With market forces speaking loud and clear, there is a new dawn emerging in South. The Confederate flag is finished.
In light of the horrific church shooting last week at Emanuel AME, calls for flag removal have criss-crossed the nation. Even though this gesture will be seen as a social victory, it is a temporary conciliation that legislators and members of our communities will use to stand in solidarity. Ultimately, taking down the Confederate flag will do little to combat true, ingrained racism; it is a band-aid solution to the deeply seeded plague of hate on a racial-level that has afflicted the consciousness of American society.
It’s just not enough.
There is a difference between removing symbolism and creating lasting change. Symbolism is taking down Confederate flags, not saying the “n” word, and electing an African-American president — but what about institutionalized racism, gentrification, strengthening the Voting Rights Act, and re-educating those who subscribe to radical racial ideologies?
I do agree that removing rebellious symbols such as the Confederate flag have to happen in order for a country to separate itself from the ideals of the past, but it shouldn’t stop there. We live in a country of appeasement and I fear that this gesture will be the only public attempt made to “heal” race relations in light of recent events. It’s a band-aid victory in the face of truly treating racism in our consciousness, institutions, prison industrial complex, gentrification, and housing market discrimination.
Again, it’s a start, but more still has to be done.
Perhaps we can take a lesson from the past. After World War II, the Allied initiative instituted a process known as “Denazification”, which removed all remnants of Nazism from German and Austrian society, culture, judicial and political systems. Additionally, former members of the Nazi Party were removed from positions of power and influence. Ultimately, the symbol of Nazism was demonized as harmful to others, but it took a generation of re-education and cultural advancement to eliminate that narrative.
Can’t the same be done for the United States? Why can’t we finally discuss, educate, and remove conditioned racism from our society — both legislative and culturally? Aren’t we tired of the barrier that keeps us from being great?
Symbolism removal is a first start, but ultimately it is a pseudo victory. In order for the United States to heal from the affliction of racism on a conscious level, the same amount of attention to symbolic gestures need to be made to cultural awareness, social education, fellowship, and developing equal love for one’s neighbor in order to truly change society…long after the removal of an insurrectionist flag.
What are your ideas on how we can be apart of the solution? Leave me a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to hear your opinion. Let’s dialogue and be apart of the solution.
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
― Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.” – Romans 12:9-13