Let's discuss the Confederate Flag.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2015 12:57 am
@Beelze: (still skimming over stuff not directed to me =P) First paragraph:
Spoiler
I feel we've been circling too much about this specific part, so if you still disagree after this you can have the last word, I'll still consider whatever you say but I won't continue talking specifically about US flag VS Confederate flag:

The country of the US wasn't born out of a desire to preserve slavery or anger of someone taking it away from them (... I mean, not that I know of P=) and the US flag wasn't conceived to represent a fight for the slaves system. The Confederacy was thou (if you argue there's other things there, OK, but we have agreed that it was an important part of it, right?) and the Confederate flag was made to represent them and that fight.

As far as symbolism goes, it's reasonable and only expected to see the link between Confederacy/Confederate flag and slavery system, that's not trying to demonize it, it's just how it is. On the other hand, it's kinda as expected to link the US flag to slavery as it'd be to any other meme of the time (quills, fancy wigs, whatever music people played back then? I don't really know about history, but you get the gist of it). It's not about that link being "less bad", but rather less important to the symbolism of it all ([something about language and how society has certain symbols for certain things]). Hang on a bit before telling me symbolism is subjective and can change thou because I touch upon that later.


@Second para:
Spoiler
Maybe replace "valid" with "purposeful and consequential to that purpose"? I'm not against the idea of reappropriation but I just don't think that ideal "totally spinning the meaning of it" kind of reappropriation it's what's going on. From what I've seen, the kind of reappropriation I think you are arguing for is not what's been happening with the Confederate flag, which explains why Kanye's stuff deserved some news article and why he bothered to do that at all, if he manages to accomplish something then all the power to him, but imo it would've made more sense for the flag's use to have stopped; note that I'm not saying I want it banned, what I'm saying is that a natural dead and relegation to historic literature and text books by lack of usage would've made more sense to me from a society that has moved on from what that flag originally represented.


About the rest.
Spoiler
First, I want to clarify I'm not talking about all the south and its culture and people, only the Confederacy and their fight and tenets.

   I don't think the flag/any symbol has to represent anything in specific (I mean, chocolate doesn't have to be eaten either), just that that's what it actually does. If my limited historical knowledge here is the problem, do call me out on it, but: I disagree with the idea of the flag being meant to represent the Confederacy being subjective, although I concede that you personally can assign a different meaning to it or even theoretically change society's present/future views on it; there was an idea and meaning behind its conception, a fight to be fought under it for certain specific end-goals and a society and would-be country conceiving it as part of their symbolism, to represent specific things they believed in: Non rhethorical: Isn't that just an historical fact?

   (forgetting for a moment the horrible act that sparked this conversation): Of course, in the present people aren't waging war and murdering others under the flag because of wanting to own slaves or to forward white supremacy, but also: Is the flag currently really used in a way that is completely detached or in opposition from its association to the Confederacy (Kanye being a special case)?. I don't necessarily think (most) people using it are straight out white supremacists (referring to your 6th paragraph @me; I think the issue to be more subtle than that), they can, in a broad sense, view it as about southern pride, but I also think they are aware of its history and of it being representative of the Confederacy, and they fly it with that awareness... Does this not encourage the people that actually fly it because of a racist mindset? Doesn't this result in treating the Confederacy itself as an important part of the south's history (it is) that's worthy of being the current face of the south or of cultural persistence (I say it is not)? I don't mean most flag users are literally going "slavery was the best!" nor that the consequences of the flags use are exactly what they intend, but they are paying homage to the Confederacy and positively extending its cultural relevance, effectively painting it in a more positive light than I think it's warranted while at the same time obscuring from their history the bad that was actually core of what the Confederates represented and fought for (not because we, the present society says so, but because that's the fight the Confederates chose themselves(?)): I guess they stood against tyranny? But weren't there specific motives for this? When you hang on to the Confederacy as an example of anti-tyranism, isn't it twisting history to detach their fight from their reasons and motives to fight and to say they were honorable, or that it was even a righteous fight against tyranny?


I feel like you are mostly arguing for reappropriation as born from the heirs to the culture that conceived the symbol in the first place (the grandgrandsons of the Confederacy... I mean, unless we aren't treating Kanye as a special case?) and where if there is reversal in meaning (rather than shying away from the original meaning to something else) it won't necessarily be obvious, which I don't think is a nonsensical idea but it does seem odd (so I understand why someperson doesn't call it an actual reappropriation). Language is two-way (at least), so I do think it'd be important to account for the rest of society too, and if the rest of society, which understands the originally agreed upon and negative meaning of the symbol, still sees that when seeing the flag, then I think such a misunderstanding is worthy of consideration, either as a consequence of the attempt at reappropriation or something the act of trying to change the flags meaning has to directly address rather than shrug off and failure to do so would become a failure to communicate with the flag what you intend to. Also maybe it's worth it to consider whether the reappropriation is worth it in the first place, after all reappropriation isn't an end (what's the point of changing a symbol's meaning just for the sake of it?), is a means, and I ask what that end is and if the use of the flag is the best way to achieve that.

If you need to focus your attention on anything in this post, Beelze, I ask it to be on the next paragraphs:

I feel like you've been played devil's advocate (for lack of a better phrase) to some extent, but I do appreciate your point about potentially having the flag stand for something good, I really do.

I think where we really differ is in our perspective of how the flag and its symbolism currently exist today, how I don't see that "reappropriation" as something that's actually happening (in a non negligible scale anyways) but you maybe do. How I feel letting the flag go with the Confederacy and having it stay in the past was the way to go to show your society actually moved on from those ideals, but you see the "new meaning" VS "old meaning" fight as worth pursuing (am I on the right track here?). While I think my view isn't as pessimistic as someperson's maybe is, I do think yours is assuming an ideal scenario of sorts that in practicality isn't representative of the flags real usage. I feel like the way it's seeing its current use is more encouraging for those (hopefully) few who do actually use it with a more racist mindset as well as less welcoming to black people, so I see the effort to alter its nuances (specially as coming from white southerners) as not conducive to the purposes of bringing black and white communities together or of ending/reducing racism, nor as conducive to putting a completely new spin on the meaning of the flag, nor conducive to just making it mean "southern pride" as defined in a way completely and absolutely independant from the Confederacy and its ideals.

My perspective comes from very little first-hand experience, some amount of common knowledge, some amount of reading opinions of people I trusted from before and like one or two days worth of looking for sources from both sides of the argument over the internet, so if you think I'm completely off base about that perspective, that's fine, I find that ultimately that's where we don't see eye to eye and I'm not sure I, personally, can find a way to reconcile our opinions there (from my side, at least not without acquiring way more in depth knowledge or more first hand experiences that would make me take a stronger stance on either side).

P-EDIT Ohai: You posted while I was writing this and I can't read that because I seriously need to focus irl right now xP.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2015 1:45 am
Beelzebub wrote:Well this is repetitive. This'll probably be my last reply to you unless you respond with something that I haven't already addressed a bunch of times.
Spoiler
someperson wrote:You keep saying 'the confederate flag has positive history without ever providing an actual example of the positive things it's been used for.

Yes I have. The fact that it was flown by US soldiers while fighting the Nazi's. The fact that slavery wasn't actually integral to southern culture, most southerners didn't even own slaves, and there's nothing really to suggest that the people in the south were much more racist than people in the north.

You say 'the fight against tyranny', but that's a bullshit myth made up during by the Daughters of the Confederacy to perpetuate the idea that the South's fight to keep slavery was merely a side issue, and not the main issue.

Y'know, if you're gonna respond to stuff that's not even addressed towards you, you could at least do me the service of reading the whole thing and the context around it. I literally state right after that their reasons for doing so were wrong and misguided ie. fighting for the right to own slaves. That doesn't mean the idea of fighting tyranny can't be appreciated on a more general level, hence re-appropriation. Also I'll have you know that I don't buy into the historical revisionist stuff that paints the south as totally noble and the north as some evil oppressors, so please don't lump me in with that crowd.

When one group is flying the flag with the intent of displaying white supremacy and the other group is flying the flag with the intent of displaying Southern Pride, and the two groups are virtually indistinguishable

Really? Because from what I understand certain supporters try to explicitly distance themselves from the racists. Hell, even some black people defend the flag, and not just celebrities either.

you cannot claim it and say it means something else, because that makes you either ignorant of what it has always meant, or delusional, and no one without who isn't also ignorant or delusional is going to believe you.

So you've completely abandoned on trying to justify your position then? Because all I'm reading here is "no ur wrong."

You think intent has so much more importance than it actually does, when in reality it has very little importance compared to the actual result. The intent of these people is to display southern pride (already a racist notion, because it is, subconsciously, pride in white southerners), but the end result is that people of color see the display and feel unwelcome. And your argument is opinion of the people who value the intent (those displaying the confederate flag) is more important than the opinion of those who get a result (people who are made to feel unwelcome by the flag's display) and that's a terrible way to view this. This argument allows someone to do whatever without ever considering the result, or how their viewed by the rest of society.

We've been over this. No one said that intent on it's own makes a different. It's the changes the people with that intent are trying to make, which I'm not convinced are unrealistic. "Pride in white southerners" is no more racist than "pride in americans" in general. The whole point is to change perception, so people don't look at it that way. I'm pretty sure that's the point of stuff like "Heritage not Hate." Granted, from what I can tell that in particular seems have some historical revisionism going on, but at least they have the right idea as far as trying to change perceptions of the flag.


Would you deny that the Jim Crow era voting laws were inherently racist?

No, because the Jim Crow laws as a whole were explicitly implemented for the purposes of racial segregation.

They never specifically mention black people, but trying to deny that their main target was keeping black people from voting is ridiculous. So how are modern voting laws, which are designed to target a group that has a disproportionate amount people of color, any different?

It's a false comparison for the reasons stated above. And I'm pretty sure black people were specifically given things like those ridiculous literacy tests. The stuff you mentioned before also applies to white people, so it's a bad comparison.

You keep saying individual critical though

Because it is.

Like we aren't the product of our environment.

To an extent, but it's up to the individual how they process that environment. Given today's ultra PC attitudes, the claims you're making are dubious at best.

That what we value isn't based on experience, and that a large portion of our experiences during our formative years are shaped by our parents

Still waiting on evidence that somehow there's a subconscious desire in all Americans to "look out for the white man" or whatever.

Everyone is shaped by the ideas of those who came before us.

And everyone is an individual and interprets the world around them differently, so stop pretending like you know that everyone has a subconscious pro white male bias.

The reason we are more advanced than our ancestors is because we've tried to listen to people who aren't like us and took them seriously when they've said that our actions have consequences on their lives. So to dismiss the people who say that the display of the Confederate flag makes them feel unwelcome as having 'hurt feewings' is to be actively regressive, which is an unbelievably dangerous view of society.

Pretty sure it mainly to do with recognizing the importance of judging people solely by the content of their characters and not discriminating based on ethnicity or gender. Y'know, since that was the whole reason woman and minorities were in less favorable positions to begin with. And yes considering their point of view played a role as well, obviously, but that doesn't support the silly concept of "privilege" pushed nowadays that somehow just belonging to a minority group and or having less "privilege" than someone else makes your opinion more valuable, or worse, that being more "privileged" somehow prohibits you from having an opinion concerning those with less "privilege."

Oh, and what a dishonest comparison. The flag is not oppressing anyone in and of itself, and the whole point is to change public perception of it to something more positive. The regressive ones are people like you, who are unwilling to look at the bigger picture, and determined to look at symbols as somehow being permanently tarnished for the atrocities that have been associated with them.


Spoiler
1. My point on perception is that it will never change because the it is too strongly tied to white supremacy for it to change without completely wiping the flags entire history from memory and record, which is impossible. And even if that were possible, the southerners are waving it because of its history, so that takes throws that first possibility even further out the window. And even if they weren't, there if there a side saying "It means this now because we say so", and there's an entire other side saying "It means this because it's always meant this", Why would you believe the first side? And if everyone outside of that first group believes the meaning of the second group, how you could you possible hope to change it? And even if you did, what have you actually gained that couldn't be gained by creating a new symbol? It won't change. You say 'it can change', but change is hard. It takes everyone agreeing to it (won't happen), eliminating all negative use (won't happen) and a great, long distance of time between it falling out of use and being picked up again under a different use (won't happen). It's a kind of change that comes comes a lot harder than anyone currently using as 'southern pride' is willing to work.

2. You bring up how we process that environment, but where did we learn how to process that environment? Everything is taught to us. Our environment is what teaches us everything. We are not given a magic rationality tool that lets us process ideas we have not learned. Our reasoning is taught to us. Our values are taught to us. Every single idea we have, every value we hold dear is a by-product of our experiences. We are totally and completely products of our environments and our experiences. And the American environment has always been one of white-supremacy. It's been changing since the Civil War, and it's always getting better, and one day we'll be past it, but we are not past it. That is where privilege comes from. It isn't a product of choice. It is the product of several centuries of white-male supremacy that gives white males many more advantages than women/POC have. It is the suble and not-so-subtle ways that life in America is, in certain ways, easier for straight, white, cis-gender males. It does not mean that because you fit into that category, you will automatically have a better life, but it means that some aspects of your life will be easier if you fit into any of those categories than those aspects would be if you didn't (The most mild example: There are no actual slurs for white people with any real weight behind them). Also, privilege doesn't mean your opinion on a subject doesn't matter, it means your perspective will always be limited. When talking about issues regarding women/POC/LGBTQIA, you will always be coming from a position of power.


You've given a similar address multiple times, and your address has always been absurd at best, deeply troubling at worst. So I'm done too. You can have the last word between us if you want, but I doubt I'll see it, so you can convince everyone who may have been watching (so, like, two people). I'm out.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2015 2:42 am
Ehsan wrote:No Dark, it is not in your jurisdiction to call whether someone gets banned. And it's especially not fine to act condescending and calling people racists in a thread. Granted I really don't agree with the person at hand, it does not dictate or go to people making fun of anyone and it's really getting tiring where you find it fine to act condescending or call names if someone disagrees with you.

...y-you have eyes, right?

The guy is throwing out what's basically carefully worded propaganda for nazis. How is that not grounds to ban someone!? What the hell kind of forum is this when you let hate speech like this go on just fine? I honestly don't feel safe here whenever I see crap like this go unchallenged by the staff. The main site was bad enough, but this is just getting disgusting.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2015 3:59 pm
Racism is wrong.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2015 5:16 pm
Darkseid wrote:
Ehsan wrote:No Dark, it is not in your jurisdiction to call whether someone gets banned. And it's especially not fine to act condescending and calling people racists in a thread. Granted I really don't agree with the person at hand, it does not dictate or go to people making fun of anyone and it's really getting tiring where you find it fine to act condescending or call names if someone disagrees with you.

...y-you have eyes, right?

The guy is throwing out what's basically carefully worded propaganda for nazis. How is that not grounds to ban someone!? What the hell kind of forum is this when you let hate speech like this go on just fine? I honestly don't feel safe here whenever I see crap like this go unchallenged by the staff. The main site was bad enough, but this is just getting disgusting.


"I don't like what he's saying. Ban him! You don't like what I'm saying? Stop oppressing me!"

I don't know what happened to you Dark, but you sound like you spent a little too much time on tumblr learning how to be offended at every little thing that has exactly no impact on your life. Chill out. Nothing said on this forum will ever matter at any point in time. God damn.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2015 6:07 pm
Elmo 3000 wrote:Racism is wrong.

I;m sorry, but this is videogames so racism is accepted, I mean those guys with swastika tattoos probably have some good points to make, let's go listen to them and their ideas on harassment campaigns against any and all non-men with any sort of audience and/or had an opinion on something.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2015 8:48 pm
Ehsan wrote:
Darkseid wrote:I may be a tad out of line, but that would mean this guy is on the freaking moon.

Come on, it's really obvious he's a racist, and I'm kind of shocked he's not banned just based on everything he's said in this thread yet (I suppose it's because he hasn't admitted anything while also sincerely defending the Confederacy's right to CONDUCT SLAVERY, which is really a big red flag that should instantly have him banned, but he's not saying he's racist so no go I guess).

No Dark, it is not in your jurisdiction to call whether someone gets banned. And it's especially not fine to act condescending and calling people racists in a thread. Granted I really don't agree with the person at hand, it does not dictate or go to people making fun of anyone and it's really getting tiring where you find it fine to act condescending or call names if someone disagrees with you.


I absolutely agree with this. I don't agree with some viewpoints here, but from what I'm seeing, it's basically just them saying "here's why this was okay at the time and that made it okay then." That does not make a person a racist. At all.

I don't condone the actions of some people here in the thread, as it mostly seems petty and childish. If you wish to have a discussion in Formal Talk, you are free to do so so as long as personal insults, thinly veiled or not, are not tossed around.

I'm kind of disappointed, really.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2015 9:06 pm
Darkseid wrote:
Ehsan wrote:No Dark, it is not in your jurisdiction to call whether someone gets banned. And it's especially not fine to act condescending and calling people racists in a thread. Granted I really don't agree with the person at hand, it does not dictate or go to people making fun of anyone and it's really getting tiring where you find it fine to act condescending or call names if someone disagrees with you.

...y-you have eyes, right?

The guy is throwing out what's basically carefully worded propaganda for nazis. How is that not grounds to ban someone!? What the hell kind of forum is this when you let hate speech like this go on just fine? I honestly don't feel safe here whenever I see crap like this go unchallenged by the staff. The main site was bad enough, but this is just getting disgusting.

Dark, we've been keeping a close eye on this thread and you are doing the same thing time and time again. You act condescending towards something you don't agree with then pull the moral high ground and chastise others for not joining you. I'm sorry, but this is nothing like how I handle situations and I refuse to ever do so in the future. I'm getting tired of you constantly pulling this with nigh everything and then calling people names and accusing others for not joining in putting down someone. Yes, I do not agree with anything he has said, but no he did not do anything that would be ban worthy.

And I'm not even sure how you're supposed to feel unsafe on a forum. The mods keep a close eye on nearly every situation and try to intervene if harm is at hand, but this thread has not had any sort of unsafe situations that you're worried about. All you have done on this thread was accuse someone of being a racist and asking to get him banned then when I said no continue calling people names and bring down the forums along with it. Seriously, enough Dark. You have been on a high horse and it's getting very tiring to be patient time in and time out.

And finally, I would appreciate if you withdrew of your accusatory language towards me because I do not appreciate my actions being called disgusting or being called blind. My patience is running very thin.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2015 2:05 am
I think this has gone on long enough and I'm just going to lock this now.
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