Pure Hatred

Living in the south it has always been a symbol of hatred.  Its the no coloreds allowed sign that keeps us in line.  I personally would never patronize any place that displays it so with that being said I suppose I contribute to the obvious attempt at illegal segregation.  I don't see the flag so much anymore there were a couple of business' in 2004 that displayed them here in the city but they've since then closed. 

If you have the time I found a very good story on foxnews.com

Of White Robes and Midnight Fright: Why I'm Offended by the Confederate Flag

So you wonder why I, as a black American, am offended by the Confederate battle flag? I'll tell you why.

I remember hiding in my own yard, too terrified to stay in my own house, when the Klan made their weekly visit to our Atlanta neighborhood. This particular group of Klansmen always carried an unusually large Confederate flag, so large that it covered several marchers as they stomped through our streets shouting profanities and daring anyone � and I mean anyone � to show their face.

So our mom always hid us in the back yard just in case they decided to burn our house.

Why would they do that you wonder?  I've always wondered the same thing myself.  I've wondered for years why those people were so mean.

None of us ever went into their community and did anything like that. We didn't even go shopping in their neighborhoods because we were afraid of them day and night. We were afraid because they'd showed us that we were subject to their wrath for any violation of their on-the-spot rules and/or imaginations. We'd be just another ****** in the wrong place at the wrong time if anything happened.

Now I'm 53 years old and I still can't forget all the ugliness I've seen associated with the Confederate flag. And white Southerners think I'm just whining when I say I can still remember the smell of that flag burning?

Why can't I forget how scared I was every time I saw that flag?

Because I understood the signal it was intended to send to black people  stay away. Any person that flew that flag on their property, their land or especially their trucks meant it as a warning that they would hurt you or kill you if they caught you anywhere near something that belonged to them.

And we took that warning seriously. We knew they could do anything they liked to us.

Now people think I shouldn't be offended when that flag is flown over the statehouse and other places supported by my tax money. I can't really believe they don't understand.

They talk about the white women and men that died for their flag. What about the black men and women killed by people waving that flag?

It's hard to forget something like that when you lived through it. Most white people have never known that kind of fear. They've always felt safe here. But there was no place safe for us.

To those who tell me the days of marauding men in white sheets bearing the Confederate flag are over, I say maybe, but many of the attitudes they stood for persist.

I had a young white man cuss me out in front of my kids when they were very young when I went to a recreational area for the first time. I was unaware that people waited in a certain place in a line until parking places were available. I drove up, saw a vacant spot, and just parked.

This man followed me to the spot, blocked my car and called me a stupid black *****. He treated me like I had committed the worst kind of sin because of a parking spot.

My children were 6 and 8 at the time and I could not explain to them why that man had screamed at me like that. It hurt me, and I know it hurt them.

How can I convince them not to be angry? How can I teach them to judge people by their actions when most of the white people we run into have been so nasty and thoughtless?

This incident is evidence that attitudes have not changed. No matter how black people attempt to remold themselves into people acceptable to whites, we simply can't do enough.  Some whites need someone to blame for all the bad things they feel, all the misfortune they've experienced, and it's always us.  It's this attitude, that I am not equal in our society, that is represented by that flag.

Pro-flag proponents talk to us about history and heritage. The history and heritage they remember is far from the reality of the fear and hatred I've experienced. That flag has left a memory with me that I'll relive every time that I see it flown.

But I am liberal enough to concede that people have the right to express their ignorance in any legal manner they like. The South already gets a bad enough rap without our state government joining in on the stupidity. The government should represent all the people in a
state. This flag certainly doesn't represent anything to me but repression.

Carolyn Clark Stroud is a Data Billing Specialist at Sprint Corp. in Atlanta. A mother of two teen-agers, she has lived in Atlanta all her life with the exception of a brief stint in Washington with the U.S. Army.

ichooselife ichooselife
36-40, F
9 Responses May 25, 2009

And the experience with your kids somehow related to "the Confederate Flag?"
Perhaps it is people like me who need to stand up against these vile organizations and insist they stop dishonoring the flag.
The flag you are talking about was a battle flag, not even seen or fought under by most Southern soldiers. It was not a 'Confederate (government) Flag.'
Incidentally there is the first rebel flag, the original secession flag. You see it all the time - but not offended by it because it has not been used as intimidation by these scumbags from the NORTH AND SOUTH.

Sad but very true!
Very well said though :)

I am a Yankee by birth and a Rebel by choice.As a lifelong defender of the Cause I am offended by those who have adopted the banner of the Confederacy to advance their misguided agendas.

Lucky Strike... that is exactly my point ... when the Confederates (South) fought against Abraham Lincoln they fought not only to break the country into two parts but to defend their right to own slaves. How can anyone claim they are not prejudice but hold onto such beliefs as longstanding inequality and racial oppression? <br />
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I hate the confederate flag and all it stands for, which is the right to own human beings. The flag is indeed a symbol of hate.

i fly the flag and on the flag in bold letters it says HARITAGE NOT HATE i love the black race i am not a bit racist i had family who fought for the south under the state of alabama my ancestors would cry if they thought that flag is racist i know some people have there storys abouth the klan using it as hate but if the kaln used a big white flag with a clown on it as they marched would that be racist?? think about it i am a proud southerner and i fly my flag out of haritage not hate

For me there is no positive way of viewing these symbols of hatred. It has been used as a weapon to murder the spirits, rights and integrity of human beings. Human beings that I am directly tied to in spirit and blood. I can forgive the people but the weapon provokes an eternal resentment if not fear of an terrorism that has managed to live beyond textbooks and constitutions.

You have valid reason to feel hate towards the flag, but let me offer you an analogy that may help. The swastika used by the Germans was used to identify their beliefs. The swastika means "universal harmony" and the Nazis destroyed the peaceful symbolism, and the perception of the swastika will never be the same. The KKK and others did the same to the confederate flag. They abused the pride it was supposed to bring to the southern states and turned it into a symbol of hatred. I doubt that you will ever be able to look past the confederate flag as that nor do I think Jewish in the same situation will ever see past the symbolism of the swastika.

I agree.

I live in the south and I hate this flag. To me it is symbolic of hate. Alot of things happened down south and cannot eve rbe forgotten.