June 28, 2015

Common Sense America: By Temple Trueblood


By:  Temple Trueblood

I’m a Southerner. I’m a civil rights lawyer. I’ve stayed out of this fray and, to be honest, I’m really tired of the whole media frenzy. With that said–taking out soapbox...pontificating....

The media did not get what it wanted from the South as a result of the Charleston tragedy. The good people of Charleston did not riot, did not engage in hateful shenanigans and did not provide the racist fueled fodder for their 24 hour-a-day headlines. Poor, poor media–no Ferguson, no Trayvon Martin, no Oscar Grants. Instead, the good people of Charleston and of South Carolina unified and came together–all races, all creeds. They marched hand in hand to pay respect to the poor souls lost and to strengthen their community. In short–they did what Southerners do. They put their faith forward and did the right thing ‘cause their mommas raised them right.

So, what are they left to do? Well, the Confederate flag seems like a fine substitute–and it worked. Now, don’t get me wrong; I don’t think the Confederate flag has any place flying over any governmental building for several reasons: (1) the Confederacy was a briefly lived nation–they lost the war–they don’t exist anymore...hello??? (2) the only flags that should fly over any governmental buildings in the United States are those of the United States and the sovereign State itself, let alone that of a defunct government (see No. 1); and (3) regardless of what an individual’s intention is regarding the Confederate flag, it is a symbol of governmental oppression to many in this nation as recently as only 1-2 generations ago so a present day governmental unit flying it is...well...not good. Period.

But (you knew there would be a “but,” right?), if an individual wants to own, fly, wear, burn, or otherwise have emblazoned on them a tattoo of the Confederate flag then Hell–knock yourself out. It’s not my place (or anyone else’s) to tell you that you can’t do that. Are all people who display or own a Confederate flag racist? No. Are there racists who display and own Confederate flags. Yes. Can it be offensive? Yes. Does that mean that all Confederate flags are to be banned or wiped out? Well, of course not. This is America...remember?

And get this–once again, the South did not give the media machine what it wanted. South Carolina removed the flag, followed almost immediately by Alabama....ALABAMA, people! But are the media mongers gushing over the progressive character of these moves...no. Now they are calling for the removal of the flag from the General Lee....dude, it’s the Dukes of Hazzard...a show that stopped running, oh, THIRTY years ago. Ok...whatever. But then they are calling for historical monuments related to the Civil War to be removed. This is called rewriting history. This is bad....ask Ray Bradbury (and if you don’t know what I’m talking about read Fahrenheit 451). I won’t even launch into that, but you get my gist. Should the Lincoln Memorial be destroyed? Should the hundreds of Civil War monuments spread across this nation honoring the tens of thousand who died (on both sides) be eradicated? Of course not.

Look, there are plenty of things that people do and that are part of the mainstream American life that offend me to my core (Kardashians, anyone?) but that doesn’t mean they should be obliterated. I find it personally reprehensible and offensive to my very being when I see people burn the American flag, stomp on the American flag, rip up the American flag, toss the American flag in the garbage, or even wear it in some version of cut off shorts barely covering their hoo-ha. But, do they have a right to do all of those things? Yes. Does every person who owns or reads a Quran follow extreme Islam and plot the death of all Infidels (that’s you and me, by the way...)? No. Are there Islamic extremists who do plot and carry out the death to all Infidels who own and read the Quran? You betcha’. Again, does that mean that all vestiges of Islam should be eradicated from the United States. Um, no. There are plenty of music lyrics (rap, metal and pop) that as a woman I find personally degrading, threatening and flat out inhuman misogyny. Do I think that every single person that listens to this music, owns it or blares it at 11 million decibels in traffic treats all women as subhuman or wants to rape, kill and murder me? No. Are there some people out there who do view women as subhuman who listen to this stuff? Sure. Again, does that mean it should all be banned, the musicians locked away and all vestiges of their existence erased? Please.

So, as you are jumping on the current media-hyped-frenzied band wagon just stop and think...for yourself. For like a second. Use some common sense. Don’t be a cog in the machine and help them create an even bigger division in this nation than they already have.

If you comment on this I am not responding. My intention is not to start slinging barbs or arguing politics--Big Brother has already succeeded in way too much of that. My intent is just for you to stop...and think. Now, go have some sweet tea on the porch in this 100% humidity and say hey to your momma-n' em for me.

edit to add: share at your leisure.

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