The illusion of loving the unlovable.

Based on the inexcusable, inexplicable murders of church goers in Charleston, South Carolina by a deranged young white maniac, racial activists, seeing another opportunity to stir up the bubbling racial pot, and spread their seething hatred of all things Southern, agitate for removal of the Confederate flag located on the State Capital grounds at a Confederate memorial in Columbia more than 100 miles from Charleston.

Cowardly always-willing-to-capitulate supporters rushed to join blaming a symbol of Southern heritage–the Confederate battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia. This flag flew under command of Gen. Robert E. Lee, plausibly the most respected and honorable general during the War Between the States.

Rushing to the scene of the crime, politicians and press pundits –with vain hopes of “love” and “reconciliation.”–were anxious to throw the flag under the rusty, old civil rights bus still obstructing the road ahead by racial drivers operating on the fuel of hate.

Some, so anxious to be loved by the unlovable and salve phony feelings of guilt are willing to denounce their own heritage. Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker is one such person “coming together” with the mob clamoring for revenge against the South. This issue is not about a flag. It’s about hatred of Southern white people smoldering for the past 150 years.

Ms. Parker says she’s a South Carolinian. She “had family that fought for the Confederacy” and a “great-great somebody” who fought bravely. Yet, she dishonors them by denouncing the symbol of what they fought against: a military invasion organized to subjugate them to a powerful central government and destroy their economy and homes.

Strangely, Parker admits that for Southerners “the war was about protecting their homes and families from invaders who came to conquer and burn.” Yet, she rationalizes the Northern military atrocities committed against them saying, “reasons for the invasion were noble.” Proper reading of history reveals a tyrannical president; vengeful, violent abolition zealots; and Northern political economic interests fearful of business competition from the South backed by Wall Street financiers–hardly “noble” reasons for war. War was not necessary to solve the problems of slavery.

Parker equates “honoring one’s forebears with the flag” with “hatred” of it by others. Respect and hostility are incompatible; one promotes esteem, the latter animosity. Hundreds of thousands of Southerners (most not slave owners) did not hatefully raise their battle flags. But they died under them with the greatest honor: defending their homes and families from foreign invaders.

Ms. Parker finds the Confederate battle flag “offensive.” She fears seeing it in a pickup truck–”It says, Danger,” she writes. Her fear is irrational. In this case it serves the agenda of those whose purpose is to purge Southern history from American culture.

She believes that “work, commitment–and love” will bring racial reconciliation. Parker lives under an illusion. She may believe that love will bring racial harmony, but if she had written this column to defend a symbol of her heritage, the people she now supports to remove the Confederate flag would be demanding she be fired from her position and sometime in the future they would be spitting on her grave.



About R. E. Smith Jr.

Mr. Smith writes essays and commentary on politics, American history, environment, higher education and culture. He's been published in print media and at blog sites for about 25 years. Smith's formal education includes B.S. and M.S. degrees from the State University of New York and Syracuse University. He has earned a 21-credit hour Certificate in Professional Writing from the University of North Carolina-Wilmington. Training/work experience: NYS Ranger School; U. S. Army, Corp of Engineers; soil scientist and forester with USDA; Assoc. Professor at SUNY; real estate agent; small business owner.
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