While we can all be thankful that the mournful saga of Cecil the Lion has finally passed into history, another ridiculous media concoction remains alive and well months after it should have been put to bed. And unlike Cecil, this idiotic controversy over the Confederate flag is actually harming the very foundation of our nation’s history, to say nothing of the rights we hold dear.
This week, Christiansburg High School in Montgomery County, Virginia suspended more than 20 students for wearing clothing which displayed the flag. County officials tempered these reports by saying the students had originally been given in school suspensions before getting kicked out for being disruptive. When asked why the school has a policy against the Confederate flag, a county spokesman mentioned vaguely that there had been incidents of tension owing to the symbol.
For the high school’s flag supporters, there’s no excuse. Houston Miller, a senior at the school, told reporters that he won’t back down. “I feel like I should have the right to wear whatever I want, and I’m standing up for this.”
Now, Miller obviously doesn’t have the right to wear whatever he wants, but it’s doubtful he would have been suspended for wearing the exact same shirt last year. Somehow, though, we’ve decided in the last four months that this 100+ year old symbol is suddenly and unforgivably racist. Because it showed up in some photos of Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof, we have to ban it, remove it, and pretend like it never existed.
If there was something inherently racist or antagonistic about the flag, that would be one thing. But that’s just not the case. This is not the Slavery flag. This is not the We Hate Black People flag. Has it been co-opted by racists and racist organizations? Absolutely. But what hasn’t? You don’t have to search very hard to find pictures of Klansmen waving the Stars and Stripes. Should we brand that a racist, offensive symbol as well? Oh god, don’t answer that, liberals.
Southerners who stick up for the flag are not defending slavery. They aren’t defending their right to be as offensive as possible. They are simply claiming that it isn’t offensive in the first place. This flag represents a host of different things to a host of different people. To a lot of people, the symbols of Islam stand for terrorism. That doesn’t make them right, and it doesn’t make those symbols automatically offensive. It’s their opinion, and we shouldn’t be so quick to say that one set of opinions is more valid than the other. Especially when you’re making laws and suspending students to enforce your agenda.