I would like to thank the two readers that responded to my letter concerning racism and point out that they help to illustrate not understanding our society’s racism problem.
My point is our country’s racism is a cancer and ingrained in our culture. The Confederate flag is a symbol of racism and has perpetuated it for 155 years. Racism is morally and ethically wrong yet is accepted and tolerated by our society as ‘OK’ to fly a Confederate flag.
When you accept someone flying the Confederate flag as ok, the community as a whole is complicit in perpetuating symbols of racism and oppression. I never said the Confederate flag should be outlawed, that would violate our freedom of speech, and I never said North East is racist. What I am saying is American culture still socially accepts it, it lives in our town. The moral and ethical social peer pressure is not strong enough to force someone to NOT fly the Confederate flag.
For example, we all can agree that the Nazi swastika is a symbol of hate and racism. You never see a swastika flag displayed publicly. Why? Because it is abhorrent to our society. Maybe it is proudly displayed in a basement but not in public. Why? Because society as a whole believes it is immoral and hateful and denounces publicly.
It is ingrained in society that a Nazi flag represents oppression and racism. It is deemed wrong. Does the Confederate flag not represent oppression and racism? If so, why are we accepting of it? Because it is red, white, and blue with stars? Because it is American made, not foreign?
This nation has never come to terms that we have had a cancer for 400 years and have not treated it until it is completely gone. If you had lung cancer would you be happy if your doctor said we got most of it? Of course not.
Martin Luther King said, “It may well be that the greatest tragedy of this period of this social transition is not the glaring noisiness of the so-called bad people, but the appalling silence of the so-called good people.”
Until our society and culture accepts symbols of racism as wrong, abhorrent, and counter to our values as Americans, we will never be cured of this self-inflicted cancer.
North East Resident