Daily Archives: June 19, 2015
What is it with fucking flags?
Why do we clutch them to our hearts? I just don’t get it. I don’t pledge allegiance to mine anymore. I think it inspires the worst kind of jingoism, something for the lower mammals amongst us to hang on to when they are scared, confused, and angry.
As much as I can’t stand scraping to a piece of fabric, I nonetheless remain partial to the United States as my home sweet home. I served it for 9 years. I must make that clear.
But what do we do with the Confederate flag? How can that thing still fly on public buildings after all we went through to defeat the ideas that it represents? Even Texas gets it. But South Carolina doesn’t. That fucker was still flying high when the US flag went to half-mast after the Charleston shootings.
I know, right? Here’s Nikki Haley on the radio:
HOST: There are also calls today that you have to take the Confederate flag down from the state capitol. How do you address those calls?
HALEY: I think that…at a time like this, you have to look back at what we’ve done. Fifteen years ago the General Assembly at the time they had a conversation. The Republicans and Democrats and everybody came together on a consensus to bring the Confederate flag down off of the dome. And they put it on a monument out in front. I think that conversation will probably come back up again. And you what we hope that we do things the way South Carolinians do. Which is have the conversation, allow some thoughtful words to be exchanged, be kind about it. Come together on what we’re trying to achieve and how we’re trying to do it. I think the state will start talking about that again. We’ll see where it goes.
Word salad. Pure nonsense. Look out Sarah Palin, you have competition. Moving on:
HOST: But what’s your position on the issue?
HALEY:You know, right now, to start having policy conversations with the people of South Carolina, I understand that’s what ya’ll want, my job is to heal the people of this state. We had a 26 year-old that just graduated college. We had anywhere from a 26 year-old to an 87 year-old grandmother. You had a track coach.You had a librarian. This is very real to us. […] There will be policy discussions and you will hear my come out and talk about it.But right now, I’m not doing that to the people of my state.
So it’s necessary to keep the flag flying because it will hurt the fragile white people of South Carolina. Governor, you have citizens, not children. You are not the mommy of South Carolina, hon. You’re afraid to make an unpopular decision because you know damn well you will be chased out of office by the cracker-ass goobers that you govern.
Haley was not the only South Carolina leader to be stupid on this issue:
Sen. Lindsey Graham, who hails from South Carolina and is now running for president, has come to the rebel flag’s defense. According to Graham, the Confederate flag is an integral “part of who we are.”
Although Graham acknowledged to CNN the flag has been used to push racist agendas in the past, he said “the problems we have in South Carolina and throughout the world” do not stem from symbols, but because of “what’s in people’s heart.”
Inquiring minds want to know-please define “who you are”. I know for damn sure the blacks in your state don’t want to be included in this club. Symbols have meaning to some, and that particular symbol represents racist pride. Don’t even pretend that there isn’t an issue here. But god forbid you should lose the low-com-denom vote.
Being a leader takes courage. Nikki Haley chooses to prevaricate instead of acting like one. And Lindsey Graham has no excuse whatsoever. He’s got the gall to run for president. Who would trust a pandering jellyfish like him to attend to the nation’s affairs?
Join the new century. Stop living in 1861.
Yesterday I averred that the Charleston shooter was not a terrorist. I wrote that in the post-911 world, we throw that charge around too much. If this were 1999, Dylann Roof would merely be a mass murderer. I said that we are too eager to call a non-Muslim a terrorist. I said that calling him a terrorist is PC gone awry.
I pulled it. I felt some of my thinking didn’t pass the smell test. I’m going to start fresh. Let’s hope this doesn’t stink either.
Terror is political. I think that’s clear to anyone who does the most basic research. Was the shooting political because Roof was a racist? That’s a difficult question. I feel that by saying that he was a terrorist, it follows that we need to reclassify a lot of violent acts perpetrated as terrorism. Perhaps I am splitting hairs, but we should separate hate crimes and mass murder from the nebulous definition of “terrorism”. If we think clearly we find that all acts of violence are “terroristic” by nature. Any killing traumatizes everyone in the vicinity of the crime. If we omit the fact that terror is something used to achieve political gain, then we can call anyone a terrorist.
I’m a white guy. I am sick to death of racism and oppression. I understand white privilege and know that my knapsack is never very far from me. I’m as liberal as they come. But I think perhaps we get a little out of hand when we try to reduce things and avoid the complexity of a given situation. It seems to me that we are still traumatized by 9-11, so much so that we look for terrorism in any tragedy. It’s become embedded in the American experience. We are a collective of victims, and our language has changed as a result of it.
What Dylann Roof did was a hate crime and a mass murder. He is a racist and a disturbed individual. He’ll go away for a very long time. But there was no weapon of mass destruction (shoehorning a pistol into this category is absurd), no conspiracy, no destruction of property, no cause except racism. And he’s being charged with murder, not terrorism.
All I am saying is let’s be sparing with the way we describe things. I like to be precise, and I attempt that every day I write. I probably fail a lot. But I am trying to make sense of this world just like you. And I try to apply the right logic and use the right words for every situation I observe. I want that little scumbag to atone. But I must call him what he really is and not give in to the emotions that make us so reflexive and reactive sometimes. I hope whoever reads this understands that I am not minimizing what this guy did.
But I won’t maximize it either.