to know which side is right? Do I think it affects Public Opinion? Do I think that if a redneck has a flag in his yard that he interprets as "local government, rebellion and secession" makes it okay in the face of someone else interpreting it as "I am a proponent of slavery"? All tantalizing questions, which I will answer in the guise of a Philosopher. I have no idea... The only thing I know is that if you want to win over someone who is touchy about the subject, then don't have a confederate flag decal on your car.

    -Sin
    Last edited by Sinister; 09-22-2010 at 08:23 PM.


    Fear not, this is not...the end of this world.

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  5. #35
    Air Assault! Confederate = Racist? HUNK's Avatar
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    Re: Confederate = Racist?

    Hmm...Well I'd say that this is one of those stereotypes that are generally true but not always.

    For example, I'm not a racist but I do own a rebel flag, I also keep it displayed on my wall for the whole world(that enters my bedroom) to see. I happen to think that a vast majority of people just have rebel flags because it's whats popular for the southern crowd. It's just one of those pop culture type things.

    I do know a few people who truely agree with the meaning behind "...the south rising again." and follow it whole-heartedly. I don't think all people owning a rebel flag are racist though. I would have a communist flag and a Nazi flag displayed just because I think they look cool. Does this make me a nazi or communist? (Communist...an argument for another time. Nazi no.)

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  6. #36
    Bananarama Confederate = Racist? Pete's Avatar
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    Re: Confederate = Racist?

    Quote Originally Posted by H.U.N.K View Post

    For example, I'm not a racist but I do own a rebel flag, I also keep it displayed on my wall for the whole world(that enters my bedroom) to see. I happen to think that a vast majority of people just have rebel flags because it's whats popular for the southern crowd. It's just one of those pop culture type things.
    This is pretty much exactly what I was trying to say... months ago.

    I do know a few people who truely agree with the meaning behind "...the south rising again." and follow it whole-heartedly. I don't think all people owning a rebel flag are racist though. I would have a communist flag and a Nazi flag displayed just because I think they look cool.
    Exactly this! People want whatever they want because it looks cool or has some kind of meaning to them.

    I understand that some people say things like the south will rise again, but I feel they're just referring to the overall relevancy of the south in the grand scheme of both the political and overall stereotyping of the US, especially when it really came to how rapidly the northern states seemed to advance while the south had to rebuild after the Civil War. The confederate flag really just because a symbol for the south, and there are people who believe that the south has fallen to the wayside. Rising again, in my opinion means that they believe the south is just as good as the north, and equally important and relevant to America as a whole. That, and I can totally understand the resentment that some southerners have for the perceived way that northerns look down on the south. Racism, slavery, being rednecks or inbred are all stereotypes that the north has for the south, and it's totally understandable if the south were pissed about it. I think that rising again has everything to do with proving that they're not the way the rest of the country thinks they are. Ironically though, this cry seems to only further fuel those scoffs, since it's largely understood as a pro-slavery cheer.

    All in all though, I'm willing to argue that a good majority of the country is pretty backwoods, even places on Long Island and in upstate New York, places very far removed from the south.

    Ultimately though it's about perception and people jumping to conclusions. You see a confederate flag in the north, and you get freaked out and instantly think racist. They very well may be, but they may also just be a southern transplant... or they might have an extra starched hood at home.

  7. #37
    Confederate = Racist? Faustus's Avatar
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    Re: Confederate = Racist?

    Is the confederate flag racist? It is because unlike the United States of the multicultural cesspit excuse for big business capitalism the Confederate States of America was founded with as a nation primarily of White Anglo-Saxons. Alexander Stephens made this very clear in his "Cornerstone speech". But who says this is a bad thing?

    White Southerners were keenly aware that a change in the status quo would be disastrous for them and indeed it turned out to be so. And so like any right-thinking and healthy group of organisms they fought to stay on top as long as possible and maintain their supremacy. So right from the get-go the Confederacy was about more than slavery or states rights both, it was about a group of people. It was about white southerners, and was founded to further their interests and defend their racial, cultural, and social unity. Now I'm keenly aware this doesn't mean piss to the majority of the people here, but consider this: If you were part of an advantaged social group, would you really give up your advantage and power and submit to the oppressed party's victor's justice? The answer, though your not likely to admit it, is no. And whiling I'm asking questions, if you really give two shits about your cultural identity are you really just gonna throw yourself in the cultural and racial metling pot? Once again the answer, though you won't admit it, is no although most of you don't care piss and shit for these sort of things.

    So if your a white southerner, wave the flag proudly. After all it does symbolize you as a people.
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