" @Termite said:Sherman was also a cruel racist and slave owner, that bit of information only proves how insignificant slavery was during the start of the war.I did not say slavery was not a factor, simply that it was wasn't really a huge political issue at the time, more like a convenient excuse. If freeing slaves had been the true motive for conquering the south I suspect the civil rights movement would have happened a lot sooner rather than waiting a hundred years. The point I'm trying to make here is that the southerners were not defensive about slavery, they were defensive about their right as a state to make their own decisions.
" @Teran: Slavery was not the only thing the Civil War was fought over, I'll give you that, but trying to diminish the issue's role in the events leading up to the Civil War is silly. The Southerners were very defensive of their right to own slaves, which makes sense, considering how much money was to be lost if that right was infringed upon at all. Slavery is what fueled the powerful in the South, and so they tried their hardest to defend it, and they called their fight a fight for States' rights. "
Again the events leading up to the Civil War weren't really about slavery but more about lessening the power of the federal government and preserving the freedom they felt they should have. This was evidenced when they captured a union armory so that they might arm themselves against the more powerful northern States should it come to civil war... though capturing said armory was pretty much the match that lit the fuse and they turned a potential conflict into all out civil war.
" @Teran: Oh yeah I agree with you completely, as a matter of fact General Robert E. Lee was anti-slavery but he believed that the federal government telling the states (which also happened to be his people) what to do was wrong. So he took the South's side because it was all so much more to him then slavery. "
Yeah most of the generals of the time weren't really heavily invested in slavery though many did have slaves. They were split into two broad categories, union loyalists versus confederate rebels. The union generals generally thought the federal government was needed to keep certain laws and expectations consistent while the confederate generals were fighting in many ways for freedom and reform. There was one thing they all had in common and that was ending the war as quickly as possible (of course both wanted to be the victor).
William Tecumseh Sherman summed up his opinion of the war quite well:
I am tired and sick of war. Its glory is all moonshine. It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, for vengeance, for desolation. War is hell.
And in response to having to rebuild a bridge the confederate forces burned, Sherman went into the neighboring town and tore down many of the log cabins and a church that were there. The townspeople were not too pleased and when they asked him why he would do this to them he responded with something like:
War is cruelty. There is no use trying to reform it. The crueler it is, the sooner it will be over.
He then told them bluntly that they should have protected the bridge and that he was leaving the new one in their care. It should be noted though that while Sherman was cruel, he did not permit his soldiers to loot and destroy though or abuse citizens who were victims of circumstance being there at that time. If someone was caught doing these things there was a good chance they'd have been hanged.
Lastly to clarify for folks reading my comments, I am not pro-slavery nor am I trying to justify it. The civil war needed to be fought for human rights if nothing else. I am glad the Union forces won and I am thankful every day that Britain did not get involved in the war as they likely would have sided with the Confederacy for several reasons but most likely for economics."
Sherman has to be my least favorite general of all time. Total war and bringing the population into something that rich white folks fight about is not a characteristic i look up to in a general. Instead of winning battles and decisively proving his still on the field he resorted to practically pillaging the economy. I understand his train of thought, destroy the enemies means to fight and win the war. But resorting to such brutish tactics without even gaining respect as a general is just pity.
All pride is unnecessary, why are you singling out the confederacy for this statement? As far as I know there are not roaming packs of confederacy supporters going door to door preaching the gospel of the confederacy. It's worth pointing out that Christians (and members of other religions) do not discuss their beliefs out of pride so much as evangelism so it's not quite the same. It is annoying at times I'll admit.
" @Teran said:This is Southern Pride ten fold. It's equivalent to Christians hammering down their beliefs in your throat or Atheists doing the same. The pride I'm talking about is unnecessary. "
@yeahno said:Why is southern pride stupid? A lot of people are prideful of their roots, just ask folks immigrating to the United States or go take a look at Chinatown or any other immigrant community within the United States. Are immigrants stupid for loving their country? "
" I live in the south so I see it alot. Most of the time it's fine unless it's 20 feet long and on the back of your truck. Also, it usually means southern pride (which I think is stupid), but I guess there can be some underlying symbols here or there. I never really know when though. "
@extremeradical:The situation with Japan is a little different. I'm not up to date on my flag history so I'm going out on a limb here but I suspect that the southern states flew under the same flag as the northern states for quite some time and the confederate flag we know today was introduced before or during the Civil war. When they were defeated they simply reverted to their original flag.
I'm with you there. The flag was corrupted or hijacked even by ultra radical generally pro slavery/segregation groups. If the confederate people from that era were alive today I suspect they would be furious about how their flag is used today.
" @Teran: Brilliantly stated. That being said, I'm not offended by the confederate flag (don't see it much in San Francisco as you can imagine) but I'm offended by the idiot rednecks who use it as an advertisement for how racist they are. "
I think I forgot to mention this earlier, but I am not offended by the confederate flag but rather offended by the people who have tainted and abused its symbolism. In in academic environment taking down the flag was idiotic. The whole point of being in an academic environment is to learn, to have your intellectualism challenged. Sometimes folks learn things they like, other times they learn things they don't. I suspect the teacher who put this up in class wanted it to gently offend his students just to get them thinking about the issue and hopefully teach them that the civil war was more than just a "good vs evil" or "slavery vs freedom" conflict and that there were a lot of complicated issues... ideally the students would come out of the lesson informed and rather than seeing the flag as a sign of racism they'd recognize it as a historical symbol that represented one faction during one of the most defining moments our nation has ever had.
Total war is the reason the Civil War ended when it did. If Sherman had not denied the confederacy the resources he burned or took for the army there's a good chance the South would have won even without help from the British. There is no evidence that he killed innocent civilians, actually it benefited him considerably because these people spread out all over the south with depressing stories about how the confederate armies have not and seemingly could not stop Sherman.
Sherman was also a cruel racist and slave owner, that bit of information only proves how insignificant slavery was during the start of the war. Sherman has to be my least favorite general of all time. Total war and bringing the population into something that rich white folks fight about is not a characteristic i look up to in a general. Instead of winning battles and decisively proving his still on the field he resorted to practically pillaging the economy. I understand his train of thought, destroy the enemies means to fight and win the war. But resorting to such brutish tactics without even gaining respect as a general is just pity. "
If you believe what you posted you're very ignorant. I say this with all due respect because a lot of people are. No war is won without damaging the opposing nations economy. The United States won the cold war because the Russians wrecked their economy trying to keep up. We won World War 2 because the United States could manufacture planes, vehicles, ships, weapons, and just about everything else more quickly than the Axis forces could destroy them.
The simple fact of the matter is this: You do not win wars against countries that have high morale and an intact economy. You dislike Sherman yet all he did was destroy property. His tactics were not brutish, his priority was to end the war and and his tactics were calculated to do just that and minimize the loss of life.
Lastly, he did own slaves however there is no evidence he was cruel or racist to them beyond the cruelty of "owning" a human servant however he was not the only person who did this. I don't know what your definition of racism is, but if by racist you mean "freed thousands of slaves and permitted them to travel with his military for protection" then you are correct he was extremely racist. There is no evidence that he did not wish to let his slaves go and he was very specific in that he may not have liked the slaves he believed that a person should be judged by their character not social status. Sherman was not cruel to slaves, the only group of people he despised was journalists.
Sherman waged one of the most successful campaigns in world history and the number of lives he saved and slaves he freed are beyond the ability to calculate.
" @Termite said:Cus that's something smart people do. Haven't you heard the old saying? Making assumptions makes a genius out of you." Well, I generally think of it as a symbol of racism and intolerance, so yeah, I guess so. If somebody hung it up though, I wouldn't make a fuss, I'd just know they're a dumbass. "Why would they be a dumbass? How could you make that assumption about a person you never even talked to............... "
The Confederate Flag is a symbol that I associate with the South wanting to serperate themselves from the rest of the country one of the main reasons being slavery. It's easy to write it off as a pride in where you're from thing but you also cannot deny that at a time it was a symbol that in a way stood for standing up for silly ideals like slavery. It's interesting I had this discussion with one of my friends who a Civil war reinactor (sic?) he asked if I assumed he was racist because he flew the flag on his jacket.
I told him that getting to know him I personally know he's not racist or anything but I did say its something that instantly caught my eye as a African American I told him he's free to wear it but I just told him there is going to be a lot of negative situations it could bring up with others in my race that don't know him.
I personally think that having a confederate flag on your truck or something is stupid. However, it seems most people in this discussion associate the flag with slavery. The reason for the Confederations desire for separation from the north was more about sectional conflict and economics. Many farmers in the South could not find markets to export their cotton, etc; so people got angry because they felt as though the economic policies coming out of Washington D.C. limited their growth. This is what I remember reading about.
Also, the abolition of slavery was a result of the Civil War, but were not the motivations for starting it, as previously stated. There also seems to be this belief that slavery didn't exist in the North, this is mainly a part of it being much more prevalent in the South. The reason it was more frequent in the South was because most Southerners were farmers. It is much easier to get a good turn around on the crops harvested if the labor is nearly free.
In Candyland this is true because politicians are known for keeping their promises... however in the real world campaign promises are virtually never kept nor have they ever been.
Lincoln entered office with the promise to abolish slavery in every state without any thought about how it would have effected the economy. Him winning office was enough proof that slavery would have been abolished.
Your statement pretty thoroughly illustrates your ignorance.
" @Teran said:Smart. I'd like to see the old fool live in a world without government. "
"To quote someone famous, "Government is not the solution to the problem, government IS the problem" "
@ZenGaijin:The Confederate flag was never a symbol directly associated with slavery. As Leetballa said above, slavery was not outlawed in the north it was just less practical or useful. Saying the confederate flag is associated with the ideal of slavery would be like saying the Mexican flag is associated with the ideal of illegal immigration, it simply is not true.
@LeetBalla: Correct me if I'm wrong, but I didn't think the trouble was finding a market to export to but more that the Federal government made it costly to export to anyone except them. I know Britain would have loved to have access to southern exports but the cost for farmers to deliver goods to a port and ship them out was significant thus making exports to the north a simpler, more practical option. I'm a little rusty on the economic situation between the north and south.
" @ryanwho said:Actually, yeah I'd say it is ok to hang that flag when you are learning about WWII. It's something of historical significance, and visual aids help kids learn. Do you go watch a movie about Nazi Germany and get offended when you see swastikas? If the answer is no, then why get offended when you see the same flag for reference in a history class?" The war's over, you can stop being offended over every little thing white guilt America. "So if we go by your logic then it's ok to hang the nazi flag when you learn about WWII. "
" Most Americans, Tend to bring up wars or anything even that happened in the past.Aside from making no sense on a sentence structure level you're generalizations are amusing. Most Americans are stupid? I have news for you, The United Stats doesn't have a monopoly on stupid people. People are proud of their heritage. As I mentioned above, go into just about any ethnic community and you'll see their country of origin's flag flying. People all over the world have patriotic pride for their country, this is no different.
Whether its the Revolutionary War, The American Civil War, The World Wars etc. To me, it can be Acceptable for maybe a memorial or history lesson whatever, but i think that any other reason is stupid which of course Most Americans do. "
I don't know what your problem is with war discussion however there are a couple reasons why I enjoy discussing the subject. First, wars get things done, politicians do not. Second, war protects our interests (and citizens) as a nation and even more importantly it eliminates unstable or hostile leaders. Lastly, if you do not learn from past experiences you are doomed to repeat them.
We have freedom of speech and expression here. Flying a confederate flag is freedom of expression and while you may disagree with a person's stance on an issue. There are of course exceptions for cases when words become more than than an opinion and are turned into a weapon for example someone using the flag as a symbol to incite people into riots or other kinds of violence will likely be brought up on hate crime charges whereas someone who committed the exact same crime but for reasons not involving race he would be facing lesser charges.
" @ManMadeGod said:Never met anybody who flies the Confederate flag who wasn't 'a dumbass, that's all." @Termite said:Cus that's something smart people do. Haven't you heard the old saying? Making assumptions makes a genius out of you. "" Well, I generally think of it as a symbol of racism and intolerance, so yeah, I guess so. If somebody hung it up though, I wouldn't make a fuss, I'd just know they're a dumbass. "Why would they be a dumbass? How could you make that assumption about a person you never even talked to............... "
"3. Alabama sucks ass and people there have sex with donkeys."I'm from the South (Alabama) the flag doesn't offend me, but that asshole does Fuck you sir.
Like others have said most people down here consider it a symbol of southern pride and nothing more.
" @Mordukai said:Actually that did come up in class, and our teacher said he wouldn't hang up the nazi flag because he saw it as going too far and when everyone looked at my friend Jew (don't take it personally he actually wants us to call him that because he's like the only Jewish born person who's parents are from Israel in a school full of Palestinians and other Muslims) he actually said: "I don't see why you the hell you would think it going to far because honestly I'm not offended, people should learn from the past and I believe that if we do give them examples we could actually help our society benefit from it instead of being dumb asses and calling it offensive just because most of them are too damn lazy to learn history." At that point in time Jew got in trouble for swearing in class...." @ryanwho said:Actually, yeah I'd say it is ok to hang that flag when you are learning about WWII. It's something of historical significance, and visual aids help kids learn. Do you go watch a movie about Nazi Germany and get offended when you see swastikas? If the answer is no, then why get offended when you see the same flag for reference in a history class? "" The war's over, you can stop being offended over every little thing white guilt America. "So if we go by your logic then it's ok to hang the nazi flag when you learn about WWII. "
" Anyone who is offended by it can personally kiss my ass. "I'm glad you defend the morons who like states rights and think that people are human property, not living things. The Confederates are the stupidest people on the planet. Anyone who thinks the states should have more power than the federal government is a moron.
Also I found this in the same thread this might help you. You are the moron. Especially when assuming things.
"@ZenGaijin: The Confederate flag was never a symbol directly associated with slavery. As Leetballa said above, slavery was not outlawed in the north it was just less practical or useful. Saying the confederate flag is associated with the ideal of slavery would be like saying the Mexican flag is associated with the ideal of illegal immigration, it simply is not true."
How can you support something that doesn't exist? You are making no sense? Maybe he SUPPORTED what they did? But that is not the topic? How can you assume from the quote " Anyone who is offended by it can personally kiss my ass."? Your pulling shit out of your ass, get off the forum.
" @ReaperOfLiving I'm not offened that he likes it, I'm LMFAO at anyone who supports those dumbasses "
I personally do not mind the confederate flag, and i respect the spirit of the soldiers my ancestors fought. In a lot of ways, the North was arbitrary and ironically, the harbringer of big government control and the lessening of personal freedoms. But link the confederate flag to racism say through the KKK, or the policies of the confederate gov`t, and it becomes a symbol of a way of life that compromised it`s own values by a hypocritical rationale for enslaving others.
I admire the southern individualistic spirit, and have nothing against the flag, unless it is used to represent what went so damned wrong with the south.
First of all, I didn't say Americans are stupid but that they can be stupid when it comes to these topics and I don't have a problem with war discussions unless its is used for insulting people the same goes with pride/heritage. and yes i do think Americans do this a lot, got a problem? I don't care!Therefore, you didn't really need to explain all this shit to me unless you were proving something to me which your not so you wasted your time..Well Done! "
The time was not wasted. I could have refrained from posting as your original post revealed your ignorance without any help from me. I don't waste words on people who can't put two facts together. Any sane, rational person will look at your message and my reply and see just how little you know about the world, Americans, and common sense.
The United States isn't Europe, we have this thing called freedom of speech. It can be used to positive or negative effect but really the nicest thing about it is ignorant, uninformed folks who lack the ability to form cohesive thought identify themselves as such in virtually every conversation they participate in. My reply to your post was designed to act as a direct contrast so that even folks just skimming figure you out very quickly.
The time was not wasted. I could have refrained from posting as your original post revealed your ignorance without any help from me. I don't waste words on people who can't put two facts together. Any sane, rational person will look at your message and my reply and see just how little you know about the world, Americans, and common sense. The United States isn't Europe, we have this thing called freedom of speech. It can be used to positive or negative effect but really the nicest thing about it is ignorant, uninformed folks who lack the ability to form cohesive thought identify themselves as such in virtually every conversation they participate in. My reply to your post was designed to act as a direct contrast so that even folks just skimming figure you out very quickly. "There you go again, are you even reading my post you idiot! i'm not having an argument with you, all i said was "my opinion" about one paragraph if that explaining what was my views on this topic and it seems to you that I'm the most ignorant person you ever seen, i have explained to you everything i said and fine if that's what you think? Then fine fucking solved as "everyone" has freedom of speech in this world.
Thats it, done!
Somehow I knew this thread was going to end up in semiotics. You have a good point BTW. I'm a Hindu living in the US and I can't use the Swastik anywhere without wasting my time answering everyone's unnecessarily suspicious questions. It's sad and I hate it.
" @ryanwho: I do know about the symbol's history and I saw it all around India when I went there but I think my grandma would have had a problem if I came back with a garment bearing that symbol. WHat I was talking about is that going by your logic it will be ok for people to parade this around:So you want to tell me that if you see someone parading this flag around you would feel nothing? "
@baconbits33: I won't be surprised if your teachers are afraid of flaunting the Confederate flag for similar reasons. Constitutionally or even ethically, it might be OK but people don't want to deal with sensitive issues they don't have to. In an ideal world, you shouldn't have to hide things you value - especially something which is central to your religion. But that's just not how it is and you've deal with the reality of the situation. It's almost like de facto censorship.
If I saw someone parading around with this symbol I would feel nothing unless their wearing of the symbol is accompanied by poor behavior. I live in the United States and while I may not like that symbol it's not my job to make sure no one gets their feelings hurt.
@Killjoi: Where in the US do you live? Where I'm at people don't often stop folks on the street to ask them questions about the jewelry or symbols you happen to be wearing... in fact wearing a swastika would probably reduce the number of people interested in talking to you, not increase.
You are not forced to hide anything. If it was truly an important symbol to me I would wear it no matter what folks thought. If there is any censorship going on in a situation like this it is self censorship. I'm sorry if folks give you a hard time over wearing the symbol, they are obviously way out of line but it is a little hard to believe this would happen to you frequently. Just as not every person wearing a cross or similarly "christian" symbol isn't assumed to be a christian, I would say that not everyone who wears a swastika is automatically branded a nazi.
I'll agree that people will avoid me if I happen to wear the Swastika on the street but I think that was kind of the point I was trying to make. People will pre-judge you based on such symbols and it's a perfectly natural thing to do as well. Everyone has bad memories associated with it. As you said, this just leads to self censorship. No one is stopping me from doing it but it's against social conventions and it's just something you don't do. I think it's a similar situation with the Confederate flag where you have to exercise a little de facto censorship because of it's history.
I wouldn't say that I find it offensive, but you would never catch me with a Confederate flag. The justifications people give for waving that flag are the same people give for pride in the South in the context of the Civil War; they say it is a symbol of "states' rights" or their "heritage." Nevermind that their "heritage" is having fought a war for "states' rights" to subjugate an entire race of people to protect their economic interests. Saying it's a symbol of "states' rights" or that they are celebrating their "heritage" is really just a self-righteous smokescreen to cover up their longing for the "good ole days" when the woman was pregnant and in the kitchen, the black man was in the fields, and the white man was on top.
But, of course, that's just my opinion. ;-) Also, that's not to say someone couldn't have a legitimate reason for pride in the South or even for pride in the Confederate flag. For instance, I'm proud of my home state of Tennessee for banning smoking in restaurants. It was a move that totally shocked me. Now I can go into a restaurant without worrying how close my table in non-smoking will be to the smoking section and how this might affect my young daughter's developing lungs. It's a huge step for a state so dependent on tobacco as a cash crop, and I'm sure the measure was met with ample opposition.
" @Teran: I live in Los Angeles. I never had any problem with people stopping me on the street because I don't like to wear jewelry or anything overtly religious anyway. But I've had quite a few people give me a weird eye and ask uncomfortable questions when they visit my home and see the portraits of religious deities with the Swastika on top. It's uncomfortable because these are people I know and in most cases, people I like hanging out with.If these people like your company as much as you like theirs I think a simple explanation would lay that issue to rest. If anything I'd be happy they asked because it gives you an opportunity to give them a little background and information on your religion.
People will pre-judge you based on such symbols and it's a perfectly natural thing to do as well. Everyone has bad memories associated with it. As you said, this just leads to self censorship. No one is stopping me from doing it but it's against social conventions and it's just something you don't do. I think it's a similar situation with the Confederate flag where you have to exercise a little de facto censorship because of it's history. "It's a tough situation but the people who are pre-judging you are the ones who never ask questions. Acknowledging one's ignorance and seeking the answers to questions is healthy, not judgmental. They might disagree with your choices perhaps believing that such a display is dishonoring the holocaust survivors but that is their opinion and perhaps it's even valid. The important thing is they talked to you and got information rather than simply assuming you're a neo-nazi.
It's a tough spot to be in and I wish you did not have to deal with this kind of thing however don't mistake a thirst for knowledge for passing judgment.
" @ryanwho: You picked a poor example. The image you linked is indeed the symbol the Nazi party put on their flag however there is a lot more than a swastika on the image you linked. It is a total package and if it lacked the white circle and red fill it is less likely to be associated with nazism.I assure you you are a minority then. Like someone else said, as a Hindu in America they couldn't wear the swastik necklace without getting judged by people who don't know the full history of the symbol. I think you're giving the average person a lot of credit to think they can make this distinction.
If I saw someone parading around with this symbol I would feel nothing unless their wearing of the symbol is accompanied by poor behavior. I live in the United States and while I may not like that symbol it's not my job to make sure no one gets their feelings hurt.
It is a bit offensive to me as I do disagree with the values and pride that it is supposed to promote. I'm not specifically talking about slavery/racism either. It represents a time when the country was divided, literally. I would prefer it if we did not return to that time, even mentally. I'm not too keen on displays of pride in general, but that flag sends a message that is more harmful than most. Although it seems fine to use for educational purposes. Either way, I wouldn't want it banned just because I find it distasteful as I believe in freedom of expression.
Not having read any posts but the op's:
Not even a little bit. While I don't own a Confederate Flag or any goofy shit that has the flag on it I think it's a respectable symbol. I guess I can understand why people might be offended, taking into consideration that no one in this country seems to know why the Civil War was even fought (shame on your teachers for 1. Being fucking whiners and 2. Not knowing their history) but there's nothing really inflammatory about it and they really over reacted.
Fudge this ignorant and zealously PC culture. Just fudge it.
" @Teran: That's a good point. Talking about this situation usually leads to a better understanding of the subject matter (though the process of it still feels very awkward). My only gripe would be that such an explanation is required in the first place (but that is coming back to square one on this discussion :P). I guess I should be glad that people are at least ready to talk to me about it rather than backing off or worse. "Well like I said, it's more an issue of ignorance. If you didn't know the religious connotations of a crucifix you might be disturbed that people wear jewelry/clothes depicting a dying or dead man who had been tortured for days. You probably wouldn't pick up on its purpose of acting as a sign of dark days and bright future or it reminding folks of a profound sacrifice this religious icon made. I wouldn't blame you one bit for thinking that if you did not know the meaning and suddenly met someone wearing this icon however just as they should ask you about the meaning of your religious symbol, so should the person observing the crucifix wearing person .
I assure you you are a minority then. Like someone else said, as a Hindu in America they couldn't wear the swastik necklace without getting judged by people who don't know the full history of the symbol. I think you're giving the average person a lot of credit to think they can make this distinction. "I am an average person and I made the distinction. There is no reason why anyone else couldn't do the same.
As for being in the minority, this is hardly new. The factualness of an idea or theory is not determined by the number of people who believe it is true. I'm am not responsible for the thoughts of others. Just about every great concept and political theory you see at work in the United States today was at one point only supported by a minority of people.