[–] Vinylismist 0 points 5 points (+5|-0) ago  (edited ago)

People claim that the Civil War was fought over slavery, but we learned in history class that it was fought over money.

You're right on the fact that the war was fought because of money and the economy, but that wasn't all it was fought for. The South was huge in agriculture, which is where most of the money it produced came from. Slaves were often the ones who had to do the work of the agricultural processes. That's what the North didn't like. They were more in favor of getting rid of slavery, but the South didn't want to hear any of it because it was too profitable for them. That was one of the reasons why the south broke off and war started. It wasn't the only reason, but it was one of the reasons. Because of the pro-slavery reasoning, it's attached to ideals and values that the Confederacy stood for, and therefore carried on to the flag that represented the Confederacy and all it stood for. The Confederacy may have stood for other things other than racism and slavery, but it was definitely a factor that played into what it did stand for overall, and is therefore considered to be a symbol of oppression.

I honestly don't think the flag should be banned though. I wouldn't promote the use of the flag, but much in the same why that I wouldn't promote the use of heroin - I think it's a stupid idea, but you should able to do what you want with your life. I think people need to realize what the flag stands for and realize what they're promoting when they do show it off or fly it, but it shouldn't be banned. If one were to fly it and show it off with pride, I'd probably consider them a racist without a doubt in my mind.

Edit: Formatting


[–] MommaSpitfire [S] ago 

I don't understand the connection though. The Civil War wasn't even over slavery until the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed the slaves in the Confederacy before it even freed the slaves in the border states and the reclaimed rebel states. I mean, if there is such a connection, how is it okay to make the Confederate flag a symbol of racism before the American flag, which was the flag flown over the slave ships and the flag flown over the Union-loyal states that still had slaves even after the Emancipation Proclamation?


[–] 469768? 0 points 7 points (+7|-0) ago 

Let's be honest. It was over slavery. Look at the Cornerstone Speech given by the Vice-President of the Confederacy in 1861.

The new Constitution has put at rest forever all the agitating questions relating to our peculiar institutions—African slavery as it exists among us—the proper status of the negro in our form of civilization. This was the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution.


[–] Vinylismist 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

I'd argue that the American Flag is also a symbol of oppression for those reasons and more, but I come from an anarchist pov, so it's to be expected. The only argument I have that might work for you is that the American Flag has been around for longer and has therefore accumulated different meanings throughout its life. It's been around for a long and continuous period of time, and here fore has the right for a more flexible and interchangeable meaning. Since the confederate flag was used for one purpose, to be flown under the confederacy of the South and be used for what he South stood for back then, it's become a symbol of oppression.


[–] randommook 0 points 3 points (+3|-0) ago  (edited ago)

The Confederate states broke off from the US precisely because of slavery. This is not a secret. In fact many states even issued declarations when they seceded explicitly stating this.

We hold that the Government thus established is subject to the two great principles asserted in the Declaration of Independence; and we hold further, that the mode of its formation subjects it to a third fundamental principle, namely: the law of compact. We maintain that in every compact between two or more parties, the obligation is mutual; that the failure of one of the contracting parties to perform a material part of the agreement, entirely releases the obligation of the other; and that where no arbiter is provided, each party is remitted to his own judgment to determine the fact of failure, with all its consequences. In the present case, that fact is established with certainty. We assert that fourteen of the States have deliberately refused, for years past, to fulfill their constitutional obligations, and we refer to their own Statutes for the proof. The Constitution of the United States, in its fourth Article, provides as follows: “No person held to service or labor in one State, under the laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in consequence of any law or regulation therein, be discharged from such service or labor, but shall be delivered up, on claim of the party to whom such service or labor may be due.” This stipulation was so material to the compact, that without it that compact would not have been made…. But an increasing hostility on the part of the non-slaveholding States to the institution of slavery, has led to a disregard of their obligations, and the laws of the General Government have ceased to effect the objects of the Constitution. …We affirm that these ends for which this Government was instituted have been defeated, and the Government itself has been made destructive of them by the action of the non-slaveholding States. Those States have assume the right of deciding upon the propriety of our domestic institutions; and have denied the rights of property established in fifteen of the States and recognized by the Constitution; they have denounced as sinful the institution of slavery; they have permitted open establishment among them of societies, whose avowed object is to disturb the peace and to eloign the property of the citizens of other States. They have encouraged and assisted thousands of our slaves to leave their homes; and those who remain, have been incited by emissaries, books and pictures to servile insurrection. - See more at: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/daylightatheism/2011/01/why-the-confederate-states-seceded/#sthash.hDvYZYGQ.dpuf

It says right in their declaration that they are seceding because the North has not respected their slavery laws and has not returned their "property" when their slaves escaped to the north. Slavery is the principle cause for the southern secession.

You can also look at Mississippi's secession declaration you'll find much of the same

So yes. The confederation states primary reason for seceding was because the North did not approve of or support the South's slavery. The war was about slavery from Day 1 the emancipation proclamation just formalized that the president was frustrated with the South and that if the North won slavery was going to be done with because it had already caused too many problems and kicked off this shitstorm.

So the Confederate flag is offensive and racist because it is the flag of a 'country' whose sole reason for existence was that it wanted to continue to own slaves. To suggest that the South seceded from the United States for any reason other than slavery is very much revisionist history.


[–] MommaSpitfire [S] 0 points 1 point (+1|-0) ago 

The slaves were the driving force of the thriving agriculture and economy in the South. Not having the slaves returned affected the economy because the more slaves that ran away, the less crops were being planted and harvested. The North didn't actually ban slaves in their supportive border states until the war was even over.


[–] randommook 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago  (edited ago)

The slaves were the driving force of the thriving agriculture and economy in the South. Not having the slaves returned affected the economy because the more slaves that ran away, the less crops were being planted and harvested.

No nation in history kept slaves because it sounded fun. Slaves have always served SOME function within a society that kept them but that doesn't make the war any less about slavery.

Yes, the South needed a large cheap workforce to keep its plantations running so yes there were economic aspects to their use of slaves. Yes, the South was worried that they would be screwed if slavery was abolished. None of that changes that the South seceded from the United States for the sole reason that they wanted to continue the institution of slavery.

The war didn't become about slavery. The war was always about slavery from day 1.

The North didn't actually ban slaves in their supportive border states until the war was even over.

As for why they didn't officially ban slavery until the war was over it was simply due to the fact that they didn't want to deliberately piss off their remaining border states until the war was over. Officially declaring the end of slavery would be largely meaningless until the war was over anyway because the Confederation would not recognize their law until the end of the war.


[–] donkeyqong 0 points 3 points (+3|-0) ago 

When you are upset about something, who chooses to be upset? When you see something that disgusts you, who choses to be disgusted? When the smell of something reminds you of the past, who is reminded of the past by that smell?

You aren't the person who can choose what reminds someone of something or what something symbolizes to someone else. Apparently a significant portion of the US population associates a confederate flag with racism. You can argue one way or another, most people aren't going to change their mind. You think it's cool, most people don't care, some people hate it.

A few companies choosing to not carry a product isn't oppression. A state choosing a different flag so they have a more inclusive symbol isn't oppression.


[–] MommaSpitfire [S] ago 

I never said it was cool; I said I just don't understand the connection. I don't find "pride" in it; I am indifferent to it, myself. I just don't understand why it is so politically charged, given what I know from its history. Just because a number of people associate it with racism, I don't see how that makes it a valid symbol for such. Do the majority of people see it as such? That's the important question. There has never been a vote on it, so there is no way to know for sure. A number of people still feel as though the Koran is a terrorist book, does that make it such? All I know is that my history lessons and research do not show that the Confederate battle flag, which wasn't even the official flag of the Confederate states for the majority of the Confederacy, was a symbol of oppression and slavery, so I don't not understand why exactly people think it is such. All I see is a vocal group of people rightfully getting upset about the Charleston massacre and using the Confederate flag as a symbol for that act and all of racism. I don't understand why it is a symbol of racism, despite history showing otherwise.

I also never said that banning the flag was oppression. I asked how the Confederate battle flag equals oppression. I said that banning the flag censors history, not oppresses people.


[–] donkeyqong 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago  (edited ago)

Just because a number of people associate it with racism, I don't see how that makes it a valid symbol for such.

Your impression is your impression. Their impression is their impression.

I am indifferent to it, myself.

If you don't care, don't defend it. Dont' respond. Don't get involved.

We all have different experiences in life. I don't understand why blackface is racist, but I don't have to. I was told it's offensive, so I don't do it. I dont' have to understand why someone doesn't want to be treated some way to be kind enough to do so.


[–] Ulluses 0 points 1 point (+1|-0) ago 

The civil war was fought over states rights. Specifically a state's right to have slaves. While other rights were also discussed at the time slaves was the hot topic of the time and the one that most people considered the primary issue with only merchants and tax collectors considering the other rights of the state.

So it was a debate: one side wanted nobody to have slaves because it distorted elections and a few people actually wanted to end it out of moral concerns, and the other side needed slaves to keep their standard of living and thus really wanted slavery. The whole "Some states can have them and some can't" had done the country just fine until the populations of different places changed and borders expanded.

So you have a war, which is really good at making a "them" vs "them" mentality where the heroic Union forces fought the evil Confederacy until overcoming them and winning the war through saintly glory. This is of course a fantasy. The Confederacy wanted to keep slaves because it gave the rich voting people riches and more powerful voting. The Union wanted to get rid of slavery because having a bunch of slave owners with more votes than anyone one else was pissing them off. Like I said there was some "Maybe we should all just be equal as humans." stuff going on but it was marginal at best at the start of the war.

As the war went on and the Union started to win, mostly because the Confederate army had awful generals and poorly equipped troops due to the lack of manufacturing in the south, the narrative came into sharp relief. The confederates were slave driving bastards and the union fighters wanted to keep the USA united as brothers. Stupid, but it made a good marketing campaign during the election.

Lincoln freeing the slaves wasn't really done out of kindness either, he had a ton of slaves running away from their masters to join the Union fighters. These were called "Contrabands" as they were still technically a good at this stage, and Lincoln by law had to return them back to their masters, even in a time of war. He didn't want to get rid of a ton of free troops and piss off the growing number of anti-slavery groups during a war, so he said that all slaves outside of Union lands were free.

This might seem odd, it still leaves some slaves in the north and he doesn't actually have the authority to free the slaves in the south, because of the Confederacy kind of having that jurisdiction right now. But in doing so any southern slave who made it to the north was technically a free man once they made it into Lincoln's jurisdiction, also a load of slaves from the north just pretended to be from the south and were freed by anti-slavery groups in the northern cities, but that's a different story.

Anyway with the war coming to an end you get left with the "slave loving Confederacy that couldn't even fight one war" heritage to live on with. It's kind of sucky but as time went on this got reinforced by politicians who wanted to punish southern politicians and land owners by besmirching their name and lineage. And they succeeded massively in making a kind of complex narrative into a simple "Confederacy = slavery" story.

Now don't get me wrong, people can be pissed off about the passed when they see a confederate flag, but it was a hell of a long time ago and it wasn't that simple anyway, slaves still existed in the north even after the war, but you don't see people getting pissed at the US flag do you?


[–] coinslists 0 points 1 point (+1|-0) ago 

Now we use regular Americans, immigrants, and citizens of developing countries for cheap labor. Wage slavery replaced real slavery in the West. This is real oppression. All this other conversation is just smoke and mirrors.

Twenty years ago, the Rebel flag on a truck usually meant there were some young white kids drinking beer and smoking weed in that truck. It's wasn't uncommon to have a black friend participating in the fun. Nobody thought twice about racism when looking at the flag.

Now, when a white kid does something heartless and cruel, we blame a fucking flag. I guess the next Dukes of Hazzard remake should use a gun metal gray Charger so it doesn't incite feelings of hate and oppression. People are responsible for their actions and feelings, not symbols.


[–] RavenStencil ago 

You are not wrong about the early history of that flag, but like the symbol of the nazi party the swastika originated as a symbol for peace which was then adopted by a hate group. Here in the US we don't ban the swastika because it is an expression of free speech. Just as we won't ban the confederate flag even though it has been adopted as a symbol of white supremacy hate groups.

Just as Hindus moved away from the use of the swastika symbol Americans should move away from the use of the confederate flag.

When the KKK is embracing your symbol maybe it's time for you to stop flying it - assuming you don't agree with the ideals of the Ku Klux Klan.


[–] pm_me_ur_bewbs ago  (edited ago)

You're asking about two different issues here.

1. Is the confederate flag a symbol of oppression?

Yes, it is. Many southern states included slavery explicitly in their reasoning for seceding. While others did not, it was still the straw that broke the camel's back. Some say the secession was for a state's rights, but a big (if not the biggest) one was the right to maintain the practice of slavery. Others say it was an economic issue, but slavery was a HUGE economic issue. Many economies in the South depended on slavery for inexpensive labor to produce agricultural products.

Flying the rebel flag in part represents the beliefs of those who created it even if you don't personally feel that way when you fly it. It's a symbol with history. That history comes with it whenever and wherever it is flown.

2. Should the confederate flag be banned?

No, it should not. This becomes a freedom of speech issue. If the government gets into the business of banning speech that many find disagreeable, this takes us into dangerous territory where dissent can easily be silenced. That's why we hold freedom of speech in such high regard even though it means people can still say distasteful and rude things.


[–] culofiesta ago  (edited ago)

I lived in the South for eleven years and, after moving from New England as a child, I was shocked to hear the incorrect history my teacher taught. An example of this is my history teacher in 1988 tried to teach me that writing left handed was evil. She also said the Union army fired the first shot, which is blatantly untrue. That is why you think the war was fought over money. That is like saying heart disease is caused by Twinkies, not the clogged arteries they bring.

Fighting over money is a way to avoid saying it was fought over slavery. The South based its entire economy on slavery. Take that away and they collapse and can't support themselves. So, yes, it is about money- the money they lost because they can't force slaves to make money for them.

It should be banned because the Confederacy is an enemy and was a terrorist nation. That they are remembered with honor in the South should really frighten people the same way Germans get upset when Nazi factions were to begin weaseling their way into the government there.

Another way to look at it is many people alive today have ancestors that were kept in chains and enslaved by the Confederacy. That happened and can't be discounted. The fact that the flags still fly over many of the Southern states is an insult and a form of oppression, reminding them of their ancestors enslavement.

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