Con: Why would we want to promote symbol of racism?

By Dianna Wray – DWRAY@VICAD.COM
November 27, 2011

A license plate toting the Confederate flag is a symbol of racism and shouldn’t appear on anything issued by the government, opponents say.

"I think it would be a slap in the face," Victoria resident Agnes Jewett said.

Jewett noted African-Americans were the only race to have been brought to America as slaves. Having worked so hard and come so far, she said, blacks are pained to see something they equate with slavery used by the government.

She said she would be sickened to see the flag that was once the symbol of the Confederacy on state license plates.

"It represents those who are pro-slavery. That’s what it represents and the people who want it, they still have prejudiced attitudes, regardless of what they say. I think it’s monstrous," Jewett said.

The Texas branch of the NAACP has registered strong opposition to the license plates.

In the days leading up to the vote by the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles board, the NAACP collected more than 22,000 petition signatures and 19 letters of opposition from state legislators.

"Any objective person should understand that the Confederate Battle Flag represents repression and is a badge of slavery," the Texas NAACP stated in a release issued in October.

The Confederate flag never flew in Texas, National NAACP board member and Texas State NAACP Conference President Gary Bledsoe said.

Bledsoe said the flag has a particular meaning to minorities.

"The groups most closely associated with this symbol represent white supremacy organizations, which have historically sought to intimidate people of color," he stated.

The Rev. Gregory Wyatt, of the Palestine Baptist Church in Victoria, said he was firmly against putting the Confederate flag on license plates.

"I don’t want to see a Confederate flag on anything because we’re one union and that’s what men died for, one union, not some states in the South," Wyatt said.

Having come so far as a society, Wyatt said, we shouldn’t move backward.

"The war was fought for human slavery, to preserve that economic system. We’re beyond that now. Why would we?" he said.

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