Saturday, June 20, 2015

Racism, Symbolism & the Quest For Civility

Racism aspects aside, the Confederate Flag was, and still is, a symbol of rebellion and states’ rights - not to mention secession and treason - for a cause on the losing side of the American Civil War. Question is how many losing sides throughout history ever have been allowed to maintain and display their banners? Not many. It would seem, 150 years later, the United States is still trying to confront that question and reconcile the idea with American values and principles.

Don’t Tear Down the Confederate Battle Flag (National Review)

Two Thoughts on the Confederate Battle Flag (National Review)

Charleston Shootings Have Revived Demands That South Carolina Stop Flying the Confederate Flag (Reuters via Business Insider)

The problem of racism in the US goes far deeper than any flag though. While ridding ourselves of its symbolism from our sights may bury some feelings, it will not change institutional and ingrained racism that exists in hearts and minds. That is what needs to change, and it begins with parents and ends with proper education. Our education system is too focused on “teaching” self-esteem and sensitivity over honesty and truth toward understanding that lends itself to learning both. In some instances, for example, teaching the Nazi Holocaust is banned because of this mentality - despite its importance in learning how intolerance unchecked can manifest in one of humanity’s worst atrocities. This is one of several reasons I dropped out of education school years ago in my pursuit of becoming a high school history teacher. Even while doing my required teaching observations, I could tell that “teaching” had become parody. First with the self-esteem movement (which was just gaining traction at the time) and now with Common Core (which is neither “common” nor “core” in its methods and subjects), it is even worse.

Pundits and politicians want to hide behind the old and tired narrative of gun control whenever incidents like the recent Charleston shooting happens. In yet another of his narcissistic interjections, President Obama even called for the rejection of the “new normal” of mass shootings. Then, in true leadership fashion, he jetted off to fundraise and play golf. But, Mr. President, it is not the “new normal” because normal, law-abiding gun owners do not go on mass shooting sprees. As more details emerge, clearly this incident, like so many others, was a racially motivated one by yet another deranged individual...but yes, clearly it is our gun laws that need fixing. No, it is the deranged, the ignorant and the racists that need fixing. That is not a gun problem; it is a societal problem, that will continue to be discussed until we honestly and truthfully confront and reconcile it. 

©2015 Steve Sagarra

No comments:

Post a Comment