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Over the last few days, multiple states have renounced the flag. South Carolina governor’s called for its removal from state properties. The governor of Virginia vowed to remove it from state license plates. Mississippi’s house speaker said the infamous battle design needed to be removed from the state flag. All the while, online sales of the flag have skyrocketed.
From Business Insider:
Amazon’s sales of Confederate flags have skyrocketed by more than 3,000% in the past 24 hours.
People are snatching up the flags online after several major retailers — including eBay, Wal-Mart, and Sears — pulled them from shelves.
The retailers banned the flags after last week’s shooting in Charleston, South Carolina, in which a gunman killed nine people in the historic black Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.
This afternoon, Amazon joined the ranks of eBay, Wal-Mart and Sears by removing Confederate merchandise from its site.
It’s no surprise that people are stocking up on Confederate paraphernalia. The issue is proving to be incredibly divisive, with one side claiming the flag is a symbol for hatred and racism, while the other claims it’s about heritage and state’s rights. This shift in blame is commonplace after a tragedy, when people naturally search out reasons behind the “why” of an issue. Why did the shooter feel so much hatred towards black people? What compels a human being to commit a monstrous act?
Perhaps I am oversimplifying it, but it is possible to be on neither side of an issue. While I believe it is 100 percent ludicrous to take pride in a flag that represented a faction of anti-American, racist fervor 150 years ago, I also disagree with the notion that a reactionary mob mentality of banning or criminalizing anything deemed offensive will solve any problems, at all.
I mean, look at this:
CNN: Does this offend you? Everyone right now: Yes to both. Don Lemon and the Confederate flag. pic.twitter.com/x1c7GX7mKY
— Nerdy Wonka (@NerdyWonka) June 23, 2015
ARE YOU OFFENDED? WELL, ARE YOU?
When the Confederate flag is inevitably banned from government properties, it will be considered a milestone victory for racism in America.
No racism issues will be solved, but they will be temporarily deflected because of victory over an inanimate object. Symbols don’t have inherent power — people place power in them. Racists don’t need a flag to be racist.
This tragedy shouldn’t be the reason the flag is removed. The flag shouldn’t have been flying on government properties in the first place.
This is usually the point in a controversy where I’d just stick to sports and ignore all the other noise, but it’s the offseason and there is nothing else to talk about. This debate will only get more insane, with (at minimum) 50-plus hot takes on the way — from a slightly drunk grandma at family dinner to an editorializing, overly dramatic SportsCenter anchor and everyone in-between.
Maybe I should just go camping..
[via Business Insider]
Image via YouTube