A former Lutheran pastor sharing thoughts on faith and life. Please join the conversation! I love your comments!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Confederate Flag, Dukes, and Compassion

I have pondered for several days my response to those who are defending the Confederate Flag and mourning the loss of the Dukes of Hazzard.  After a bit of contemplation here is what I have to say:

Look, I fell in love with my first husband while he was wearing a Confederate Flag do-rag.  I understand the symbol of rebellion thing.  I understand the nod to history.  I watched the Duke’s of Hazard as a kid.  I understand they are just a couple of “good ole boys.” The thing is I have met a few people since then.  I have heard stories from the hearts of my brothers and sisters of varying races, ethnicities and positions in life.  Therefore, I have come to understand what I see as a symbol of rebellion might hold a different meaning to someone else.  I have come to understand “good ole boys” sometimes use their “good ole boy” connections to maintain their position and power and money.  They may be just helping out friends like “good ole boys” do.  Yet the consequences are sexism, racism, classism, and a world which is far from the ideal of equal opportunity.  

I understand it is just a TV show.  But, listen to that again: it is just a TV show.  Doesn’t it seem like we ought to be able to let go of “just a TV show” even on the off chance it is sending a message of the acceptance of racism or hurting the hearts of our brothers and sisters?  

Remember, racism isn’t just about people using the word “nigger” and hurting someone’s feelings.  Racism is played out in ways which cause poverty and death.  Do we really want to say: “I care about equality for all people unless it interrupts my TV viewing?”  Do we really want to fly a flag just to prove we aren’t held back by political correctness when it might be communicating a message of hate or at least indifference to those who are suffering from racism?  Consider if there was something threatening the lives of your children.  How would it feel to you if someone said, “I don’t care if you say this symbol communicates support for this thing which is killing your children.  I don’t think it has anything to do with that so I am going to wear this symbol loud and proud.  Your children will probably be fine.  See how I love them?” 

Pretty sure you would call B.S. on that.   

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