How the Entire Country Bought the Government’s Confederate Flag Ploy

June 24, 2015   |   Claire Bernish

Op-Ed by Claire Bernish
June 24, 2015

(ANTIMEDIA) There is no question that the deaths of nine black churchgoers in Charleston at the hands of a white man picked the scab on America’s institutionalized psychopathy with race—and justifiably so.

But what happened next—beginning with South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley’s decision to take down the Confederate flag from its 50 year tenure on statehouse grounds—was a textbook example of a diversionary trap used by governments the world over.

And the entire country fell for the bait.

PROBLEM: The state of South Carolina prominently displays the very embodiment of racism on government property in the form of a symbolic flag. This must be at least partially the reason for the shooting that occurred there.

ISSUE: If South Carolina continues to display said racism by keeping that flag in place, there will never be a solution to this racism. How will anything ever change?

SOLUTION: Take down the flag! In fact, remove that symbol from every government property in the country. Ostracize anyone who condones this racism by showing the flag. Boycott retailers who refuse to join the movement to erase this racism from existence.

RESULT: Confederate flag banished from memory. Good riddance. Now the racism isn’t in everyone’s face. We can all breathe easier. That was a close call.

REALITY: Institutionalized racism, both condoned and perpetuated by the State—from its genocidal birth to its police state, prison-industrial present—is still completely unaddressed and very much alive.

But at least that damn flag is dead.

This is, of course, what’s known as the Hegelian Dialectic. A manufactured problem elicits a manufactured solution that leaves everyone satisfied and allows the originating issue to simply fall from the spotlight, wholly unresolved. In this example, the red herring of the Confederate flag was the opportunists’ bait to ensnare the country in a brilliant diversion from the underlying—and inherently more critical—issue of institutionalized racism. Don’t believe it? Take a look around. Front pages of every mainstream and many independent news outlets are filled with reports about which company is besting another in how quickly and thoroughly they can yank Confederate flag-bearing items from their shelves. Suddenly, the racism they never realized (read: admitted) they were touting in the first place has become a source of shame and embarrassment in less than 24 hours. It was the same for the state governments. Sure, people have expressed outrage over this before—but now there is a reason to act. If a lone state should fail to follow suit, then the racism will surely continue.

Right?

Do you see where this is heading?

Racism, though, is not a flag.

It isn’t a symbol.

It isn’t a thing that can be solved—or kept in place—by a piece of colored cloth. No matter your feelings about what it represents, the flag itself is not the issue of racism.

But when opportunity knocked, that was precisely what it became—a red herring, a distraction—the symbolic “fall guy” for the insidious bigotry that is America’s open wound. The State wants you to believe it applied the band-aid in one fell swoop when it banished the Confederate flag.

Obviously, this is a fundamental fallacy, but the tactic worked. Suddenly, the sorely needed national conversation about race that had begun after the Charleston shooting wholly shifted to focus on that ubiquitous flag. And this wasn’t by lack of design.

The State, in fact, thoroughly relies on systemic racism to function. Minorities are disproportionately represented in prison populations around the country. They are targeted by police. They are targeted by government-insured bank loans with ridiculously high interest rates. Minorities are targeted in mainstream media as thugs when anger boils over into justifiable rage from being continuously and unfairly targeted.

The crying shame of it all is the government’s two-pronged “win” from this madness. Not only was the distraction successful, but a nationalist coup arose, as well.

Vociferous outrage toward one flag led the masses to take up defense of another—the American flag. How cruelly ironic. Erstwhile latent nationalism is rediscovered by proxy when one flag becomes unacceptable. In the blink of an eye, the iconic American symbol didn’t seem half bad. Nevermind that the government it represents depends on actualized racism as an institution.

At least it’s not the Confederate flag.

And we must have a flag.

Symbols really mean something!

Right?


This article (How the Entire Country Bought the Government’s Confederate Flag Ploy) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author and theAntiMedia.org. Tune in! Anti-Media Radio airs Monday through Friday @ 11pm Eastern/8pm Pacific. Help us fix our typos:edits@theantimedia.org.

Author: Claire Bernish

Claire Bernish joined Anti-Media as an independent journalist in May of 2015. Her topics of interest include thwarting war propaganda through education, the refugee crisis & related issues, 1st Amendment concerns, ending police brutality, and general government & corporate accountability. Born in North Carolina, she now lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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121 Comments

  1. Imagine what we could accomplish if we addressed institutional racism in America with the same gusto as we have with this damn flag.

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  2. Exactly. They didn't cause the big commotion the media wanted. They forgave the killer and united in peace. They didn't want that. They needed riots so they could slip the TPP by the voters without notice. But it failed. So they created the flag controversy. That worked. While we were arguing about a flag being racist or not they slipped it right by the voters. It passed in the senate Yesterday. They didn't even report it. They talked about flags all day to keep everyone fighting. The TPP is now one step away from being final. You can bet we'll be fighting over the next racist thing the media tells people a day or two before that vote.

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  3. While you sheep were fighting over a flag like they tell you to. The TPP passed the senate yesterday. The media didn't even report it. Kept you fighting over a piece of cloth the whole time so they could pass it unnoticed.

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  4. The civil war had nothing to do with freeing the slaves. The country needs a history lesson.

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  5. I may have missed the celebration. Is the author suggesting the government's agreement to remove the flag is intended to signal the end of racism? If so, she'd be the only one that believes it. It's not applying a bandaid. It's removing a dagger and at least a step in the right direction.

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  6. This is not a government or media manufactured distraction. People are sincerely bothered by the way the flag has been washed of all meaning and institutionally glorified. They have been way before Charleston. The author seems very concerned about Institutionalized Racism. Well the confederate flag is the BANNER of Institutionalized Racism. Reminding people of that and removing the flag from its protected hallowed flagpoles, removing it from contexts that make light of its true heritage, are very appropriate first steps in dismantling the rest of it.
    Put the damn flag in a museum. Tell it's story in the somber, regretful tones it deserves.
    Discouraging this process seems disturbingly pro-status quo.

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  7. If you have no problem with this flag flying over the state capital, you should have no problem with someone burning the American flag. If your argument is that a flag isn't what it represents, please be consistent.

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  8. It amazes me how the confederate flag has become a symbol of racism. The term con…. really says is anti-federal. People, stop being involved in these government media propaganda distractions!. They want us to fight over stupid shit! I for one am anti-federal! We the people are not the enemy and should stop fighting amongst our selves and come together against the real racist, the Federal government! They hate us and not because of the color of our skin. They hate us because we are realizing that they have made us the slaves to them and do not care about us!

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  9. that flag is a piece of American history erase it and you may as well all of American history hell erase all history

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  10. I read the news and know about Fast Track, marriage freedom and many other world events. The entire flag issue raised a conversation that needed to be discussed widely in this country and I hope it doesn't go away. The confederacy was about white supremacy; nobody can factually argue that point because the very fact is stated in historical confederate documents as was what the confederate battle flag represented no matter what "opinion" a person tries to use. Now, not only most Americans know that, but much of the world knows, too. Education and enlightenment helps create a better environment.

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  11. This goes further than even what the writer let on. The whole purpose of this is divide and conquer. First you pit black against white, have leaders as Sharpton call for riots, all in the name of discrimination, baiting racism. Knowing that sooner or later that some moron will do some horrific racist action. It drives that wedge in even deeper. Then you get the media involved. Then you have the Right vs the Left. The North vs The South again. All the time saying that guns are too easy to get, so you have a divide there. This is a masterful plan. To pit American against American, in such a way that they think that it was their idea. At the same time they take your freedoms away, and pass bills that most Americans would be against. Only if they were paying attention.

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  12. I'm not discouraging that at all. But even what you say speaks to my point. If removing the flag is such an enormous undertaking, and such a big deal, then we are light years from change. Perhaps it should have been done ages ago, but at any rate, making the issue of the flag into a ginormous victory belies the true enormity of systemic racism. It's not that it's a bad step, it's that it became the ONLY step.

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  13. Bill Otten We have gotten nowhere in race relations for a long time. I do in fact believe a real conversation has to start somewhere and this flag bit opened a conversation that will hopefully lead to better awareness that will in turn lead to more conversation on all racism in this country. How many times have we voiced our opinion of such things this article states to be unheard? Living in the South I know real people unaware until this discussion opened up: people who truly believed it was a "symbol of southern pride". Haters feel supported when they see others using "their symbol", but this conversation has enlightened and motivated some to take down that "implied" support. Do you live in the South? Do you have a better example for opening the dialog?

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  14. The states should not fly this flag, but the people who wish should always have the rights. The First Amendment protect ones ability to make an ass out of ones self.

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  15. The states should not fly this flag, but the people who wish should always have the rights. The First Amendment protect ones ability to make an ass out of ones self.

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  16. Claire S Bernish You blamed me for allowing the TPP to pass, because I was distracted by and bothered to comment my distaste for the racist flag, apparently wasting time I should have been devoting to stopping the TPP, to an extent. I didn't have as much interest for the TPP anyway, and still don't.

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  17. Just another example of political correctness — or "Northern Aggression" — which was the true reason for "The War for Southern Independence." All these Southern politicians who are caving into taking down flags and monuments are nothing but a bunch of turncoat carpetbaggers.

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  18. A piece of cloth ??? I get your point , they always set up these mass shootings or set off a bomb for miss direction But that piece of cloth stands for everything we are fighting against still to this day. The puppet masters trying to control our everyday lives.

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  19. That divide and conquer – pitting people against one another because of race, using any one of a plethora of tactics – is part and parcel of the systemic or institutionalized racism I'm talking about. Although you are actually falling right into yet another government propaganda campaign with something else you said, but since it's not at issue, I'll leave it. But yes, you're correct, overall, this is quite the masterful plan. And one of the reasons it works so well, is how predictably people behave when confronted with something that hits them from a visceral, emotional level. Though they didn't plan the flag coup, per se, it was certainly a felix culpa they took advantage of immediately.

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  20. Jim Geesman Hmm. Not even sure where to begin here. Maybe I just won't say anything since you seem to misunderstand anyway, but if nothing else, do yourself a favor and take the time to really examine what's known about the TPP. Not having much interest in something that will affect virtually every job, will affect all food labeling, the way we use the internet, and plenty more – REALLY defies logic, I gotta tell ya.

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  21. Claire S Bernish You said i was falling right into another government propaganda campaign with something I said. Please tell? I am interested on anything that I can learn from. BTW I am not condoning the flying of the Southern Cross since people do see it as a symbol, other people see it as heritage. I fall in neither of those groups. I am just watching and listening to the news and the government. At the propaganda that is being put out at this moment.

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  22. Sooty idiot, the institutionalized racism in the US is in favor of blacks and illegals. You are just too stupid to get it because it is your kind of racism

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  23. He is not he is saying racism is alive and well. It is the racism from the racist democrats that younarevway too stupid to understand as you are a racist yourself

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  24. Perhaps you should find some. Instead you swallow propaganda like you swallowed the high School sport team when a teenager

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  25. Steve Goodlay Your Fox talking heads would be proud of your immature argument.

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  26. political correctness — or "Northern Aggression" — which was the true reason for "The War for Southern Independence.
    keep telling yourself that

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  27. The flag does not fly over the state capitol. It was removed from the statehouse dome ~15 years ago in a deal between the NAACP and South Carolina and placed on the statehouse grounds. A memorial to African Americans was put up as part of the deal. The whole battle flag issue was considered resolved until the NAACP quickly reneged after it was removed from the dome and boycotted the state of SC which has actually lead to nothing considering Black Bike Week is bigger than ever. Believe it or not there are many black people who support the Battle Flag (not Confederate Flag as many uninformed people call it).

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  28. I think that our government is competely fucked up. They're taking away something that that belongs in our histroy, but yet Detroit can have a staute of a black arm with a fist. Dont you think thats racist?

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  29. Dwight Maxwell By propaganda, I was referring to the gun issue, which I really don't care to discuss as it's unrelated to this particular article.

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  30. Love to know how you came to that conclusion, considering I'm actually calling out racism and the tactic used to divert attention away from it.

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  31. Claire S Bernish I'm just a fool on the hill and tire of trying to battle everything the government does that I don't like. That would include the TPP. A racist flag stirs some passion in me that global contracts don't. I have only limited energy, given my health history, and a whole lot of I don't give a Fuck about the rest.

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  32. It's not that I don't understand, I just wish more people cared about it. We're all going to feel the effects after all. And, of course, that very emotion is something the gov't relies on to help sway opinion, distract attention, and generally do the insidious things it loves.

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  33. I've got a number of conspiracy theories myself, but people have perspectives unique to themselves. You see the TPP as a monumental changemaker. Your crystal ball is different than mine. I'm not the one who ever suggested someone doesn't understand. That was you.

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  34. Claire S Bernish Ah I see. It didn't have anything to do with your article. However It is something that brought up by the government during the Confederate Flag issue. I was just making a point of the divide. Gun control is one of the issues that drive a wedge between groups regardless of which side you stand. I meant no disrespect, and enjoyed the article.

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  35. While the country is deciding that the removal of some stupid flag will cure all of our problems, here I am..smack dab in the middle of the protests in Columbia & the utter pain people are feeling in Charleston. SC has been my home my entire life and although I did cry and feel the pain of what happened my my beautiful state, it is this issue with this stupid flag that makes me cry more!! This thing, this symbol, is not a representation of how one race hates another! That feeling, that mentalitity, lies in the heart and soul of the hater! You want to take the flag down then take it! Burn it! Who cares! But 1 minute after you do this, that person who hated you just because of your skin color…they still hate you! The only thing this stupid flag debate is accomplishing is more hate and a much larger line being drawn in the sand by two different races that are trying to resolve this issue with more hate!

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  36. Thank you, and none taken. And you're certainly right about it being a wedge issue, unfortunately.

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  37. "RESULT: Confederate flag banished from memory. Good riddance." <—– Citation needed. When did this happen?

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  38. Except they've been working on the TPP for many years now. So it really can't be the confederate flag debate's fault that this notoriously secret deal is not excessively talked about in the news. There must be additional reasons why the country isn't paying attention to this. Right?

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  39. incorrect. the confederacy was founded for the purpose of slavery.

    Here is the what the State of Mississippi officially stated as their reason for secession:

    "Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery– the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth. These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun. These products have become necessities of the world, and a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization. That blow has been long aimed at the institution, and was at the point of reaching its consummation. There was no choice left us but submission to the mandates of abolition, or a dissolution of the Union, whose principles had been subverted to work out our ruin. "

    http://avalon.law.yale.edu/19th_century/csa_missec.asp

    So tell me, again, how the Civil War was not about slavery? You must be from the south.

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  40. We don't want to erase it. We want to dishonor it and desecrate it. The confederate battle flag is the flag of an enemy of the United States of America. No state should be honoring the flag of our enemy. It should be in a museum, with a placard next to it talking about slavery and how the confederate state of america was founded for the purpose of enslaving black people. Ideally, the flag should be on the ground in the museum. It definitely should not be flying in a place of honor on government land.

    –Brian, US Navy submarines veteran

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  41. Claire S Bernish no it has not become the last step. See the words of the President of the United States.

    [begin quote]
    "Removing the flag from this state’s capitol would not be an act of political correctness; it would not be an insult to the valor of Confederate soldiers. It would simply be an acknowledgment that the cause for which they fought – the cause of slavery – was wrong – (applause) – the imposition of Jim Crow after the Civil War, the resistance to civil rights for all people was wrong. (Applause.) It would be one step in an honest accounting of America’s history; a modest but meaningful balm for so many unhealed wounds"

    […]

    But I don't think God wants us to stop there. (Applause.) For too long, we’ve been blind to the way past injustices continue to shape the present. Perhaps we see that now. Perhaps this tragedy causes us to ask some tough questions about how we can permit so many of our children to languish in poverty, or attend dilapidated schools, or grow up without prospects for a job or for a career. (Applause.)

    Perhaps it causes us to examine what we’re doing to cause some of our children to hate. (Applause.) Perhaps it softens hearts towards those lost young men, tens and tens of thousands caught up in the criminal justice system – (applause) – and leads us to make sure that that system is not infected with bias; that we embrace changes in how we train and equip our police so that the bonds of trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve make us all safer and more secure. (Applause.)"
    [end quote]

    –Barack Obama, President of the United States, 26 June 2015

    So no, it's not the end. It is a beginning. But getting South Carolina to take down that flag would be a very important step.

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  42. "It amazes me how the confederate flag has become a symbol of racism. The term con…. really says is anti-federal. " <— right, they were anti-federal because the federal government sought to abolish slavery. Again, this is what the state of Mississippi said was the purpose of their secession:

    "Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery– the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth. These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun. These products have become necessities of the world, and a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization. That blow has been long aimed at the institution, and was at the point of reaching its consummation. There was no choice left us but submission to the mandates of abolition, or a dissolution of the Union, whose principles had been subverted to work out our ruin. "

    –Declaration of Secession, State of Mississippi
    http://avalon.law.yale.edu/19th_century/csa_missec.asp

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  43. Like so many others,.. you fail to realize what that piece of cloth,… that symbol represents to millions of people. The Nazi Swastika was also a symbol that once represented good,… but now is the very "symbol" of that ugliness. For something to be addressed and corrected,… the first things that must be removed are the "symbols" that represent it. Then you work on the ignorance that fostered that bigotry. It's not easy,…sometimes it's painful,… but it needs to be done ! That "symbol" many in the South revere was created to be and still is a symbol the bigotry and hatred inherent in the Southern philosophy of slavery and the belief that "White folk" were above all "colored folk". It's own designer even stated that belief.

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  44. John you are exactly what I was talking about. Morons and sheep. John you want my flag come and take it. Just because everything is racist to your dumb liberal mind doesn't mean it is for everyone else. You don't even know what the flag stands for. You just repeat what you are told to repeat. STFU and educate yourself. Stop spreading hate before someone gives you that fight you are looking for.

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  45. Jonathan Thauvette It's the truth. But you are so brainwashed you wouldn't know the truth if it slapped you upside the head.

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  46. All I have to say is God's judgment is coming before the next election and their are almost 2,000,000 Chinese troops on our southern and northern border ready to invade the United States.

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  47. So Brian, you explain to us what the flag means to you and then tell us what it originally meant and stood for. We'll see how close to the truth you can actually get. Empty threats in a thread get you nowhere, let's see if you can come up with a reasoned argument to back them up.

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  48. The symbol used by Maxis during WW2 once had a different meaning …
    The real enemies of the people are government and corporations…stop fighting each other and instead, focus on fighting the real enemies of freedom …

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  49. Claire S Bernish, I feel that you and I would be on opposite sides on the gun issue, I agree, lets not talk about it and remain friends.

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  50. Could not have said it better myself. Before all you flag lovers get your panties in a bunch how about you read the whole thing and then perhaps discuss it with someone who has an insight into how others may feel. An discuss does not mean throw insults and shame until all they can do is walk away. LISTEN and you can begin to work to an understanding.

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  51. States Rights. Hence the very word con federate it was not pro federate. Now some may call it treason. Unless they sit in Colorado smoking a joint. Then by some miracle state rights over the feds seems noble to them.

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  52. States Rights. Hence the very word con federate it was not pro federate. Now some may call it treason. Unless they sit in Colorado smoking a joint. Then by some miracle state rights over the feds seems noble to them.

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  53. That's hilarious. Calling people sheep while changing your profile picture to the rebel flag.

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  54. Just another blithering "conservative" spewing bile from a soul wracked with impotence and rage. Vent your spleen online Brian. Go ahead. Its all you have left. Don't forget to call anyone who disagrees with you your simpleton's epithets. For the most part you're to be pitied and ignored. You're a sad reflection on the rot in some quarters of our society. I hope your life is mercifully short and painless at the end. I just don't think there is any hope for you to pull out of the psychic nose dive that is your life.

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  55. Brian Fike victimisation of the slave republic

    let me play you a song on the worlds smallest violin university of life graduate

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  56. Steve Goodlay , men in expensive suits who you would hate if you were standing next to them in a bar are using you to blame your problems on those less fortunate than you rather than pointing your pitchfork at them, even though they are the ones making the rules. Don't lecture anyone on being stupid.

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  57. No its really not a couple of factions have made it their symbol. That does not make it a racsist icon. The flag is nothing more than the 13 original colonies or states that did not want to be part of the coalition of unionized states. 13 stars for the states who didnt want it and the X meant leave us out. The south was on their way to abolishing slavery already. Many blacks fly the flag and I've seen blacks with the flag tattooed on them. If this was a symbol of racism i doubt very highly that they would fly it much less have it tattooed on them. Its history. If it were truly a symbol for racism then we should keep it to remind us and remember. But its truly not about racism.

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  58. Steve Goodlay: Give it some time, we'll be dumb enough to start shooting one another once more, as if all the deaths from our last "Civil" War weren't enough. We can start lynching, blowing up churches, revise history books, have KKK marches, and go all the way back to where we left off, 150 years ago! These not so "united" states are becoming an embarrassment to evolution. When will we ever learn?

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  59. Steve Goodlay: Left, Right,Conservative,Liberal,Black, White….What's the difference once the head's blown off?

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  60. I understand that now-a-days the Confederate flag represents the South, but when the Civil War was not fought over state boundaries. It was for the rights of slaves of that time. Which now is not only deemed wrong and in some countries it is a executable offense. The flag should have been considered a "traitor's flag" since the war ended. It further divides an already divided nation that send it's people off to fight wars that we have no business being in, money owed to other nations, week economy that is still free falling to god knows where, and the people that are still here disconnected cause this rectangular screen shows you the what if instead of going out to figure out what life has for you. Money, nice things, media, advertising, even the damn internet is designed to do one thing, to tell you "You are FREE." Land of the free or ………………………………..

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  61. I understand that now-a-days the Confederate flag represents the South, but when the Civil War was not fought over state boundaries. It was for the rights of slaves of that time. Which now is not only deemed wrong and in some countries it is a executable offense. The flag should have been considered a "traitor's flag" since the war ended. It further divides an already divided nation that send it's people off to fight wars that we have no business being in, money owed to other nations, week economy that is still free falling to god knows where, and the people that are still here disconnected cause this rectangular screen shows you the what if instead of going out to figure out what life has for you. Money, nice things, media, advertising, even the damn internet is designed to do one thing, to tell you "You are FREE." Land of the free or ………………………………..

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  62. David Hunsicker , a quote from the link you posted, "FACT – Terribly untrue. The North fought the war over money. Plain and simple. When the South started Secession, Lincoln was asked, "Why not let the South go in peace?" To which he replied, "I can't let them go. Who would pay for the government?" Sensing total financial ruin for the North, Lincoln waged war on the South. The South fought the War to repel Northern aggression and invasion." But what is not mentioned is that the reason the south started secession was to preserve slavery.

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  63. David Hunsicker also about the link you posted, there are absolutely no resources cited for any of the information. Someone could have just made it all up for all we know.

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  64. David Hunsicker Just one man's comment, eh? Even though he was the vice president of the confederacy? ok let's look at some of the secession documents, on which the legislatures of the states VOTED so these are OFFICIAL statements from those states.

    http://www.civilwar.org/education/history/primarysources/declarationofcauses.html

    Let's look a the secession document from South Carolina, the state that is still flying the nazi, I mean, confederate flag:

    [begin quote]
    The Constitution of the United States, in its fourth Article, provides as follows: "No person held to service or labor in one State, under the laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in consequence of any law or regulation therein, be discharged from such service or labor, but shall be delivered up, on claim of the party to whom such service or labor may be due."

    This stipulation was so material to the compact, that without it that compact would not have been made. The greater number of the contracting parties held slaves, and they had previously evinced their estimate of the value of such a stipulation by making it a condition in the Ordinance for the government of the territory ceded by Virginia, which now composes the States north of the Ohio River.

    The same article of the Constitution stipulates also for rendition by the several States of fugitives from justice from the other States.

    The General Government, as the common agent, passed laws to carry into effect these stipulations of the States. For many years these laws were executed. But an increasing hostility on the part of the non-slaveholding States to the institution of slavery, has led to a disregard of their obligations, and the laws of the General Government have ceased to effect the objects of the Constitution. The States of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa, have enacted laws which either nullify the Acts of Congress or render useless any attempt to execute them. In many of these States the fugitive is discharged from service or labor claimed, and in none of them has the State Government complied with the stipulation made in the Constitution.
    [end quote]

    So how can you claim it was not about slavery? This is their official document explaining why they seceeded, and it says it was about slavery.

    These quotes are from that of Georgia:

    [begin quote]
    With these principles on their banners and these utterances on their lips the majority of the people of the North demand that we shall receive them as our rulers.

    The prohibition of slavery in the Territories is the cardinal principle of this organization.

    A similar provision of the Constitution requires them to surrender fugitives from labor. This provision and the one last referred to were our main inducements for confederating with the Northern States. Without them it is historically true that we would have rejected the Constitution. In the fourth year of the Republic Congress passed a law to give full vigor and efficiency to this important provision. This act depended to a considerable degree upon the local magistrates in the several States for its efficiency. The non-slave-holding States generally repealed all laws intended to aid the execution of that act, and imposed penalties upon those citizens whose loyalty to the Constitution and their oaths might induce them to discharge their duty.
    [end quote]

    So basically, all these states were upset that the federal government and the non-slave holding states seemed to want to end slavery in the south. That's why the ceseeded. The state right of slavery. Not the state right to allow marijuana to be smoked. The state right to allow people to own other people as slaves.

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  65. " their are almost 2,000,000 Chinese troops on our southern and northern border ready to invade the United States." <— uh, no, there are not. Credible source? (Wall Street Journal is right wing and still credible. You could use them. But Alex Jones is not credible.)

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  66. "While the country is deciding that the removal of some stupid flag will cure all of our problems," <— no, but it would be an acknowlegement that slavery and Jim Crow laws were wrong. We're just asking you people to admit that the cause of the War of Southern Evil was wrong. Flying that nazi, I mean, confederate flag — it's hard to distinguish them because they represent the same idea, that whites are the master race and it is natural for blacks and other non-whites to submit to them as slaves — in a place of honor is wrong. It should be on the ground where people will walk on it and desecrate it, but it definitely should NOT be flying in a place of honor on government land. Fly it in a place of honor on your own property all you like, but not on government land.

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  67. Racism is when people say that another group of people are inferior and should be slaves. That's what the confederate flag stands for.

    The flag should be in a museum, on the ground where people will walk on it, with a sign next to it explaining that it represented an evil idea that we have defeated.

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  68. Brian Fike actually the truth would be that it was "The War Against Southern Evil". Because that's what slavery was. A great evil.

    That confederate battle flag was flown over south carolina in response to the Civil Rights Act. Prior to that it was not flown on the capitol building in south carolina. (I don't capitilize things I don't respect. I will respect them when they remove the nazi, I mean, confederate flag.)

    The whole point of flying that flag, according to the people who voted to fly it, was to say that their state should be allowed to have water fountains for Whites Only and make it extremely difficult for black people to vote.

    So by having that flag as your icon, you're agreeing with that, and with slavery.

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  69. Oh My….I always get a gut busting laugh when I hear about "the war of northern aggression"……..never gets old, always funny…timeless joke

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  70. Let the South name the slave graves as part of their "heritage" . Include the people on whose backs the place was built with "Our Glorious Dead". Then I'll consider taking you seriously.

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  71. Goodbye America. At least I lived in a time when you were the greatest!! I proudly served you during rhe Korean War era and after. Just don't think that I could serve in O
    s army!!

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  72. By the way, Idiots should know that history cannot be erased!! Shame that only a few seem to know the true history of the Confederate flag. Snopes knows!!

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  73. Brian Mueller Hi, Brian. First, thanks for serving our country. Really enjoy your arguments, and even though I don't agree with everything you say, you make some good points. I applaud your stand against slavery, and maybe removing the Confederate battle flag from state buildings is an important first step in reopening talks on racism. I kind of doubt it, though, because the roots of racism run deep, and those roots spread from both sides.

    I have no dog in this flag fight, but my hope is that no matter what happens with the flag issue, we someday lay this whole slavery thing to bed. There's enough guilt to go around for both North and South. The North had no problem prospering from the trade in Southern goods produced in a large part by slave labor. And no slave ship ever operated under a Confederate flag, only Old Glory. As far as whether or not the war was fought for Southern independence or to preserve slavery, I suspect the majority of the men fighting were doing so for the former, as only 6% of Southerners owned slaves. But of course the higher ups and men in power could twist things to their own ends, as they still do today. The guys in the field were fighting for their country; those who had a lot to lose, they were maybe pushing the war for something else.

    But that was the past. If we're to have a future of better race relations, it's time to move away from the slavery blame game. As usual in these matters, there are a lot more shades of gray then there are straight-up black and white, and these shades only muddy the racism waters.

    For one thing, if you start to lay blame for slavery, at whose feet do we lay the guilt? White folk in the South, who were responding to the times? Black Africans, who put into bondage those they conquered in tribal battles and sometimes sold whole enemy tribes to slavers? Those in the Middle East who sold far more Africans into slavery in Africa then were ever brought to North America?

    For that matter, how about the estimated 28% of free blacks who owned slaves? Maybe most of the blame belongs to South America and the West Indies, who took around 94% of the 10.7 million folks who survived the Middle Passage? Or should we assign blame further back, the 16th century, to the African Muslims who sold slaves all over Africa – and these were WHITE slaves. Or maybe blame the British, who sent poor whites and political enemies over here, some as indentured servants (many who were treated worse than black slaves), and some into actual slavery. And lets don't forget our Native American brethren, who also enslaved those of other tribes defeated in battle.

    So…lots of blame to go around. Of course, throughout history, men of every race owned men of other races. And it's never been about hatred. It's always been about profit. The defeated, the losers, the lower class, the poor, the technologically inferior, those of different religions, they all wound up as slaves for those stronger, more vicious, more greedy, more 'enlightened'.

    You're probably right. It's time to lower the Confederate flag, put it in a museum where it belongs. But it's also time to bury our history of slavery in the grave where it belongs. There's hope if we all, black and white, can admit our ancestors were all guilty of owning other men. But right now, in the United States, NONE of us are slaves. And we all have opportunities our ancestors never dreamed of. Maybe when we realize this we can sit back and address the true causes of racism, on both sides.

    And if anyone still wants to jump on the slavery bandwagon and fight for the rights of their fellow man, it's estimated that there are from 27 to 200 million people currently enslaved worldwide, mostly within South Asia, Africa, and South America. Many of these are comely women of all races, sold as sex slaves. Still lots of work to do, it seems.

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  74. Slavery was legal in the United States before, during and after the Civil War, the same as the Confederacy. If people really cared about racism and slavery, they would tear down the Stars and Stripes as well. This is about modern day bigotry against anyone outside the Dimokrat union hellholes like New York, DC, California and Chicago. All the war did was to establish as law the fact that the Federal government owned the labor of the slaves, not the slaveholders. And they made everyone equal through slavery. The Federal government own us all and there isn't a thing anyone can do about it.

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  75. You can make anything a symbol of hate..even a flag. Since that flag came down I've read stories of city officials voting to dig up dead soldiers and move them, stories of black activists sending out a challenge to other black ppl to take a crap on the American flag, they want to change the symbol on the New Orleans Saints uniforms b/c of some ppl thinking it's racist and on and on. Like I said before, it's not some object that holds hate..it's the people. It won't stop! The KKK is coming next week to our state Capitol for a protest. This is turning ugly and I think it will never end! But the flag is down!

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  76. Then you are not a true patriot, sir. I am a patriot and I served under George W Bush as my Commander in Chief in the United States Navy from 2001 to 2003 (when I first joined in 1999 until 19 Jan 2001, of course, Clinton was the President). I didn't vote for him, and I didn't agree with his policies. But he was the duly elected President of the United States of America and therefore I followed all legal orders. I would have taken a bullet for him because he was the President.

    I would take a bullet to save President Barack Obama because he is the current President of the United States. In his case, of course, there is the added factor that I voted for him both times and that he is an intelligent man, a great leader and an inspiring human being.

    The confederacy was a great evil. It speaks to the Glory of the United States of America that we defeated them militarily and freed the slaves. Now the fight continues to defeat them in the hearts and minds of southerners. One day, a generation will grow up in the south never being taught that the confederacy was anything other than a great evil. They will be proud to desecrate the confederate flag as it deserves to be desecrated. They will instead honor the flag of the Great Nation of the United States of America. They will be true patriots and true Americans.

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  77. David Hunsicker The cloth represents the government, not us. We've been brainwashed by symbols so that we will naively identify with those puppet masters. Good ideas like the American dream don't need symbols, only power structures use symbols as a "symbol" of their power.

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  78. Brian Mueller It amazes me that the swastika has become a symbol of Nazism. The symbol was used by Hindus and Buddhists for thousands of years as a representation of peace. The Nazi's also opposed our federal government, you'd be surprised how much you have in common with them.

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  79. Brian Mueller Slavery was legal in the United States as well as the Confederate States. The fight was about slavery, or at least one aspect of it, and it wasn't about freedom for the slaves. It was about who owned the labor of the slaves. The slaveholders saw it as an issue of private property, while the Federal government claimed the right to the labor of the slaves (and everybody else). What is the reason they didn't just let the South walk away and secede, when the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court told Lincoln that it wasn't unconstitutional to secede, and when Lincoln himself thought the same thing? It was taxation on the labor of the slaves. The war was about money. The Federal government, by winning this war, established ownership over every American and made tax slaves of us all. The silly theater about freeing blacks was never true and has never been realized. It's just that the slavery got to be a lot more fun.

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  80. Brian, the old "you can't think about two things at once" fallacy. I tweeted and emailed all of the Senators about my displeasure with TPP. What did you DO besides make that statement?

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  81. While institutional racism is indeed alive and well, that is not blanket justification that the "flag issue" was totally a ploy on the part of government to make us "take our eye off the ball" and has no other merit. Regardless of how noble the intentions of the government were or weren't, the flag IS a SYMBOL of the sordid past of the Confederacy and the South. The "Heritage" is a "code word" for racism. At the very least that racist symbol shouldn't be flying proudly from government buildings. Do you really think we are so dumb as to think everything is hunky-dory now? Of COURSE we don't! Regardless of what next steps need to be taken to improve TRUE equality between the races, and not just pay lip service to it, seeing to it that government doesn't outwardly display symbols of that very lack of true equality is a vital first symbolic step.

    After reading your article, I was disappointed that you ONLY saw the "agenda" but failed to see why,in spite of that "agenda", removing the flag was still an important gesture, nonetheless. Spoken like an insensitive Republican twit, Claire.

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  82. Brian Mueller No confederate flag ever flew over a slave ship. That would be the stars and stripes. Not stars and bars. The north profited and prolonged slavery to milk the south for every cent it could before taxing the agricultural south beyond reason to fund the industrialized north. Left alone slavery would have died out on its own like it did in in Europe. Slaves were expensive to keep which is why less than five percent of wealthy Southern cotton farmers had them. So why would over 3,000 southerners go to war to protect the investment of a few wealthy slave holders? It was all about the money…war always is. But dispelling the Lincoln myth would surely shock the senses of the federally educated masses. Oh…since we're getting rid of anything that represents slavery…let's do away with anything recognizing slave owners George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.

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  83. Brian Mueller You go ahead and take a bullet for the traitor, alien, Muslim that holds the office now. He is NOT my president but I do not think thay you would ever understand. This man has done more to destroy the country I love than ALL OF THE PREVIOUS Presidents put together But I kinda doubt that you know or understand any of that!! So take your bullet–I'll pass. It's also obvious that you know NOTHING about American history. The Civil war was NOT fought over slavery but over separation. Pres; Lincoln did not want the South to separate . Oh, by the way, slaves were owned by MANY Northerners. But I don't guess that you did not know that. You also know NOTHING about the Confederate flag. Just you check out the history of that on Snopes if you are brave enough!! So sorry that you have SO MUCH hatred for the South which is, by the way, a part of the United States. Never in the history of this once great country has there EVER been so much division and hate. Thanks Obama.

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  84. Article is slightly mistaken, its not a side issue but it is a minor one. The fact that we can't agree to stop honoring the symbol that people rallied behind to oppose the Civil Rights movement – yes a mere symbol. Means that tackeling bigger issues will be next to impossible.

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  85. Zach Booth " But I kinda doubt that you know or understand any of that!! So take your bullet–I'll pass." <— indeed. Leave it for those of us who served in the Armed Forces to do something patriotic like that.

    " The Civil war was NOT fought over slavery" <— not according to the confederates. All the states wrote in their documents explaining why they seceeded — documents which were voted upon in the state legislatures — that they were doing it in order to preserve slavery.

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  86. Claire S Bernish "making the issue of the flag into a ginormous victory belies the true enormity of systemic racism."

    Just the same, ignoring the fact that this was even a victory in the first place will discourage future generations from even trying.

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  87. Pointing out that the flag is just a symbol for racism does exactly as much to end racism as removing the flag does: Nothing.

    I'd say you're even more harmful than those you're claiming to decry as you're discouraging future generations from even trying by telling them that any "small" victories they attain are meaningless in light of a full and total elimination of the system.

    This is the same tact that feminists have used to distance virtually every single special interest group that has a similar cause on the planet and should, by all logic, be their allies.

    "All or nothing" is the quickest way to ensure that you get nothing.

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  88. David Hunsicker You're ignoring the Vice President of the Confederacy's stated reasons for seceding in place of some random uncited blog on the internet?

    And you're telling everyone else that they need to learn their history?

    Methinks you need a lesson in self-evaluation.

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  89. Clint Jones So if the South went to war over states rights, why did they specifically write it into their Constitution that non-Slave states had to accept the institution of "white supremacy over black slavery"?

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  90. The myth that they were somehow "anti-Federal" is hilarious in the way it illustrates how little anyone knows about the Confederacy.

    If the South went to war over states rights, why did they specifically write it into their Constitution that non-Slave states had to accept the institution of "white supremacy over black slavery"?

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  91. Bill Otten Not everyone thinks a poorly written diatribe against a strawman argument is what qualifies as "inspired thinking."

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