When bad things happen, we want someone or something to blame. It helps us come to terms with what has happened and direct our emotions at a tangible target. America, following the recent shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, has placed its blame upon something. No, not evil gun-toting Southern whites (for once), but upon the Confederacy, whose flag the shooter was displaying in Facebook photos.
As a result, the Confederate flag is being banned… well, everywhere. South Carolina has considered removing the Stars and Bars from its state capitol. Tedd Starnes notifies us that, all across the South, states and cities are considering removing busts, statues, flags and names of Confederates from public view. One city is even talking about removing the words “Confederate memorial” from…wait for it… a Confederate memorial.
As is usual, the Left expects everyone in America to fall into lockstep with their latest moralistic crusade. Now companies all across the country are pulling Confederate flag items from shelves and websites. Amazon and WalMart no longer sell Rebel themed things, though they do still sell items themed after Nazi, Communist, and–until a viral video called the retailer out–ISIS symbols. Apple has pulled Civil War-based computer games from its app store, because such games include the Confederate flag.
Why are they doing this? Why is the Left unleashing such rage upon a symbol of a lost cause?
They do this because, as Edmund Burke wrote, “Something they must destroy, else they feel themselves to have no purpose.” The Left cannot abide any idea that anything but their own, moral vision of the world is true. The Confederacy, for all its faults, stood on the idea that the Union is a voluntary compact, not a contract, binding til’ death. The Left looks at America and sees it necessary to radically alter our cultural landscape to atone for our many sins.
But do they look in the mirror and see the costs they inflict upon us? The costs of erasing our national history in order to satisfy the moral fury of a few? “Never let a crisis go to waste,” in the words of Rahm Emmanuel. Formerly, the Left has used gun violence to attempt to violate gun rights. Now they’re using it to whitewash our history of everything which is evil.
Facing history, in all its complexities, flaws, and glories, is necessary for us to be a real community of souls. America has a past, as all nations do, but we seem to be the only one that would destroy its past to spite its present. We understand nothing of the past by denying it importance.
Consider this: how is it that the same people who declare that marriage and morals are whatever we say they are, are the same individuals who maintain that the Confederate flag can be nothing but evil, and should be banned? When many Southerners show the Stars and Bars, they don’t do it to celebrate the enslavement of blacks (setting aside true racists like the Klan). Many of the flag’s supporters–including a surprising number of black Americans–do it to show pride in their unique heritage, as part of the American South. How is it, then, that their beliefs about the Confederate Flag merit nothing, but the left’s beliefs about it merit everything?
As a Colorado native, I have no stake in the issue of whether or not a flag should fly. But I do think that we should give a closer look to the meaning of the Stars and Bars before we remove it, instead of playing out our knee-jerk reaction to anything remotely connected with historical evil.