Jul 032015
 

silence flag canstockphoto20307346

by Alex Symington…….

I would have thought by now nothing would surprise me, but the reaction to my essay last week on guns and racism was an eye-opener for a couple of reasons. Last week I committed the journalistic cardinal sin of writing about TWO subjects at the same time and inadvertently discovered which is more important to the readers. Yes, it is anecdotal, but still troubling.

The less disturbed casual reader does not feel compelled to respond to someone like me and goes about their day unaffected, but the personal firearms fetishist goes bonkers at even a whisper of negative press on the sacred gun. Normally otherwise intelligent coherent individuals lose their minds at the thought of ANY change to the American firearm-free-for-all.

Yet that was only part of my astonishment, the other being the total silence by these very vocal and “informed” gun lovers on the issue of racism and race hate crime in the U.S.A. Not a word, not a peep on the subject. Quiet as a graveyard. The ease with which my countrymen can wax poetic and endlessly on the topic of the second amendment and the sanctity of gun ownership yet are eerily silent and refuse to acknowledge the corrosive racism rampant in our country is so uniquely, well… us.

Having said that, there are some that aren’t so silent on racial hate and they would be the haters. As with the predictable church-of-the-second-amendment stance of offense as defense that always manifests itself (a respectable three or four days after each massacre) as foaming-at-the-mouth doubling down trumpeted by FOX and the NRA; we are now seeing the same irrational doubling down on the legitimacy of the Confederate flag being flown 150 years after the civil war ended. News flash, the Union won. The method of defense-by-offense used by the NRA is now being employed by racists and slavery apologists even going so far as to re-write history.

Our friends at FOX, again predictably, had their favorite British-born-Canadian civil war “expert”; Gavin McInnes explain how the civil war was not fought over slavery, but state’s rights. This isn’t a new revision, but it always has the desired effect of making the proud Confederate flag fans feel better about their history and why the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan’s Pelham, North Carolina, chapter have reserved the Statehouse Grounds in South Carolina for a rally next month.

James Spears, the Great Titan of the chapter, said the group would be rallying to protest, “The Confederate flag being took down for all the wrong reasons. It’s part of white people’s culture.” Yes, obviously Mr. Spears, the Great Titan himself, is all about culture and “state’s rights”. Yeah, keep telling yourselves that. I believe back in 1860 the main “right” in dispute was the ownership of human beings.

Ta-Nehisi Coates sets the record straight in his essay, “What This Cruel War Was Over” by quoting the leadership of the southern rebellion. There is no gray area, pardon the play on words, in the intent and reasoning of secession by the southern states. A Confederate South Carolina proclaimed,” …A geographical line has been drawn across the Union, and all the States north of that line have united in the election of a man to the high office of President of the United States, whose opinions and purposes are hostile to slavery.”

Mississippi reasoned, “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. 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…”

One more from our friends in Texas,”… the servitude of the African race, as existing in these States, is mutually beneficial to both bond and free, and is abundantly authorized and justified by the experience of mankind, and the revealed will of the Almighty Creator, as recognized by all Christian nations…”

Coates goes on to debunk any notion that there was ever anything noble in the south’s motivation to secede and maintain the bondage of African slaves and in actuality was to increase land acquisition and enslave millions more. The Confederate wet dream was to expand further south into Mexico and the tropics to corner the market of the two biggest commodities at the time, sugar and cotton. So please spare me the “proud heritage” and “state’s rights” crap.

This is probably the time I should add that racism and hate crimes are not exclusively a southern problem, but a disease that has struck all fifty states. However the south does take the lead in such phenomenon. The Southern Poverty Law Center publishes a “Hate Map” of the US and frequently up-dates it to record currently existing hate groups. It is worth taking a look at. For example, my home state of Florida, the home of Rosewood, boasts fifty different hate filled organizations ranging from the old standard KKK to the more specialized LBGT and Muslim haters. Twenty-eight of the fifty are of the White Supremacist variety with eleven Black Separatist groups ranging from militant Islam to militant Christian to the New Black Panthers.

So you see it would behoove us to start a dialogue on the glaring reality of our Americentric racism and stop ignoring it or pretending it doesn’t exist or hoping it will go away. It’s real, it exists and it won’t just go away. Hate only begets hate and has never solved a damned thing. The Reverend Martin Luther King poetically clarified this when he said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

As the United States of America celebrates it’s 239th year of it’s declaration of independence this weekend please reflect on this; if we expended even half the energy we use to defend guns and excuse racism and put that energy towards an honest and willing effort to solve our deeply ingrained racial divisiveness we might evolve into a truly unified nation worthy of the title “United”. Denial simply prolongs our disease.

More From Other Sources:

http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/statements/2015/jun/25/gavin-mcinnes/tweet-civil-war-was-about-secession-not-slavery/
http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/06/what-this-cruel-war-was-over/396482/
http://www.splcenter.org/hate-map
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosewood_massacre
http://www.politico.com/story/2015/06/kkk-chapter-north-carolina-rally-south-carolina-statehouse-confederate-flag-119548.html

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Alex Symington
Actively engaged human being distressed by the current global paradigm of destruction of the planet for short term profit by the global corporatocracy and the bovine reaction of the people most affected. I write essays and poetry in order to sleep at night.
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More Articles by Alex Symington Prior to November 2014.
 July 3, 2015  Posted by at 12:36 am Alex Symington, Issue #121  Add comments

  8 Responses to “American Exceptionalism”

  1. Alex,

    You always write great stuff. It is always interesting, thoughtful and beautifully put together. Thank you.

    Without getting too deep, the thought came to me that if African-Americans were allowed to possess firearms: ‘Slavery might not have been a chapter in our history’.

    Blessings & Respect…

    • John, Please, Afro-Americans were not even allowed to possess their own children let alone firearms. The point is, they were SLAVES and it took a lot more than private firearm possession to change that.

  2. Well, one could make an argument that the right to own slaves was a states rights issue. And that’s probably where the myth arises, but anyone who cares to read about the Civil War will quickly learn that the Confederacy’s own plan was to have slavery allowed as part of the new federal constitution. So, there was no idea that the new Confederation would allow states to decide on that issue. It amazes me to learn that half of our country’s history teachers are confused on this issue. Good column, as always, Alex. MJ

  3. so the war was about slavery, huh?

    let’s see…. Delaware, Maryland, Missouri, Kentucky, and West Virginia (1863), all fought with the North. and guess what…. they were all slave states.

    oops…..

    • It’s hopeless Keysbum. These are people of the lie.

      • yes Sister, I believe you are correct.

        i find it terribly weak of the contributors of this fine paper that they cannot/will not defend their work. i like to be challenged, and i suspect that you do as well, but i guess that’s what separates us from the “people of the lie” as you say. you and i question, debate, are iconoclasts, and relish the truth regardless of how it may upset our present mindset. others are unwilling to question, are incurious, and willing to conform to whatever paradigm their masters have decreed for them.

        i guess you can either have the mentality of a sheep herder, or a sheep. i suspect the contributors of this paper hear a lot of bells….

  4. I believe I did this before, but here goes anyway…

    In answer to your pejoratives concerning your readers, I am neither a racist nor a gun lover, and I do not necessarily hold them to be mutually inclusive as you seem to do. My retort to your last column, mustering as much alacrity as possible, I put forth the prose concerning false flag events, government/media propaganda, and your incessant almost pathological compliance to ingest their narrative. I see that continues…

    In much the same way the powers that be have conflated gun ownership to these mythical slaughter fests (South Carolina, New Town, Aurora), they have now also enjoined it to include racism and all things Confederate.

    And the uniformed, obsequious, sycophantic lemmings dutifully follow along, hence the concocted mass hysteria to wrap one’s self in the cloak of ignorance, but stand on the pedestal of political correctness and proclaim your own wondrous self-enlightenment. In reality however, it’s just a Pavlovian response and a cognitive failure.

    Here are some historical FACTS.

    Only about 6% of all slaves were sent to North America. The vast majority went to Brazil and the West Indies.
    The Trans-Atlantic slave trade was dwarfed by the Arab/Muslim slave trade, in both duration and volume.
    Africans were enslaved by other Africans and sold to the Europeans. Very few “whites” engaged in slave capturing.
    Some 300,000 Irishmen were sold into West Indian slavery in the mid 1600’s.
    3000 Southern blacks owned about 20,000 slaves in 1860.
    Blacks fighting for the Union were paid about half of what Whites received. The Confederate army paid their Black soldiers the same as all others.
    Less than 5% of Southerners owned slaves; hardly any of its soldiers did.
    There were more free Blacks in the South than the total Black population in the North.

    I could go on and on. See a pattern here? This is not a black/white/ racism issue. Slavery is a wealth and power issue, practiced by all cultures and colors of skin.
    The Confederate States of America, and whatever flag you want to align with them, were not about racism. Hell good ole “Honest Abe” was a screaming segregationist who wanted to load up the ships with them and deport ‘em all.

    So, tell me, why do you not harbor any ill will to the white British for enslaving the Irish? Why aren’t you decrying the Arab/Muslim nations for their racism? Why are Brazil and all the Caribbean islands not on your hit list? Why is not all humanity held to account by you as slavery is at least as old as recorded history?

    You really want to blame it all on a flag?

  5. Everyone, Look, I’m sure Mr. Symington, as well as myself, knows the reasons for the Civil War were more complex than just the issue of slavery, but to deny its relevance, along with the racism it entails, is an ostrich-like head burial. It was in the mix … FOR SURE.