Southern History


From: vaproto@optonline.net


Chuck,


Sent a letter to the idiot in question together with cc’s to the other addresses you provided. The letter is below.



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Sir:


I read your diatribe. I suppose since it kept you from doing greater damage elsewhere – such as imparting your spurious ‘knowledge’ to unsuspecting innocent persons – it was merely a waste of time on the part of anyone who was unfortunate enough to read it. You know, simply because one CAN express an opinion doesn’t necessarily mean that one SHOULD. Frankly, in your case, it rather embarrassingly demonstrates your lack of knowledge and even greater lack (if that were possible) of rational thought.


ANYTHING, including ‘flags’ can (and do) have whatever meaning each individual person wishes to give that object absent the force of a law dictating the item’s or symbol’s meaning – as in the case of traffic lights and road signs. For you, one of the flags of the sovereign and constitutionally established nation that existed in the southeastern portion of the present United States from 1860 to 1865 has one meaning while in the opinion, or more precisely, the EDUCATED JUDGMENT of far MORE people, it has an altogether different meaning. This creates two problems. The first is which meaning is overwhelmingly factually correct. Given that YOU are opining from your "feelings" in the face of undeniable fact while your opponents hold beliefs substantiated by those same facts, I would say that you have lost the first debate.


The second is more straightforward and incontestable. The United States Constitution guarantees the rights of citizens to freedom of speech and expression and that INCLUDES flying, exhibiting, wearing and otherwise displaying the various symbols of the Confederate States of America – INCLUDING its various flags. If you doubt that fact, I might inform you that the United States Supreme Court ruled that the NAZI flag which you wrongly connect in meaning with the Confederate battle flag, could be displayed in the United States; that is, it was the right of those who wished to march carrying the ORIGINAL Nazi flag and not some ‘watered down’ version, to do so under the First Amendment of the Constitution. So it appears that you have lost the second debate as well.


Finally, I – and a lot of other folks – ask what bloated ego and overweening hubris make you believe that you have a right to demand that other people give up THEIR rights because you don’t like what they wish to do? There’s a great deal in our present wretched culture that "offends" me, but I know that I have no right to demand that the rest of the country live by my standards. In the same way, people like yourself have no right to demand that YOUR "interpretation" of Confederate symbols (which are patently false) be the measure by which it is determined whether or not these symbols should be displayed. Let the people who live in the South and who have a stake in her heritage vote upon the issue when it is raised. For if in the name of ‘political correctness’, a minority of the citizenry is able to dictate the actions of the majority, the result is tyranny no matter how "well intentioned and sincere" the tyrants.


Valerie Protopapas


Huntington Station, New York