Attack on the Battle Flag at University of Alabama
My reply to http://www.cw. ua.edu/1. 895672:
The usual definition of “ignorance” is “lack of knowledge, either in general or of a particular subject.”
When young Mr. Spires writes “The truly disgusting aspect of societal acceptance of the Confederate flag is the ignorance of its meaning as a symbol,” he shows his lack of knowledge on the subject of Confederate information in general and the Confederate Battle Flag in particular. Since we are taught to share our knowledge rather than hoarding it selfishly (Freely have ye received; freely give), I am glad to share my knowledge with young Mr. Spires.
By way of very brief summary: The War of 1861-1865 was fought for the same principles as the War of 1776-1781: because people believed that they had the right to choose their own government rather than having a government crammed down their throats; that when the government ceased to serve them and began oppressing them, the people had the right to fire the government and make a new one that suited them better.
If young Mr. Spires disapproves of Virginia, the two Carolinas, and Georgia (together with other States) firing Abraham Lincoln and Congress in the 1860s, I wonder if he also disapproves of Virginia, the two Carolinas, and Georgia (together with other States) firing George III and Parliament in the 1770s. I wonder also if he disapproves of the Mexicans firing the King of Spain in the early 1800s, of the Texians firing the President of Mexico in 1836, and various Soviet republics firing the Soviet Union in the 1990s. If he does not, I wonder if he realizes that he holds an inconsistent position, thereby making it convenient for people to think him ridiculous.
Young Mr. Spires also writes “Furthermore, the modern connotation of the Confederate flag is as a symbol of the oppression of black people as well as rampant bigotry towards non-protestants and ‘foreigners.’”
Young Mr. Spires is right in that lots of people do have that negative opinion of the Confederate Battle Flag. Inasmuch as young Mr. Spires is a man of learning rather than a man chosen at random, one would expect young Mr. Spires to go on to say “When one does a bit of research, however, that connotation is called into serious question” or thereby. I have no doubt that young Mr. Spires, as a man of learning, knows that it is entirely possible for people to have unfavorable opinions of favorable things.
Young Mr. Spires uses the word “bigotry,” which word means “obstinate and unreasoning attachment to one’s own belief and opinions with intolerance of beliefs opposed to them.” I wonder if he realizes that some people could easily opine from his article that young Mr. Spires has something of an obstinate attachment to his own beliefs, with less than generous tolerance of opposing beliefs.
Clifton Palmer McLendon, BAAS (CJ)
Upshur County, Texas