Recently I posted this writing on Facebook. Given tomorrow’s event in Stone Mountain, GA and the recent dark-of-night placement of the flag at Ebenezer Church in downtown Atlanta, I am reposting it here.
Some forms of modern media encourage simplistic thinking–for example, “heritage not hate.” As individuals and as communities, we inherit various stories. One such inheritance is this statement by William T. Thompson, primary designer of the second national flag of The Confederacy, which featured the battle flag and became the most popular of the three proposed national flags during the four years of the Confederacy: “As a national emblem, it is significant of our higher cause, the cause of a superior race, and a higher civilization contending against ignorance, infidelity and barbarism . . . ” (May 4, 1863 DALLAS MORNING NEWS). On April 23 of the same year in the same newspaper, he had expressed the foundational idea of his flag design: ” [the Confederate nation is fighting to] maintain the Heaven-ordained supremacy of the white man over the inferior colored race.”
In place of simplistic thinking, all of us, including those across from the President’s OKC hotel yesterday [July 2015], must acknowledge the original beliefs behind this flag. Anything else, to borrow from Mr. Thompson, is ignorant of history, unfaithful to the nation’s aspirations and barbaric towards the painful experiences of others.
As a career teacher, I ask that people do their homework before behaving with mindless malice.