“I Pledge Allegiance…”: The Confederate Flag, Continued

On Sunday, I laid out part of my thoughts concerning the Confederate flag. And most of that most was at some racist fuck, so instead of talking at someone, I wanted to talk TO someone.

The Confederate flag that is flown today is definitely not the original flag that was flown, regardless of how one tries to spin it. I’ve read some books (one I’ll actually give an independent review on, because… lawdy), and despite all the people trying to put the modern day Confederate flag in a brand new light and saying it’s representative of the old Southern heritage, you cannot. The Confederate flag used today was used with white supremacy specifically in mind.

For people to say that we should get over it (whole other post) and let the flag stay because it has no hold any longer and doesn’t represent the same thing as it did before, they have got to be blind. And I really do mean blind. They have got to be blind to everything that has happened since the tragedy in Charleston. Why else would Bree Newsome be arrested for scaling the flag pole in South Carolina in order to take the flag down?

However, getting rid of the Confederate flag is pointless in today’s day in age. Yes, it’s offensive and represents white patriarchy supremacy and it shouldn’t be used by the government. But that’s not the only flag that it used to promote that. When I was younger, my parents used to tell me not to say the pledge of allegiance, which was near blasphemy to my naive little mind. We live in America and we love America, so why shouldn’t we pledge allegiance? My parents told me it doesn’t ring true for us, and I didn’t understand until I was older:

“I pledge Allegiance to the flag
of the United States of America
and to the Republic for which it stands,
one nation under God, indivisible,
with Liberty and Justice for all.”

The last line is the one that gets me. “Liberty and Justice for all.” I pledged allegiance as a child every single day under school ┬árule without giving this any thought, because I assumed that it was true. But growing up as a black woman in America, I was taught otherwise. Oh sure, it’s okay to put a man in an illegal choke hold and deny him breath, ultimately causing his death simply because he was selling loose cigarettes. Of course it’s fine to slam 12 and 14 year old girls down and put your fat ass all over them because she didn’t give you the respect you felt your prick-ass deserved. It’s fine to kill a 7 year old girl in your sleep because… well, because you made a mistake in your job. Because everyone gets justice, right?

The Confederate flag and the United States flag both tell us the same thing, that it’s okay for black and brown and yellow bodies can continue to be oppressed and silenced and hope that they will still be allowed to live. These flags stand for many things, but I cannot ignore the hatred that is held in both of these symbols.

The hate that stands will continue to stand until we stand together and stop letting the white patriarchy tell us that we should forgive, even if a terrorist were to massacre in a church, even if there are five black churches that are burned to the ground afterwards and the media doesn’t care, even if a woman gets arrested and the told she’s welcome to leave the state following her release. Our anger is dangerous to them because it is validated, and it’s time we start realizing it rather than being afraid to step on people’s toes.

-JW

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