Let's discuss the Confederate Flag.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2015 12:02 am
Double post of cool.
@Beelze: OK, I don't want to throw a cheap shot at you here so need to ask more questions to make sure I really understand where your head is at about this:
Spoiler
Of course it was a bad thing, I never said otherwise. But the fact of the matter is that even though they were fighting to own slaves, those reasons were less ideological and more based on the specific circumstances that the south was in. I only bring this up to show that the north really wasn't much less racist than the south, so labeling the confederate flag as "racist" is silly, because then you would also have to call the United States flag "racist."

Small objection on the comparison to the US flag for stuff I already said on my previous post just now and also wrote about in posts previous to that one. Maybe change "racist" for "a symbol for the fight to own slaves"?

Smaller objection to the statement about the "North being racist": One, because that's whatever when the issue is whether they were fighting to keep the slavery system around or the opposite, and two it feels somewhat like that "2 wrongs make a right"/appeal to hypocrisy logic again =/, but that's more of a comment to you as someone who likes to debate rather than something I want you to respond to here.

I felt the need to bring it up because there is more to it than "they wanted slavery because they are racist."

I get truth isn't as simple as "they were evil racists". I mean, people normally think they are right in doing what they do, even the most despicable of people, and many racists would not normally realise or think of themselves as racists. However: What are you going for here? Just a statement on the complexity of truth? Because yeah, truth is complex, but the idea of fighting for slavery for the sake of economy sounds still really damn despicable to me (if anything could be seen as worse if they aren't racists, because if so they have the mind to realise these were people with actual rights, and still wanted to make them slaves), how is that any better other than adding more layers to it D=?
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2015 5:02 am
I think we are getting a little side tracked from why this story/debate even began. It's about flying the Confederate flag over South Carolina's Capitol building. Which has HUGE symbolism for black people that isn't of the "Southern Pride" type. If you had people burning crosses on your lawn with the Confederate flag being flown by those extreme racist I'd imagine you'd have a different view of what that flag means too. This is a government building flying a flag that KKK love to fly/embrace and has a HUGE history of being associated with slavery (you know the kind of slavery where you OWN a human being and you can beat them, starve them, rape them, and kill them with no consequences since you OWN them). Not to mention it represents the time when our nation tried to separate it's self. Why would a state government fly a flag like that I don't understand as there is so much that is associated it with it being bad. Not going to say it's "all" bad but fuck me. You can't be so fucking blind to see why black people see it as a sign of oppression and why they don't want their state government to fly it over their capitol grounds.

In short the flag is way too controversial to be flown over a government building that represents all the people when so many of these people see it as a sign of bigotry, racism, and hate. Don't try to fucking spin this and say it doesn't mean that because thats why black people are wanting it down. It's not like these black people living in the South hate the South and are all Northern lovers. It's the racism associated with it and the history of a civil war to continue oppressing their people into slavery. Economics or not, it was to continue the tradition or oppressing black people into slavery. The flag should never be flown on government grounds.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2015 2:27 pm
Beelzebub wrote:
The Confederacy can be defined by it's worst aspect because it wouldn't exist without that worst aspect.

That doesn't make any sense. The meaning of symbols is fluid. Because it was originally designed to stand for white superiority doesn't mean it always has to stand for that. That's not how symbols work.


No no no no no no no.

I hate making the same argument more than once but let's walk down this road again - I think we should repurpose the Swastika to represent a deep and respectful love of 'Ivy the Kiwi'. So I'm going to paint it on my clothes, fly it on a flag, tattoo it on my forehead, and generally start every sentence with 'Well, speaking as a supporter of the Swastika...'

What's more, I'm going to magically expect everyone to totally understand what I've turned this symbol into, even though it's globally recognized for something completely different and horrible. Because hey, just because something is a symbol for white supremacy and racism is no reason not to keep using it! What else am I supposed to do, find a DIFFERENT symbol so that people know it DOESN'T stand for totally evil things? Who has time for that?

I'm not saying that everyone who supports the Confederate Flag is racist, but I'm saying that if someone is dedicated or stupid (the two aren't mutually exclusive) enough to keep waving the flag around despite knowing full well that it means 'Hey look at me I'm a massive racist and slavery was awesome!' then they totally deserve that reputation. They know what they're doing and they know what it will make people think.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2015 3:06 pm
Gonna start spoilering these long posts.
Spoiler
someperson wrote:My point is that you need to reevaluate where your ideals come from.

And your point still doesn't make sense. Ideas should stand or fall on their own merit and nothing else. Trying to discredit an idea because of where you think it "came from" is ridiculous. And sorry to burst your bubble, but I don’t think in terms of what benefits the “white male power structure.” This is just a cop out to make it seem like I have some kind of dastardly pro white anti black bias just because my ideas don’t mesh with your simplistic presuppositions.

But one group was outlawing slavery and one wasn't. So one side was becoming less racist and the other was fighting to preserve white superiority. They were impeding progress. And modern southerners are celebrating them, despite the fact that impeding progress is the only noteworthy thing they've ever done.

Many people in the south were also "less racist" ie. morally opposed to slavery as well. Which is my point. Their reasons for fighting for slavery were less ideological, and more practical. Not to mention that like I said before, slavery was not the only issue in the Civil war. A lot of it also revolved around the issue of Fedaralism vs Anti-Federalism, an issue that had been around since the United States was founded. Also, besides industrialization, another reason why the north was able to abolish slavery more quickly was because of an influx of immigrants from places like Ireland who would work at very low wages, reducing the need for slave labor.

Many people today celebrate the founding fathers, most of whom owned slaves. and some of whom were okay with the institution. Just as there was more to the founding fathers than them owning slaves, the same goes for southern culture.

@Lyserg
I’m not really sure what your criteria is for determining that slavery was more “meaningful” to the confederacy than it was to America as a whole before slavery was abolished in the north. Slavery is a horrid crime regardless of how “meaningful” the people benefiting from it consider it.

“fancy wigs”
See above. There’s nothing inherently objectionable about wearing fancy wigs. I don’t see what difference it really makes. If some outside force had come and tried to get rid of slavery, the early united states probably would have fought for it as well.

Honestly, I don’t know for certain what exactly the people trying reappropriate the rebel flag have in mind. Could be that they’re just expressing the love of their culture. That doesn’t necessarily mean “ignoring” the fact that slavery was a part of it at one point any more than expressing admiration for the founding fathers isn’t “ignoring” the fact that they owned slaves.

I don’t think the fact that they were asked to stop at all mitigates the significance of that usage. I don’t know for sure what the people flying it had in mind, but given that it was being flown in opposition to the most vile white supremacist regime ever, I somehow doubt that white superiority was one of the messages they were trying to convey with the flag.

“but the idea of fighting for slavery for the sake of economy sounds still really damn despicable to me”
Yes, but the fact of the matter is that there culture did not revolve around it, and most people didn’t see slavery as this great thing. Most southerners at the time didn’t even own slaves. Given how many consider the rebel flag to symbolize their love of southern culture, it’s worth bringing up.

I’d like to quickly add something else. I think another reason that banning/demonizing the flag is bad is because it contributes to the whole “us vs them” mentality that many racists who brandish the flag hold. Honestly I think all it would accomplish is leading to more racists rallying behind the flag. I think the best way to fight symbolism is with symbolism. Kanye West had the right idea. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/sty ... ut-it-now/


@elmo

I also don't feel like reiterating all my points over again. Basically, you're not making a case for why reappropriating a symbol is bad beyond an appeal to emotion. The entire point is to change what it means and what people think of it.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2015 3:30 pm
Okay, I think I should chime in once again.

The concept of a flag being picked apart from individual symbols and not representative as a whole is flawed because in all honesty, it dismissed the bad history that any symbol has gone to. Simply saying, "Ignore the bad parts," is incredibly dismissive towards the groups or parties that have gone through a lot of the hatred and oppression in the name of the flag. It's a rather huge slap in the face to simply ignore negative aspects of the past, and yes it's easy, but it doesn't fix anything. Regardless of how you spin it, the Confederate flag will be inherently associated with racism just as how the Nazi flag will represent anti-Semite culture.

Using the flag for a positive image won't stop the inherent past that it absorbed. For example, if a doctor uses the Nazi flag as a symbol of a charity organization and help thousands over the span of a lifetime, it will still have that ugly image representing its past. In fact, the charity will probably be devalued by being represented with an image remembered by the Nazi regime.

There is no doubt that there are good and honest people who at one time represented or even associated with the Confederate image and "Southern Pride". But the larger image is one that is remembered by groups like the KKK burning crosses and waving the flag and generations of racism. To say to simply not look at them is dismissing history and disrespecting those who lived through that period of scorn.

Darkseid wrote:Gee, it's like this guy is racist or something and has no idea how to prove he's not racist without admitting he's wrong about the flag held up to protect slavery.

Knock if off, Dark. This is getting old.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2015 3:40 pm
Beelzebub wrote:@elmo

I also don't feel like reiterating all my points over again. Basically, you're not making a case for why reappropriating a symbol is bad beyond an appeal to emotion. The entire point is to change what it means and what people think of it.


Fair enough, I am bringing up points from like 3 pages ago.

'Appeal to emotion' is one of those recently-popular phrases that just flat out doesn't work as an argument at all. You could hang out at a graveyard dressed as the grim reaper and try to photobomb funerals, and the only 'logical' argument against it would be an appeal to emotion. That doesn't mean that the appeal to emotion is wrong.

If you want a symbol of your heritage that doesn't represent racism or slavery, why not create a fresh, new symbol? Why would you choose to take a symbol that, you know, represents racism and slavery? Seems a little counter-productive.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2015 4:02 pm
"Ignore the bad parts"

I have never advocated for this. I just don't think doing the opposite is good either. I don't agree that the bad automatically cancels out the good, and so far no one has provided any good reason for why a symbol that once stood for something heinous can't be taken and made to stand for something noble beyond "it's offensive." Like I said at the beginning of the thread, symbols don't actually possess any inherent meaning, a symbol itself isn't responsible for atrocities carried out under it.

'Appeal to emotion' is one of those recently-popular phrases that just flat out doesn't work as an argument at all. You could hang out at a graveyard dressed as the grim reaper and try to photobomb funerals, and the only 'logical' argument against it would be an appeal to emotion. That doesn't mean that the appeal to emotion is wrong.

I hope you mean that appeal to emotion doesn't work in certain situations, because it is a real logical fallacy that many people are guilty of. Anyway a person photo bombing funerals would be wrong because the only thing it would accomplish is bothering the people at the funeral. Ascribing a new meaning onto something like the confederate flag serves to both add a more positive aspect to the symbols history, and undermine the people who brandish it for racist reasons.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2015 4:44 pm
Beelzebub wrote:
someperson wrote:My point is that you need to reevaluate where your ideals come from.

And your point still doesn't make sense. Ideas should stand or fall on their own merit and nothing else. Trying to discredit an idea because of where you think it "came from" is ridiculous. And sorry to burst your bubble, but I don’t think in terms of what benefits the “white male power structure.” This is just a cop out to make it seem like I have some kind of dastardly pro white anti black bias just because my ideas don’t mesh with your simplistic presuppositions.


The way we judge which ideas have merit is based on a system of ideals that benefit the white male power structure. Few people consciously choose to support ideas that benefit white men, but because the society we live in was created to benefit white men, the ideals we've been taught to believe are right are the ones that benefit white men.

But one group was outlawing slavery and one wasn't. So one side was becoming less racist and the other was fighting to preserve white superiority. They were impeding progress. And modern southerners are celebrating them, despite the fact that impeding progress is the only noteworthy thing they've ever done.

Many people in the south were also "less racist" ie. morally opposed to slavery as well. Which is my point. Their reasons for fighting for slavery were less ideological, and more practical. Not to mention that like I said before, slavery was not the only issue in the Civil war. A lot of it also revolved around the issue of Fedaralism vs Anti-Federalism, an issue that had been around since the United States was founded. Also, besides industrialization, another reason why the north was able to abolish slavery more quickly was because of an influx of immigrants from places like Ireland who would work at very low wages, reducing the need for slave labor.

Many people today celebrate the founding fathers, most of whom owned slaves. and some of whom were okay with the institution. Just as there was more to the founding fathers than them owning slaves, the same goes for southern culture.


1. Please tell me you understand how creepy it is that you're trying to defend the south's use of slavery. I can't think of any other reason why you would bring up these points. It doesn't matter how many people from the south were against slavery, because the southern states still fought a war to preserve it. The Confederate Flag is a symbol of that fight. Likewise, it doesn't matter how or why the northern states came to abolish slavery, because the end result of them doing so was that you could not own people in those states.
2. I'm arguing that the other reasons for the Civil War were negligible, because the main reason they seceded from the Union was the election of Abraham Lincoln, a pro-abolitionist. Hell, I'd argue that the Federalism vs Anti-Federalism argument is bullshit, as it's just another way to say 'the Civil War was about State's Rights'. Everything tied back into their wanting to own slaves.
I also don't feel like reiterating all my points over again. Basically, you're not making a case for why reappropriating a symbol is bad beyond an appeal to emotion. The entire point is to change what it means and what people think of it.


I'd argue that, in this society, it's not possible to change the meaning of the flag. The racist uses are too recent, and it's too easy to find out what it's intended use is for it to ever be anything more than a racist symbol. Not to mention that the Confederacy never survived long enough for it to have any meaning beyond 'Southerners fighting to preserve slavery' the way that many institutions with dubious beginnings have been allowed to change. I'd again argue that the Southerners who use the flag aren't actually trying to make it mean anything different, but are the people who have bought into the Lost Cause myth, and don't believe that slavery was the major point for the Confederacy's existence.

Also, you brought up Kanye West's attempt to take the flag for himself. I'd argue that he doesn't really understand re-appropriation, but I'll grant him more leeway because he's African-American, and the flag is traditionally a white power symbol.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2015 5:59 pm
Ehsan wrote:
Darkseid wrote:Gee, it's like this guy is racist or something and has no idea how to prove he's not racist without admitting he's wrong about the flag held up to protect slavery.

Knock if off, Dark. This is getting old.

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).
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2015 7:01 pm
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someperson wrote:The way we judge which ideas have merit is based on a system of ideals that benefit the white male power structure. Few people consciously choose to support ideas that benefit white men, but because the society we live in was created to benefit white men, the ideals we've been taught to believe are right are the ones that benefit white men.

Ok. That makes perfect sense. The evil white illuminati has infiltrated my subconscious and forced me to think ideas that oppress black people are good. That's totally not insane and ridiculous at all. You're talking out your ass. Academia nowadays is all about diversity and inclusiveness.


1. Please tell me you understand how creepy it is that you're trying to defend the south's use of slavery. I can't think of any other reason why you would bring up these points. It doesn't matter how many people from the south were against slavery, because the southern states still fought a war to preserve it. The Confederate Flag is a symbol of that fight. Likewise, it doesn't matter how or why the northern states came to abolish slavery, because the end result of them doing so was that you could not own people in those states.

So because I brought up a fact that makes you uncomfortable, I'm automaically "defending" slavery. Maybe try thinking a little harder. The whole point is people view the confederate flag as symbolizing the souths culture. The point is relevant because the souths reason for having slaves had very little do to with their culture, so they're not acually celebrating slavery.


2. I'm arguing that the other reasons for the Civil War were negligible, because the main reason they seceded from the Union was the election of Abraham Lincoln, a pro-abolitionist. Hell, I'd argue that the Federalism vs Anti-Federalism argument is bullshit, as it's just another way to say 'the Civil War was about State's Rights'. Everything tied back into their wanting to own slaves.

...except I just said that the debate of fedaralism and anti federalism had been around since the revolutionary war. Just because slavery tied into doesn't mean it encompassed all of it. Slavery was one of the main things that spurred it, but what the south was fighting for extended beyond just wanting the right to own slaves.

Also, you brought up Kanye West's attempt to take the flag for himself. I'd argue that he doesn't really understand re-appropriation, but I'll grant him more leeway because he's African-American, and the flag is traditionally a white power symbol.

Nah, I'm pretty sure Kanye understands a lot better than you. He seems to understands that symbols aren't inherently evil and that taking the flag for himself is a great way to say "fuck you" to white nationalists.
Last edited by Beelzebub on Wed Jul 29, 2015 12:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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