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Posted by on Jul 10, 2015 in African-Americans, Passages, Places, Politics, Race, Society | 29 comments

Rebel Flag Removed, an Op Ed by Jordan Cooper

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by Jordan Cooper

The ungodliness of trepidation is something that riddled the citizens of South Carolina, General Assembly, and now our Governor –to approve a bill to remove the Confederate Battle Flag from The South Carolina State House.

The only thing that can defeat trepidation is truth: The Confederate Flag is not a symbol of hate and institutional racism. It is one of the official flags of the previous national government we were under historically.

There were some loathsome people during that era and we should remember not to be that way.

The Confederate Flag is a monument for the monumental progress that was planned before we fully committed to matrimony with the modern day United States.

The truth remains that ‘bad’ grade we made in one of our academic classes will never get off of our educational records.

The truth remains that shot, pitch, or ball that was dropped will never be taken off the statistics.

The truth remains those bleak album sales that platinum-plaque winning artist had at one time will never be detached from their musical bibliography.

Larger than that, there will always be a scandal somewhere.

From the UNC Cheating Scandal to Milli Vanilli.

There is always a tale behind the tape.

The tapes in our lives are our times’ past.

Above all, progress and remediation is recorded at all times.

Pitfalls can help us perform better the next time around.

Our land’s past is a gem and it will never be unscathed no
matter how precious it is.

The Confederate Battle Flag was not just for a season in our lives.

It is a flag that is an irremovable dimension of our state’s history that is a very necessary symbol but misunderstood.

Its rise was based on economic freedom, civil liberty, and a roomy relationship away from Washington that was desired.

Yes, there were bigots, white supremacists, and classists as we have still today.

And, our complete history is paramount to Carolina’s upbringing– and America’s continual chaperoning of our concerns through our union.

It remains true that when we look on statehouse grounds in South Carolina with the names on the edifices that are there; we can see what this state is about.

George Washington was our most prominent founding father who wanted slavery abolished near the end of his life’s term.

Strom Thurmond was a segregationist turned father of an African-American baby.

Ben Tillman was a founder of one of the top public universities in America.

And lastly, there is a monument for a race that has made irreplaceable gifts to South Carolina.

However, the official flag of our last public national government will now be enshrouded in a museum that has only a fraction of the amount of visitors the State House has yearly.

The ephemeral emotions that made a timeless article be put in the back of a museum is pulling us away from our state’s illustrious history.

It is time to make some objective adjustments to help this state and others thrive in the time ahead.

Yet, as we say it is not about the 99 percent or the 1 percent. It is about the total collective history of the United States that we all share.

We together are that 100% and need to stick together for the times to come.

Editor’s Note from Dr. E.: Jordan is a young man from South Carolina. This is one of his first op ed’s at The Moderate Voice. This is some of his bio: A USC-[Columbia, South Carolina] Graduate with a degree in History with a concentration in North America, a Cognate in Philosophy, and continued graduate studies in Philosophy. First Black to serve in the Gov. and Lt. Gov’s office in S.C. as a Constituent Correspondent and Special Assistant (Haley/Bauer). First black to serve in the Inspector General’s Office in S.C. (Haley),and first black to serve on staff on a GOP presidential campaign in S.C. (Perry 2012) as Director of Youth Outreach for SC. Lastly, the youngest black to be on a gubernatorial campaign staff in America as Black Outreach Director. (Jindal 2003)

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Copyright 2015 The Moderate Voice
  • SteveK

    To quote Nero Wolfe… “Phooey”

    The only thing that can defeat trepidation is truth: The Confederate Flag is not a symbol of hate and institutional racism. It is one of the official flags of the previous national government we were under historically.

    Once again… “Phooey”

    • RELee

      “Phooey”?

      What one can expect from ignorance.

      • SteveK

        Yes, “Phooey”… And I’m not alone

        If you disagree and think it unfair you should probably present your case to the South Carolina House… Senate… and Governor as they all seem to have just said, “Phooey” too.

        • RELee

          A group of ignorant people who agree does the truth make. And just because a legislative body votes for something doesn’t make it right either. Your ignorance and others at the idea that the Southern Cross or Confederate battle flag is a symbol of hate demonstrates your lack of knowledge on the subject. I suggest you check out slavenorth.com and open your eyes about the North and South if you’re not afraid of facts. Also the US flag was exclusively used by the KKK(see youtube- klan march on Wash DC) until the centennial of the Civil War was being commemorated in 1959. The Klan seized upon it and abused it because of the feds and the civil rights movement. The Klan still abuses the US flag and the Cross. You probably think we should ban those too right? South Carolinians have to speak for themselves. I just think it funny how you base your opinions on emotions and not facts.

          • DdW

            Hey Robert E. Lee, talking about “emotions,” you better check yours and stop calling those who disagree with you “ignorant,” or you’ll be out of here in a RELee second.

          • RELee

            I am not “name calling.” The gentleman I am debating falls under the term ignorant regarding Civil War history(see def. #2). It has nothing to do with any personal attacks or opinions. I am debating facts that he is unaware of or plainly “ignores.”

            ig·no·rant
            [ig-ner-uhnt]
            ADJECTIVE
            1.
            lacking in knowledge or training; unlearned: an ignorant man.
            2.
            lacking knowledge or information as to a particular subject or fact: ignorant of quantum physics.
            3.
            uninformed; unaware.
            4.
            due to or showing lack of knowledge or training:

          • SteveK

            phoo·ey
            /fooe/
            noun
            1. nonsense.
            “those excuses are a lot of phooey”

          • RELee

            By the way I see you refuse to check out slavenorth.com which proves my point. You are not interested in facts just your opinion.

          • SteveK

            Not sure how you came to that conclusion Bob. I referenced and rebutted your link with the scopes article.
            It’s obvious to me that you’re simply looking for an audience and I’ve humored you far too long… Goodbye.

          • SteveK

            I just think it funny how you base your opinions on emotions and not facts.

            A lot of the ‘points’ that you’re making sound as if they came straight from a “Truth about Confederate History” that’s making its rounds on the internet.

            Snopes runs the article in its entirety and breaks down it’s misrepresentations… http://m.snopes.com/2015/06/28/confederate-flag-history/
            Here’s their summary:

            Herein lies the problem with symbols: They have no inherent meanings; they have only whatever meanings people choose to read into them, and different people can associate very different meanings with the same symbol. The Confederate battle flag is now regarded in many different ways — as a symbol of slavery, as a rallying banner for white supremacists, as a quaint historical artifact, as a memorial to those who fought gallantly and bravely (even if it was in the service of cause no longer considered virtuous), as a general emblem of rebellion against authority, as a benign display of regional pride, or even as a fond reminder of two “good ol’ boys” who were “never meanin’ no harm.”

            It is true that for several decades after the Civil War, the Confederate battle flag was not widely perceived as a negative symbol. Its use was largely limited to historical ceremonies associated with veterans’ events and war memorials; the flag did not become the symbol most prominently associated with the Confederacy until several decades after the Civil War ended, and it was not widely perceived as a politically polarizing symbol until it was appropriated by segregationist politicians and groups in the middle of the twentieth century.

            However, the fact remains that the Confederate battle flag has long since become the pre-eminent symbol of the Confederacy and what it stood for, and across the span of several decades it has been co-opted by segregationist and white supremacist groups such as the Dixiecrats, the KKK, and the Aryan Nation. Certainly one can be a racist or a white supremacist without associating himself with “Southern Pride” or a Confederate battle flag, but for better or worse, no one group is any more “authorized” to use the Confederate battle flag as their symbol than another: the Confederate government and its military forces ceased to exist 150 years ago and therefore have no say or control over the usage of the Southern Cross.

            The Sons of Confederate Veterans may sincerely object to the Confederate battle flag’s use by Neo-Nazis, skinheads, and other extremist groups, and perhaps some of the men who fought and died for the Confederacy would as well if they were alive today. But just as with the swastika, it’s likely to be a very, very long time before that symbol can be reclaimed and regarded in anything approaching a neutral manner, and probably not until the social issues underlying the public perception of that symbol have been more thoroughly canvassed.

          • RELee

            slavenorth.com is by a man in Philadelphia who came upon slave trade documents while doing research in Rhode Island. This led him to investigate the North prior to and up until the Civil War. Now if you want to keep saying “phooey” and remain in the dark about this subject that is your prerogative. But I gave you a site where you can at least see that you do not know whole story and not just the victors’ version. Gandhi said the truth will eventually be revealed. Sadly many of us do not want to face it.

          • RELee

            Comparing the Swatstika to the Confederate battle flag is not only an insult it equates the Confederate gov. to Nazi Germany which no honest historian would do. The Confederacy had 10,000 Jewish Southerners fighting for her cause, while Grant issued Gen. Order 11 expelling Jews not only from his command but in the military district he governed in the western theatre of the war. See the following from a Jewish gentleman from Atlanta-https://www.lewrockwell.com/author/lewis-regenstein/

            Dear CNS
            News:

            Julian Bond’s (NAACP)
            comparison of the Confederate flag or symbol to the swastika is
            highly offensive, especially to those of us who are Jewish, and
            shows he knows little about either the Confederacy or the Nazis.

            Some 3,500 to 5,000 Jews fought honorably and loyally for the Confederacy, including its Secretary of War and later State, Judah Benjamin. My great grandfather also served, as did his four brothers, their uncle, his three sons, and some two dozen other members of my
            Mother’s extended family (the Moses? of South Carolina and Georgia).Half a dozen of them fell in battle, largely teenagers, including the first and last Confederate Jews to die in battle.

            We know first hand, from their letters, diaries, and memoirs, that they were not fighting for slavery or bigotry, but rather to defend themselves and their comrades, their families, homes, and country from an invading army that was trying to kill them, burn their homes and cities, and destroy everything they had.

            It was a Union General, Ulysses S. Grant, who issued the infamous General Order # 11 expelling all Jews “as a class” from his conquered
            territories. It was this same Union Army (led by many of the same
            Civil War generals) that engaged in virtual genocide against the
            Native Americans in what we euphemistically call “the Indian Wars,”
            often massacring harmless, defenseless old men, women, and children in their villages.

            It was not the South but rather our enemies that engaged in genocide. While our ancestors may have lost the War, they never lost their honor, or engaged in anything that could justify their being compared
            to Nazis. It was the other side that did that.

            Sincerely
            yours,

            Lewis Regenstein
            Atlanta,Georgia

          • SteveK

            I suggest you check out slavenorth.com and open your eyes about the North and South if you’re not afraid of facts.

            The second Snopes Confederacy article (on slavery and slave owners) lays waste to the myths (lies?) that your slavenorth link thinks it’s making.

          • RELee

            Any Southerner that denies slavery was not a factor in the War is a liar. However it was not the cause of the war. Here are some facts:

            1. 96% of the Confederate military did not own slaves. They fought the war because they were invaded.
            2. If slavery was the issue why did the Union have more slave states than the Confederacy when the war began?
            3. If the war was to free the slaves why was W. VA. allowed to enter the Union as a slave state 6 mos. after the Emancipation Proclamation(EP) went into effect? Prior to becoming a state it was part of VA which according to EP all slaves were freed. That meant that all of those slaves in the W. VA. were freed and 6 mos. later were slaves again by joining the Union!
            4. If the war was about slavery why did the Emancipation Proclamation not free slaves in the Union states that had slaves?

            The cause of the war the election of Lincoln.

          • SteveK

            @ RELee – The reasoning that you use in explaining you position are gone over in detail, and exposed for the lies that they are in the Snopes article. http://m.snopes.com/2015/06/30/confederate-history-slave-ownership/

            Example: Your position #2. “If slavery was the issue why did the Union have more slave states than the Confederacy when the war began?”

            That simply is not the truth RELee… Here’s Snopes reply:

            This statement is somewhat ambiguous. If it refers to individual states, then it is false: all the Northern states (again, with the arguable exception of Delaware) had abolished slavery well before the start of the Civil War. If it refers to the federal government, then it’s still false: the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery and involuntary servitude in the United States, was initially passed by the U.S. Senate on 8 April 1864, more than a year before the end of the Civil War (although it was not ratified by the requisite number of states until December 1865).

            The answer to the question of why the Northern states didn’t outlaw slavery prior to the Civil War is an obvious one: it simply wasn’t possible. As long as the Southern slave states remained in the Union, their aggregate Congressional representation was sufficient in number to block the passage or ratification of any law or constitutional amendment abolishing slavery. The 13th Amendment could not have passed until the Southern states, having seceded from the Union, were no longer represented in the U.S. Congress. (Some of the former Confederate states did eventually ratify the 13th Amendment after its passage by Congress, because they were required to do so as a post-war condition of regaining federal representation.)

            RELee – Did you even take the time to read the article or does your self certainty and stubbornness prohibit you from doing so?

          • RELee

            Why must you rely on snopes? Get your sources from reliable places. slavenorth.com quotes original sources. Here is why your points are wrong Remember the war started in April 1861:

            1. snopes conveniently dodges the W.VA issue.

            2. snopes wrong again-Kentucky a Union slave state-From kentucky.com: “Here’s an OMG fact for you: The Kentucky legislature didn’t go on record
            against slavery until 1976 — 111 years after the 13th Amendment
            prohibiting involuntary servitude became the law of the land.”

            3.snopes wrong again-Maryland a Union slave state-From mas.maryland.gov- Delegates to the Constitutional Convention of 1864 were elected
            by the
            voters on April 6, 1864. The convention convened in Annapolis on April
            27, 1864, and adjourned on September 6, 1864. A state-wide referendum
            was held October 12 and 13, 1864, with special provisions were
            made to allow soldiers in the field to vote, and Governor Bradford
            certified the election totals on October 29. The third state
            constitution,
            which abolished slavery in Maryland, went into effect November 1,
            1864.”

            4. snopes wrong again- Missouri a Union slave state- from showmehistory blog part of Mo. showmehistory.net-“On January 6, 1865, under the Radical Republican general assembly (50 of
            66 seats), the state convention met in St. Louis. During this
            convention the Drake Constitution (so called for the convention’s
            vice-president Charles Drake) was adopted. On the topic of slavery, an
            ordinance of immediate abolition was introduced on January 6 and passed
            with 4 negative votes.”

          • SteveK

            RELee you are simply ignoring facts and misrepresenting history. It’s obvious from what you have written that you haven’t even looked at the Snopes article as it shows all your arguments to be either false or intentionally misleading.

            Kentucky / Maryland

            Kentucky and Missouri were both claimed as member states by the Confederacy and were represented in the Confederate Congress, and Maryland remained in the Union primarily because U.S. troops quickly imposed martial law and garrisoned the state to head off secession efforts.

            All your misdirection regarding history seems simply meant to take this thread off topic which is “Rebel Flag Removal.”

            As a liberal Democrat from the southwest I’ll yield to South Carolina’s duly elected Republican House… Republican Senate… And Republican Governor to know the history of that flag in their state. They have taken action (and responsibility) for what they have done… IMO sir you are on the wrong side of history.

          • RELee

            Sir my original contention was with your “phooey” post that stated an historical fact :

            “The only thing that can defeat trepidation is truth: The
            Confederate Flag is not a symbol of hate and institutional racism. It is
            one of the official flags of the previous national government we were
            under historically.”

            As a Native Californian of the Tongva tribe and a Conservative Independent in California who has to put up with the destruction you liberals have brought to this once beautiful State my last statement to you is a quote from Jack Nicholson in the movie a A Few Good Men:

            “You can’t handle the truth!”

          • JSpencer

            “IMO sir you are on the wrong side of history.”

            Indeed. Facts, records, reality, honesty… in the hands of revisionist historians and their fans are little more than play dough. Anyone who at this late date doesn’t understand why the confederate flag is so identified with ignorance and hate has probably made the choice not to.

          • archangel

            Hi there RELee. Please read the commenters rules at the top of the masthead before you comment again. No attacking others. We keep a civil place here. Read the rules and abide and all is well.

            Thanks

            Archangel

          • RELee

            Please see my response to DdW below

          • Slamfu

            Actually Relee, if you check the video of the 1928 KKK march on Washington DC you won’t see a single Confederate Flag in sight. They are all carrying the Stars and Stripes. Your flag didn’t make a resurgence until the Civil Rights movement of the 50’s and 60’s, and prior to that only saw serious use during the rebellion of the south. It does not represent Southern history, it represents Confederate history. Link to the DC march video:

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5u1QARlCph0

            Seriously man, we live in the internet age. 30 seconds of research does what a week used to do, and can save you from some serious foot in mouth issues. Need me to post the definition of “Irony” under yours of “ignorance”?

          • RELee

            Thanks I was already aware of this. But folks that suffer from belief preservation will say this was “photoshopped” LOL!

  • KP

    Jordan,

    Impressive bio.

    Keep working hard.

    It is obvious you are.

  • JSpencer

    “It is time to make some objective adjustments to help this state and others thrive in the time ahead.”

    Yes, but it’s been time for a very long time. This is symbolic change; how much are hearts and minds going to really change? Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad for even incremental change but just how long should it take for people (or a major political party) to get even the most painfully obvious of clues? I’d love to start feeling more optimistic about our national conscience, but this is a baby step. When we start adopting genuine policy that addresses things like gross income disparity and climate change then maybe I’ll start feeling the love.

  • Veritas88

    Very Nice piece Doctor,I was not upset about the CBF being taken down if it was done in a dignified manner only because of its location.. That however did not happen with chants of na na Hey hye goodbye.
    I do belive the aalg has a place in monumnets and Battle fields etc. My family fought for both the Confederacy and the union because they felt it was their duty. Triumphalism and tauting do othing to be bring about reconciliation nor does vandalism.

  • Veritas88

    Thank you for the fine piece. I was ambivalent about the flag lowering for several reasons. The chanting and triumphalism at the end destroyed any possibility of it being reconciliation. I am a first cousin of George Washington nine times removed and I wonder when the cleansing will reach him.

    • yoopermoose

      There are groups that have been working over a decade to get the flag off the state grounds. I would think they are entitled to be joyful at finally accomplishing a goal that, I am sure, many thought would never be achieved.

  • archangel

    Hi there RELee. Please read the commenters rules at the top of the masthead before you comment again. No attacking others. We keep a civil place here. Read the rules and abide and all is well.

    Thanks,

    Archangel

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