A Heritage of Hate: Why it’s the duty of every white American to burn a Confederate flag

Erik Bryan in The Morning News:

Confederate_flag_story_1260_945_80What honor do we owe Confederate soldiers? They fought on the losing side of one of the most inhumane causes in human history, perhaps second only to that of the Nazis. I don’t believe this is an exaggeration. The Civil War—begun in earnest with a Confederate siege and bombardment of the US Army in Fort Sumter—claimed over half a million lives and destroyed numerous American cities, all so a minority group could be kept in chains. (Ever notice how proudly neo-Nazis in America display the Confederate flag? Does that not in itself put to rest any notion of “heritage, not hate”?) Why in the name of anything holy should the Confederate cause be memorialized at all? Why should we continue to esteem their hatred for and oppression of blacks by flying the battle flag of their soldiers? Especially considering how widespread their toxic and violent ideologies remain in America to this day.

…This whole discussion and the events leading up to it are shameful, and let’s be perfectly clear: This is white people’s fault. This is white people’s shame, and we have to do something about it. How do we meaningfully honor the victims in Charleston? How can we discourage support for white supremacy? How do we honor the millions of victims of white supremacy going back to the Civil War and before? We probably can’t do anything to ever atone for so many generations of suffering and hardship, but we can do something small and expedient. We can rid our public spaces of support for the Confederacy. We can demand our legislators and representatives—by any means necessary—to strip every public building and stretch of land of any recognition of those who rebelled against our United States and who brought death and destruction to our nation rather than recognize the liberty of a portion of its citizens. We can metaphorically spit in the eyes of our hateful ancestors who believed that their fellow human beings belonged in bondage. We can do this now, in our time. There are no excuses. There can be no delays. There’s simply no heritage of the Confederacy worth preserving. The Confederacy was trash. My ancestors, like yours, were wrong to do what they did, and I’d think after 150 years we can own up to that.

More here.