Tuesday, June 23, 2015

#ITLQBM - The Side Effects of Charleston (Pt 2): White Privilege, Nigger & Confederacy

Intersectionality Through the Lens of a Queer Black Man



In part one I listed some terms for your reference as you progress through this series of blog posts. Before listing some of those terms I expressed that "As a Black person I am constantly subjected to systemic and structural racism." The Black community is constantly subjected to the harshest of policies that are rooted in racist structures and systems that are less obvious than the use of racial slurs any actions a racist individual or group may take. Then when we try to talk about what we experience and use words like "nigger" in context, we get told that we are wrong and how to identify what we experience by people who have never been in our position.

***In an earlier post "Get out of my way Nigger" I talked about an experience with racism...***

Later in this post I will discuss the confederacy in depth in some ways and not so much in others, for now I would like to take the time to suggest that every level of government trigger an audit of all laws, statutes, executive orders & ordinances. This suggested audit would have the expressed purpose to update  and ensure compliance to SCOTUS rulings, federal regulations and updated laws as it pertains to civil rights. For too long, we have gone without protections for voting rights (voter ID laws) and a host of other rights that are under attack at the current moment. Aside from that, I just simply want it to be known that we must all learn our privileges, prejudices and isms. I recently have spent a lot of my time calling folks out on their White Privilege only to get push back due to the perceived idea that I am implying that all White people are racist. I, and many others do not think this way at all... As shared in part one of this series "White privilege (or white skin privilege) is a term for societal privileges that benefit white people in western countries beyond what is commonly experienced by non-white people under the same social, political, or economic circumstances."

A lively discussion on White Privilege:









Another post after POTUS made his statement on race:



Here is what President Obama had to say:

You can find the podcast here...

Now do I need to repeat what you just read? Or can I move on to how racism has permeated government? I am glad you said yes. Lets start with the confederate flag shall we, I have always thought that it should be in the Smithsonian in an area where the stories of past wars with foreign countries are housed. Why should anyone want to honor the "heritage" of a flag that was meant to destroy the opportunity to free slaves and lay the constitution to waste. This group of states separated and formed a new nation and therefore the only place they have in American history is as treasonous criminals. The most blatant example of systemic and structural racism is the confederate flag...

The confederate flag as a symbol of structural and systemic racism:

"It is no accident that Confederate symbols have been the mainstay of white supremacist organizations, from the Ku Klux Klan to the skinheads. They did not appropriate the Confederate battle flag simply because it was pretty. They picked it because it was the flag of a nation dedicated to their ideals: 'that the negro is not equal to the white man'. The Confederate flag, we are told, represents heritage, not hate. But why should we celebrate a heritage grounded in hate, a heritage whose self-avowed reason for existence was the exploitation and debasement of a sizeable segment of its population?" - Historian Gordon Rhea

Present day we have schools, streets, monuments and institutions named after confederate figures; state songs that honor the confederacy. States even incorporate it in their flags if they don't fly it next to their more recent adopted representation for their respective states.

States that incorporate the confederacy into their flag design:

Alabama:

The red cross of the Alabama flag, adopted in 1895, was designed to evoke the battle flag of the Alabama infantry in the Civil War.






Arkansas:
The Arkansas state flag was officially adopted in 1913, according to the Arkansas Secretary of State. There were initially three blue stars "representing that Arkansas belonged to three countries (France, Spain, and the United States) before attaining statehood." The secretary of state noted "1803 was the year of the Louisiana Purchase when the land that is now Arkansas was acquired by the United States; and Arkansas was the third state created from the purchase by the United States, after Louisiana and Missouri." But 10 years later, trouble brewed when legislators realized that "there was no indication on the flag the Arkansas had been a member of the Confederate States of America from 1861 to 1865." So a fourth star was added, above the word Arkansas.

Florida: 
Florida's flag is similar to Alabama's, consisting of a state seal over a red cross. The cross was added to the flag a few years after Alabama adopted its flag, at the suggestion of Governor Francis P. Fleming. Fleming had enlisted in the Confederate army in his youth, and some historians see his choice of the cross as an attempt to memorialize the confederacy.




Georgia:


Georgia's flag has a long and complicated history. The Confederate battle flag was incorporated in to the state flag's design in 1956, a symbol of the state's opposition to racial integration, according to a report by the state Senate in 2000. The design was changed by the legislature in 2001, over the stiff opposition of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and other groups. In 2002, Sonny Perdue was elected Governor of Georgia, partly by promising voters a referendum on the new flag. In the end, the legislature changed it to a new design: it consists of the first national flag of the Confederacy (the "Stars and Bars") with the addition of the Georgia seal.

Mississippi:
Mississippi remains the only state incorporating the Confederate battle flag into its state flag design. It was adopted in 1894.

In 2001, a voter referendum was held to determine whether to keep the existing flag, or to adopt a new flag design removing Confederate elements. Voters opted to keep the existing flag by nearly a two-to-one margin.

North Carolina:

The current North Carolina state flag was adopted in 1885. It closely resembles the flag adopted in 1861, shortly after North Carolina seceded from the Union. The first date on the flag, May 20, 1775, is the date of the so-called Mecklenburg Declaration, a purported statement of independence from Great Britain that happened in North Carolina, although the exact nature of the declaration is disputed.

But during the Civil War, Southern secessionist leaders evoked the Mecklenburg Declaration as a parallel to the South's declaration of independence from the North. Addressing a crowd in Charlotte, N.C., Jefferson Davis is reported to have said "people of this section were the first to defy British authority and declare themselves free."

In the original flag, the second date was May 20th, 1861 -- the date of North Carolina's withdrawal from the Union. In 1885, that date was changed April 12, 1776 -- the date of the Halifax resolves, when North Carolina officially called for independence from Great Britain.


Tennessee:
The Tennessee Legislature adopted the current flag in 1905. In a 2013article, vexillologist Steven A Knowlton argues that "the Tennessee flag has pragmatic unity with the Confederate flag: both share the element of white stars inside a fimbriated blue charge, and the element of that blue charge on a red field." He also notes a resemblance between the flag's vertical bars and the vertical bar of the third national flag of the Confederacy.

South Carolina:





















Holidays, Monuments & Songs

Confederate Memorial Day, also known as Confederate Decoration Day (Tennessee) and Confederate Heroes Day(Texas), is an official holiday and/or observance day in a number of states in the Southern United States as a day to honor those who died fighting for the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War.

List of monuments and memorials of the Confederate States of America TOO FUCKING MANY!!!
Songs JEEZ!!!

In a nutshell, all states should trigger a review for anything related to the confederacy and scrub them.
- Rename streets
- Remove holidays
- Remove monuments
- Ban Flags & other memorabilia