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General => Political and Religious Forum (aka the echo chamber) => Topic started by: MetalJunkie on August 20, 2017, 11:14:01 PM

Title: I feel like I made a pretty good argument about the Confederate flag.
Post by: MetalJunkie on August 20, 2017, 11:14:01 PM
A former co-worker of mine posted the following image:

 (https://static.snopes.com/app/uploads/2017/03/Confederate-battle-flag-colors-meaning.jpg)

I responded with the Snopes article that debunked these claims. https://www.snopes.com/confederate-flag-colors-religious/
Then things happened.

(https://i.imgur.com/ECsNuEQ.jpg)

Thoughts?
Title: Re: I feel like I made a pretty good argument about the Confederate flag.
Post by: KevShmev on August 21, 2017, 05:36:16 AM
While I agree that the Confederate flag is a symbol of a dark time in our country, I will play devil's advocate and take issue with this point:

"Considering the feelings of our neighbors."

-While that sounds all warm and fuzzy, it strikes me too much as another case of "let's get rid of/denounce anything that anyone is offended by.  And nowadays, it seems like everyone is offended by something, so by that rationale, we might as well get rid of everything, since feelings are all that matter (generally speaking).  Considering feelings is one thing; basing decisions off feelings is another.

I am guessing that for a lot of people in the south, the confederate flag, regardless of its original meaning, is all about southern pride and not really about racism at all (although for some, I am not sure that is not the case).  Having pride in where you are from or where you have been is not unusual. Heck, look at how over the top people get with school pride when it comes to where they went to college?! :lol :lol

And please note that I am by no means a fan of the Confederate flag.  I am just offering the opinion that many do not see it the same way that others do.
Title: Re: I feel like I made a pretty good argument about the Confederate flag.
Post by: eric42434224 on August 21, 2017, 07:29:52 AM
Interesting how, if it really is all about pride in where you are from, one rarely sees people hanging their actual state flag in the back window of their pickup. 

I am fully in support of a persons right to fly any flag they wish on their own property.  On public state property is where I have an issue. 
Title: Re: I feel like I made a pretty good argument about the Confederate flag.
Post by: Chino on August 21, 2017, 07:33:14 AM
Interesting how, if it really is all about pride in where you are from, one rarely sees people hanging their actual state flag in the back window of their pickup.

My favorite is when people in CT fly it seeing as we fought the south, or even better is when people in a state like Arizona fly it, a state that wasn't formed until almost 50 years after the civil war ended.
Title: Re: I feel like I made a pretty good argument about the Confederate flag.
Post by: eric42434224 on August 21, 2017, 07:58:24 AM
Interesting how, if it really is all about pride in where you are from, one rarely sees people hanging their actual state flag in the back window of their pickup.

My favorite is when people in CT fly it seeing as we fought the south, or even better is when people in a state like Arizona fly it, a state that wasn't formed until almost 50 years after the civil war ended.

I suppose it is no different that people with Salt Life stickers on their cars, that do nothing to resemble that lifestyle.  Just trying to be cool
Title: Re: I feel like I made a pretty good argument about the Confederate flag.
Post by: Stadler on August 21, 2017, 10:36:03 AM
While I agree that the Confederate flag is a symbol of a dark time in our country, I will play devil's advocate and take issue with this point:

"Considering the feelings of our neighbors."

-While that sounds all warm and fuzzy, it strikes me too much as another case of "let's get rid of/denounce anything that anyone is offended by.  And nowadays, it seems like everyone is offended by something, so by that rationale, we might as well get rid of everything, since feelings are all that matter (generally speaking).  Considering feelings is one thing; basing decisions off feelings is another.

I am guessing that for a lot of people in the south, the confederate flag, regardless of its original meaning, is all about southern pride and not really about racism at all (although for some, I am not sure that is not the case).  Having pride in where you are from or where you have been is not unusual. Heck, look at how over the top people get with school pride when it comes to where they went to college?! :lol :lol

And please note that I am by no means a fan of the Confederate flag.  I am just offering the opinion that many do not see it the same way that others do.

I've not seen this before, so I'm going to lay claim to it, but I would say there is a decent enough argument that we actually NEED people to be offended at times.    It's a sign of progress, no?   How can you gauge your progress as a society, as a community, as a species, if no one is uncomfortable about the changes being wrought?   

Take it out of the context of "race" for a second; look at art.   Almost all the transformative (as opposed to iterative, or incremental) changes in art have been met with pushback from the Establishment.  Hell, the Beatles were dismissed at first as a "fad" and a "dangerous aberration" (quotes, but my words).   They are, arguably (and whether you agree is not really material for this discussion; I think we can all concede they are at least in the conversation) the most innovative and transcendent band in the history of rock.    I don't want to suggest that all racists are just afraid of change (though that is part of it, it is too reductionist) but any of the discussions that don't take all of these elements into consideration are destined for failure, in my opinion.

The flag discussion is one such topic.   We don't think twice about wearing gear about a football team.  Hell, there are people here that have band logos tattooed on their flesh (ridiculous, in my opinion).  Why is having a flag that embodies an ethos that odd?  What's different about the "skull and crossbones", or the "rainbow flag" and this?  I'm sure to some it has racist elements, but for example, my daughter has one on her computer because she was born in Georgia.  It is a part of her history, such that it is, and while she is aware of the connotations, she doesn't share those connotations, and has to deal with that.  She isn't getting it tattooed on her arm, but it IS a part of her life.   
Title: Re: I feel like I made a pretty good argument about the Confederate flag.
Post by: Chino on August 21, 2017, 10:51:54 AM
The flag discussion is one such topic.   We don't think twice about wearing gear about a football team.  Hell, there are people here that have band logos tattooed on their flesh (ridiculous, in my opinion).  Why is having a flag that embodies an ethos that odd?  What's different about the "skull and crossbones", or the "rainbow flag" and this? I'm sure to some it has racist elements, but for example, my daughter has one on her computer because she was born in Georgia.  It is a part of her history, such that it is, and while she is aware of the connotations, she doesn't share those connotations, and has to deal with that.  She isn't getting it tattooed on her arm, but it IS a part of her life.   

I get what you're saying with this, and I'm confident that that your daughter isn't a racist at all, but I'm always curious as to why that's the 'part of history' that people want to display. Why don't people put Georgia's flag on their computers, or the symbol of Atlanta University that was founded to educate former slaves, or the Terminus logo symbolizing the railway Georgia built to connect much of the south together? Why don't we fly the British flag anywhere here in New England? Why don't German students put Nazi flag stickers on their cars? It's all 'part of history'. Again, not knocking your daughter, just admitting that I don't understand the desire to put that particular piece of history front and center on anything.
Title: Re: I feel like I made a pretty good argument about the Confederate flag.
Post by: bosk1 on August 21, 2017, 10:53:56 AM
Yeah, I tend to agree with that in principle, Stadler (I do disagree with a few of the specific examples, but there's no real reason to debate them). 

MetalJunkie, I think you raised some really good points, and I think you raised them respectfully and articulately.  But I also think Elizabeth's position is important to the discussion as well (even if some of it may be misinformed).  I mean, like Stadler points out, people have a certain ethos attached to symbols, and that is important on a personal level and shouldn't be dismissed out of hand, IMO.

This is just one of those situations that has competing interests.  As someone who is far enough removed from the specific controversy and its context, I can appreciate the fact that I probably shouldn't take too strong a position on one side or the other since I can't really put myself in the shoes of either side.  So that being said, I am content to not weigh in and just stand back and observe however it plays out.  I will just say in the abstract that I sympathize with points on both sides of the argument, some of them being:  The flag is a symbol that is important and has an emotional, historical context to some for reasons that have nothing whatsoever to do with racism; Those that may hold that symbol dear for legitimate reasons need to understand that the historical context of that symbol may make it highly offensive to others.  Personally, I think it's kind of a shame that we react to the point of practically revising history in order to avoid offending some segments of our population, and I think it is better to use it as a teaching opportunity for all sides to grow from.  But I get the counterarguments as well and feel compelled to acknowledge their validity.
Title: Re: I feel like I made a pretty good argument about the Confederate flag.
Post by: Stadler on August 21, 2017, 11:09:48 AM
The flag discussion is one such topic.   We don't think twice about wearing gear about a football team.  Hell, there are people here that have band logos tattooed on their flesh (ridiculous, in my opinion).  Why is having a flag that embodies an ethos that odd?  What's different about the "skull and crossbones", or the "rainbow flag" and this? I'm sure to some it has racist elements, but for example, my daughter has one on her computer because she was born in Georgia.  It is a part of her history, such that it is, and while she is aware of the connotations, she doesn't share those connotations, and has to deal with that.  She isn't getting it tattooed on her arm, but it IS a part of her life.   

I get what you're saying with this, and I'm confident that that your daughter isn't a racist at all, but I'm always curious as to why that's the 'part of history' that people want to display. Why don't people put Georgia's flag on their computers, or the symbol of Atlanta University that was founded to educate former slaves, or the Terminus logo symbolizing the railway Georgia built to connect much of the south together? Why don't we fly the British flag anywhere here in New England? Why don't German students put Nazi flag stickers on their cars? It's all 'part of history'. Again, not knocking your daughter, just admitting that I don't understand the desire to put that particular piece of history front and center on anything.

One, convenience.  When you go to the Big E (a local fair/festival that happens every year mid-September) and go into the booths that have nothing but stickers (all those Calvins pissing on car logos, the stick figure representations of families, etc.) there are 20 confederate flags, and nary a Georgia flag.  Same reason people put those oval "OBX" stickers on their cars instead of the North Carolina flag. 

Two, she has a Union Jack on her wall; something to do with Harry Potter and/or Harry Styles.   I bought it for her for Christmas one year.   She also has a "Fall Out Boy" flag too (can't all be winners. :)).   

Three, I can't speak for the Nazi symbol; it DOES mean "peace" historically.  I HAVE seen Indian women with that henna-like artwork on their hands with symbols that look like "swastikas".  I'm not sure what to say here.   Intellectually, it's not any different, but spiritually, I think it is undeniable that it is different. 
Title: Re: I feel like I made a pretty good argument about the Confederate flag.
Post by: Adami on August 21, 2017, 11:13:47 AM
Just a minor correction, swastikas have historically been more about other things (not really peace, but it's all good) but not the Nazi swastika. That one is a bit different and specific.

The question is still good though. Should German people be allowed to wave the Nazi flag or put up statues of Hitler in their communities without anyone being allowed to protest it or disagree with openly?
Title: Re: I feel like I made a pretty good argument about the Confederate flag.
Post by: Stadler on August 21, 2017, 11:14:55 AM
Yeah, I tend to agree with that in principle, Stadler (I do disagree with a few of the specific examples, but there's no real reason to debate them). 

MetalJunkie, I think you raised some really good points, and I think you raised them respectfully and articulately.  But I also think Elizabeth's position is important to the discussion as well (even if some of it may be misinformed).  I mean, like Stadler points out, people have a certain ethos attached to symbols, and that is important on a personal level and shouldn't be dismissed out of hand, IMO.

This is just one of those situations that has competing interests.  As someone who is far enough removed from the specific controversy and its context, I can appreciate the fact that I probably shouldn't take too strong a position on one side or the other since I can't really put myself in the shoes of either side.  So that being said, I am content to not weigh in and just stand back and observe however it plays out.  I will just say in the abstract that I sympathize with points on both sides of the argument, some of them being:  The flag is a symbol that is important and has an emotional, historical context to some for reasons that have nothing whatsoever to do with racism; Those that may hold that symbol dear for legitimate reasons need to understand that the historical context of that symbol may make it highly offensive to others.  Personally, I think it's kind of a shame that we react to the point of practically revising history in order to avoid offending some segments of our population, and I think it is better to use it as a teaching opportunity for all sides to grow from.  But I get the counterarguments as well and feel compelled to acknowledge their validity.

Here's my high level agreement with Bosk's last paragraph:   through dialogue we learn.  We learn about the intents of some, the offense of others, and how they interrelate.   Removing the symbol stymies the debate, and, in my opinion, the opportunity to communicate and learn.

Let me posit this:  what's better?   A world with no symbols of racism, no symbols of hate, but plenty of seething hate and racism, undulating under the surface, or a world with an infinite number of things that CAN be symbols, but don't have any of the requisite (negative) emotions underneath?  I get it, that's a false, and perhaps na´ve, equivalency, but I don't mean it literally.   I do mean it in the sense that the two aren't necessarily related, and the "fight" against hate/racism often makes the same false equivalency (to the detriment of their argument, in my opinion). 
Title: Re: I feel like I made a pretty good argument about the Confederate flag.
Post by: Chino on August 21, 2017, 11:16:13 AM
The flag discussion is one such topic.   We don't think twice about wearing gear about a football team.  Hell, there are people here that have band logos tattooed on their flesh (ridiculous, in my opinion).  Why is having a flag that embodies an ethos that odd?  What's different about the "skull and crossbones", or the "rainbow flag" and this? I'm sure to some it has racist elements, but for example, my daughter has one on her computer because she was born in Georgia.  It is a part of her history, such that it is, and while she is aware of the connotations, she doesn't share those connotations, and has to deal with that.  She isn't getting it tattooed on her arm, but it IS a part of her life.   

I get what you're saying with this, and I'm confident that that your daughter isn't a racist at all, but I'm always curious as to why that's the 'part of history' that people want to display. Why don't people put Georgia's flag on their computers, or the symbol of Atlanta University that was founded to educate former slaves, or the Terminus logo symbolizing the railway Georgia built to connect much of the south together? Why don't we fly the British flag anywhere here in New England? Why don't German students put Nazi flag stickers on their cars? It's all 'part of history'. Again, not knocking your daughter, just admitting that I don't understand the desire to put that particular piece of history front and center on anything.

One, convenience.  When you go to the Big E (a local fair/festival that happens every year mid-September) and go into the booths that have nothing but stickers (all those Calvins pissing on car logos, the stick figure representations of families, etc.) there are 20 confederate flags, and nary a Georgia flag.  Same reason people put those oval "OBX" stickers on their cars instead of the North Carolina flag. 

Two, she has a Union Jack on her wall; something to do with Harry Potter and/or Harry Styles.   I bought it for her for Christmas one year.   She also has a "Fall Out Boy" flag too (can't all be winners. :)).   

Three, I can't speak for the Nazi symbol; it DOES mean "peace" historically.  I HAVE seen Indian women with that henna-like artwork on their hands with symbols that look like "swastikas".  I'm not sure what to say here.   Intellectually, it's not any different, but spiritually, I think it is undeniable that it is different.

The nazi flag and the swastika are different things IMO. And I was giving your daughter the benefit of the doubt, but Fall Out Boy? ... I'm offended. I don't know why, but I am.
Title: Re: I feel like I made a pretty good argument about the Confederate flag.
Post by: Stadler on August 21, 2017, 11:16:45 AM
Just a minor correction, swastikas have historically been more about other things (not really peace, but it's all good) but not the Nazi swastika. That one is a bit different and specific.

The question is still good though. Should German people be allowed to wave the Nazi flag or put up statues of Hitler in their communities without anyone being allowed to protest it or disagree with openly?

My own minor correction:  the beef isn't the "protest" or "disagreement".  I encourage the disagreement and the discussion.  My beef is the next step; the rewriting of history and the corresponding control of speech.
Title: Re: I feel like I made a pretty good argument about the Confederate flag.
Post by: Stadler on August 21, 2017, 11:21:20 AM
The nazi flag and the swastika are different things IMO. And I was giving your daughter the benefit of the doubt, but Fall Out Boy? ... I'm offended. I don't know why, but I am.

Sidebar (but still about "symbols" in a way):  Fall Out Boy to me symbolizes everything it means to me to be a parent.  I shake my head at the band.  I have deep problems (intellectually) with the notion of Pete Wentz (and the marriages, and the reality shows that go along with it, blah blah blah), it just seems to be calculated angst.   I'm a huge fan of "Live at Darryl's House" and Patrick was one of the very few that didn't show a deep and previously unseen musicianship (he was frankly out of his league), BUT... the music moves her, and she got to see them and I guess the band ran through the crowd, and both Pete and Patrick (Stump, singer) shook her hand and said some form of "hi!", and it made a difference for her.  So I put my cynicism aside and see that music touched her and know that it is good. 
Title: Re: I feel like I made a pretty good argument about the Confederate flag.
Post by: Adami on August 21, 2017, 11:28:34 AM
Just a minor correction, swastikas have historically been more about other things (not really peace, but it's all good) but not the Nazi swastika. That one is a bit different and specific.

The question is still good though. Should German people be allowed to wave the Nazi flag or put up statues of Hitler in their communities without anyone being allowed to protest it or disagree with openly?

My own minor correction:  the beef isn't the "protest" or "disagreement".  I encourage the disagreement and the discussion.  My beef is the next step; the rewriting of history and the corresponding control of speech.


Unless the government is doing it, then the speech isn't being controlled. Some people are telling other people to shut up. Which is fine.
Title: Re: I feel like I made a pretty good argument about the Confederate flag.
Post by: Chino on August 21, 2017, 11:32:01 AM
The nazi flag and the swastika are different things IMO. And I was giving your daughter the benefit of the doubt, but Fall Out Boy? ... I'm offended. I don't know why, but I am.

Sidebar (but still about "symbols" in a way):  Fall Out Boy to me symbolizes everything it means to me to be a parent.  I shake my head at the band.  I have deep problems (intellectually) with the notion of Pete Wentz (and the marriages, and the reality shows that go along with it, blah blah blah), it just seems to be calculated angst.   I'm a huge fan of "Live at Darryl's House" and Patrick was one of the very few that didn't show a deep and previously unseen musicianship (he was frankly out of his league), BUT... the music moves her, and she got to see them and I guess the band ran through the crowd, and both Pete and Patrick (Stump, singer) shook her hand and said some form of "hi!", and it made a difference for her.  So I put my cynicism aside and see that music touched her and know that it is good.

That's cool. I'm just messing around, and "Live at Daryl's House" is great. I have a soft spot for Brand New's album "Your Favorite Weapon", even though I hate the rest of the genre. I like it because of the way a few songs resonated with me when I was like 17.
Title: Re: I feel like I made a pretty good argument about the Confederate flag.
Post by: Stadler on August 21, 2017, 11:33:52 AM
Just a minor correction, swastikas have historically been more about other things (not really peace, but it's all good) but not the Nazi swastika. That one is a bit different and specific.

The question is still good though. Should German people be allowed to wave the Nazi flag or put up statues of Hitler in their communities without anyone being allowed to protest it or disagree with openly?

My own minor correction:  the beef isn't the "protest" or "disagreement".  I encourage the disagreement and the discussion.  My beef is the next step; the rewriting of history and the corresponding control of speech.


Unless the government is doing it, then the speech isn't being controlled. Some people are telling other people to shut up. Which is fine.

Fair point; it may be "fine" to tell someone to "shut up" but is a pretty shitty argument, intellectually, and a pretty ineffective one, practically.   
Title: Re: I feel like I made a pretty good argument about the Confederate flag.
Post by: Adami on August 21, 2017, 12:20:19 PM
Just a minor correction, swastikas have historically been more about other things (not really peace, but it's all good) but not the Nazi swastika. That one is a bit different and specific.

The question is still good though. Should German people be allowed to wave the Nazi flag or put up statues of Hitler in their communities without anyone being allowed to protest it or disagree with openly?

My own minor correction:  the beef isn't the "protest" or "disagreement".  I encourage the disagreement and the discussion.  My beef is the next step; the rewriting of history and the corresponding control of speech.

Unless the government is doing it, then the speech isn't being controlled. Some people are telling other people to shut up. Which is fine.

Fair point; it may be "fine" to tell someone to "shut up" but is a pretty shitty argument, intellectually, and a pretty ineffective one, practically.

In most cases, yes. I feel all relevant discussions on racism have been had. We're showing that we disagree with it without feeling the need to pointlessly rehash hundreds of arguments that have already fallen on deaf ears.
Title: Re: I feel like I made a pretty good argument about the Confederate flag.
Post by: Orbert on August 21, 2017, 04:20:33 PM
Possibly relevant:

I was Offended - Steve Hughes (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ceS_jkKjIgo)
Title: Re: I feel like I made a pretty good argument about the Confederate flag.
Post by: Stadler on August 22, 2017, 09:03:41 AM
Just a minor correction, swastikas have historically been more about other things (not really peace, but it's all good) but not the Nazi swastika. That one is a bit different and specific.

The question is still good though. Should German people be allowed to wave the Nazi flag or put up statues of Hitler in their communities without anyone being allowed to protest it or disagree with openly?

My own minor correction:  the beef isn't the "protest" or "disagreement".  I encourage the disagreement and the discussion.  My beef is the next step; the rewriting of history and the corresponding control of speech.

Unless the government is doing it, then the speech isn't being controlled. Some people are telling other people to shut up. Which is fine.

Fair point; it may be "fine" to tell someone to "shut up" but is a pretty shitty argument, intellectually, and a pretty ineffective one, practically.

In most cases, yes. I feel all relevant discussions on racism have been had. We're showing that we disagree with it without feeling the need to pointlessly rehash hundreds of arguments that have already fallen on deaf ears.

As a general proposition though - and I'm not going to rehash the entire Jingle conversation, but that has a lot of this idea in it - I bristle when someone says "I feel all relevant discussions... have been had".   What on this planet can't be improved upon (besides the glaringly obvious:  Margot Robbie, Ritchie Blackmore and Charlize Theron)?    If we stood pat after the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, where would we be?  We'd have, among other things, slavery.  If we stood pat after the Emancipation Proclamation, where would we be?   We'd have, among other things, separate bathrooms and water fountains.

I think that following eight years of an African American president - THE most powerful man on the planet - which gives lie to at least some of the notion of "no opportunity", and yet we're still having issues involving race... we have a lot to discuss, and a lot of relevant conversations yet to be had.     
Title: Re: I feel like I made a pretty good argument about the Confederate flag.
Post by: TL on August 28, 2017, 04:32:37 PM
I will say, I will probably never understand the affinity some people have for the confederate flag. I know that there are plenty of people who aren't racist and just want to use it as a symbol of southern pride. You like where you're from; that's great! It just seems like maybe a less loaded symbol with less baggage might be better?

Sure, it's all well and good for someone displaying the flag to say that they're not using it in a racist way. For instance, in the case of Stadler's daughter, I absolutely believe that she is not racist.  Here's the thing though. Other people who see that flag being displayed don't automatically know everything about the character and views of the person displaying it. Onlookers don't necessarily know the context in which it's being displayed. If anything, I would think that a non-racist person wouldn't want to voluntarily use a symbol where those kinds of assumptions can even be so readily made. There has to be some way people from the American south can display their pride in their region without having to constantly make clarifications about their intent.

Not to mention, the confederacy hasn't existed in a long time, and for almost its entire existence it was at war with the United States, with one of the main causes being that they wanted to keep slavery. Continuing to wave that flag around seems like a very anti-American thing to do, at least from my perspective. Again though, that's just my opinion. It's all well and good to say you aren't displaying the flag for those reasons, but the negative connotations don't disappear just because they're not what you're there for.
Title: Re: I feel like I made a pretty good argument about the Confederate flag.
Post by: bosk1 on August 28, 2017, 04:45:22 PM
I always thought displaying the Confederate flag was simply a means of expressing appreciation for The Dukes of Hazzard.  :dunno:
Title: Re: I feel like I made a pretty good argument about the Confederate flag.
Post by: Stadler on August 29, 2017, 07:53:14 AM
I always thought displaying the Confederate flag was simply a means of expressing appreciation for The Dukes of Hazzard.  :dunno:

Catherine Bach. 
Title: Re: I feel like I made a pretty good argument about the Confederate flag.
Post by: XJDenton on August 29, 2017, 07:57:50 AM
Seems to me if you have pride in something you would want to choose a symbol that represents the thing at its best, not its worst.
Title: Re: I feel like I made a pretty good argument about the Confederate flag.
Post by: Stadler on August 29, 2017, 08:18:58 AM
I will say, I will probably never understand the affinity some people have for the confederate flag. I know that there are plenty of people who aren't racist and just want to use it as a symbol of southern pride. You like where you're from; that's great! It just seems like maybe a less loaded symbol with less baggage might be better?

Sure, it's all well and good for someone displaying the flag to say that they're not using it in a racist way. For instance, in the case of Stadler's daughter, I absolutely believe that she is not racist.  Here's the thing though. Other people who see that flag being displayed don't automatically know everything about the character and views of the person displaying it. Onlookers don't necessarily know the context in which it's being displayed. If anything, I would think that a non-racist person wouldn't want to voluntarily use a symbol where those kinds of assumptions can even be so readily made. There has to be some way people from the American south can display their pride in their region without having to constantly make clarifications about their intent.

Not to mention, the confederacy hasn't existed in a long time, and for almost its entire existence it was at war with the United States, with one of the main causes being that they wanted to keep slavery. Continuing to wave that flag around seems like a very anti-American thing to do, at least from my perspective. Again though, that's just my opinion. It's all well and good to say you aren't displaying the flag for those reasons, but the negative connotations don't disappear just because they're not what you're there for.

Lemme ask you this, though:  why is this ostensibly a different conversation when "Race" is in play?   Because it is, and it's not limited to "the confederate flag".   Why do we celebrate ANYTHING from history, knowing that historically women didn't vote, gays were in the closet, cocaine use was not only legal but encouraged as an elixir, when children's toys basically involved firearms, explosives and sharp knives, and most of us thought God would strike you down in the street for the mildest of transgressions?   

Why, with most other issues (and independent of the size of the groups in question) does one have to put their moral beliefs on hold, and not just tolerate, but ACCEPT, say, for example, the homosexual, assume they are a wholesome contributor to the moral fabric of our society (and not a sexual deviant), but we don't afford the same courtesy when talking about race?

Now, I'm making examples here; I do not at all - not even a little bit - feel that there is a moral or deviant component to one's sexuality (I am firmly in the "biological" camp, though there is room within that for further understanding), but the point stands:  why do we change the framing just because it's "race"? 
Title: Re: I feel like I made a pretty good argument about the Confederate flag.
Post by: bosk1 on August 29, 2017, 08:48:14 AM
Seems to me if you have pride in something you would want to choose a symbol that represents the thing at its best, not its worst.

I agree.  I mean, it's like carelessly flying the union jack.  You know, the same union jack that was flown with pride as the British raped and subjugated India.  Or that was flown with pride when the royal army stole, burned, and pillaged and slaughtered its own countrymen in the American colonies for decades BEFORE the American revolutionary war.  Or...well, you get the idea.

The thing is, while you are correct in the abstract, I think you know that it isn't so cut-and-dry in practice.  For almost any symbol we can choose, there are groups that have historically adopted that symbol to perpetrate ugliness  and hate.  Does that mean that symbol can then ONLY be used to refer to that same ugliness and hate, or is there a chance that those flying the flag or brandishing whatever the symbol are more focused on what they see as the positive historical legacy that is behind it?  I think it's a legitimate question, and I think we shouldn't be so hasty to rush to judgment over what flag someone identifies with.  When is the line crossed where a given symbol is primarily or almost exclusively representative of only ugliness and hate, and not something legitimate at the same time?  Yes, we may have reached a point in our history where most of us collectively feel that flying that particular flag (the Confederate flag) is, at best, misguided and distasteful, and at worst, something much more insidious.  But I think we also need to be a bit more tolerant and realize that not everyone looks at it that way, and there are still a significant number of people who see it is a positive symbol of their regional history, separate and apart from the fact that others see it as a historic symbol of slavery and White oppression.  To me, it's a tough call.  I think some understanding of both sides of the argument is probably a better approach (as is true with most issues, I think).
Title: Re: I feel like I made a pretty good argument about the Confederate flag.
Post by: Stadler on August 29, 2017, 09:38:33 AM
The Union Jack is a great example; ask Joe Elliott (or Rick Allen), Pete Townsend, Iron Maiden, or Noel Gallagher about those things.   I know you said "carelessly", but that's up for debate as to what that means in a different context.
Title: Re: I feel like I made a pretty good argument about the Confederate flag.
Post by: XJDenton on August 29, 2017, 01:06:32 PM
@Bosk: What is the positive historical legacy of the confederacy?
Title: Re: I feel like I made a pretty good argument about the Confederate flag.
Post by: bosk1 on August 29, 2017, 01:23:12 PM
That question misses the point.  What is the positive historical legacy of any particular geographical location?  You'd probably be best served by asking the folks that live there.  To those that do, and feel personally invested in or enriched by the history of that region, that is in and of itself a positive historical legacy.  My point is that I don't think it's fair for those of us on the outside to invalidate it or dismiss it out of hand because of some specific negative connotations. 
Title: Re: I feel like I made a pretty good argument about the Confederate flag.
Post by: XJDenton on August 29, 2017, 01:33:59 PM
Would you be okay with someone flying a Swastika outside their house so long as they were personally invested in or enriched by the history of the third Reich?

The confederacy was not simply a "geographical region". It was a specific regime, with a specific sets of laws and values, of which the flag is a symbolic representation. The same way the swastika is not a symbol of just "Germany", but instead a symbol that embodies the values and policies of the Nazi regime. Neo-nazis do not fly that flag out of some pride of Germany: it is a call to arms to enact the values and policies that regime represented.

Hence, I think it is important to be reflective as to what the confederacy and its values represent in the context of flying a symbol of that regime when discussing whether or not it is appropriate to fly it. Hence, why I ask, what is their positive historical legacy?
Title: Re: I feel like I made a pretty good argument about the Confederate flag.
Post by: El Barto on August 29, 2017, 01:39:30 PM
@Bosk: What is the positive historical legacy of the confederacy?
Bosk's reply is correct. What I can tell you down here is that we have a different association with the flag than the folks up North. To us it's emblamatic of the South. Nothing more. Up North it seems to be interpreted as "fuck yeah, slavery rules!" So, as Bosk correctly pointed out, seeing it from your perspective doesn't invalidate ours.

I'll also throw out that I don't see a significant historical legacy. I see a huge cultural difference, though. That to me is something worth celebrating. Myself, I'm troubled by the backlash the flag has caused, simply because I think the interpretation is wrong. However, I'd be just fine with any flag conveying the message we in the South associate with it. AFAIC, a flag with a taco, a cowboy hat, and a little old lady offering a slice of pecan pie would be just fine.
Title: Re: I feel like I made a pretty good argument about the Confederate flag.
Post by: El Barto on August 29, 2017, 01:44:06 PM
Would you be okay with someone flying a Swastika outside their house so long as they were personally invested in or enriched by the history of the third Reich?
Would you be okay with a Buddhist of Hindu person flying a Swastika flag out their house? This pretty much nails my extrapolation of the point I believe Bosk was making. You're basing your dislike on your own interpretation of their meaning.
Title: Re: I feel like I made a pretty good argument about the Confederate flag.
Post by: XJDenton on August 29, 2017, 01:47:02 PM
Would you be okay with a Buddhist of Hindu person flying a Swastika flag out their house?

Yes. The symbols in that case would be distinct from Nazi Iconography.
Title: Re: I feel like I made a pretty good argument about the Confederate flag.
Post by: bosk1 on August 29, 2017, 01:47:47 PM
Would you be okay with someone flying a Swastika outside their house so long as they were personally invested in or enriched by the history of the third Reich?

"Okay with" in terms of, do I think they should have a right to have it?  Yes.  Free speech, and all that.  "Okay with" in terms of, do I think anyone doing so should be immune from criticism?  Nope, I'm not personally okay with it.  But those two symbols are also not equivalent.  A swastika is clearly over the line.  The Confederate flag?  Not so much.  Like I said, maybe we are at a point in our history where we recognize that it is over the line.  But so much so that it is clearly a bright line?  No, far from it.  There is too much mixed history behind that symbol.  With the swastika, there is not.

The confederacy was not simply a "geographical region". It was a specific regime, with a specific sets of laws and values, of which the flag is a symbolic representation. The same way the swastika is not a symbol of just "Germany", but instead a symbol that embodies the values and policies of the Nazi regime.

Well, except that it's not as simple as that.  Yes, the flag was adopted as a symbol of the Confederate states that attempted to secede.  But it is also generally a symbol of the South as a region, as Barto points out.  I'm not saying we shouldn't second guess whether to publicly fly that flag.  But I am saying that it is far more nuanced than you make it out to be, and I don't think we should be so quick to condemn.
Title: Re: I feel like I made a pretty good argument about the Confederate flag.
Post by: XeRocks81 on August 29, 2017, 02:07:40 PM
Would you be okay with someone flying a Swastika outside their house so long as they were personally invested in or enriched by the history of the third Reich?
Would you be okay with a Buddhist of Hindu person flying a Swastika flag out their house? This pretty much nails my extrapolation of the point I believe Bosk was making. You're basing your dislike on your own interpretation of their meaning.

it's not just HIS interpretation though,  I know that doesn't change your point but still.
Title: Re: I feel like I made a pretty good argument about the Confederate flag.
Post by: El Barto on August 29, 2017, 02:27:08 PM
Would you be okay with someone flying a Swastika outside their house so long as they were personally invested in or enriched by the history of the third Reich?
Would you be okay with a Buddhist of Hindu person flying a Swastika flag out their house? This pretty much nails my extrapolation of the point I believe Bosk was making. You're basing your dislike on your own interpretation of their meaning.

it's not just HIS interpretation though,  I know that doesn't change your point but still.
No, it doesn't. However, it does hit on a longstanding point of mine. We shouldn't have to dumb things down to protect ourselves front the shallow and simpleminded. Whether or not the average bloke knows the difference between a Nazi swastika and a Hindu swastika shouldn't be the cause for censorship, be it compelled or voluntary. If you don't understand the message behind the flag I fly, either ask politely about it or shut the fuck up. Don't key my car or throw a starter through the window based on your assumptions of rightness.
Title: Re: I feel like I made a pretty good argument about the Confederate flag.
Post by: bosk1 on August 29, 2017, 02:29:37 PM
???  Isn't a brick cheaper than a starter?
Title: Re: I feel like I made a pretty good argument about the Confederate flag.
Post by: Stadler on August 29, 2017, 02:31:11 PM
Would you be okay with someone flying a Swastika outside their house so long as they were personally invested in or enriched by the history of the third Reich?

The confederacy was not simply a "geographical region". It was a specific regime, with a specific sets of laws and values, of which the flag is a symbolic representation. The same way the swastika is not a symbol of just "Germany", but instead a symbol that embodies the values and policies of the Nazi regime. Neo-nazis do not fly that flag out of some pride of Germany: it is a call to arms to enact the values and policies that regime represented.

Hence, I think it is important to be reflective as to what the confederacy and its values represent in the context of flying a symbol of that regime when discussing whether or not it is appropriate to fly it. Hence, why I ask, what is their positive historical legacy?

I'm not sure the comparisons are the same, first off.  I don't know that the Confederacy shipped off 6 million people to be exterminated.   The Holocaust is the example that subsumes all others.   Not to mention that the neo-Nazi's are specifically saying we DO agree with Hitler, et al, and we are specifically and explicitly adopting the tenets of the German Nazi Party circa 1938-1944.   The people using the Confederate flag are doing the exact opposite.   

Second, there ARE historical legacies of the Confederacy.   That proved - beyond doubt - the strength of the union, the strength of the Constitution, and benign power of the Presidency.  It showed, without doubt, to many states that in fact there was VALUE to the Federal government, and that there was a healthy give and take between the State powers on one hand, and the Federal powers on the other. 
Title: Re: I feel like I made a pretty good argument about the Confederate flag.
Post by: Stadler on August 29, 2017, 02:33:19 PM
Would you be okay with a Buddhist of Hindu person flying a Swastika flag out their house?

Yes. The symbols in that case would be distinct from Nazi Iconography.

How do you know that? 
Title: Re: I feel like I made a pretty good argument about the Confederate flag.
Post by: El Barto on August 29, 2017, 02:53:14 PM
???  Isn't a brick cheaper than a starter?
Yeah, but you don't always have one handy.




(It's an Adam Ant reference. He got pissed off and hunked one through the window of a pub after the patrons made fun of his cowboy outfit.  :lol)
Title: Re: I feel like I made a pretty good argument about the Confederate flag.
Post by: XJDenton on August 29, 2017, 02:56:05 PM
I'm not sure the comparisons are the same, first off.  I don't know that the Confederacy shipped off 6 million people to be exterminated.

No, but they were very much in favour in making sure that black people remained enslaved as property rather than people (and killed plenty of them as well) to the point they seceded and went to war over that right. They fact they failed to kill 6 million slaves was a problem of logistics, not ideology. You need machines to be that efficient.

Quote
Not to mention that the neo-Nazi's are specifically saying we DO agree with Hitler, et al, and we are specifically and explicitly adopting the tenets of the German Nazi Party circa 1938-1944. The people using the Confederate flag are doing the exact opposite.

The flag remained popular in the south as a symbol of the "lost cause" of the confederacy and had a resurgence of popularity in the late 1940s to late 60s in direct response and opposition to the civil rights movements of that era. There's plenty of examples of contemporary support for neo-confederate ideals and those same people using the Confederate flag as a rallying cry for those ideals. Charlottesville is just the most recent.

Quote
Second, there ARE historical legacies of the Confederacy.   That proved - beyond doubt - the strength of the union, the strength of the Constitution, and benign power of the Presidency.  It showed, without doubt, to many states that in fact there was VALUE to the Federal government, and that there was a healthy give and take between the State powers on one hand, and the Federal powers on the other.

And so to honour that we choose a symbol of the regime that forwent the constitution and spat in the face of the federal government to do their own thing? Seems an odd way of going about things to me.
Title: Re: I feel like I made a pretty good argument about the Confederate flag.
Post by: Stadler on August 29, 2017, 03:43:58 PM
I'm not sure the comparisons are the same, first off.  I don't know that the Confederacy shipped off 6 million people to be exterminated.

No, but they were very much in favour in making sure that black people remained enslaved as property rather than people (and killed plenty of them as well) to the point they seceded and went to war over that right. They fact they failed to kill 6 million slaves was a problem of logistics, not ideology. You need machines to be that efficient.

It absolutely was NOT a problem of logistics.  Why would they unilaterally, and en masse, destroy their property, lose their value, halt productivity on their plantations, and lose the benefit of Federal representation?  That is a primary difference between the South and the Reich; the south may not have treated them with full human rights, or HUMAN respect, but there was a respect there.  That's not at all the right word, and I don't at all want to even remotely imply that I'm approving of slavery; I'm not.  But there are distinctions between treating people as property - and valuing them as such - and genocide.  For the Reich, Jews were a nuisance and were better off dead.  They didn't kill them out of spite, alone, but out of their own twisted, sick, demented sense of practicality.  That same "practicality" kept the slave ostensibly alive, if not subjected to gross human rights violations.

Quote
The flag remained popular in the south as a symbol of the "lost cause" of the confederacy and had a resurgence of popularity in the late 1940s to late 60s in direct response and opposition to the civil rights movements of that era. There's plenty of examples of contemporary support for neo-confederate ideals and those same people using the Confederate flag as a rallying cry for those ideals. Charlottesville is just the most recent.

Okay, so if you're going to discount the ACTUAL use, and use the subsequent uses as your proof, why do the thousands of people that use the symbol in a negative way outweigh the millions of people that use it in a positive way?  This goes back to my - as yet unanswered - question about "race": why does "race" magically make things different? 

Quote
And so to honour that we choose a symbol of the regime that forwent the constitution and spat in the face of the federal government to do their own thing? Seems an odd way of going about things to me.

Here's the great thing about a free society:  if it seems odd to you, don't do it.  But don't lay your judgment on others and force them to stop doing it.  Homosexual sex?   Seems odd to me, but it's not my place to tell anyone else what do with their unit, so I keep my thoughts to myself.   Worshiping the Devil?  Seems odd to me, and yet, not my place to tell someone how to practice their religion.    Killing a fetus?   Seems odd to me, and yet, it's not my body.  Not my call. 
Title: Re: I feel like I made a pretty good argument about the Confederate flag.
Post by: portnoy311 on August 29, 2017, 04:20:02 PM
Stadler - a few things:

The Nazi swastika is different than the Hindu and Buddhist historical symbol. A Nazi flag is different and its own symbol. That's how he knew it was distinct.

Comparing the Nazis to the Confederacy doesn't change that that flag is still the flag of a nation whose sole purpose was the war fought against the US. That your daughter and others use it to mean the South in 2017 doesn't change what its actual meaning is. Listing the good that came from the Civil War - due to the Union prevailing and the folding of the CSA - and listing them as positives of the Confederacy is the kind of mental gymnastics that really strain credibility. I know a guy whose grandfather was a Nazi in WWII. Were he to fly the flag and list the strengthening of western alliances, the emergence of the US superpower, scientific advancements spurned by WWII and other reasons for him to fly the Nazi flag of his grandfather he'd very rightly be castigated.

Bosk's quote:

"But those two symbols are also not equivalent.  A swastika is clearly over the line.  The Confederate flag?  Not so much. Like I said, maybe we are at a point in our history where we recognize that it is over the line.  But so much so that it is clearly a bright line?  No, far from it.  There is too much mixed history behind that symbol.  With the swastika, there is not."

That's the crux of the matter. Again, that your daughter and others use it to recognize the nebulous "SOUTH" isn't the issue - the issue is why THAT flag, THAT symbol?


I'd answer your race question, but I'm genuinely not sure what you're asking.
Title: Re: I feel like I made a pretty good argument about the Confederate flag.
Post by: El Barto on August 29, 2017, 04:48:21 PM
That's the crux of the matter. Again, that your daughter and others use it to recognize the nebulous "SOUTH" isn't the issue - the issue is why THAT flag, THAT symbol?
No idea about young Miss Stadler, but in my case it's because it has always been that way. I'm 47 so it's been emblematic of the not so nebulous South since long before I was born. The fact that people are now getting bent out of shape about it strikes me as odd, and to be honest, representative of a silly generation that is no longer willing to think beyond the most superficial.
Title: Re: I feel like I made a pretty good argument about the Confederate flag.
Post by: portnoy311 on August 29, 2017, 05:45:40 PM
I mean, "But it's always been that way!" is a pretty poor argument AGAINST those "that [are] no longer willing to think beyond the most superficial."
Title: Re: I feel like I made a pretty good argument about the Confederate flag.
Post by: bosk1 on August 29, 2017, 05:47:31 PM
I mean, "But it's always been that way!" is a pretty poor argument AGAINST those "that [are] no longer willing to think beyond the most superficial."
But reducing his argument to "But it's always been that way!" is a pretty superficial mischaracterization.
Title: Re: I feel like I made a pretty good argument about the Confederate flag.
Post by: El Barto on August 29, 2017, 06:18:26 PM
I mean, "But it's always been that way!" is a pretty poor argument AGAINST those "that [are] no longer willing to think beyond the most superficial."
Perhaps if we were talking about led in paint, or arsenic in the water, I'd agree with you. This is a construct, though. You're looking at something that has existed a certain way for generations, and suddenly deciding that you don't like it based on your own interpretation of what the age old intent was, therefore it must be prohibited. A: You don't know what that intent was or is. More importantly, though, B: you no longer give a damn. That's troubling. To be honest, more troubling than even what you think it means.
Title: Re: I feel like I made a pretty good argument about the Confederate flag.
Post by: portnoy311 on August 29, 2017, 06:22:01 PM
I mean, "But it's always been that way!" is a pretty poor argument AGAINST those "that [are] no longer willing to think beyond the most superficial."
But reducing his argument to "But it's always been that way!" is a pretty superficial mischaracterization.

But that's literally what he wrote in the post above mine. I was saying that line he wrote didn't pass muster, not his entire argument on the subject.
Title: Re: I feel like I made a pretty good argument about the Confederate flag.
Post by: XeRocks81 on August 29, 2017, 08:08:57 PM
But Barto, you seem to be speaking as if literally this year, some minority of people just up and decided out of the blue that the confederate flag represents racism. 
Title: Re: I feel like I made a pretty good argument about the Confederate flag.
Post by: El Barto on August 29, 2017, 08:28:46 PM
But Barto, you seem to be speaking as if literally this year, some minority of people just up and decided out of the blue that the confederate flag represents racism.
Well, I'd say two years ago, and my problem is that now it must always represent racism to the exclusion of all else.
Title: Re: I feel like I made a pretty good argument about the Confederate flag.
Post by: XeRocks81 on August 29, 2017, 08:34:38 PM
But Barto, you seem to be speaking as if literally this year, some minority of people just up and decided out of the blue that the confederate flag represents racism.
Well, I'd say two years ago, and my problem is that now it must always represent racism to the exclusion of all else.

Well yeah it was brought back in big way because let's not forget that a white-supremacist nutjob killed 9 people (all african-american) in church in Charleston, SC. That's a pretty big piece of context but it was a debate that's been going on for years.  People didn't wake up one day and decided that. 
Title: Re: I feel like I made a pretty good argument about the Confederate flag.
Post by: Adami on August 29, 2017, 08:36:25 PM
Just read a little on the history of the flag. Fascinating stuff. Apparently it was an army flag of Lee's during the war, and was then more widespread after the war and was formally adopted by both the KKK and other anti-civil rights groups in the mid 20th century.

So I doubt it's only now being associated with racism.

And even if it also represents other things, that doesn't negate the racism it also is associated with.

You could argue the Swastika represents a strong Germany and a sense of self-determination in the face of global oppression. Doesn't erase the rest of it.
Title: Re: I feel like I made a pretty good argument about the Confederate flag.
Post by: El Barto on August 29, 2017, 09:02:19 PM
But Barto, you seem to be speaking as if literally this year, some minority of people just up and decided out of the blue that the confederate flag represents racism.
Well, I'd say two years ago, and my problem is that now it must always represent racism to the exclusion of all else.

Well yeah it was brought back in big way because let's not forget that a white-supremacist nutjob killed 9 people (all african-american) in church in Charleston, SC. That's a pretty big piece of context but it was a debate that's been going on for years.  People didn't wake up one day and decided that.
And as I said at that time, it was a pretty shitty argument. About as rational as blaming Columbine on Doom2. And you're correct that they didn't just wake up one day and decided that it was racist. They woke up that day and decided that it couldn't be anything but, and therefore anybody associated with it should be ostracized. This is where I have a problem.
Title: Re: I feel like I made a pretty good argument about the Confederate flag.
Post by: XeRocks81 on August 29, 2017, 09:19:03 PM
the confederate flag didn't make someone murder people no more than a video game did of course not,  but as Adami juste wrote it was widely adopted as a
symbol by the KKK and other white supremacists, pro-segration etc specifically during the fight for civil rights in the 50s and 60s was it not? And if some can't get past that and don't want to be associated with it it's not because they're dumb millenials or whatever
Title: Re: I feel like I made a pretty good argument about the Confederate flag.
Post by: El Barto on August 29, 2017, 09:38:43 PM
the confederate flag didn't make someone murder people no more than a video game did of course not,  but as Adami juste wrote it was widely adopted as a
symbol by the KKK and other white supremacists, pro-segration etc specifically during the fight for civil rights in the 50s and 60s was it not? And if some can't get past that and don't want to be associated with it it's not because they're dumb millenials or whatever
No. It makes them oversensitive zealots who can't get over the fact that somebody might dare have a view different than their own. Which, now that I think about it, sounds like a pretty apt description of a dumb millennial.
Title: Re: I feel like I made a pretty good argument about the Confederate flag.
Post by: XeRocks81 on August 29, 2017, 09:50:39 PM
can we at least agree that it's not unreasonable that some folks don't want to be associated with a symbol that carries that kind of baggage? That maybe it's not unreasonable  they didn't want to see it flying over a statehouse after a racism motivated murderous rampage?   
Title: Re: I feel like I made a pretty good argument about the Confederate flag.
Post by: El Barto on August 29, 2017, 09:56:20 PM
can we at least agree that it's not unreasonable that some folks don't want to be associated with a symbol that carries that kind of baggage? That maybe it's not unreasonable  they didn't want to see it flying over a statehouse after a racism motivated murderous rampage?
Nope. I'm subjected to things I find abhorrent all the time. I accept that I don't get to live in my own custom world and deal with it.
Title: Re: I feel like I made a pretty good argument about the Confederate flag.
Post by: XeRocks81 on August 29, 2017, 10:02:46 PM
ugh, fine whatever,  be that way  :facepalm:

that's not what it's about at all in my opinion but it's way too late for me as it is and I'm getting frustrated,  not good for sleeping
Title: Re: I feel like I made a pretty good argument about the Confederate flag.
Post by: Adami on August 29, 2017, 10:07:09 PM
can we at least agree that it's not unreasonable that some folks don't want to be associated with a symbol that carries that kind of baggage? That maybe it's not unreasonable  they didn't want to see it flying over a statehouse after a racism motivated murderous rampage?
Nope. I'm subjected to things I find abhorrent all the time. I accept that I don't get to live in my own custom world and deal with it.

I don't disagree with you, but do you think there's a line that can be crossed?

For instance. If I live next to a family that was attacked by a murderer, leaving only a teenage daughter and her aunt (or whatever) am I allowed to fly a flag that is a huge picture of her murdered family?

It's a very extreme example, and obviously just meant for debate and not practicality, but I'm wondering if you feel this is an all or nothing situation.
Title: Re: I feel like I made a pretty good argument about the Confederate flag.
Post by: El Barto on August 29, 2017, 11:03:17 PM
can we at least agree that it's not unreasonable that some folks don't want to be associated with a symbol that carries that kind of baggage? That maybe it's not unreasonable  they didn't want to see it flying over a statehouse after a racism motivated murderous rampage?
Nope. I'm subjected to things I find abhorrent all the time. I accept that I don't get to live in my own custom world and deal with it.

I don't disagree with you, but do you think there's a line that can be crossed?

For instance. If I live next to a family that was attacked by a murderer, leaving only a teenage daughter and her aunt (or whatever) am I allowed to fly a flag that is a huge picture of her murdered family?

It's a very extreme example, and obviously just meant for debate and not practicality, but I'm wondering if you feel this is an all or nothing situation.
Well, I'm somebody who defends an individual's right to be an asshole. In your example, a really big asshole. I wouldn't like it but I suppose I'd have to defend it. However, that's different than what we're discussing. Your example is very personal and targeted. There's a specific person that the asshole is tormenting after a very real harm. That's significantly different than the generic cries of "but, but, but, racism!" A big part of my problem is the vagueness and the fluidity of what offends people nowadays.

You put out a pretty good example, and because of it's targeted nature it doesn't sit well with me. I'll give this some more thought.
Title: Re: I feel like I made a pretty good argument about the Confederate flag.
Post by: Dave_Manchester on August 30, 2017, 06:41:00 AM
can we at least agree that it's not unreasonable that some folks don't want to be associated with a symbol that carries that kind of baggage? That maybe it's not unreasonable  they didn't want to see it flying over a statehouse after a racism motivated murderous rampage?
Nope. I'm subjected to things I find abhorrent all the time. I accept that I don't get to live in my own custom world and deal with it.

I don't disagree with you, but do you think there's a line that can be crossed?

For instance. If I live next to a family that was attacked by a murderer, leaving only a teenage daughter and her aunt (or whatever) am I allowed to fly a flag that is a huge picture of her murdered family?

It's a very extreme example, and obviously just meant for debate and not practicality, but I'm wondering if you feel this is an all or nothing situation.

My thoughts on this example depend on the reason for the person flying that flag. If it's as a kind of memento to the murdered family (similar to displaying a photograph for example), then it would simply be a bizarre and histrionic way of memorialising the dead. If I were the bereaved, I'd politely ask my neighbour to take it down, because I don't like to make a fuss of grief. If however they're displaying the flag to hurt me then, in the UK at least, it would probably fall under harrassment law. I would again ask them to take it down, and if they refused, I'd either see what legal rights I have, or else just wait for the cruel and petty assholery to burn itself out, as it tends to.

I agree with Barto's overall philosophy on this that allowing people to be assholes is as good a way of any as letting them get it out of their system. The line of course is violence (or verbal threats, whatever the laws are). If the neighbour is flying that flag just to be a very hurtful piece of shit, then of course from an emotional point of view it's difficult to 'ignore' that. But practically, it must be ignored. This will sound horribly sentimental and TV-show level of cod psychology, but I think there's truth in it: how much self-loathing and anger and emotional poverty does a person need to have to do something so calculated and cruel? To leave them quietly to themselves is its own punishment.   


My general take on symbols and images is that they can be powerful and emotive things, and that's why it's important to have a population which is aware of the historical process. Almost nothing has been entirely awful, and it's necessary to view things through the lens of history. There was a moment in British history when you could be tortured on the rack and burnt at the stake (by Sir Thomas More, whom 500 years later Pope John Paul II made the patron saint of politicians) for owning a Bible in English rather than Latin. And the name of the primary school I went to for 7 years? Saint Thomas More's School. Inquisitor, torturor, killer...saint. All in one historical personage. And that school still stands, and no Protestants have any problem with it, because we recognise the importance of time and place. He wasn't just some sadistic blood-thirsty maniac who enjoyed butchering people. Nobody in history is so cartoonish. Neither was he an 'angel'. He was just a man of history, a monumental one, one of a handful who shaped civilisation; a very grey character whom we still discuss and debate 500 years later.

Another example, in my office here I have a portrait of Stalin. Several (always young) people have expressed displeasure at seeing it when they enter (invariably because "I lost grandparents in the Purges", a complaint so fatuous and self-absorbed as to deserve its equivalent reply "You'd have lost your entire country, culture and history to the Nazis were it not for him").

Many, many other examples. Look at the Hugo Boss clothing company. European neo-fascist football hooligans often wear Hugo Boss clothes as a statement, and there are people who believe the company should be folded because of its Nazi connection (Hugo Boss was one of the makers and suppliers of Nazi uniforms, including the infamous black uniforms of the SS, he was a prominent member of the Nazi Party, and he used slave labour to build his empire). I personally know someone who is sickened whenever she sees the Hugo Boss symbol on clothing or perfume. But should the company and the symbol then be removed? No, in my opinion, because it's not the job of the present to deliver a tutting reprimand to the past. We're nowhere near good enough or clever enough to do that. Instead, study it and learn from it. 

Thomas More, Stalin, General Lee, The Confederate Flag, a flag of my dead family...the questions should be what story is represented by the person or the symbol, and what attitude do you have to that story? Those questions require information, an awareness of what history is (namely, a process), respect for other views, and a calm temperament. But most of all, that first one: information.

The Swastika is the bench-mark example. If someone knocks on my door and says "Hello neighbour, I'm new to the area and I'm a Nazi. I'm not gonna do anything illegal though", and then goes about his life, he has the right to do that. How is that different to displaying a Swastika on his own property? How is it any more 'offensive'? Now at least I have been given the information needed to choose not to send him a Christmas card, or invite him over for beer and a barbecue.
Title: Re: I feel like I made a pretty good argument about the Confederate flag.
Post by: Dave_Manchester on August 30, 2017, 06:48:44 AM
edit: removed this post because I'm not clear on the Youtube policy.
Title: Re: I feel like I made a pretty good argument about the Confederate flag.
Post by: Stadler on August 30, 2017, 07:24:33 AM
Comparing the Nazis to the Confederacy doesn't change that that flag is still the flag of a nation whose sole purpose was the war fought against the US. That your daughter and others use it to mean the South in 2017 doesn't change what its actual meaning is. Listing the good that came from the Civil War - due to the Union prevailing and the folding of the CSA - and listing them as positives of the Confederacy is the kind of mental gymnastics that really strain credibility. I know a guy whose grandfather was a Nazi in WWII. Were he to fly the flag and list the strengthening of western alliances, the emergence of the US superpower, scientific advancements spurned by WWII and other reasons for him to fly the Nazi flag of his grandfather he'd very rightly be castigated.

But el Barto is on to something:   when the war ended - in 1945 - there was no equivocation.  There was no "well, Hitler was a decent guy, gave that take over the world thing a try, but it didn't work.  Oh well.   Jews still suck!"   We knew, from moment one, that we were dealing with a singular event in modern history.   We didn't just leave and say to the Germans "Okay, you'll get this right the fourth time, get on with it!"  No, we divided the country amongst the US, Britain and the Soviet Union to help rebuild in a specific way.   With the flag, the Civil War ended, what, a hundred years ago, give or take (I kid; it was 152 years ago), and we're just figuring this out NOW?   We're just deciding "hey, wait... that's not right!"   Skynyrd wrote songs in the 70's decrying racism and yet used that symbol as  part of their band iconography.   The General Lee.   All the race protests in the south in the 60's and I didn't see the statuary and iconography destroyed, symbolically or otherwise.

This is a trend in the early 21st century, blown way the hell out of proportion by social media, and this fad that somehow "OPINIONS MATTER", and that because I have an opinion, it has to treated by others as FACT and respected as such. Fuck.  That.   We've gotten to the point that the ONLY designation that matters is the one that directly fits YOU.   Forget LGBTQ; it's got to be "FWGWSLKETHWTOFTSAIRHYBBB".  That's me.   "Fat white guy who still loves Kiss even though he's way too old for that shit, and is reliving his youth by buying BMWs". 

It's all a parlor game, and we're going to look back on it and shake our heads, like we do today with the wigs and powder of the 18th century.   The difference being, of course, that we can take off the wigs, we cannot rebuild those aspects of history - true, even if dark - that we've destroyed as part of this "cleansing".   
 

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"But those two symbols are also not equivalent.  A swastika is clearly over the line.  The Confederate flag?  Not so much. Like I said, maybe we are at a point in our history where we recognize that it is over the line.  But so much so that it is clearly a bright line?  No, far from it.  There is too much mixed history behind that symbol.  With the swastika, there is not."

That's the crux of the matter. Again, that your daughter and others use it to recognize the nebulous "SOUTH" isn't the issue - the issue is why THAT flag, THAT symbol?

Because she can. That's not the issue; the issue is why do we allow some people to dictate to others what they should think and feel?     You know, Portnoy311, better than most here that the quickest way to get under my skin is when we say things like "where we recognize that it is over the line".  Who?  Who recognizes?  The masses?  The same masses that buy a zillion Taylor Swift records, watch the Bachelor, and go to Wal-mart in their pajamas (but don't ever forget their beloved and necessary CELL PHONE!)?   I trust the "masses" about as much as I trust that Beiber is really going to come out with that epic prog album next. 

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I'd answer your race question, but I'm genuinely not sure what you're asking.

I touched on it above, and I've asked it twice now:  why when RACE is involved, do all the rules change?  there's no accommodating differing - but reasonable - positions, there's no giving of the benefit of the doubt to others, there's no compromise or analysis, it's just "BECAUSE".   There's no "degree" when it comes to race; because one person might have voted for Trump because of a racial issue, he's the "RACIST PRESIDENT!".   Because one of his followers might be racist, the entire pack is "deplorable!".  Explain the 10 to 15 million people that voted for Obama twice and then voted for Trump; they just woke up one day and decided to be racists???     Why when someone says something even vaguely racist, it has to be tamped out immediately, like a cigarette in a dry forest, because "It will SPREAD!" and yet we've been preaching race unity for decades and it hasn't tamped out all the racists?  We're not driven by expressions that we disagree with.  We're just not.   Yet when it comes to "race", all sense of reason or science goes right into the crapper.      I don't understand it, and I think it is ultimately part of the reason why we're still having problems.  It reduces the credibility of the argument. 
Title: Re: I feel like I made a pretty good argument about the Confederate flag.
Post by: Stadler on August 30, 2017, 07:38:06 AM
But Barto, you seem to be speaking as if literally this year, some minority of people just up and decided out of the blue that the confederate flag represents racism.
Well, I'd say two years ago, and my problem is that now it must always represent racism to the exclusion of all else.

Well yeah it was brought back in big way because let's not forget that a white-supremacist nutjob killed 9 people (all african-american) in church in Charleston, SC. That's a pretty big piece of context but it was a debate that's been going on for years.  People didn't wake up one day and decided that.

Back to my point about race; why is "white racist" the important part and not the "nutjob"?    I'm living in the wake of Adam Lanza.   He arguably wasn't capable of cogently making intelligent arguments about things like "race".   He did find it in his makeup to slaughter 27 innocents (and wound 2 others), though.   

I'm able to have contrarian points of view because I confine them to ideas, not action (though, to be clear, "race" isn't one of them.  I personally believe there are subtle difference between races - that's why they are different races - btu that they are as meaningless as hair color or eye color).   Others, regardless of their point of view, cannot contain their ideas to just that, they have to take action.  Why does the after-the-fact rationale control, and not the far more egregious inability to control their actions?    Is the guy that shoots up a church and claims "WHITE POWER!" worse than the autistic kid that shoots up a school and can't articulate why he had that impulse?  I don't think so.

My (step)son is currently being tested, but it is extremely likely that he is on the spectrum.  As part of all that goes along with that, he is almost incapable of taking responsibility.  He says "oh, my bad!" a lot, because he hears people saying it, but when it comes down to hard discussions about "ownership", there is ALWAYS an excuse.   "She hit me first".  "I was just seeing what would happen if I pressed the gas pedal".   "It fell on me".   And my personal favorite, "It was an accident; I didn't mean to pull the lever on the hose!"  I've come to love this boy as my own son; we play xBox, and because of work situations, I do a lot of the bringing to doctors and therapy (dad is a deadbeat, not out of the picture, but he thinks that "if we just enroll him in a football league, he'll figure it all out.  Like I did."  M'kay, Ward Cleaver.  Mike fuckin' Brady.).       I've learned a lot in the last couple years, and one of the primary things is, our brain does what the fuck it wants to do a large part of the time, and our conscience fills in the blanks where it has to.  You see this almost literally every day with Trump.  I'm not suggesting it's not a problem, but I am suggesting, strongly, that things like "flags" and "swastikas" are not the problem.  They are merely a symbol of the problem, and removing the symbol doesn't remove the problem; in fact, it likely makes it harder to track and harder to solve. 
Title: Re: I feel like I made a pretty good argument about the Confederate flag.
Post by: Stadler on August 30, 2017, 07:44:33 AM
can we at least agree that it's not unreasonable that some folks don't want to be associated with a symbol that carries that kind of baggage? That maybe it's not unreasonable  they didn't want to see it flying over a statehouse after a racism motivated murderous rampage?

Of course it's not "unreasonable".  What's "unreasonable" is assuming that everyone else who doesn't see it that way is AUTOMATICALLY a screaming White Supremacist that has to be shut the fuck down NOW because they're polluting and corrupting our kids.   

Don't fall into the political fallacy that dominates our discourse circa 2017.   That I don't fight something tooth and nail does NOT mean I am actively advocating for it and all that it stands for.  Racism is fear-driven, narrow-minded, and limiting.  It's backwards thinking.  Not a question in my mind of that point.   But that I don't fight - physically, or legally, or otherwise - to shut up all racists doesn't mean I support their position.   I can't and won't and SHOULDN'T force other people to think like I do*.  Part of the beauty of the idea of democracy is the Yin and the Yang; even the extreme ideas have a place, as a balance against extremism the other way.   

I don't think people quite understand just how beautiful and well-crafted the structure of this country really is.  It is damn near perfect, and the failures of it are almost universally attributable to the imperfect creatures wielding the controls. 

*(You'd hate that, XeRocks81, trust me. :) )
Title: Re: I feel like I made a pretty good argument about the Confederate flag.
Post by: Stadler on August 30, 2017, 07:50:14 AM
can we at least agree that it's not unreasonable that some folks don't want to be associated with a symbol that carries that kind of baggage? That maybe it's not unreasonable  they didn't want to see it flying over a statehouse after a racism motivated murderous rampage?
Nope. I'm subjected to things I find abhorrent all the time. I accept that I don't get to live in my own custom world and deal with it.

I don't disagree with you, but do you think there's a line that can be crossed?

For instance. If I live next to a family that was attacked by a murderer, leaving only a teenage daughter and her aunt (or whatever) am I allowed to fly a flag that is a huge picture of her murdered family?

It's a very extreme example, and obviously just meant for debate and not practicality, but I'm wondering if you feel this is an all or nothing situation.

Depends on how you're talking.  Legally?  Of course you can.  No question, not up for discussion.  But nothing is one-dimensional and without a multitude of competing variables.    Now you're in the realm of personal good taste.   That's not generally a matter of society or rule or law (though some localities may, as a matter of their social contract, have restrictions on that sort of thing), but generally that is a matter of conscience, not "lines".   

Title: Re: I feel like I made a pretty good argument about the Confederate flag.
Post by: El Barto on August 30, 2017, 08:23:25 AM
You put out a pretty good example, and because of it's targeted nature it doesn't sit well with me. I'll give this some more thought.

And now I have. Still going to have to support it, both on principle, and in practice. It occurs to me that there are remedies here for the grieving neighbors. In this case I'm pretty confident that his actions represent fighting words. Those that by their very utterance inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace. As ardent a supporter of the first amendment as I am, I have to agree with the fighting words doctrine. The neighbor is likely guilty of the local application of disorderly conduct, and if I smash his face in there's a pretty good chance I'm acquitted on the grounds that "dude had it coming." This is only reasonable based on the very personal nature of his behavior. A God Hates Fags flag doesn't qualify because it's an untargeted religious message. This is intended to cause harm.

There's also a likely civil suit here for intentionally inflicting emotional distress. Again, given the personal nature of this particular action I'm not too troubled by that, either.
Title: Re: I feel like I made a pretty good argument about the Confederate flag.
Post by: Stadler on August 30, 2017, 08:35:06 AM
You put out a pretty good example, and because of it's targeted nature it doesn't sit well with me. I'll give this some more thought.

And now I have. Still going to have to support it, both on principle, and in practice. It occurs to me that there are remedies here for the grieving neighbors. In this case I'm pretty confident that his actions represent fighting words. Those that by their very utterance inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace. As ardent a supporter of the first amendment as I am, I have to agree with the fighting words doctrine. The neighbor is likely guilty of the local application of disorderly conduct, and if I smash his face in there's a pretty good chance I'm acquitted on the grounds that "dude had it coming." This is only reasonable based on the very personal nature of his behavior. A God Hates Fags flag doesn't qualify because it's an untargeted religious message. This is intended to cause harm.

There's also a likely civil suit here for intentionally inflicting emotional distress. Again, given the personal nature of this particular action I'm not too troubled by that, either.

But while I know you, el Barto, understand the difference, for everyone else:  these are LEGAL remedies, and you have to present your case to the appropriate judicial entity for review.  None of this is handled by protest, by Twitter, by other social media, by bullying, by ANY of the common tools used today to influence (i.e. reprogram) someone else's thinking.   You have to PROVE your harm, not just claim "I'm OFFENDED!". 
Title: Re: I feel like I made a pretty good argument about the Confederate flag.
Post by: XeRocks81 on August 30, 2017, 08:42:23 AM
Stadler I'm really at my wit's end (wich is not saying much I know), there's just a fundemental disconnect with how you view the position of someone like me (and me regarding you).    I don't think offended is some sort of over arching right that tops everything else,  I don't want to reprogram anyone.  I'm just looking for some empathy and you never seem willing to even entertain that prospect, or again It's me who can't understand.


I'm just tired of you mis-representing all these issues but I don't know how to communicate this to you and I don't seem to understand you either.    :sad:

edit:  just to be clear I don't mean empathy for me personally because who cares.  I mean in all the different issues and situations that are discussed. 
Title: Re: I feel like I made a pretty good argument about the Confederate flag.
Post by: El Barto on August 30, 2017, 09:23:05 AM
Sticking up for a vital principle doesn't preclude empathy. I can be sympathetic towards a person and still feel they need to endure their issues.
Title: Re: I feel like I made a pretty good argument about the Confederate flag.
Post by: Stadler on August 30, 2017, 09:44:35 AM
Stadler I'm really at my wit's end (wich is not saying much I know), there's just a fundemental disconnect with how you view the position of someone like me (and me regarding you).    I don't think offended is some sort of over arching right that tops everything else,  I don't want to reprogram anyone.  I'm just looking for some empathy and you never seem willing to even entertain that prospect, or again It's me who can't understand.


I'm just tired of you mis-representing all these issues but I don't know how to communicate this to you and I don't seem to understand you either.    :sad:

edit:  just to be clear I don't mean empathy for me personally because who cares.  I mean in all the different issues and situations that are discussed.

But we're not talking about "empathy".  I'm actually an EXTREMELY empathetic person.  To a fault at times.  But I can and do separate that from the infrastructure - for lack of a better word - of things.    "Empathy" is a wholly subjective thing, and we cannot legislate based on "empathy".  It can infuse those positions we ultimately - for other reasons - take, but it can't be the impetus for taking them.   But in a day-to-day moment, independent of the legalities and the general politics of things, empathy plays a large part in how I interact with the world.  Ask anyone here that's met me; no politics, no large moral positionings, just an abiding sense of... community for lack of a better word. 

If we want to start a thread that is purely about the "empathy" angle, I'm in.  You might be surprised.