Tuesday, June 23, 2015

CONFEDERATE FLAG TO BE REMOVED FROM GROUNDS OF STATE CAPITOL OF SOUTH CAROLINA

I am not a southerner by birth. My father was an immigrant from Canada and came here in 1926 at the age of 16. He didn't become a citizen until about 1942 and then was drafted into the army and served overseas ending up in Italy.

My mother is a native Italian and at the age of 26 married my father on December 1, 1945 in Livorno. For the most part they remained in Italy until 1957. All three of their children were born there.

At the age of 3, I moved with my family from Italy to the Georgia in 1957. We knew nothing about the segregation and racism of the south until we got here. We learned quickly.

My mother had to contend with the rise of fascism in Italy and directly with Nazis who occupied her city during the war years. The attitudes of many, many true southerners in Atlanta and Augusta, Georgia where we live in the time of segregation was and is racist! It was engrained racism and little old educated southern belles were just as racist as any ill-educated white and the "n" word was to be found on their lips and frequently and directed to  the face of blacks.

My mother didn't drive, thus my father made sure we lived on a bus line in both Atlanta and Augusta. So I rode the bus frequently, very frequently, from 1957 until about 1967. Blacks were forced to ride in the back of the bus until about 1966 I think it was. If more whites were on the bus than blacks, the seats for the whites were pushed back, meaning more blacks had to stand.

I agree that for some people the Confederate Flag is a symbol of a historic time when the south seceded from the Union and was its own nation for a short but illegal period of time. The south fought the union for their right to secede from that Union under the Confederate banner. The United States went to war with the Confederacy to protect the unity of the United States of America. The Confederacy lost the war and at a huge cost of lives both in the south and the north. No one denies this history and the role of the Confederate banner in this regard.

Southerners will say it wasn't about slavery but state's rights. Yes it was about states' rights, the right of the state to have the institution of slavery, to seceded from the union if they so chose to do so  along with some other side issues. The Confederate Flag is about states' rights in the south and the maintaining of slavery for economic reasons and to separate from the Union and the national laws of the land when a particular state decided to do so. It is about the violation of the human rights of slaves and thus keeping people enslaved for the almighty dollar!

Having been in the south now for 58 years or so, I know the mentality of some southerners and their attitudes about blacks. Those who fly the confederate flag on their property have attitudes about blacks that would  make many whites in the south blush and be ashamed. 

The Confederate Flag belongs in a museum or should only be flown in a historic sense. It should never have been on the state capitol building in Columbia, SC or on the grounds of the state house for the flying of it signifies states rights during the time of slavery to maintain that dreadful institution.

However, if the Confederate Flag is flown to show the different flags that a particular state has been under, then certainly it has a place in that historic context and as just one among the many legitimate flags of a particular historic time. Florida has done this. I know that Riverwalk in Augusta has the different flags Georgia has been under to include the Confederate one and other places do this as well. There is a big difference in context. 




69 comments:

Angry Augustinian said...

This whole flap is ridiculous. Does anyone really believe that removing a flag will have one drop of influence on anyone's attitudes or beliefs? This is typical liberal/black whining and playing to emotion in order to pander to the popular mind set. It is all show and no content. The Confederate battle flag, which is the one in question…the Confederate National flag is my avatar…represents the symbol that Southern soldiers rallied under…a sign of loyalty, duty, honor and states' rights. It never stood for slavery, was not conceived to stand for slavery, and certainly none of the boys and men that died under it did so for a bunch of slaves. Most of the slaves brought into this country were actually brought in under the British and American flags. When I was a kid, we all had Confederate hats, flags, etc. None of us ever even thought about them representing slavery, and if anyone ever used the "n" word they could count on an a** whuppin' from their dad. Whatever the adult cultural attitudes toward blacks at the time were, we were taught to respect them as people, treat them as we would anyone else, and never talk ugly to them.

The War Between the States represents a period in our history when the issues of Federal power vs states rights was highlighted. It is being highlighted again, and the Confederate battle flag represents to many of us a need for control of Federal power, the rights of states to self-determination, and individual freedom. As for the War Between the States being about slavery, that is simplistic and reflects an ignorance of history. Lincoln only began too talk about slavery as an issue after Antietam…when he could claim a Union victory…it wasn't, but because Lee left the field due to reinforcements failing to arrive, the Northern newspapers began to spin it as a Union win. Lincoln needed an emotionally charged issue to keep the people aroused, and slavery was it. Lincoln himself said that he did not believe blacks and whites were meant to live on the same continent (they were not…we should have picked our own cotton) and actually considered sending them all to Liberia or some other country.

Anyway, this flag nonsense is only going to further entrench those of us who appreciate what the flag actually stands for, and it isn't going to help blacks one bit…it only creates more resentment toward this incredibly vocal and ridiculously pandered minority. BTW, blacks are still killing each other wholesale in Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit, and Philly and no Confederate flags are flying there.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

I congratulate Gov. Haley on her courageous decision and I pray God will give her and the State of South Carolina the strength and wisdom to achieve this difficult goal.

Anonymous said...

Beautifully articulated! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Father, I don't know much about the politics in the south but I did spend a month there, travelling from New Orleans to Houston, Baton Rouge, etc, and all the places in between. I have to say that I found the blacks, without exception, to be churlish, rude, combatitive and ready to throw their weight around. I remember standing in line waiting to be served at a restaurant like McDonalds. The young black male who was serving was utterly rude to the person who was standing in front near the counter to be served. He said, "You in the queue? you in the queue? Get in the queue" and gestulating at him and muttering. The person didn't reply. I felt like saying something to that young man because there was no need for that rudeness. I have to say I gained a very bad impression of what the blacks are like in the south and they lost a lot of sympathy from me because of their general bad manners and not at like the well manners Americans, including black Americans, I have met in my own country - so it was a shock to find out what these people in the south are like.

It may well be a similar situation in the South to what went on in Ireland where it was said that the Irish mothers perpetrated the violence and support for the IRA by teaching their children about the treatment of the Irish at the hands of the English. I remember the Church finally said that being a member of the IRA could lead to excommunication. I come from an Irish background and I know that the Irish were badly treated but there will be this endless circle of violence if there is no forgiveness and forgetting of past grievances - real as they definitely are - we have the fine example shown by the grieving black community whose members were shot and killed. What they have done in the face of a horrendous criminal act of murder is what will kill intolerance and bring communities together as they should be.

The one thing about the South that I did notice was the abundance of wayside shrines to Our Lady, which I thought was just beautiful and the most Catholic I have seen anywhere I have travelled, including South America.

Jan

Anonymous said...

State's Rights have always been a fight within the US. It came to a head in the Civil War and the Federal government won. If it had not been about slavery it would have been about something else. Slavery just happened to be the reason.
All wars are fought for money.
Today we are concerned about issues that should be left to the states such as abortion and same sex "marriage" and other policies that are dictated from Washington. It is not up to folks the North East and West Coast to determine what is right for citizens in other parts of the county. Do you think there will be any wars fought over that? No. Why? It's an ideology not money.
Like it or not the Confederate flag represents liberty from from the Fed, rebellion against a dictating central government, independence from a system that others don't want to be a part of. The 'X' in the middle of the Confederate Banner stands for the Tenth Amendment which today means nothing. The Fed can do what ever it wants. Today more than ever we need stronger state's rights as the government continues to force others to do what they are not in favor of. What good is having States if Washington has there way???
So hopefully the Supreme Court will determine that same sex "marriage" should be left up to the states. That is our only hope to stop it otherwise it is a lost cause.


Anonymous said...

Father, Georgia's Catholic schools were segregated for generations...yet bishops did nothing about that for years. It wasn't until around 1962 or 1963 that the two Catholic bishops of the state---Paul Hallinan of Atlanta and Thomas McDonough of Savannah---ordered desegregation of diocesan schools. And that was 8 or 9 years after the 1954 Supreme Court Brown v. Board decision. Did bishops like the legendary Gerald O'Hara (1895-1963), the last bishop in charge of the entire state of Georgia (before it was divided in 1956 into 2 dioceses), sin in not addressing this? What about Catholic bishops and priests who supported the Confederacy? Certainly there were some who did, right? And in 1939, after the dedication of Atlanta's Cathedral of Christ the King, a banquet was held at Atlanta's Piedmont Driving Club (certainly segregated in those days, though I don't know about today---not a member there). It isn't as if segregation in the South was instituted and maintained solely by Southern Baptists...

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I think of southerners who travel to the north. We meet rude northerners in all kinds of context, but I don't think we should stereotype all northerners as rude.

My own experience with blacks in the south is very positive and I don't sense the same kind of anger towards whites in the south as northern blacks seem to have. I do feel that despite the ugly history we have in the south, that blacks and whites have always worked with each other,( blacks for whites) and thus there has always been a relations, not of equals, but a relationship and sometimes very, very close relationships. Many white children my age now will remember with fondness and love maids who worked in their homes and acted as nannies.

There are certain black women, especially in restaurant or fast food, who have a tradition of speaking to their customers, black or white, by calling us "sugar," "sweetheart,"darling," "honey" and the like. Most of us whites love it and we melt! There is a sever at the Burger King down the road from me who said it to me recently and we southern whites know it isn't a sexual thing, but a communication of endearment!

Anonymous said...

I myself was not born in the South, yes the war of Northern aggression was ALL about states rights! Slavery played a minor role in the war, 99% of white Southerners did own slaves this is a fact, most were poor farmers plain and simple, with Washington D.C. trying to crush their way of life. With 18 trillion in debt, Baltimore in flames with over 45 deaths in June alone, Muslims killing Christians, Yazidis' throwing Homosexuals off rooftops and destroying 4,000 year old relics in Iraq, with Hillary Clinton erasing her hard drives, Obama lying and allowed to say the "N" word on a podcast named WTF, our borders wide open and we are concerned about a flag that over 425,000 Southern men died for and remember these were American men. I myself am offended by the Mexican flag being flown in the U.S. the Black Panther flag, the Rainbow flag, yet we are concerned about the Flag of the Confederate States of America? This is simply political and downright discusting to the memory of 425,000 Southern men who lost their lives!!

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

When it comes to morality or immorality, we only gradually come to the truth and I believe under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Yes, Catholics owned slaves and I believe the Church during slavery would have taught that they be treated with dignity and respect. Now that we know that being a slave degrades human beings, who would want to hold on to simply treating people with dignity and respect while enslaving them. We move on, we grow and outgrow outdated forms of behavior and mentality.

In the south, to soothe the consciences of whites, the separate but equal philosophy developed. While things were separate they were not equal but it was a nice thought and soothed guilty consciousness.

We don't judge human actions or society mores of one period by our own standards--we try to step back into the mentality of the period. But to glorify that mentality today when we know better is something else altogether different.

For example, up until the time when talk radio and television came into vogue, there were taboo subjects not discussed in public--one didn't air one's dirty laundry as it concerned families or society issues, especially around the issue of sex abuse, incest and the like. That's the way it was. But to continue that tradition today, knowing the harm it brings to victims of sex abuse, would be insane.

Angry Augustinian said...

Anonymous, you mean most southerners did NOT own slaves. Typo. Yeah, really, I am highly offended by the rainbow flag, the Mexican flag, and the Black panther flag. They should have to take those down, as well. White people need to quit caving in to all this ridiculous white guilt/white privilege nonsense and loudly and aggressively begin to assert white pride and white accomplishments. We have given blacks, a distinct minority, every break…destroyed the public schools and public education for them, given them professional basketball and football, and created double standards in every university so they can pass…and still not write their name. We tolerate gang violence, the destruction of neighborhoods, and surly obnoxious behavior. Blacks want a separate set of laws for themselves (some of their so-called leaders argue for this), and we have such members of congress as people who think we planted a flag on mars and that Guam will tip over if it gets too many people on it. I so the spray paint de-facing of a statue in Charleston that read "Black live mater." Really…well convince me.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Don't create straw men or mix apples and oranges. Anyone can fly any flag they want on their own property to include the Nazi flag I suppose. We are talking about a flag that more than 60% of blacks in South Carolina think is insulting and degrading to them flying on government property and not in a museum.

I see confederate flags all over the place in the south. No one is banned from owning one and flying one, just as it is the case for Mexicans and their flag, Italians and our flag, Irish and their flags. I would fly Italian, Canadian and American flags in my yard if I had one. Should a state capitol do that? NO, NO, NO!

Angry Augustinian said...

Does anyone really think this is going to amount to anything? The number of white on black crimes in this country is far less than the number of black on white crimes, and nothing compared to black on black crime. This incident is simply a race baiter's dream for diverting attention from the real problem…which is the black cultural refusal to assimilate into the mainstream and abide by the laws of this nation. There is virtually no black leadership addressing this problem, and those that do get called Oreo Cookie and Uncle Tom. Look, give blacks a couple of states of their own, let them run them like they want to, then we can go back in after they have killed each other off or starved to death. Call it a "social experiment.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I am opposed to same sex marriage and the state through vote, judicial decision or legislative law changing the definition of marriage. However, for one state to allow same sex marriage and another not to allow it seem absurd to me.

While I would have preferred the language of "civil union" rather than of marriage and giving the status of civil union to either same sex or mixed sex relationships and only for the benefits of certain rights now only accorded to the married, I could live with that in a secular society. Keep sex out of it. Marriage, though implies a sexual union for the pro-creation of a family and the strengthening (unitive) of the marital relationship. The two walk hand-in-hand and cannot be separated.

Anonymous said...

Father, I can assure you that there was no "sugar" or "honey" or anything sweet of that nature said to me. My accent is obviously not American either, although I am blond and white. I was well mannered on every occasion and never pushy. I am used to all races and treat no one any differently, but I can assure you that the word "surly" would be an apt description of every black involved in the service industry that I came across. From what you say it may well have improved in the south because that was 10 years ago now. There was definitely a chip-on-the-shoulder attitude then a reluctance to serve. I have to say I was left with a very poor impression of the south. Of course, service people are frontline when it comes to dealing with overseas visitors and their attitudes will be what leaves a lasting impression. For that very reason I know that staff here wouldn't last long in their jobs if they exhibited that sort of attitude. Of course tourism is important here where it wouldn't be so important in the States with such a large population and that may be why staff get away with rudeness.

Jan

Anonymous said...

The Confederate flag is more a Jolly Roger Pirate flag than Nazi flag. The Left is trying to equate this as a racist flag. There are some who use it as that but there are so many who are not KKK that still like it. It represents a region, with its own history, with blood soaked into its soil. Just like the regions of Europe that have their own flags, Basque, Brittany, Tuscany, Wales. They all have their flags. They all had serfdom too. Should those emblems be vanquished to museums? Someday even the USA flag will be considered a symbol of hatred and oppression. In fact in California, university students are already pushing to have it removed! So everyone is always going to have something to say and not all can be pleased. The flag is regional and should not be hidden for political correctness. In fact the southern blacks should embrace it and say this is what we suffered for. This is our history. This is our home too.

Angry Augustinian said...

Black staff get away with rudeness for one of three reasons, 1. The management is scared of them, 2. The management has simply given up…"we have to hire them, you cannot fix them, so what the Hell," or 3. The management does not want to deal with the accusations of racism, law suits, threats, or destruction of property that would follow any meaningful discipline or the firing of these marginal, angry, and petulant blacks.

Anonymous said...

However, for one state to allow same sex marriage and another not to allow it seem absurd to me.
That is exactly right. Now support secession and your state will be totally and wholly free from same sex marriage and the Fed forcing you to like it.

Angry Augustinian said...

How did a discussion of same sex marriage get into this thread?

Anonymous said...

Where does it all end?

Lets look here just in Georgia---do we now need to change the names of counties like "Lee", "Jeff Davis", "Jefferson", "Madison"---all of whom either were slave-owning presidents or Confederate officials? What about Stone Mountain Park here in the Atlanta area---need we remove the huge sculptures of Lee, Jackson and Davis? What about our military installations? Wasn't Fort Gordon named after a Confederate general (in Augusta)? Our schools? Streets and roads (like Washington Street, which passes the Georgia state capitol)? Father, in Augusta, what about the Masters? Sounds like a name associated with slavery...and worse, the course was built on the site of an old plantation that had been operating in Civil War days. Isn't there a Confederate Monument on Broad Street in Augusta?

I can see the "Confederate" issue blowing itself into a never-ending culture war, pitting one race against another---only hardening attitudes among the races and cementing the political divide in Georgia between (mostly) black Democrats and (mostly) white Republicans that we see in our State Legislature and Congressional delegation. Father, just look at Macon (Bibb County)--you have 2 white Republican state senators representing parts of Bibb County and 1 white Democrat. in the State House, 3 white Republicans, 2 black Democrats. In Congress, 1 white Republican (Austin Scott) and 1 white Democrat (Sanford Bishop).

Anonymous said...

Augustine,
Because of State's Rights. A state's right to deny same sex marriage.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I just had a brain storm, the Supreme Court could rule that it is up to the states to decide what they will call same sex unions, either marriage or civil unions but that no matter the name those who enter into these quasi-like marriages have the same civil benefits as any married couple.

I think the Church could live with that.

Anonymous said...

The SCOTUS is an appellate court. It cannot "...rule that it is up to the states to decide what they will call same sex unions, either marriage or civil unions..." because that question/decision has not been appealed to the Court.

I think the SCOTUS is the Court of First Instance only on border and water disputes between states...?

Angry Augustinian said...

Anonymous, Ok, I got it…yes, I think there will be more and more states asserting their autonomy vis a vis the Federal government.

Angry Augustinian said...

I love it…I just read a news item that says the sale of Confederate flags is soaring today. Obama has been great for gun and ammo sales, maybe he can top the charts on Confederate flags, too. I'm putting my old Ga. flag license plate back on the front of my car…it incorporates the Confederate flag. We need to defy this nonsense in every way.

rcg said...

Back to the original topic: I was in Charleston and the surrounding area from Thursday of the shooting until yesterday. Everyone, I mean every single person I met, behaved intelligently and with great compassion. I did not hear anyone express any opinions about the killer, but everyone focused on the pain of the families of those killed. Every one of those days, and every day of the preceding 100 years, the flag of the Confederacy flew over the Capital. Yet the entire city deported itself in the most civil and compassionate manner. We can state that there is a correlation, we cannot state that there is causation, unless we are willing to draw an affirmative conclusion.

We place the crucifix on high and claim that reproduction of a hellish moment as victory. The Romans, too, held it high to terrorize the populace, but the meaning of the crucifix has come to mean the opposite of what it was created to show. Our republic survived the war between the states and will continue as long as it continues to contemplate the numerous errors that led to the war. Perhaps the flag of the Confederate cross should be embraced by the very people who want to obliterate it and should be hoisted frequently to remind us how our nation was saved and survives only by the daily commitment to freedom and justice at every level.

Anonymous said...

Yes, correction Angry Augustinian I did mean 99% of Southerners DID NOT OWN SLAVES, my mistake but Iam so tired of hearing that all Southerners were slave owners or just evil! By the way Native Americans also owned Black slaves during this time i.e. the Cherokees and the Creeks, as well as Seminoles and many Native Americans fought for the Confederate States of America another fact as well!!!

John Nolan said...

Believe it or not the English flag (the cross of St George), which long predates the Union Jack, is regarded as 'racist' by politically-correct nincompoops with no knowledge or appreciation of history.

Scotland should not fly the saltire from public buildings, yet does so. The St George is officially flown only by the Church of England but like any other flag, may be flown unofficially by anyone.

Anonymous said...

We all know in the workplace HR and management are scared to death of Black employees they dare not correct or discipline them out of sheer fear of being called racist. I encounted this all through junior and Senior High School, counselors and principles were in complete fear of Black students, very sure most here have encontered this. The white population is being pushed up against the wall and we have nowhere to go, the "imposter in chief" is the main cause of all of this.

Catechist Kev said...

Anonymous @ 12:27,

My wife and I have asked this question amongst ourselves, too. Yet it was in the context of "tolerance" towards those who are not Christian.

The day will come, probably really soon, for cities that have traditional Christian names (i.e. Sacramento, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Corpus Christi, Santa Fe, San Bernardino, etc.) will be... um, "challenged" (aka: lawsuit or whatever) for the name to be changed because it is synonymous with intolerance.

It may not even have to be challenged via lawsuit. Take San Francisco for example. I am sort of surprised somebody has not goaded Nancy Pelosi to enact legislation, via voting petitions or whatever, to have that city's name changed.

My wife and I think it just a matter of "when", not "if".

Catechist Kev

Templar said...

There seems to be some confusion in the original post, the Confederate Battle Flag in Charleston does NOT fly over the capital or over ANY Government building. It used too, many years ago, but when a certain portion of the population said it was improper to do so it was, rightfully since it is no longer sovereign, removed from the capital and flown, where it belongs, at a memorial to the State's War Dead, which happens to be NEAR the capital. It is there by act of SC Congress, and it's removal can not be accomplished without a subsequent act of said Congress (and I hope, but doubt, that said Congress votes against it). The state of SC lost roughly 16,000 sons in defense of it's rights, and whether or not you agree with those rights or how they were exercised, the dead are beyond our judgement and deserve to be honored. Many people disagree with the Vietnam war, what it's goal was, and how it was waged, yet we have a memorial for the 58,000 who gave their lives in it, and rightly so. That memorial happens to be near another capital, shall we remove the flag from it as well?

Anonymous said...

Blacks also owned slaves and had plantations. Another inconvenient truth.

Angry Augustinian said...

Booker T. Washington said: “There is another class of coloured people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs — partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs.”

Anonymous 2 said...

Have any African Americans commented on this thread?

Anonymous said...

Very true blacks were slave owners well, our history is being erased and our children are being taught complete and utter lies in school. You must remember that the teachers and university professors were and are the former radical, communists and Marxist-Leninists of the 1960's and they are in charge of academia! Our children are taught that the "white man" is the source of all evil in the world and only their destruction is the answer, remember that folks, I know many don't want to hear this but get your head out of the sand before its to late.

Anonymous said...

And in 1863, Pope Pius IX addressed (in a letter) Jefferson Davis as president of the Confederate States of America. So the Pope did not condemn the Confederacy's so-called "act of treason" (as the North called it).

Angry Augustinian said...

You folks that know nothing about the War Between the States and would like to learn something, you might start with Shelby Foote's three volume, "The Civil War." It is the standard narrative history . Then, Michael Korda (a Brit) has recently published an excellent biography of Robert E. Lee. For some pre-history, you should read some stuff about the Buchanan administration and the events leading up to Lincoln's Presidency. The ball was already rolling toward secession when Lincoln took office.

Angry Augustinian said...

Anon 2, I don't know any "African Americans" except for Fr. Godfrey at St. Jo's.

Angry Augustinian said...

I guess atheist women holler, "Oh, Darwin, I'm evolving!!" Or maybe holler out, "Richard Dawkins, Richard Dawkins!!"

Anonymous said...

President Jefferson Davis converted to the Roman Catholic faith on his deathbed.

Anonymous Dude said...

The Confederate battle flag was largely mothballed for nearly a century until the civil rights movement of the 1960s.
That's when the segregationists of the time, the George Wallaces and Lester Madduxes and the Klansmen and the White Citizens Councils adopted it as their emblem.
And it flew it at lynchings and cross burnings and probably the meetings where they plotted blowing up churches or murdering civil-rights workers. There was no "honor" or "bravery" in any of it.
The Spanish and British and French flags all flew over Georgia for longer than the Confederacy, so why would you endorse that four years as your "heritage"?
You wouldn't, unless you wanted to embrace that philosophy & worldview.
No one who supports that philosophy or its symbols or the people who promote them can pretend to be a real Catholic.
You're not. You're just the kind of people Jesus warned us about.


Jdj said...

No one has addressed RCG's post, so I must. I was in Edisto Beach, just down the road from Charleston, all last week with my extended family. We are close to many families who live in Charleston and Mount Pleasant, and our daughter owns a house on Isle of Palms. To a person, we and all who were there last week were overwhelmed and humbled by the incredible ( dare I say miraculous?), purposefully committed outpouring of a peaceful response to the horrific, bloody tragedy. These people are COMMITTED Christians, determined not to see their beloved city engulfed in hatred and revenge. Talk to anyone there--they are strong in that stance!
We on the periphery should be so proud of all of them. The "Bridge to Peace Walk" over the Ravenel Bridge Sunday night was beyond words-- the media wasn't there probably because none of them expected such an outpouring. And it was SO, SO hot! The lady who organized it (a mom in Mt. Pleasant) applied for a permit for 100 people. Best estimate was 15,000 people showed up; so many that the organizer lady couldn't make the walk onto the bridge herself! So many good people showing such phenomenal faith in the power of forgiving love to heal.
No one should deny these people, particularly those grieving loved ones of the nine murdered victims a simple act of communal repentance. Can we remove a symbol of an historic atrocity? Can we agree to remove a flag that served as a temporary battle flag of a war best put to rest? Such a simple thing to do to begin healing...

Anonymous 2 said...

AA: Father Godfried is not African American.

Anonymous 2 said...

The history of Black slave owners is a very interesting one. As best I understand the matter, there is controversy regarding the precise mix of familial, humanitarian, and commercial reasons why so many free Black persons in the South themselves owned slaves.

As for the flag issue, as a few comments on this thread suggest, once again there seems to be a mix of veneration, racist, and protest (against de-segregation) reasons why so many people in the South have championed use of the Confederate Battle flag since the mid-twentieth century. Quite simply, then, the Battle Flag means different things to different people. Here is an NPR analysis of the issue:

http://www.npr.org/sections/itsallpolitics/2015/06/22/416548613/the-complicated-political-history-of-the-confederate-flag

Thus, as in so much else, it is a mistake to be reductionist and simplistic. These matters are complicated, and multiple reasons seem to be at work. Similarly, therefore, what the flag symbolizes to those African Americans (and others) who oppose its use is also likely more complicated than is often made out. But surely we should be able to understand their discomfort over what the flag means to those who have championed its use for racist or protest reasons.

There still seems to be much work to be done in this country to address the race issue. Does the approach proposed by Michael Emerson and George Yancey in their 2011 book “Transcending Racial Barriers: Toward a Mutual Obligation Approach” offer a way forward?

http://www.amazon.com/dp/0199742693/?tag=mh0b-20&hvadid=3521699378&hvqmt=p&hvbmt=bp&hvdev=c&ref=pd_sl_8e0kje03ec_p#reader_0199742693

The blurb states:

“Despite recent progress against racial inequalities, American society continues to produce attitudes and outcomes that reinforce the racial divide. In Transcending Racial Barriers, Michael Emerson and George Yancey offer a fresh perspective on how to combat racial division. They document the historical move from white supremacy to institutional racism, then look at modern efforts to overcome the racialized nature of our society. The authors argue that both conservative and progressive approaches have failed, as they continually fall victim to forces of ethnocentrism and group interest. They then explore group interest and possible ways to account for the perspectives of both majority and minority group members. They look to multiracial congregations, multiracial families, the military, and sports teams-all situations in which group interests have been overcome before. In each context they find the development of a core set of values that binds together different racial groups, along with the flexibility to express racially-based cultural uniqueness that does not conflict with this critical core.

Transcending Racial Barriers offers what is at once a balanced approach towards dealing with racial alienation and a bold step forward in the debate about the steps necessary to overcome present-day racism.”

Emerson spoke at Macon’s annual Building the Beloved Community Symposium in January this year. I was quite impressed by what I heard and am currently reading the book. I suspect the authors may be onto something important.


Angry Augustinian said...

I stand corrected. I do not know any African Americans at all.

Angry Augustinian said...

Anonymous Dude, your self-righteousness is showing. The flag has been misused…so has the US flag. That is no reason to take it down any more than our atrocities against the American Indians is reason to take down the US flag. This whole thing is ridiculous. You do not sound very intelligent.

Angry Augustinian said...

Jdj, removing the flag is not going to "begin healing." Nothing will be enough for the Black/Leftist coalition. Race relations in this country are worse than they have ever been and it isn't because of the Confederate flag…it is because of years of the Democrat morons sitting in the Capitol under the US flag. So, let's bulldoze the Custer Memorial at Little Bighorn and take down US flags everywhere. I think we should adopt a huge white flag as the US flag…that fits our mind set much better.

Anonymous 2 said...

The history of Black slave owners is a very interesting one. As best I understand the matter, there is controversy regarding the precise mix of familial, humanitarian, and commercial reasons why so many free Black persons in the South themselves owned slaves.

As for the flag issue, as a few comments on this thread suggest, once again there seems to be a mix of veneration, racist, and protest (against de-segregation) reasons why so many people in the South have championed use of the Confederate Battle flag since the mid-twentieth century. Quite simply, then, the Battle Flag means different things to different people. Here is an NPR analysis of the issue:

http://www.npr.org/sections/itsallpolitics/2015/06/22/416548613/the-complicated-political-history-of-the-confederate-flag

Thus, as in so much else, it is a mistake to be reductionist and simplistic. These matters are complicated, and multiple reasons seem to be at work. Similarly, therefore, what the flag symbolizes to those African Americans (and others) who oppose its use is also likely more complicated than is often made out. But surely we should be able to understand their discomfort over what the flag means to those who have championed its use for racist or protest reasons.

There still seems to be much work to be done in this country to address the race issue. Does the approach proposed by Michael Emerson and George Yancey in their 2011 book “Transcending Racial Barriers: Toward a Mutual Obligation Approach” offer a way forward?

http://www.amazon.com/dp/0199742693/?tag=mh0b-20&hvadid=3521699378&hvqmt=p&hvbmt=bp&hvdev=c&ref=pd_sl_8e0kje03ec_p#reader_0199742693

The blurb states:

“Despite recent progress against racial inequalities, American society continues to produce attitudes and outcomes that reinforce the racial divide. In Transcending Racial Barriers, Michael Emerson and George Yancey offer a fresh perspective on how to combat racial division. They document the historical move from white supremacy to institutional racism, then look at modern efforts to overcome the racialized nature of our society. The authors argue that both conservative and progressive approaches have failed, as they continually fall victim to forces of ethnocentrism and group interest. They then explore group interest and possible ways to account for the perspectives of both majority and minority group members. They look to multiracial congregations, multiracial families, the military, and sports teams-all situations in which group interests have been overcome before. In each context they find the development of a core set of values that binds together different racial groups, along with the flexibility to express racially-based cultural uniqueness that does not conflict with this critical core.

Transcending Racial Barriers offers what is at once a balanced approach towards dealing with racial alienation and a bold step forward in the debate about the steps necessary to overcome present-day racism.”

Emerson spoke at Macon’s annual Building the Beloved Community Symposium in January this year. I was quite impressed by what I heard and am currently reading the book. I suspect the authors may be onto something important.

Anonymous 2 said...

Jdj: Amen!

Anonymous said...

Jdj, I was on Edisto Island, attended Mass at Sts. Frederick and Stephen. Small world.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

The Charleston killings and the removal of the Rebel flag from the grounds of the South Carolina State House can be steps in a process of healing among the races. Tragedies often lead to renewed commitment to change the underlying causes of those tragedies and can lead to a better situation for all.

The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire in New York in 1911 led to the death of 146 people, most recent Jewish and Italian immigrants. Following that horrific incident, the laws governing worker safety were changed, resulting in the betterment of the workers' conditions and, thereby, the betterment of society.

I suspect that those who assert that removing the Rebel flag from the Statehouse grounds in Columbia will have no impact are speaking from their own unwillingness to 1) see the need for change in themselves, and/or 2) refuse to make the changes in themselves needed.

Anonymous said...

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh, why call it the Rebel flag instead of the Confederate Battle flag? Given the decades of discussion and constitutional vagueness surrounding secession, the only way one can honestly call it a rebellion is by adopting the position that might makes right. The North won on the battlefield, ergo what the South did was a rebellion. (By contrast, according to this logic, what the thirteen colonies did in the 1770s wasn't a rebellion, butonly because they won. To put it another way, there's no such thing as a successful treason.) You've thus dragged in a whole new issue--the issue of whether southern secression was constitutional--by your terminology. Was it your intention to do that, or was it simply to use language calculated to tee off those here with whom you disagree? I can't see a third possibility.

Angry Augustinian said...

Now, really, did anyone think Kavanaugh's response would be anything other than what it was? LOL!

Jdj said...

Anon 7:24, we attended Mass there as well. Sweet little elderly island church. They're presently fund-raising to build a new one--may God bless their efforts!

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Anon - The Rebel flag is the Rebel flag. Two of my great-grandfathers, both from Charleston, SC, fought in the rebellion. One, we know, was in Hampton's Legion and was captured and released at the battle of Bentonville, NC, at the end of the war. I've visited that site which is not far from where one of my sisters lives.

Might doesn't make right. Neither does secession from the Union. I am reminded of the passage from Sacred Scripture, "Or what king marching into battle would not first sit down and decide whether with ten thousand troops he can successfully oppose another king advancing upon him with twenty thousand troops? But if not, while he is still far away, he will send a delegation to ask for peace terms." (Luke 14)

"During the first months of 1861, “rebel” was a pejorative label in most American newspapers, North and South. The genius of secessionists, however, was to quickly embrace it. They flipped the script to help unify a divided white South. Within weeks of Fort Sumter, some Southern newspapers crowed that “More Rebels” from Virginia and Maryland had resigned their military commissions with the federal government and were “rushing to the land of their birth.” White Southerners made “rebel” a label to bear proudly." NYTimes, 15 Oct 2013

The Revolutionary War rebellion against unjust rule of the colonies by England. It was a justified rebellion and, I must say, a rather successful one at that!

I don't believe that the rebellion against the United States by the Confederate States was justified economically, constitutionally, or morally. If you choose to see the Civil War as "The War of Northern Aggression" or "The Late, Great Unpleasantness" you are free to do so. I'm not going to argue the point.

I have stood at The Angle with its Copse of Trees in the Gettysburg Battlefield dozens of times. And I have shed a tear there, but not because that location represents the "high water mark" of the Confederacy or the "beginning of the end" for the South. I have wept for those lost in the carnage of that war and for those who mourned their fathers, husbands, and children.

Anonymous said...

To equate the swastika flag with the Confederate battle flag as many in the leftwing media are currently doing is just plain sick. The Confederate States of America did not commit mass murder as the Nazi regime did against Jews, gays, gypsies, communists

rcg said...

Jdj, we were in the same Mass of, what, 40 people? Lawyers give interesting homilies. I was the fellow in the red suit with the black goatee.

John Nolan said...

Treason doth never prosper; what's the reason?
For if it prosper, none dare call it treason.

Anonymous said...

Marx insisted that men create their own history, and that is what the Left seeks by eradicating any and all emblematic reminders of a different time, a different America. Be careful what you allow unwittingly. We no longer pledge allegiance to our flag in schools, so removing it altogether isn't that much of a leap. It is, after all, the only American flag ever flown from a slave ship, and it bore witness to many atrocities of Native Americans in the expansion Westward. So, as we culturally cleanse the South, think of other cultural cleansings, even the present day examples in the Middle East, and remember that the only efficient way to create a new history is to eliminate all of the old histories, which as any good Marxist will tell you, sometimes necessitates from time to time the use of a firing squad.

Flavius Hesychius said...

Anonymous,

I've already had that conversation with Fr. Kavanaugh.

According to him the difference is that Britain was a monarchy, whereas the US in 1861 was a republic. I don't see a qualitative difference, but hell, I'd probably have been a loyalist in 1776, so what do I know?

rcg said...

Anon @ 3:32, what you describe is remarkably like what happened to the Liturgy the last fifty years.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Flav - I never said that "the difference is that Britain was a monarchy, whereas the US in 1861 was a republic."

Anonymous said...

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh, If you can't see that the southern cry or "more rebels" was facetious, along the lines of Patrick Henry's "If this be treason, make the most of it," I doubt I will be able to convince you otherwise. The whole principle of secession as understood by the South is utterly incompatible with the concept of rebellion against lawful authority. If any secessionist described himself as a rebel, he was either tweaking Lincoln's nose or else he didn't understand his own constitutional position (much as today's students understand the basics of American government). Southern secessionists saw themselves as exercising a constitutional right. Northern unionists denied that it was constitutional but instead a rebellion against lawful authority. The fact that the Constitution was not and is not clear on the matter was, more than anything else (except possibly slavery, which is what provoked southern secession), the reason why a million men were killed and maimed.

You are free, if you want, to believe that secession was not constitutionally justified. Many people have taken that position, just as many people take the position that the Constitution clearly contains a right of privacy and permits abortion. You are not free to believe that highly persuasive arguments to the contrary were forwarded by both northerners and southerners in the eighty years before the war, often in an attempt to limit the reach of slavery, and that absent that war, such arguments may have triumphed due to a different historical accident. At any rate, if you don't believe that might makes right, you are not free to say that simply because the north won secession was therefore unconstitutional.

Further, I find the phrase "Rebel flag" offensive. If you're concerned that African-Americans find the Confederate Battle Flag offensive, why are you not similarly concerned with my sensibilities? I'm not interested in your explanation why I shouldn't find it thus; I do, and that should suffice.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Anon - I am not arguing that the rebellion of the Confederacy was unconstitutional simply because the Union won.

As to your finding "Rebel" flag offensive, that's no skin off my nose. What you choose to be offended by is your business, not mine. I am under no obligation to measure what I say or do because someone somewhere will might take offense. None of us are.

My opposition to the presence of the Rebel flag on the grounds of the SC State House is not founded on what African-Americans may find offensive.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh, then what is your opposition founded on?

By the way, William Lloyd Garrison advocated for northern secession from a southern-controlled Union in the May 1844 edition of The Liberator. Do you think that call to have been constitutionally justified?

Angry Augustinian said...

Kavanaugh's weak grasp of history is exceeded only by his weak grasp of theology. He does know his Darwin, though. After all, he was a biology major.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Anon - My reading and understanding of history leads me to conclude that the secession of the Confederacy was 1) rebellion and 2) unconstitutional. Your conclusion is different.

As I stated earlier, I am not going to argue the point.

Jdj said...

RCG, I forgot to say that we were at the Sat. Vigil Mass and you were probably there Sunday a.m.? I would surely remember a red suit and black goatee!! Plus Fr. had all the visitors introduce where they were from, and surely I would have seen you. I would've enjoyed meeting you as I've "seen" you here and over at Fr. Fox's blog. I always enjoy reading your welcome-formed comments...
And, yes, a former-lawyer priest can certainly deliver a different kind of homily (-:

Anonymous said...

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh, you didn't answer my question. Unless you meant to say that you object to the flying of the flag purely because secession was 1) rebellion 2) and unconstitutional. Is that what you meant?

I find that hard to believe, but if so, you should thus also object to the flying of the American flag, since you've already declared that the colonies, too, were 1) in rebellion in the 1770s. And since that rebellion clearly was unconstitutional it meets both of your standards for objection. (cf. Declaratory Act of 1766). Be consistent.

rcg said...

Sunday it was. Late in the day, 1145! Lots of fellow tourists. Fr had everyone introduce themselves at the introit. Lovely little man playing guitar and pianist straight man for Fr'S jokes. Very relaxed. Lots of friendly people, I wish I could have stayed for coffee but had to get back to pack. I hope the new church building goes well. My aunt and uncle live very close and we drive by on the way into town.