Stars and Bars

Not so long ago I posted my thoughts on a social media page about the Confederate Flag situation. As a Southern man, I saw this flag literally daily some way or another. Now I am not racist nor does that flag make me angry but the gist of my post was how the South lost the war that that flag was representative of and it seemed odd that keeping it around in a government setting was still a thing. There was tons on controversy and ultimately it was put to a vote in South Carolina and the flag came down. Hooray for moving forward. But then things go too far and that is what brings me here today. I have friends, social media friends anyway, in the South that will tell you that the confederate flag is their heritage and they give all of the reasons why they aren’t racist and the world is just too PC. Maybe. Then I have the same set of friends out here on the west coast that say all southerns are a little racist for not seeing that the flag is a symbol of hate. Also Maybe. But here is the problem, The Dukes of Hazzard has been removed from syndication and all of the toys have been pulled from shelves. Now If you are someone that doesn’t care then you just aren’t involved in what is really right and wrong. What does a television show that is free to watch and not watch have to do with anything. Like it or not the Stars and Bars is a part of our history. And if you think no blood was spilled in the name of the Union flag(our current one) then you are mistaken. If you think the civil war was about slavery, you are mistaken. Also If you think the removing toys and a show is acceptable, you are, that’s right, once again mistaken. The problem with something offensive is that it is learned and not inherent. We have been taught to take offense to something rather than learn how to understand what is really going on and move forward. Being “offended” is often as offensive as the thing that is offending you. I was lucky enough to not be taught how to be offended but instead to pay attention to the reality around me and try to find the truth in things without rushing to judgement. I feel as if this is an easy thing to do but again it’s because of how I was reared. I guess what I’m trying to say here is that yes, state or government sponsored symbolism of racist or offensive things are bad. However, subscribing to what I like to call the lowest common denominator theory of making sure no one ever can possibly be offended is equally bad. Passion drives us all and it is a good thing. Hate is bad but passion is good. The difference is subtle sometimes and is usually case by case but it’s there. If you truly are arguing or discussing about right and wrong, you will need to be able to, not only tell the difference, but care about the difference if you are trying to get a resolution.

I’ll end with this if you think my issue with them Duke boys is ridiculous….  You can go right now and buy any number of different Jesus action figures and any sunday morning there are numerous Christian shows. In my opinion these are just as offensive to someone of a different relegion. Why can I buy a Jesus figurine but not Daisy Duke? Why, if I’m not christian would I want this programming messing up my sunday funday? As ridiculous as it seems, what will you do when something you think is harmless is removed because it makes someone of a different background and culture slightly less uncomfortable. We, as a community first and Country second, need to be more acceptable and tolerant of others. Especially if we don’t agree. For that is how we make progress.

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