"Time to take down that flag"
From: fpbill@earthlink.net
To: kburger@postandcourier.com

Mr. Burger, I just finished reading (and re-reading) your column on the flag issue. Here is my response.

I have neither the time nor the inclination to correct in detail your apparent deficiencies of historical knowledge; primarily because I think you are not quite so ignorant as you would have us believe. You are not sufficiently stupid or naive to actually believe that the Late Unpleasantness was some simplistic morality play, pitting the "virtuous" North against the "evil" South. No, I rather believe yours is the willful ignorance of one who simply swallows myths and propaganda, to be regurgitated on demand when these are convenient to his desired purpose.

In this case, someone has threatened to take away some of your cherished sporting events. This has upset you, and so you have decided to lash out at those of us who honor the flag of our ancestors, the presumed source of all your discontent. Right on cue, out comes the propaganda, along with the petulant demand that the rest of us sacrifice our principles and honour for your pleasure and profit. My, what a shameless pursuit of the modern equivalent of "bread and circuses", so neatly disguised as an exercise in moral rectitude.

You speak of dignity. Sir, I suggest that your proposed appeasement of petty, arrogant, politically-correct, tyrannical cultural bigots has all the dignity of a cowering, whimpering cur, crawling on its belly with its tail between its legs to lick its master’s boots and beg for the scraps from his table. My ancestors, those who fought in the American Revolution and those who fought for the Confederacy, were men who would rather get hurt than give in, and who would rather die than grovel. I would hope that I am cut from the same cloth. You obviously are not, if one is to judge from your current bout of hand-wringing and self-flagellation. As this last cannot change the past, I assume its only real object is pandering for the prizes you seek.

I would remind you that history is replete with examples of the dismal failure of appeasement, and that in the current situation, the ink was not dry upon the last compromise before there were yet more demands. Do you believe that this will be the last? What would you give up next, our monuments, our history, our culture, or even our liberty? Fortunately, you are not empowered to make that decision for the rest of us, as these things are not your exclusive personal property. By the way, where on earth did you get the notion that a failure to pander to every desire of a minority is proof of racism, or that disagreeing with someone on the meaning of a symbol necessarily implies hatred of that person, or others like him? I always thought people might disagree without being disagreeable; why, I might even like you, when your mood is a bit less churlish. However, I should note that tolerance without mutual respect is a sham, friendship which may be purchased only by pandering is a fraud, and both are the product of the basest sort of intellectual and moral dishonesty.

The NCAA is an organisation whose stated purpose is the regulation of college athletics; somehow I doubt it was ever intended to be a political entity, whose purpose is to coerce the people of any state and their elected representatives into serving the political agenda of a faction of that organisation. I would not be surprised if this were to be legally challenged. That might be most interesting.

Just as an aside, it appears to this humble correspondent that you take sports (and possibly yourself) a little too seriously. Do try to get over it.

Bill Stubbs
Columbia, SC

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