We often struggle to understand exactly what advocates of Confederate heritage really believe. After all, we know that some people are simply honoring their ancestors without in any way sanctioning the Confederacy as a movement to protect and promote slavery. That those people inevitably risk association with certain other people is unfortunate, although at times their failure to distance themselves from such people doesn’t help.
But we are also aware that many advocates of Confederate heritage engage in that activity in part because their understanding of the Confederacy converges with their present political beliefs. Indeed, in some cases these people don’t understand much about history, and reshape Confederate heritage to support their own political beliefs.
Take these two examples:
These memes illustrate perfectly the convergence of a professed desire to honor Confederate heritage with a particular political message.
So much for “heritage, not hate.” As we see here, these memes show that it continues to be a heritage of hate.
Nor is that all. This morning, when I checked Twitter, I saw this exchange:
Give Kevin Levin credit for a clever response to this outburst of bigotry from a Confederate heritage advocate. I wasn’t so nice, and so the following exchange unfolded (to read it in chronological order, read from the bottom up):
The top comment by “Battlefield Tramper” scored a hat trick of errors, but then accuracy has never been the strong point of these Confederate heritage advocates. Hatred is their stock in trade.
And who does “Battlefield Tramper” follow?
What a surprise. The Sons of Confederate Veterans, the Virginia Flaggers, and other Confederate heritage mainstays. Defend the heritage indeed … especially this sort of heritage.
And they wonder why people want to take down the Confederate battle flag. Perhaps it’s in part because these are the sorts of people who embrace that flag as representing their heritage and what they believe … which, as we see here, is bigotry and hatred for other people.
Until defenders of Confederate heritage spend as much energy disassociating themselves from such bigots as they do whining about political correctness and disparaging anyone with whom they don’t agree, they have an uphill climb when it comes to changing hearts and minds. Indeed, it stands to reason whether they have hearts and minds, because tolerating such behavior suggests that they don’t use them very often.