After the mass murder at a Charleston, South Carolina church, I expected the main political issue to be gun control. That has certainly come up, but it was a losing battle for Obama and the Democrats after past shootings.
The big issue now is the Confederate flag. This is rather silly because it is not as if the shooting would not have happened if the Confederate flag had been removed from society, whether by force or voluntarily. Getting rid of the Confederate flag will not reduce violence in the future at all either.
In fact, by making this a big issue, it only serves to inflame racial tensions, if anything.
I also need to point out that the media loves these kinds of stories. The media pundits consider themselves to be so brave by coming out against slavery in the 21st century, even though that is not the issue. In addition, when we are debating flags, we are not talking about overseas wars or a struggling middle class or massive government debt.
As far as the flag issue goes, I can sympathize with both sides to a certain degree. But I do believe that some people who are taking a stand against the Confederate flag would ban certain forms of speech if possible. Flags are a form of speech, so anyone who advocates a government ban on certain flags for businesses to sell, or individuals to own, or even individuals to burn, is no friend to liberty. It doesn’t matter the motives because I often defend people’s rights to free speech, free association, etc. without necessarily agreeing with them.
I am not originally from the south, so I really have no strong feelings towards the Confederate flag one way or another. I could stereotype the typical person who would demonstrate a Confederate flag. That is not the same thing as being racist or bigoted. One of my stereotypes is that you would not typically find a Confederate flag in an upscale neighborhood, particularly in an urban environment.
I don’t think most people who care about the Confederate flag are racists or bigots. I don’t think most people are at all. There are people who are intolerant of a culture of violence and victimhood that is often prevalent in black communities. This is not racist. There are many black people who feel the same way.
I cannot speak of the motives of all people who wave the Confederate flag. I’m sure there are some who are not decent people. There are others who are decent people. Either way, changing the flag on their lawn isn’t going to change the person’s characteristics.
I think there is too much flag worship everywhere. I get tired of people wrapping themselves in the American flag to promote their agenda of war and empire.
As a libertarian, I have nothing against the American flag. I will wear it or display it as a symbol of liberty. At the same time, I don’t want people to mistake my display of it as a symbol of war and empire.
For all of the people who want to get rid of the Confederate flag because of its association with slavery, I would ask that you examine everything that has happened under the American flag.
Slavery existed under the American flag. Even many of the northerners supported the Fugitive Slave Act, which essentially supported slavery.
What about World War II, where Japanese Americans were put in internment camps? This all happened as Americans displayed their American flags.
What about all of the aggressive wars in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and the list could go on and on? The U.S. government has done a lot of evil things, many of which we don’t even know about. It will continue to do evil things. Should we ban the American flag because of this? If you favor getting rid of the Confederate flag, then shouldn’t you be consistent?
I don’t have any special allegiance to the American flag or any other flag. But when people aren’t throwing war propaganda in my face, I generally try to see the positive sides of the American flag and what it stands for. I still believe there is a culture of individualism, entrepreneurship, and liberty in the U.S. that is stronger than almost anyplace else. I have mostly negative things to say about the U.S. government (and most governments), but this is not a complete reflection of America. Most people are reasonably decent.
The current battle over the Confederate flag will only divide people. I wish more people would see through the propaganda. The opponents and proponents of the Confederate flag who are not part of the establishment may have more in common than they think. They are both oppressed by the U.S. government and should seek common ground here.
This is also a reason for panarchy. People can share different views, even in politics, and live peacefully together in the same world.