While I was in Springfield this past weekend a newspaper reporter from the Arizona Republic contacted me to discuss the Confederate flag … yes, again. Seems a local business in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area was displaying the flag, and that display had sparked controversy. What followed was this article.
When you think about it, the article follows a fairly predictable pattern, with one exception: the claim by the store owner that she had no idea what she was flying … that it was simply a pretty flag. If we are to take that at face value, then this isn’t a heritage fight, although it sure looks like one, with the usual go-to quotes from a representative of the NAACP, someone from the SCV, David Blight, local reaction, and a few extras. I’m sure someone will find what I said objectionable, and I’m confident we know the viewpoints of those who feel that way.
And, of course, there is the comment from the storekeeper about the Mexican flag, but I think that should stand on its own.
The only thing that matters is that they spelled your name correctly.
Now, where to you plan to buy accessories for your cycles?
Thankfully, I need not worry about such purchases.
I like the comment about flying the Mexican flag. I guess illegals from Puerto RIco and South Carolina are OK.
How would they be illegals?
C’mon Brooks, you could have defended this woman’s honor by pointing out that Arizona started out (at least its first version) as a Confederate territory. And that the date chosen for Arizona statehood was 50 years to the day after its status as a Confederate territory became official (what a coincidence). Maybe that’s one reason why Arizona’s centennial celebration was rather muted, besides the empty state treasury?
I never understood the woman’s honor to be under attack.
I was being sarcastic.
I was just playing along. 🙂
So, is Johnny Simpson your cousin? 8>)
In Tony Horwitz’s “Confederates in the Attic” he deals with the incident in Tennessee where a young Black man murdered a young white man who was flying the Confederate flag from his pickup truck. In all the furor, including the SCV claiming it was a heritage violation and trying to make a hero out of the murdered man, at one point, the widow admitted that he flew the flag because he liked the way it looked with his beloved truck.
So what was so wrong with him having the flag on his truck that he would be murdered, surely if the black man was flying an African National Flag and he was murdered by a white man for that indiscretion it would have been an hate crime.
I don’t see anyone justifying a murder, so what’s your point? Margaret’s point is that in both these cases the display of the Confederate battle flag was not a celebration of Confederate heritage. How did you miss that?
Who said anything about anyone justifying a murder it can’t be. For some flying the flag is a celebration of herirtage and for that some are murdered, I guess.
As these pieces pointed out, the flying of the flag was not an act of expressing heritage in these instances. If we are going to talk about people being murdered because of what they believe in, I suggest you review the history of the civil rights movement.
Oh my Brooks how we do carry on it always reverts back to dragging out the old race card doesn’t it, nonetheless he was killed while having the banner on his truck how did you miss that.
You appear to be the only one who mentioned race in our exchange; thus it must be you who play the race card. And it is true that you do carry on.
Whites as well as blacks died in the fight for equality during the civil rights movement.
You always turn the worm towards everyone else, everybody knew what you were playing with your civil rights movement reference.
I’m sure you believe that. Nice that you try to manipulate someone’s death to fit your “heritage” agenda. How sad. How typical.
Remind me the next time you show that concern about victims of racist violence when you go to Birmingham and visit the 16th Street Baptist Church.
So now you are playing me as a racist you don’t know me, you’re only taking the same path you always do stereotyping someone of Southern Heritage who wishes to fly the colors as a rascist. I was raised in the south on a tobacco farm worked side by side and played with black boys and girls everday until I left the farm as a young man. As an adult I have many black friends today, and for the past ten years have maintained a graveyard for blacks across the road from my house without having been asked to do so or neither have I charged anyone for my labor. I do it so there resting place will remain a place of beauty for everyone that rides by to see. No one should be killed for what they are struggling for whether it be for ones civil rights or desire to fly the colors that their ancestors fought under. No Mr. Simpson it’s you that manipulates ones death to fit your blogs. How sad. How typical.
Stop whining. Margaret was correct in pointing out that it’s not clear that Michael Westerman was making any sort of “heritage” statement with his flag. People fly that flag who haven’t got a lick of sense about what it means, good or bad. That school bus driver in Oregon who got himself canned for his “redneck” flag has never, to my knowledge, said anything about Southern heritage or Confederate ancestry. That city councilman in Minnesota whose bold stand for free speech with his redneck CBF lasted all of 24 hours, made no such claim, either.
What happened to Michael Westerman was a crime. It was tragedy, for his family and friends. But his attackers were caught and punished under the law. That is as it should be.
The larger tragedy, though, is how various groups have taken Westerman’s murder and twisted it to their own intentions, using it as a rallying cry for spreading fear, racial resentment, and hostility. Take this example, from a “tribute” given in honor of Westerman at the conclusion of his killers’ trial:
This is straight-up fear mongering, and it’s shameful.
This type of fear-mongering has been part and parcel of the anti-black racist agenda for a very long time in this country. It has its analogs and beginnings in antebellum and postbellum tales of blacks rising up against whites to slaughter them in their beds and rape their wives, to which has been added in this day and age perverted, paranoid fantasies of being subsumed into an avalanche of black DNA. You’re right. . .it is shameful. And it works.
Jackson, there was nothing wrong with him flying the flag from his truck. It was his property and his right.The tragedy of his murder is a very real one for his family, friends and any civilized society. And if. . .IF. . .it could be proved that he was killed because he was white, then the murderers are/were guilty of a hate crime. And if that happened today they no doubt would be charged with same IF THEY KILLED HIM BECAUSE HE WAS WHITE. But this happened in 1995. If I recall correctly, the stricter, federal hate crimes legislation that we use today was not signed into law until 1998.
It seems to me that the travesty was in making this about “heritage violations,” cynically playing up this young man’s death and making him a Confederate martyr. If people believe that he was killed because he was white then why didn’t they say so at the time? You do know that he was friends with 2 of those guys (neither of whom was the shooter) and they didn’t even know who was in the truck, yes? And that the DA said they found no evidence that racism was a motive?
You accuse Brooks of racism when you’re the one who brought up race and to add insult to injury proceeded on with that tired old saw about how “. . .if it was a black man/white man. . .” I can’t tell you how many times I see that ignorant meme bandied about on public fora. I’m all for hate crime legislation be it for reasons of race, religion, nationality, gender or gender orientation. No one who is in favor of hate crimes laws views them as meant for minorities only and they are not. Only those obsessed with race or the supremacy of their own creeds or lifestyles think otherwise.
Catherine, Catherine, Catherine – please read the letters and speeches of the Secession Commissioners who were doing their thing in the winter of ’60-’61. And assume at least one (and either) of two facts: (1) they were articulating their own sincerely-held views and those of their principals; (2) they were making the arguments which they reasonably thought would be most compelling and persuasive for their upper South brethren.