Tag Archives: racism

The Collective


So the last few weeks months years have been hard on a lot of people. To be blunt, many of you who are used to being on the winning side of issues have lost. Repeatedly.

This has been hard for you to take. On top of that, some of you have learned some disappointing things about people you thought you knew.

Well, I have two things to say about this: First, as a person of color, I can tell you it’s not the end of the world. POC have been disappointed by our government and people we thought we knew since we’ve been here. But we’re still here and we’re still fighting. As a woman, I make the same statement.

My second thought: I think we’re at a point where things could change if we’re willing to take a step back, put our personal biases and opinions to the side and look at the bigger picture.

Instead of separate groups fighting individually, we need to be one huge force.

People who kneel. People in pussy hats. People who fly the rainbow flag. People who are in the thick of the immigration fight or battling the opioid epidemic…

All of us.

At some point, we’re going to have to come together as a collective. The issues might be different, but the foe is the same: We’re fighting the power. Until those of us who are being oppressed in one way or another come together with one voice, we’re just going to keep spinning our wheels. Sure the power might give us an inch or two once in a while to make us think we’re making progress, but in actuality, we’re not getting anywhere fast.

And for those of you who say, “Yeah, we’ve tried that, but when causes group together the meaning of the causes lose their impact,” you are missing the point. Do you know why the impact was lost? Three words:

Divide and Conquer

And here’s three more:

Separate but Equal.

Individual causes stood side-by-side, yes. But they still fought their battles separately. And this allowed the people with the power to whisper in each group leader’s ear that the other groups really didn’t care about their issue, they were just using their platform, resources, etc. So the leaders of each group turned on each other.

Separate but equal and divide and conquer. The oldest tricks in the book and we fall for them both time and time again.

So, one more time for the latecomers, and a bit louder for the people in the back:

WE NEED TO WORK TOGETHER. We need to quit with the crazy, “Well you should have been with us when it didn’t directly affect you,” nonsense and join forces. And for emphasis, more examples:

Did you join the #MeToo movement, even if you weren’t personally involved or directly affected?

Did you kneel even if you weren’t a target of police brutality?

Are you voicing your concern about how immigrants (legal or otherwise) are being treated in this country? Or are being denied entry?

How about the LGBTQ+ community, the homeless, veterans or the mentally ill?

The opioid crisis?

If you’re not front and center on every last one of these issues, I don’t see how you can shoot down the idea of all these groups banding together. Matter of fact, I think you and your opinion should take several seats.

This is all about power, folks. The ones who have it don’t want to relinquish it. It’s obvious that the balance of power is not equal and it’s just as obvious that each group taking a turn on the scale isn’t enough weight to tip the balance in anyone’s favor.

But if we all stand on the scale…that would be the tipping point.

Anyway, those are my thoughts. Agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comments.

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A Modest (21st Century) Proposal…


This confederate flag controversy doesn’t seem to be going away, so I’m going to offer one more explanation as well as a proposal that might help everyone get along.

The Explanation

First off, let’s see the flag in question:

confed navy jack

This actually is NOT the Flag of the Confederacy. This is actually the Confederate Navy Jack.

THIS is the actual confederate flag (or one of the versions, there were several):

Flag_of_the_Confederate_States_of_America_(1861-1863)

So, we are actually arguing about the Navy Jack, not the confederate flag. So, I will refer to it as the Navy Jack from now on. Because that’s what it is.

Personally, I think the Navy Jack is a symbol of racism and oppression. And the creator of the flag, a man named William T. Thompson thinks so as well. In his own words, in 1863:

“As a people we are fighting to maintain the Heaven-ordained supremacy of the white man over the inferior or colored race; a white flag would thus be emblematical of our cause,”

Maintain the Heaven-ordained supremacy of the white man over the inferior or colored race. Call me crazy, but he didn’t seem to want to offer my ancestor’s a seat at the table.

Interestingly enough, these words can also be found, almost verbatim in the Cornerstone Address. The Address was delivered by Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens at the Athenaeum in Savannah, Georgia, on March 21, 1861. It’s interesting reading, but the portion pertinent to this conversation is here (bold added by me for emphasis):

Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner- stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.

Not only did the founders of the Confederate party believe that blacks were inferior and, therefore, should remain slaves, they were proud of being the first to admit it and to set up a government based on this fact.

These are the words of the creator of the flag and the government it represents. Both state blacks are inferior and should not be allowed to be free. I don’t think you can get much more racist than that.

But….

I’m going to go out on a limb and give some of you the benefit of the doubt. Even though I’ve had some less than kind things said and done to me by proud wearers and displayers of the Navy Jack, I’ll let you use the line that has been trotted out more times than mustard at a hot dog stand,

“It’s Heritage, not hate.”

You’re right, the Navy Jack is part of the South’s heritage. But what exactly are your proud of? This isn’t meant to be a condemnation, I’m sincerely curious…where is the pride in:

  • Declaring war against your own country (and losing)?
  • Wanting to enslave an entire race of people indefinitely?
  • Pitting families against each other?
  • Dividing a nation? (Though if it weren’t for the Civil War West Virginia might not exist, so do with that what you will.)

What exactly are you proud of? That is an awful lot of hate. You’re going to need a helluva lot of heritage to counteract that. Sadly, there are plenty of people who want to continue to use the Navy Jack as a symbol of racism and intolerance. The Klan is one, but check this out, courtesy of Bipartisan Report:

bipartisan report

From Business Insider: In Germany, the Confederate flag is not void of political context. European skinheads and neo-Nazi groups have adopted the Confederate flag and variations of it because of its historical context as a symbol of racism and white supremacy.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/why-is-the-confederate-flag-flown-outside-the-us-2015-6#ixzz3fLrbSjCa

So, again…where is this heritage of which you should be proud?

But once more…I’ll make a concession. If you really REALLY want to insist that this flag is about your heritage and pride in where you came from, I have a modest proposal.

Take your flag back. Well, actually you’d be stealing it from its creators and wrestling it away from the groups mentioned above, but I digress.

Seriously. Officially claim the flag.

Yeah, daunting task. Okay, how about this:

You let everyone who thinks that flag is racist know which of you flying and displaying it are good decent human beings and which ones are the skinheads, klansmen, crazies, neo-nazis and we’ll call it square.

How could you do that? Well that’s up to you.

Or, you could just do the easy thing and put Navy Jack where it belongs…in the history books.

Go ahead, work it out and get back to me.

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