Your view: Southern heritage not racist

Let me make it clear, I am no advocate of racism or slavery. I find it offensive, appalling, and inhumane. With that said, this article is written to refute the accusations expressed by Ms. Hardy.

The Confederate battle flag represents pride in the Southern region that had been separated from the rest of the Union for four years. The flag is, to many Southerners, a symbol of the Southern struggle for economic equality in a time where the North used the South for their agricultural capabilities, but held them in low regard when it came to governmental affairs that affected the South.

In reference to your accusation that the North is not as racist as the South is, I strongly disagree. Let me take you back to the expansion of slavery into the United States. Many slaves were brought to America on ships that docked in the North. In fact, many Northerners owned or sold slaves. Neighborhoods were restricted to African-Americans. For example, the Chicago suburb of Cicero denied housing to African-Americans until the late ‘60s. African-Americans were also denied job opportunities by many Northern unions.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. We live in a country where our rights are envied. America is the home of the free and the brave. My opinion, though different than yours, is different, but not necessarily wrong. It’s a shame that one’s opinion is misinterpreted as being “narrow-minded” or “judgmental.”

I find it ironic that the United States can celebrate all sorts of heritage months and holidays, but once someone begins talking about Confederate heritage, the rebellion begins once again. Those who do not know the truth immediately look at you as if you have lost your mind or either turn away. The race card is thrown out and your Southern heritage is deemed racist.

In conclusion, the flag serves many Southerners as a reminder of heritage, not a tool for division. Over the years the South has been given many labels by many people who have never been across the Mason-Dixon Line.

Yet, as Southerners, we are labeled racist without adequate knowledge of the opposing party.

No, we don’t go barefoot all of the time, not all of us have mullets, and yes, the majority of us have our teeth.

Racism, unfortunately, is everywhere—not just in the South.

Taylor Benson
freshman, agricultural communications