Friday, July 17, 2009
Debating the Battleflag in Myrtle Beach
Symbol connected to hate should be rejected
By Lauren Pancaldo
I am originally from Westchester, N.Y. There are so many diverse cultures there. In New York, most people who have never left the state have never seen an actual Confederate flag; the exception being the "Dukes of Hazzard" show and seeing the famous orange 1969 Dodge Charger. For good reason, you will never see the Confederate flag flown in New York. New York and other Northern states were not a part of the Confederacy in the Civil War.
We have come very far since the Civil WarLawmakers need to let go of flag, but not far enough.The demise of the NAACP boycott has been greatly exaggerated.
Just ask the Atlantic Coast Conference, which decided against bringing its baseball tournament – and an estimated 75,000 people – to Myrtle Beach just weeks after announcing the event would be held here from 2011 to 2013.
This comes a few years after a local group tried to bring a college football bowl game to Coastal Carolina University’s field. They were told it was a nonstarter because of the boycott initiated by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People to remove the flag from the Statehouse, whose grounds are already a virtual shrine to the Confederacy.
The ACC previously awarded the tournament to Myrtle Beach, S.C., from 2011-13, but that decision drew criticism from the NAACP, which has boycotted South Carolina for nearly a decade for flying and then displaying the Confederate flag on state capitol grounds.
The Confederate flag was a symbol for the Confederate soldiers who supported slavery. The flag is still a symbol of hatred and violence. One main symbol of the Ku Klux Klan is the Confederate flag. Formed by former Confederate veterans, the KKK uses this symbol of hatred in their hate rallies. The KKK is a domestic terrorist group. The thought that the state of South Carolina, a place where people love to vacation, still flies this flag of hatred disgusts me.
Having many friends of many different backgrounds is a gift. Not too long ago, being white and having friends of color was looked down upon. I grew up in an area that was more than tolerant, open to interracial relationships and advancement of all people. Now I live in a state where they fly a flag that stands for hate over the Statehouse. I am not a proud S.C. resident for that fact.
This should not be a state issue, but a national issue. The issue is, should South Carolina be able to fly the Confederate flag at the Statehouse? And the answer on a national level, should be no, because it supports racial intolerance and hate.
The writer is a sociology major at Coastal Carolina University.
And a damned ignorant and self-righteous one at that. Here’s one reply:
Lauren Pancaldo’s misleading and erroneous views (Sun News, July 10) on American history are absolutely breathtaking. With all due respect, a beginning college student is without sufficient knowledge in either sociology or history to make sweeping generalizations that are not supported by documentation. There in fact were two Ku Klux Klans; the first had no flag, though the second nativist, anti-Catholic Klan was fond of carrying the Stars & Stripes in its Washington, DC parades of the early 1900’s. The Southern American soldiers of 1861 were no different than the soldiers of 1776, North and South, who seceded from England with African slavery intact. The Southern soldier in the War Between the States served in integrated units while Northern black units were segregated. And the South was the most tolerant region of the antebellum United States with very diverse cities like Creole New Orleans; plus Jewish Senators Yulee of Florida and Benjamin of Louisiana. Where is the intolerance?
Perhaps a South Carolinian might be disgusted with Pancaldo’s native State and publicly denounce its high crime rate, legendary political corruption of Tammany Hall, injustices done to the Indians and New York’s involvement with the slave trade of the 1700’s. They might point out that New Yorkers led by Martin Van Buren disenfranchised free black residents in the early 1800’s and initiated the first Jim Crow laws; and the rabid anti-Semite Ulysses S. Grant is buried in New York City. Does all this make the New York flag which flies over its Statehouse a symbol connected to hate? Shall we reject this symbol of hate and demand it be lowered?
We must realize that the writer only parrots what she was told by ill-educated teachers in a poor educational environment, a very strong reason to take education out of the hands of government. Those teachers who robbed Pancaldo of an education should be arraigned for this poorly-composed and naïve opinion piece, and surrender their teaching certificates.
Lastly, if Pancaldo is disgusted with a State whose people have apparently been hospitable to her and her family, and which accepts her as a guest in South Carolina, then I am sure New York anxiously awaits her return. Anyone who would publicly disrespect the people, culture, heritage and history of the great State of South Carolina in this manner needs to reside elsewhere.
Wilmington, North Carolina