Removing Rebel flag won’t solve problem of racism


I am constantly amazed by the lack of logic exhibited by those who would take complex situations and chose to solve them by a simple, yet illogical, means.

The latest demonstration of this is those who are taking the tragedy in Charleston and warping it to make it about the Confederate flag. [See today’s editorial.]

It seems there is quite a hue and cry for those who believe that by taking down the flag, racism will be solved. Ta-da! Easy, peasy, lemon squeezy.

I guess it makes sense that those who would take the multitude of factors which lead to the War Between the States and boil it down to slavery would make the leap to solving violence and racism by taking down a symbol which they show no understanding of, or knowledge of history.

It is so very frustrating to see people use emotions to tackle problems.

There are those who have made tidy sums by waving the Confederate States of America (CSA) banner and riling up its opponents.

I’ve stated before why objectively the flags of the Confederacy are no more racist than the Star Spangled Banner. Those who object to it rely on a series of what I must regard as deliberately untrue canards.

First, those who object to say it is a symbol of slavery. This is based on the lack of knowledge of the cold, hard objective facts.

It is a fact that slaves were brought to this country on ships flying the flag of the United States of America.

You need only go to Newport and see the “cottages” built for those Yankees who made their fortunes with the slave trade — or New York, or Philadelphia.

It is a fact that slavery was outlawed in the CSA states long before it was illegal in the four Union slates where it continued legally throughout and after the war.

It is a fact that racist groups who used the flags of the Confederacy also used the U.S. flag.  If the CSA flags are thus to be regarded as racist because of their association, so must the U.S. flag.

Heritage groups which use the flag are not, contrary to what the media would like to have us believe, inherently racist.

You should judge them by their actions, which demonstrably show that they are indeed committed to honoring their ancestors in the defense of the U.S. Constitution.

But where is the drama in that? How can groups solicit funds without having an emotional, Pavlovian response to the CSA flags?

If you think that removing the flag in South Carolina will magically erase racism, I want some of whatever you are taking.

Does racism only exist in the former Confederacy? Really?

Once again, making the South a whipping boy for racism may make others feel secure and smugly superior, but it does nothing — nothing — to address the root causes of racism.

Every Southern heritage warrior I know condemns the actions of the vile shooter in South Carolina, and mourns the deaths of the innocent people gathered in a church.

Depayne Middletown Doctor, Cynthia Hurd, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lance, the Rev. Clementa Picknery, Tywanza Sanders, the Rev. Dr. Daniel Simmons Sr., Sharonda Coleman-Singleton and Myra Thompson deserve more than to be used to elicit an emotional response to advance an agenda of hate. Yes, hate.

The vile rhetoric we see directed towards the South from the 19th century until today is misdirected.

Racism will not be solved by taking down a flag. Take down every semblance of the Confederacy and still I can guarantee racism will exist.

Look in every state — every state, even those of the “virtuous” North — and I guarantee you will find racism.

It will take more than the hollow action of taking down a symbol to combat it, and those who alienate those who have much to contribute to the serious discussions which need to take place in order to really, really combat the evils of racism contribute to its continuation.

The flag issue is a fine distraction. Concentrate on that, and you can ignore 100 other aspects of the issue.

Flog away at those who dare to respect their ancestors’ struggle to defend the Constitution, and you can raise money and ire, whipping clueless sheep into a frenzy and distracting them from real issues requiring real solutions.

Make an entire people the enemy, and you can ensure your side can feel smugly superior while doing nothing of any lasting influence.

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Texas could be restricted from issuing license plates bearing the Sons of Confederate Veterans’ logo, which includes a representation of a CSA battle flag.

I wonder if all those celebrating it will be as happy when they find states restricting their pet projects’ plates.

Mark my words, the first time a pro-abortion group finds the state refusing to issue plates for them, they’ll be wailing and gnashing teeth.

But those who realize that free speech has long ago ceased to exist will simply say, “Told you so.”

CHRISTINE BARR is an educator, mother of four and former Henry County resident who now resides in Texas. Her email address is