It did from the beginning. When the seceding states proudly wrote that they seceded because they “have had numerous and serious causes of complaint against our non-slave-holding confederate States with reference to the subject of African slavery” (Georgia) and that their “position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery-- the greatest material interest of the world” (Mississippi), it is hard to wash away the idea that the Confederate States (and therefore its symbols like flags) did not have anything to do with slavery or the racism around it.
It actually doesn’t, because they mostly came from West Virginia and Kentucky! WV born out of determination NOT to secede with VA, and KY neutral-to-union.
It’s a puzzle.
Whether or not that is related, note that midwest cities tend to have high levels of racial segregation (with Chicago being the most common example of “the most segregated large city in the US”): https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-most-diverse-cities-are-often-the-most-segregated/
For Ohio in particular, according to the list at the bottom of the above link, Cleveland is highly segregated, Cincinnati is somewhat more segregated than average, and Toledo and Columbus are close to average (marginally more segregated).
Higher racial segregation is probably both a cause and result of higher racism.
Ohio and Michigan have always been “fertile ground” for racism and the KKK. Those who fly the Confederate flag today may have had parents or grandparents in the Klan.
^ just tells me that any Ohioan flying that flag is doing it for racist reasons, not even able to hide behind “heritage”.
As a POC friend of mine says, let them fly them, it tells me who they are without me having to speak to them and find out for myself. A little jerk-alert, if you will.
I haven’t read the whole thing yet, but this recent piece speaks to your premise, @ucbalumnus.
That’s one way to look at it, I suppose…
I think the dangerous thing with folks feeling free to fly their flags and such is it gives a voice and boldness to the racism which can manifest into more overt actions. We’ve seen evidence of that lately, IMO. I prefer the cockroaches to hide in the dark.
Ouch. It does put a damper on things as we are looking at a few Ohio schools. I know the schools, students, most residents are not “perturbed” like the flag flyers, but it does mean that people who don’t know the lay of the land (like my S) may need a period of adjustment.
The question I have is this: if we are indeed a nation divided philosophically, is the path forward really an all-out frontal war of “right vs wrong” or some mid-ground requiring sacrifice on both sides and a decision that the ultimate long term solution lies further out in the future? It seems now we’re doing the former and it’s splitting us apart.
I would prefer children not to have to see them.
When I first moved out here around ten years ago, there were a very few very elderly folks flying flags and one very worn and faded Klan advertisement on the side of a barn. As these individuals passed away, their heirs took down the flags and several neighbors expressed to me how relieved they were to cover over that sign on Uncle’s barn about five years back, almost immediately after his funeral.
I had thought the flags were going to be gone in a few years. However, in the weeks following the Charleston massacre, flags went up. Young folks even put them on their trucks, not just decals, but poles flying flags, which I had never before seen. After Charlottesville more flags appeared.
You can interpret that however you want. I know what I think it means.
“if we are indeed a nation divided philosophically, is the path forward really an all-out frontal war of “right vs wrong” or some mid-ground requiring sacrifice on both sides and a decision that the ultimate long term solution lies further out in the future?”
I think that is a valid and important question in a lot of areas but how can that be applied to racism? I’d argue it can’t because where is the mid-ground on the issue?
That’s very depressing and sad to hear, @alh, and it enforces the opinion I expressed above in #17.
Yes, you’re right re: racism. But I’d think you’d agree that no one likes to be told that what they’ve believed in for most of their life is evil, the example being confederate figures representing some semblance of admirable characteristics (along with reprehensible ones).
Wouldn’t a mid-ground position be something along on the lines of, ok the statues can stay, but please let the message be that it is kept because of the good things and not the bad. Everyone is human; no one is perfect. How one rises above one’s imperfections is part of how one shows one’s character.
[edited to fix typo]
No - the statues can not stay.
Even my 92 year old friend, and 88 year old friend, whose family backgrounds epitomize the “old south” say the statues can’t stay. They are extremely proud of their grandchildrens’ efforts toward the removal of the statues.
Watching young parents bringing their children, on a sort of pilgrimage to the site, the day after a statue is removed is very moving to me. There is some good history being made around here lately. I really try to concentrate on that.
So no middle ground since the battlelines are purely on racist fronts?
When you read about the history and context of when and why most of those statutes were erected, what are the “good things”? Sincerely interested in knowing.
I am not aware of a statue in a public space that was not erected for intimidation purposes. I am always happy to be corrected. I know the history of the statues we are taking down where I live now and the ones coming down in my childhood home town.
Cemeteries, especially private family ones, are a diffent story. imho
Sorry, I can’t elucidate any point due to my ignorance of the situation. I am not of the belief that some compromise situation can’t be found but I have been wrong before. I have a family story that involves national discrimination against those with my background but things have moved on. At least there is hope for full reconciliation. For us here, its too polarized for me to feel the same way.
For intimidation purposes…I think that’s clear.
A lot of the monuments from the 20s and 30s were funded either directly or indirectly by the KKK. Just pick one and start researching. You might want to research local lynchings during the same years. So far this has been an eye opening exercise for me.
chippedtoof: A writer named Brendan Wolfe has a blog. You can search brendan wolfe lee monument to read an interesting analysis. It looks at history from a variety of angles.
Then, it feels like the path needs to be followed. I have no problem with that. The issue I’m having is that I don’t see how there’s reconciliation here… so we’re just going to have to grin and bear the turmoil. A new president is not going to be able to stop this now.
[Edit: thanks @alh will take a look. Appreciate the help ]