October 11, 2012 by mcastille9
As a kid growing up, I used to love the TV show The Dukes of Hazard. Besides Daisy Duke’s tiny shorts, the best part of the show was General Lee, the Duke boy’s Charger. I even had a General Lee toy car. As I got older, I saw the show on TV Land or some other retro TV network and realized on the roof of my favorite car growing up was a big Confederate flag.
Now that I live in Maryland, every now and then, I see a pick-up truck with a Confederate flag bumper sticker on it and it infuriates me. People that display this symbol say that it’s a source of southern pride. I beg to differ!!! To me the confederate flag is a symbol of racism and hatred toward blacks in this country. Although there were other issues that contributed to the Civil War, the primary issue was the divisive institution of slavery. Many southern whites considered blacks as chattel (property). They justified slavery by saying Africans weren’t human and therefore born to be slaves. Racism was created in order to justify slavery so I blame the southern whites of the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries for creating and perpetuating the race problem in this country. It’s much easier to terrorize people with unbearable working and living conditions, vicious beatings, and rape if you don’t consider them as human. It makes it much easier to support a document that states that every human has certain unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness when your exploited workforce are considered to be property akin to livestock.
With that being said, I look at the confederate flag with the same disdain as I look at the Nazi swastika. When I think about the atrocities committed against blacks by white Americans during slavery, I can’t help but to compare it to Nazi Germany during World War II. I’m sure that many whites, especially southern whites, would not agree with me but when you compare the numbers, it’s hard not to draw a comparison. First of all, the exact number of people killed in the Holocaust and in slavery cannot be ascertained, however the widely accepted number of Jews killed is 5.86 million. That is equivalent of killing everyone in the state of Maryland. For the institution of American slavery, the conservative number of slave deaths during the Trans-Atlantic slave trade tips the scales at 9,000,000 (9 Million), according to Philip Curtin, The Atlantic Slave Trade: A Census, 1969. This unbelievable number is based on those that perished through capture, the holding cells in Africa, the voyage from Africa to the Americas, and the “seasoning” period prior to sale. What’s the seasoning period? The seasoning period is where they “break” the Africans to make them suitable for slavery. This included vicious beatings and psychological indoctrination (one example is taking the most resistant African, tying his arms to horses, and making the horse run in opposite directions, tearing his body apart in front of all the other Africans). The total amount of those killed in slavery is more than the current populations of Wyoming, DC, Vermont, N Dakota, S Dakota, Alaska, Delaware, Montana, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire COMBINED. So it’s extremely hypocritical to be offended by Nazi symbols, like the swastika, but the Confederate flag is benign.
So white folks, now that you understand some of the reasons why the confederate flag offends us, maybe you’ll consider taking the bumper sticker off…or if you’re adamant about overtly offending us, take a drive through Baltimore City with that flag on the back window of your pick-up. It may be a source of pride for some southerners but so was the swastika for Arians and still is for white supremists.
I’d love to discuss it further, hopefully with those that support waving the Confederate flag, so chime in and let me know what you think.