The Plight Of Southern Ignorance

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

I woke up this morning to news of an iconic symbol making its way back into the faces of Georgians. A symbol usually reserved for trailer parks, pit stained T-shirts, beat up pickup trucks and up until recently state capitol buildings. The group, Sons of Confederate Veterans, just received approval to have the controversial Confederate battle flag placed on Georgia specialty tags. This, of course, has caused some uproar with civil rights activists; however the obverse continue with the tired old saying, "It's heritage, not hate." There is something about that saying that just makes me cringe. Maybe some have forgotten about the history of hate that flag represents, essentially more bad than good. I am often curious how much weight that argument actually holds and actually how many really believe that.

As a child I have lomography memory of driving through a military base neighborhood in Savannah, Ga. Each residence was a mirror of the other and not just because of its construction, but nearly every home was adorned with a flying flag. Take a guess which flag was not flying? That's right the ole "Southern Cross." The same flag that was referred to in a newspaper as a flag that embodied "The destiny of the southern master and his African slave,"  the "White man's flag," as it went on to say. 

I find it interesting that after Georgia's fall after the Civil War the use of the Confederate flag had disappeared until 1956. The state flag was changed and adopted the Confederate battle flag element. The reason given is that it was in preparation of the Civil War centennial. Maybe it was a sly gesture given the fact that Brown vs. Board of Education was just two years prior to this change. Was this racist Georgian politics showing their opposition to the supreme court case? I believe so.

Where the argument really falls apart really could not be any more well timed. A story out of Mississippi on the tail end of the Georgia tag story really shows the underlying truth to what this symbol means. On the campus of Ole Miss University is a statue of James Meredith, the first black student to attend there. To earn a statue on any campus means that you have must do something extraordinary and Meredith did just that.  Imagine your first day of school, as you went to enter the building you were greeted by the governor of the state along with a throng of students, some of which are holding a Confederate flag, all in opposition of you being there. The amount of pressure and racial bigotry would conquer most people within that very moment. James Meredith, he withstood it for four years and obtained a degree.  Mr. Meredith's statue was disgraced by someone placing a noose around the neck and attaching a Confederate flag to it. Is this a message of heritage? Or of hate?  

If you still can't decide let me throw this at you. I have been thinking of opening a store in Borough Park (a section of New York with a large Jewish population). As for advertising I have been thinking about putting the name of my store along with a Swastika symbol. As you read that last sentence you came across the word "Swastika," I have a pretty good idea of the negative imagery that popped into your head. Okay, now imagine the fruitless argument I would have on my hands as I tried to explain to that Jewish community, "No, no, no, I mean it in a good way. I mean it in the sense that it means, good luck."  There is no doubt my claims would be dismissed instantly as that symbol will always have a meaning of hate. When African-Americans see that Confederate flag flying or posted it means no less than symbol that represents a heritage of hate.

My Georgia friends, rethink this one. 

Timothy Bryce


Why Oscar Brock Cares About Our Children

I have known Oscar Brock since I was one of the first females to join the Jaycees. Chattanooga is very lucky to have him as a concerned citizen. When I first joined the Jaycees, I wanted to do more for the community.  Oscar has taken that desire and surpassed anything I could ever imagine. He continues to strive for the underdog and do what is right. He is always willing to ... (click for more)

Backing Vince Dean For Criminal Court Clerk

I have known Vince Dean for over 30 years and served with him throughout his exemplary career with the Chattanooga Police Department. In all of my commands, he was an invaluable asset, not only to me as a trusted and extremely competent subordinate but to the department and the City as a true professional. His public service also extended to the City of East Ridge and the State ... (click for more)

County Commission Chairmanship Up For Grabs After Exit Of Henry, Skillern

The chairmanship of the County Commission is up for grabs after the exit of two commissioners who have held the post in recent years. Larry Henry is moving on to serve as Circuit Court clerk. Fred Skillern was upset by Randy Fairbanks in the Republican primary. Most of the returning commissioners have their eye on the possibility of taking over as chairman, or at least getting ... (click for more)

PAST Act On Horse Abuse Stalls Out In U.S. House Despite 70% Support

Rep. Ed Whitfield (KY-01), chairman of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Power, issued the following statement today regarding the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act, H.R. 1518:   “I regret to inform you that Speaker of the House, John Boehner, currently refuses  to bring the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act to the floor for a vote.  His decision ... (click for more)

Jones, Vols Meet The Press A Day Before Fall Football Begins

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- What did  Butch Jones  have to say about Tennessee’s 2014 football team on the eve of the Vols' first practice? Find out in this transcript of Thursday’s press conference:  HEAD COACH BUTCH JONES (Opening Statement) "It's great to see everyone, and I hope everyone had a great summer. We will hold an open practice on Saturday ... (click for more)

Jane Webb Is A Fun-Loving Runner At Heart

Jane Webb isn’t one of those people who started running when she was a kid, but she loves the benefits since she restarted her running career about four years ago. She’s all about being active and doing things that are good for you,   but long-distance running never really captured her attention and she’s found that she can receive the same payoff by covering ... (click for more)