“The War Between the States,” was fought between the United States of America and the Confederate States of America. The CSA was a collection of eleven southern states who left the Union in 1860 and 1861 and formed their own country in order to protect their continued usage of the institution of slavery.
Slaves were considered property, and the southern breakaway states believed the federal government had gone too far in it’s desire to abolish slavery universally as has had Great Britain in 1833. The south believed the rights of individual states to control commerce superceded national authority. Slavery was a component of commerce, not in its entirety, but an essential component to their financial system.
At this point, 155 years after the end of the Civil War between the states, we still seem unsettled as to the cause of the war and what it meant years later.
Without going into all the historical complexities as well as which party is to blame, let’s consider what it means for those who may have descended from slave roots.
I’m not going to pretend for a moment that I represent a group or speak with authority on this topic, but it seems to me, the debate over the display of the Confederate flag in an official capacity at a national public event like NASCAR is cut and dry.
The Confederate flag can’t seem to be a unifying symbol to people of color. It was carried as a battlefield symbol by the South to preserve their rights as slave owners. It was really more of a wealthy enterprise symbol of power in the south which many non-slave owners still supported, both in the south and the north.
To me, I think it’s about time we discard symbols of separation and disunity, as well as oppression of other people. If you insist on your right to display symbols of the Confederacy, Nazism, or similar, then do so within your own property and not at a sporting event or on a government building.
I know there are strong opinions about this, but I believe it’s time to put away our symbols of hatred towards others, which is certainly seen by many people as just a symbolic extension of the people of one color dominating the lives and freedom of another.
Aa long as I’m probably upsetting more than a few people with my opinion, lets briefly touch on another similar topic.
The indigenous people of North America, have long been recipients of destructive politics, segregation, and oppression. We’ve become so culturally insensitive in so many instances that we ignore even fundamental labels of this latent hostility toward those people who occupied this land before the 1600’s & 1700’s influx of European settlers.
I’m referring to recognizable labels of this denigration, The Washington Redskins. There’s nothing ennobling about that team’s name. If Washington DC wants to shed it’s cultural insensitive nature, it can start by renaming its football team.