The Confederate flag is racist, Black History Month is not

The Confederate flag is racist, Black History Month is not

If you find the message in the above featured image offensive, you are not alone.

Incredibly, it’s a very commonly repeated fabrication.

The logic of the whole reverse racism thing is enough to make you want to delete country music from your playlist.

Ours is a culture of incomprehensible equivalencies; bizarre comparisons between two things that could not be more different.

It’s a carefully crafted strategy of false equivalencies and whataboutisms.

The Confederate flag symbolizes a collective economy based on white people owning black people. It’s difficult to see how anyone could make the case that slavery is the same as any racial or ethnic group celebrating their heritage.

The rebel flag went largely unseen from the end of the Civil War (1865) for almost 100 years.

It wasn’t until the beginning of the civil rights movement in the 1950’s that it began to pop up as push back to black people who had the audacity to demand their constitutionally guaranteed rights.

By the 1970’s it was ubiquitous across the South, at rodeos, Nascar races and gatherings of miscreant haters of all flavors.

It is a symbol of intimidation and Southern, slave-owning mentality like KKK robes, burning crosses and lynchings.

February is Black History Month.  May is Jewish-American Heritage Month, March is Irish-American Month and October celebrates both Italian and German-American heritages.

Everybody’s got a month to celebrate their history.  April is Eastern European Month.

Here in Chicago, we have a Southside Irish Parade where puking in the street is a proud tradition.  It may be messy, but no one ever called it racist.

That parade was cancelled this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As early as 1513, Africans were ripped from their homeland and transported across oceans in cargo holds to be sold as human farm tools and sex slaves.

The 13th Amendment abolished slavery in 1865, almost a century after the writing of our Constitution. They may have been emancipated, but the Civil War left black people in a most untenable situation.

They had few transportable skills, no familial support, no possessions, minimal education and were immediately identifiable as former slaves.

If black people hated their former owners, it was not without cause.

America had no place to settle 4 million just-freed slaves and no way to make white America see them as equals.

We can point with pride to Barack Obama, our first black president, but one out of forty-four does not translate to a post-racial society.

President Obama, through no fault of his own, kick started a backlash that brought simmering bigotry to a full boil.  White America fumed at the idea of a black man in the White House.

By 2010, white supremacists were ready to tune into Donald Trump’s message of birtherism and the dog whistles of bigotry.

No one can deny that black America sits at or below the bottom rung of the ladder to the American dream.  Hating those who grease the rungs above them doesn’t make black people racists, it makes them human.

Blue lives matter, but men and women with a badge and a gun who swear to uphold the law must be held to a higher standard than criminals and gangbangers.

It’s another false equivalency to compare innocent children falling victim to stray bullets in the ongoing struggle to control impoverished neighborhoods with unarmed men who fall victim to those who are sworn to serve and protect.

It should go without saying that all lives matter.  Like justice however, those words must apply to all Americans equally.

When it doesn’t, a tipping point is inevitable.  Only time will tell if we have reached that point.


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