EmmaKenfield Features Editor
The country we live in is has been working towards a true “equality” since its beginning. Every era has its own progressive movement, an oppressed group of people fighting for the treatment they deserve. Specifically, African-Americans have been been pushing towards real equality for centuries. By that I mean the type of equality that is not only legislated but understood; the movement will not have met its goal until even mere thoughts of racial indifference are eliminated. Equality, though, does not mean punishment of the Caucasian race either, which leads to controversies—especially around the Confederate battle flag.
A common misconception is that slavery was the South’s only reason for fighting against the Union. However, the war is not remembered for any other reason than ending the enslavement of the African-American people. If that is the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of the war, then what kind of message is coming from the raising of the Confederate battle flag? Many people in the former Confederate states proudly believe that it is their right to do so, that it is not a racist symbol and that the African-American population should not take offense to it.
Connor Goodrich (SR) is one of those believers, stating that “it is the right of the people to raise the flag, because it shows respect for those who fought in the war.” He mentioned the overall sensitivity of the world right now, saying that “people are making too big of a deal about a simple flag.” Many people of the South agree with Connor, saying that “pride in the past does not mean the racism part remains, especially since slavery is obviously nothing anyone wants back.” The Confederate battle flag to some people is simply a display of respect to the ancestors who gave their lives for a cause.
The problem is, though, that viewpoint is only shared with an exclusive group of people, and no African-American is ever going to support the display of a symbol that represents their peoples’ most oppressed time. America is in a state of extreme domestic tension at the moment; movements like Black Lives Matter are popping up everywhere, and there is an obvious fight towards real equality in America. It doesn’t matter how long ago the Civil Rights movement was; it is still happening, even with the legislative progress that has been made thus far. People do not understand that centuries of enslavement of an entire race is going to take centuries to move past; proudly raising a battle flag of a group fighting for slavery is asking to be stuck as a nation. We need to move forward; it is the only way to stop the pain. It is understandable that the war was not entirely about the ending of slavery, and any person dying for their country deserves respect. This flag, though, creates much more conflict in America than it has to, and if you can not realize that it is a symbol of racism to the entire African-American population, you are refusing to allow this country to move forward.