The Confederate Flag Controversy: The Opinion of a White Southern Girl

I don’t care if it stays up or comes down or gets ripped to shreds or gets flown around Disney  World. It’s a flag.

I know the Confederate flag is more than just fabric and it represents so many different things to so many different people. To tell you the truth, I’ve never thought much about the Confederate flag. I obviously know what it means, according to me any way, and why we have it, but I’ve probably never had a conversation about it.

Now, it’s all I see online, on television, all over social media. It’s all we’ve talked about for days. And I get the debate. I understand why people want it down. I understand why people want it up.

I heard a man say the Confederate flag represents racism to him. That makes me want to take it down forever. But, another man said it’s special to him because the people who fought to have it up, race aside.

Again, I am not taking aside. I’m here to take a totally different side of doing away with the entire argument.

As many have pointed out, this has been a discussion/argument for years now, but no one has ever done anything about it.

Now that nine innocent people have been killed, we see the opportunity to act. While tragedy usually does provoke movement, and it’s great that so many people want something good to come out of something so horrendous, I think we’ve got it all wrong.

The person who killed nine innocent people said he wanted to start another Civil War, and by the entire country arguing over a flag, he is getting exactly what he wanted. He is hearing and seeing all this knowing his plan has come to fruition.

We have been divided yet again. People are saying racism is still an issue, and unfortunately that is probably true. But it’s not just about skin color. There are so many prejudices people face every single day. We have GOT TO STOP bashing each other and showing hatred for people who are different from us and feel a certain way.

I have friends who are different colors, different religions, come from different backgrounds, different incomes, different educations, and different beliefs. We are friends because we always love each other even when we disagree. We just love.

I’m a white, southern girl born and raised in Alabama. But I know there are people who think differently than me and speak differently than me and that makes them intriguing and beautiful to me. I hate for anyone to feel discriminated against because of a flag. I also know some people will say it doesn’t represent anything negative. I am taking a stand to not take a stand in the fight.

I am discriminated against far too often for being a woman, being white, being from Alabama, being blonde… etc. There will always be something you are judged for, and that’s just life. You can’t please everyone and everyone won’t always love you, but you have to love them anyway.

Instead of giving a murderer what he wants and going to war over a fight that could just be a discussion, let’s show him that Americans come together in a time of tragedy.

The issue can be addressed, and all opinions can be presented, argued, discussed, etc. without being harsh. Instead, it is bringing out the worst in people.

Lives were taken in a place those people felt safe. Their families will never see them again and they are gone forever. But their legacies do live, and while I did not know them at all, I can almost bet they would hate to know people were being so cruel to one another.

If you want the flag down, you have the right to say it. If you want it up, you have the right to say that, too. Feel free to speak your mind and discuss the issue, but please don’t feel free to be close-minded and hateful toward anyone who doesn’t agree with you.

Instead of arguing over the symbol, we need to prove we are not a racist country. We need to prove we are the melting pot of love we started as.

The bottom line is, if the Confederate flag comes down, or if the Confederate flag stays up, we have an American flag that represents the freedom, love, and determination of our country, and I think we can all agree – that flag ain’t comin’ down.

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2 thoughts on “The Confederate Flag Controversy: The Opinion of a White Southern Girl

  1. I am a big fan of love, compassion, and understanding. Those three things can alter the course of history. But sometimes before we get to that place we must first acknowledge that we are far from ideal. That is the crux of the problem. You mention all the ways you have been descriminated against. I but the most frustrating thing for you in those situations is the other person’s inability to see just how you have been made to feel less than valuable as a human being. Because that’s what descrimination is. Making someone feel less than valuable by denying them basic human freedoms and respect. Descrimination is robbing someone of power over their own identity, labeling them as something beneath contempt. The flag debate is a symptom of a larger illness. It’s our (America’s) inability to acknowledge and deal openly with our disease. Racism. It’s one of actually a few diseases we carry, but this is the one at the heart of this matter. The problem is everyone’s first defense is to say, “I’m not racist, but…” No. Yes, you are. Everyone is racist. Deal with it. It’s hard wired into us. We can’t help it. “I don’t see color” is one of the most pointless things ever uttered. Because yes, you do. We are taught it almost immediately. How we feel about it is determined by a number of environmental factors largely out of our control as children. What our parents, grandparents, teachers, and other adults important to us say no show us on the subject shapes our world view on race. If everyone would just shut up trying to prove they’re not racist, and silently take an honest inventory of their thoughts they may be shocked to realize that they are, in the very least, passively racist. Here’s the saving grace: it’s not your fault. You were born into this system, and it’s this system you must overcome. You didn’t create it. You didn’t choose what race to be born into, it simply happened. Love, compassion, and understanding begins with acknowledgment of suffering, even if you’re the cause of it, however unintentional. Otherwise you’re just left with anger. If a man insults another man by calling him a woman, he may not realize that he has just insulted all women everywhere by implying that being a woman is less than being a man. It’s accepted. We laugh at it acceptingly, and dismiss it. Most women take it as a given and let it go. But a few may challenge it. They suddenly become vilified for defending their gender, and are looked at as trouble makers. Is that right? Of course not. But a man acknowledging that by saying that devalues women, he may begin down the road to compassion and understanding. After all, have you ever successfully insulted a women by saying she was being a real man? Oh, you may have said she looks like a man to insult her, but that’s not the same thing. That feeds into our belief that women only have value if they are attractive. Learning to understand the way these systems of passive oppression work is what leads to compassion and understanding, which are components of love. If you’re going to ask people to love, you have to ask them to accept that what they’ve been doing up to now is the opposite. That’s not a popular feeling for people. No one wants to the bad guy, as it were. It’s normal for people to become defensive when you challenge them that way, but learning and evolving is not always an easy thing for us to do. Your Bible is full of examples of people learning that they were not the good and righteous people they thought they were. You are a good person. I admire you for your integrity and your convictions. Being a good person is ok, but we must daily strive to be better people. All of us.

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