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HentaiTentacleDemon

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The Confederate Flag
« on: October 12, 2008, 12:25:30 PM »

Doesn't anyone find the Confederate Flag slightly/extremely offensive?


If I saw it in a history book or in a museum, I would really care, but when I see people wear clothes based on that flag, it bothers me a little. I can't help thinking that the person is telling me, "**** the U.S.! The South will rise again!"



Anyone here from the south? Feel free to voice your opinion.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2008, 02:17:19 PM by HentaiTentacleDemon »
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Re: The Confederate Flag
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2008, 12:49:18 PM »

What you're saying is pretty much equivalent to...
Say, white people wearing Japanese flag garb things. Cos even though we had Pearl Harbor, I'm pretty sure they aren't advocating that they supported Pearl Harbor and want it to happen again.

Unless the people who are wearing a garb-designed with a flag are blatantly shoving what they want and their beliefs down someone else's throat, I have no problem with it.
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Re: The Confederate Flag
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2008, 12:59:03 PM »

Well, the Japan Flag was around WAY before the Pearl Harbor attack and to my knowledge, neither the U.S. or Japan are at each other's throats anymore.

The Confederate Flag, however, was specifically created because the Southerns States were breaking away from the Union.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2008, 02:14:47 PM by HentaiTentacleDemon »
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Re: The Confederate Flag
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2008, 12:57:20 PM »

I live in a South loving hick town where about 90% of the population has a Confederate Flag and it annoys me to a certain extent. I know some people have an objection to it because they view it as a symbol of oppression and slavery. Similarly to how the Swastika is viewed as a hate symbol. 
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Re: The Confederate Flag
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2008, 01:41:31 PM »

I guess you really have to look at the context of the situation.

I've known people to have bumper stickers and such, but to really annoy/offend me? Nah.
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Re: The Confederate Flag
« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2008, 08:58:57 AM »

What you're saying is pretty much equivalent to...
Say, white people wearing Japanese flag garb things. Cos even though we had Pearl Harbor, I'm pretty sure they aren't advocating that they supported Pearl Harbor and want it to happen again.

Completely and utterly UNequivocal.

You like wikipedia. Have at.

It's racist and supremest.

The South lost. Good game.
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Re: The Confederate Flag
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2008, 02:18:29 PM »

the Flag is a symbol. Technically symbols, as long as there are people who support the ideals that are symbolized by said symbol it can be both offensive and unoffensive to groups of people.
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Re: The Confederate Flag
« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2008, 10:09:48 PM »

the Flag is a symbol. Technically symbols, as long as there are people who support the ideals that are symbolized by said symbol it can be both offensive and unoffensive to groups of people.
This was my point, and yes, unequivocal in terms of what did happen and how long ago it happened, but then again, so is any flag or any historical event, really. Flags were created to mark territories, proclaim who people are, mainly races. And who isn't to say that flags aren't supremest?
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Re: The Confederate Flag
« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2008, 11:20:23 PM »

the Flag is a symbol. Technically symbols, as long as there are people who support the ideals that are symbolized by said symbol it can be both offensive and unoffensive to groups of people.
This was my point, and yes, unequivocal in terms of what did happen and how long ago it happened, but then again, so is any flag or any historical event, really. Flags were created to mark territories, proclaim who people are, mainly races. And who isn't to say that flags aren't supremest?

As much as the Red, White and Blue depict the freedom of the colonies from the English, it has evolved to represent freedom and beliefs of today and all Americans (indigenous, X generation, and new immigrants) today. On the other hand the confederate flag still represents those states that felt they needed to succeed from the union for many reasons including the continuation of slavery. That flag can even be interpreted to be the most unpatriotic symbol of all and to signify the desire of the bearer to separate themselves from the country that is the United States.
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Re: The Confederate Flag
« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2008, 08:01:15 PM »

I don't know if people wearing the Confederate flag all necessarily care or think much about the ideals of the Confederacy itself.  They probably just have some vague sense that it stands for "Southern Pride" and a "good ol' boy" sense of reckless individualism, and it's aesthetically a rather nice-looking pattern overall.  It's like wearing black leather just because it's somewhat edgy and cool.  Uptight parental types will be all offended by that evil rebellious black leather, but the kids they hang out with probably just think it's neat.  It's probably just their version of a nose piercing or tattoo.  For all I know, maybe nose piercings and tattoos had some deep dark origin once upon a time, but people getting them don't care or even know about it.  Symbols mean different things to different people, and symbols can be reclaimed.  The Civil War was a very long time ago, and my first thought when I see the Confederate flag is of the General Lee from the Dukes of Hazzard.  I would guess most of the people wearing the Confederate flag have more TV/movie-watching experience and less education than I do, so I would expect them to think more of the TV use rather than the Civil War use as well.  Not all who offend mean to make offense.
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Re: The Confederate Flag
« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2008, 09:09:35 PM »

Ignorance is not a claim to innocence. We should be obligated to educate those that are ignorant. If I go around yelling fuck this and fuck that but merely claim that I heard it on TV or from a celebrity, does it make it OK for me to say it?

Try this: the next step after offending somebody is oppressing somebody. If you don't care about what a person thinks why even go as far as to care about somebody at all? Why not take away their right to marry? their right to vote? their right to freedom? their right to live? It may be a bit extreme, but there are those out there that are not sensitive to their actions and the impacts of their actions.
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Re: The Confederate Flag
« Reply #11 on: November 23, 2008, 09:40:39 PM »

I don't have time atm to type out my reasoning, but I'd ask:

Isn't the American flag made up for the purpose of trying to break free from British power? I doubt they would find the American flag offending in their country. Sure, their ideals were... different than what the Confederate flag was idealistic of, but it's the same idea. :0
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Re: The Confederate Flag
« Reply #12 on: November 23, 2008, 10:13:51 PM »

The American flag represented independence of the colonies. It also represents the rejection of the crown and British. In addition to the country, it now represents the ideals of this country and its accomplishment, and even the failures of this country.

The Confederate flag, beyond succession, STILL represents, maybe not to the bearer, but still to many the racism that it represented.

Its like the hood of the KKK. Its also like saying that gays should not marry cuz its not gonna affect me and it will make my marriage worth less. Its like saying women should not vote because they are inferior, created from the rib bone of a man.
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Re: The Confederate Flag
« Reply #13 on: November 23, 2008, 11:45:40 PM »

Ignorance is not a claim to innocence. We should be obligated to educate those that are ignorant. If I go around yelling fuck this and fuck that but merely claim that I heard it on TV or from a celebrity, does it make it OK for me to say it?
I'm forced to observe that you're throwing the word around yourself.  Frankly, from my point of view, it's just a word, and I like to think we still have certain limited freedoms of speech.  I do not have a problem with people throwing the word around.  It's OK for you to say it because you have the right to say it.  If people are offended by it, I think it's their personal problem.  Some people are offended by seeing two adults of the same gender holding hands.  Others are offended by women who don't cover their ankles and faces.  Still others are offended by seeing fat people.  Does it make it wrong for two adults of the same gender to hold hands, for women to not wear face masks and cover their ankles, and for fat people to walk around in public?

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Try this: the next step after offending somebody is oppressing somebody. If you don't care about what a person thinks why even go as far as to care about somebody at all? Why not take away their right to marry?
Because we really, honestly don't care.  It takes effort and energy to oppress people, so why bother expending the effort if we just don't care?  Some number of No-on-8 people just don't care about gays at all.  We honestly can't be bothered to care whether they get married or have sex with each other or whatever.  The problem with Prop 8 is that, no matter how anybody feels about the gays, it puts sexism into the state constitution.  I really don't care about gays in the least, so giving the government more power to deal with people I don't care about at all seems very stupid to me.  In my opinion, the people who voted Yes on 8 are the ones who did care a lot the gays and that they're getting married.  They cared so much that they're willing to give the government more power -- and more of my freedoms -- to prevent gays from getting married.  People who don't care just don't vote, or they vote "no" on everything they don't care about by default because creating laws and giving the government more power or taxes of whatever form for "benefits" we don't care about is downright stupid.  The people who didn't care didn't pass Prop 8.  It takes some amount of caring to through the effort of voting.

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their right to freedom? their right to live? It may be a bit extreme, but there are those out there that are not sensitive to their actions and the impacts of their actions.
People who are too sensitive do plenty of damage too, holding Crusades and Inquisitions to save people's souls, and committing atrocities because they care too much.  People didn't seem to care terribly much when the Japanese first came over to work on Californian farms.  As more came over, they started caring a bit more, and so they started passing anti-Asian laws.  Then, Pearl Harbor happened, and suddenly, everybody cared about the Japanese immigrants very much, so they sent them to internment camps.

There's a very fine line between love and hate/fear.  Indifference, however, is at the opposite end of the spectrum.  The indifferent people aren't going to be helping to save any minorities, but if they're truly indifferent, they're not oppressing any minorities either.  If someone can't tell the difference between Caucasian, African, Hispanic, Asian, Native, etc., then they're just not capable of racial discrimination.

Also, the original topic was about people being offended by just seeing someone with the symbol.  Do people bother to walk up and check people wearing such symbols if they know what it means and try to educate the ignorant if they don't?  Maybe they'll find it's an innocent / ignorant mistake.  If you don't make sure they understand why it's offensive, then you're guilty for leaving them in the dark, and you may very well be hating them merely for not knowing what you're not telling them.  Worse, if they're truly ignorant rather than evil at the time, then you've missed out on a chance to inoculate people against evil.  Uneducated and ignorant people are more likely to listen to evil when it comes along.  When people don't understand, they fall easy prey to evil whisperings that fill in the blank spaces for them and incite their fears of the unknown.

So, it's not productive to be offended just by seeing the symbol.  They're probably not doing it for evil reasons.  See it as an opportunity to explain why it's bad.  If they turn out to be evil, then you have every right to hate them.

My parents were part of a group of friends that traded off babysitting duties when I was a small child, so I saw a bunch of parenting styles.  Of course, we had some obnoxious boys in the group who used bad words.  A few parents tried to prevent from using bad words by just telling them to stop saying it.  They didn't give any explanation as to why.  The boys' first reaction was to repeat the word over and over again right after the parents were out of earshot.  They seemed very titillated by the word just because it was "bad" and forbidden.  One day, my dad overheard.  He just laughed at them and said, "Do you even know what that means?"  He pulled out a medical anthology that showed quite graphically what diseases did to the body parts of boys who fornicated too much.  We girls got a huge laugh out of it.  The boys lost their fascination with the word.

In general, people seem to be far more titillated by things that are "bad" and "forbidden" when they don't understand why.  I think the Confederate flag falls under the same thing.  There are two fixes: put it everywhere and have it become so common that it loses the "bad" and "forbidden" sense.  I think that's what happened to the "F word".  People have been saying it so much everywhere that very few people can bother to still be offended by it after a certain age because we just hear it all the time.  The other fix is to educate people and have them understand why it's bad in such a way that they no longer find it titillating.

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Its also like saying that gays should not marry cuz its not gonna affect me
That's quite a stretch.  If it doesn't affect me, then why should I bother to vote about it?

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and it will make my marriage worth less.
Well, that is the effect of nobody educating these people before the Mormon church ads came and brainwashed them onto their side.  Humans are simple creatures, and whoever gets to the person first tends to win their opinion.  That's why there's so much marketing trying to reach children; advertisers want to get to them before their competition.

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Its like saying women should not vote because they are inferior, created from the rib bone of a man.
That's too big of a leap or me, and I don't understand how that's related.  Those people are very "informed" and care greatly about the issue, but their "information" and "education" came from the "evil" party.  If they were raised by a different group of people, they would've been educated differently.  Getting past it depends on how deeply their "education" was embedded and if they had any other more-deeply-embedded "education" that can be used to "re-educate" them.

For example, what's happening to a lot of more-intelligent Christians is that they're educated in math and logic and science and Christianity all at the same time.  The logic / math / science are each as deeply embedded as Christianity, so using a combination of the three can convince them that there's something wrong with Christian assumptions, so if people mix logic / math / science in just the right way, they'll end up modifying the bits of Christianity that don't mesh (occasionally creating new, creative forms of Christianity such as Intelligent Design).

Ignorance can be often fixed with education.  Hatred and taking offense at ignorance is simply counterproductive.  If you see a vacuum and don't fill it, can you blame the vacuum for existing?  Evil, however, is just evil.  It's fine to be offended by evil if you're sure it's evil.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2008, 12:18:16 AM by Nyxyin »
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Re: The Confederate Flag
« Reply #14 on: November 24, 2008, 12:17:43 AM »

See, bigotry happens when they see themselves as better than another human being. Not that I don't do it but I think there are better ways than scolding or arguing with others about why they wrong. I share myself and my culture such that I am not just another guy, chink, colored, foreigner, or any other epithet, and thus just that much more personal or human than they thought I was when they first met me. Makes it harder for them to discriminate, not just against me, but everyone else that looks, thinks, acts, and maybe even smells like me.

Everyone does their part to make the world a better place...unfortunately for us, our concept of that better world may not match others. But in the end, its better than not trying at all.
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Re: The Confederate Flag
« Reply #15 on: November 24, 2008, 01:37:17 AM »

See, bigotry happens when they see themselves as better than another human being.
Partly true.  Bigotry happens when people care to even compare themselves to another human being.  They're judging others by a standard that they care about and have applied to themselves, even if the judging might not be appropriate.  "Evil" was mostly a convenient term.  I guess I could've quoted it earlier.  "Evil" is everything that goes against a person's standards and deeply held beliefs.  As long as people hold beliefs and care enough about others to incorporate them into the same world as their beliefs, there will be "evil", and there will be hate.  It just can't be helped because humans exist in balance.  However, by hating ignorance, assuming "evil" where there is merely ignorance, or even hating and avoiding ignorance itself, they're just missing the opportunity to advance their deeply held beliefs and what they consider to be "good".

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Not that I don't do it but I think there are better ways than scolding or arguing with others about why they wrong.
Being "wrong" is different from being "uninformed".  I don't think of teachers as scolding people when they're correcting them.  If a child runs around saying "2+2=5!", and the teacher said, "No, 2+2 is actually 4", is that scolding?  Many children who honestly don't know any better will happily run around saying "2+2=4!" instead.  If the child had previously been convinced that 2+2=5 to the point they cared about this 2+2=5 idea as being "right", then they'd be confused and upset.

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I share myself and my culture such that I am not just another guy, chink, colored, foreigner, or any other epithet, and thus just that much more personal or human than they thought I was when they first met me. Makes it harder for them to discriminate, not just against me, but everyone else that looks, thinks, acts, and maybe even smells like me.
I don't understand how the Confederate flag wearers aren't just sharing themselves and their culture.  The Confederacy represented a different culture.  They had a different accent.  They had different manners, attitudes, and lifestyles, a breadbasket society in the face of emerging industrialization.  The Confederacy did have other issues beyond slavery.  One of their biggest issues was "no taxation without representation".  The reason they wanted to leave the union was because they felt they were getting unfairly taxed.  Another issue was states rights.  The very existence of the Confederacy may have contributed to gays being able to get married in Massachusetts and now Connecticut -- and even briefly in California -- even though the Defense of Marriage Act has been preventing other states and the federal government to recognize such marriages since 1996.  The idea that a bunch of gays in California can go against what voters had put into the federal legal system would fit right in with the Confederacy's insistence on state rights even though they did not constitute a majority in the federal government.

Just because winners rewrote the history to say it's all about slavery and a few people get offended by it doesn't mean that the Confederacy was about nothing other than evil slavery.  It's like saying that the Jewish star and the Christian cross are fundamentally offensive and should never be used because they stand for religious persecution (the Jews squashed plenty of Christians when Christianity first got started, and the Christians went on Crusades and Inquisitions).  Sure, some Christian still hate Jews for the persecution, and some ex-Christians still hate Christians for the excommunication, and some Asians still hate the Japanese for their imperialism during World War II, but the persecution and imperialism isn't all that the star, cross, and rising sun stood for.  Same with the Confederate flag.  The Christians might be very sorry for their inquisition, but they insist on keeping the cross for everything else it represented.  The Confederate flag bearers might be very sorry about the slavery thing, but they might cling to that flag because it does represent state rights, no taxation without representation, and a general resilient attitude that won't be trodden.

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Everyone does their part to make the world a better place...unfortunately for us, our concept of that better world may not match others. But in the end, its better than not trying at all.
Completely agreed.  Trying is great.  I fully support trying.  Assuming offense where none is intended, however, is just a pointless waste of emotion.
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Nyxyin

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Re: The Confederate Flag
« Reply #16 on: November 24, 2008, 02:26:46 AM »

What you're saying is pretty much equivalent to...
Say, white people wearing Japanese flag garb things. Cos even though we had Pearl Harbor, I'm pretty sure they aren't advocating that they supported Pearl Harbor and want it to happen again.
Completely and utterly UNequivocal.
It's racist and supremest.
The South lost. Good game.
And yet, anime fans (even ones descended from previously conquered Asians) will shamelessly wear the Rising Sun.  The Hinomaru (without the rays) pre-dated Japanese Imperialism.  However, the Rising Sun (Kyokujitsu-ki) was created for the Imperial Japanese Navy and, well, go see what the link thinks.  Japan was allowed to reclaim the Rising Sun for their defense forces only seven years after they lost World War II.  We let them reclaim an imperialist flag for their "maritime self-defense force" a mere seven years after Asia was freed from it.  What if we let the German government use the swastika for their army in 1954?  Well, that's what we let the Japanese do with the Rising Sun.  The Japanese Imperial Navy lost too.  I'm sure none of the anime fans who wear the Rising Sun on head bands and T-shirts -- nor the people who let Japan reclaim their rising sun flag in 1954 -- want Japan to subjugate Asia again either.  So, why would we assume that people using the Confederate flag still stand for slavery?

I would also like to point out that the swastika "is an ancient symbol that has been used for over 3,000 years", long before Nazi Germany.  'The word "swastika" comes from the Sanskrit svastika - "su" meaning "good," "asti" meaning "to be," and "ka" as a suffix.  Until the Nazis used this symbol, the swastika was used by many cultures throughout the past 3,000 years to represent life, sun, power, strength, and good luck.'  Luckily for them, most seemed to have used the original swastika in both orientations (because if they make a bronze necklace out of it, for example, both orientations exist in the one object), so after Nazi Germany, several just dropped the Nazi orientation.  Still, at least one site claims that, at one point, "the swastika was the only form of cross used by the Christians".  Maybe it's partly why the anti-Jew Germans picked it in the first place.

http://altreligion.about.com/library/texts/bl_2ancientpagan19.htm
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Re: The Confederate Flag
« Reply #17 on: November 24, 2008, 08:34:36 AM »

Symbols represent everything they represent. The impact of such symbols, even if unintended have a profound effect on those around it.

Our college senate choose not to recite the pledge of allegiance in the before senate meetings because of feelings it may inspire to those contributing to the discussions. That flag and pledge may inspire notions of freedom and revolution in some but oppression and unrestrained powers in others. The argument was simply that they could not say the pledge or just leave the room. But the mere affect of the pledge on people both stifles free exchanges of ideas and even their rights.

One of the reasons why trafficked immigrants don't approach law enforcement is because the uniform signified a corrupt official that had a part in their trafficking. The mere psychological effect of the symbol can be tremendous. The American flag during McCarthyism contributed to suicides because of the harassment that came from the government. Yes you are free to use symbols, but you are also socially obligated to be cognizant of the effect of it on those around you. Unfortunately, as much you can see the confederate flag as representing many things, it still will signify one of the darkest and most racist times of America. The moment we forget that, we may move on to oppressing, subjugating, abusing, interning, or enslaving the next group of people. The next group who may include you or someone you love.
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Re: The Confederate Flag
« Reply #18 on: November 24, 2008, 02:39:29 PM »

Symbols represent everything they represent.
Are people celebrating the mass destruction of the Native American tribes this coming weekend?  Thanksgiving is a symbol of taking advantage of and then destroying the hand that fed us, of irony, hypocrisy, and just how worthless gratitude can become.  Yet, people insist on keeping the good parts of the holiday without taking the bad.  A lot of holidays take and remember only the good parts of a whole lot of symbols.  Not everybody who uses a lamb during Easter wants the Angel of Death to kill all the firstborn sons of their enemies, nor do the people who use Easter rabbits and hunt Easter eggs worship fertility or pagan deities.

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The American flag during McCarthyism contributed to suicides because of the harassment that came from the government.
And Americans who are still traumatized by the American flag today because of it would probably be looked at funny.

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Yes you are free to use symbols, but you are also socially obligated to be cognizant of the effect of it on those around you.
That also goes both ways.  If people are obligated to be cognizant of the negative effects and connotations, they should also be obligated to be cognizant of the positive effects and connotations.

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Unfortunately, as much you can see the confederate flag as representing many things, it still will signify one of the darkest and most racist times of America.
It's not like slavery existed only during the Civil War.  There were slaves before, and there were a lot of racist events after.  I think what we did to the natives was pretty dark and racist too.  It's just that not enough of them survived to make as big a deal out of it.

Symbol reclamation happens, it can be used as a powerful tool for healing, and it starts somewhere.  Words become reclaimed all the time.  The gays seem particularly good at doing it.  For example, they even reclaimed the pink triangle as a symbol of pride, not to mention many words.  The Hindus in Europe want to reclaim the swastika, but they're not being allowed: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article414027.ece  I think it might help people get over the Holocaust if the swastika went back to meaning good luck and welfare instead of hate.

I think it's more likely that symbol re-use represents an effect rather than a cause.  Maybe, subconsciously, I find symbol reclamation to be encouraging because it represents human resilience.

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The moment we forget that, we may move on to oppressing, subjugating, abusing, interning, or enslaving the next group of people. The next group who may include you or someone you love.
That is one possibility.  However, most things work both ways.  Remembering the oppression, subjugation, abuse, enslavement, etc., may also lead to copycats on one side and vengeful people on the other.  It takes most people far more effort to come up with a new idea than to copy or react emotionally to an old one.  And, even understanding what people thought about the Nazi party doesn't prevent Neo-Nazi groups from existing.  Would such people have been capable of coming up with Nazi ideals all by themselves if they didn't have something to copy it from?  I think it helps the "good" side to destroy the original power of "evil" symbols by diluting them so much that they no longer carry any sting or by redirecting the power of "evil" symbols backwards on themselves.  I also think it's a very natural thing for Americans to do.  Yankee Doodle Dandy.

As far as history, humans are very inconsistent creatures, and whether humans are remembering or forgetting, humans are still going to find ways to keep making the same mistakes.  Being reminded of discrimination against minorities didn't prevent many of those very minorities from voting yes on Prop 8.  Whether a symbol is reclaimed or not merely depends on sheer luck, and sheer luck also determines whether the reclaimed symbol will affect history in the same way the original one did, swing things the other way, or cancel out the original altogether.
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PyronIkari

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Re: The Confederate Flag
« Reply #19 on: November 25, 2008, 12:04:59 AM »

Are people celebrating the mass destruction of the Native American tribes this coming weekend?  Thanksgiving is a symbol of taking advantage of and then destroying the hand that fed us, of irony, hypocrisy, and just how worthless gratitude can become.  Yet, people insist on keeping the good parts of the holiday without taking the bad.  A lot of holidays take and remember only the good parts of a whole lot of symbols.  Not everybody who uses a lamb during Easter wants the Angel of Death to kill all the firstborn sons of their enemies, nor do the people who use Easter rabbits and hunt Easter eggs worship fertility or pagan deities.
This is fun... should I bring up marriage? Or do I not wanna touch that bomb?

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That also goes both ways.  If people are obligated to be cognizant of the negative effects and connotations, they should also be obligated to be cognizant of the positive effects and connotations.
This goes every way though.

Should I be able to use the swastika in that respect?

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It's not like slavery existed only during the Civil War.  There were slaves before, and there were a lot of racist events after.  I think what we did to the natives was pretty dark and racist too.  It's just that not enough of them survived to make as big a deal out of it.

Symbol reclamation happens, it can be used as a powerful tool for healing, and it starts somewhere.  Words become reclaimed all the time.  The gays seem particularly good at doing it.  For example, they even reclaimed the pink triangle as a symbol of pride, not to mention many words.  The Hindus in Europe want to reclaim the swastika, but they're not being allowed: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article414027.ece  I think it might help people get over the Holocaust if the swastika went back to meaning good luck and welfare instead of hate.
It's representative of more than slavery. It was about the country fighting amongst themselves. It was about a united land killing each other for a difference. Ah ha... so there we go, the swastika discussion. It wouldn't help people get over it at all, because it's a constant reminder about how millions were killed. It's a reminder that a pure and symbol for peace can be used to justify murder and death.

The flag is a representation of REBELLION. The flag is disagreeing with history, and stating that "I don't think that we should have freed the slaved". "I am against the current government". "I hate the fact that the north won". They despise the growth and expansion that happened in the US, and they show this through the flag. That is what the flag represents. Pride is fine, but when pride represents all those things...

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I think it's more likely that symbol re-use represents an effect rather than a cause.  Maybe, subconsciously, I find symbol reclamation to be encouraging because it represents human resilience.
It matters what the symbol really means. The thing with the whole thanksgiving thing... it doesn't represent the killing and murdering of Native Americans. That was an after result, and had nothing to do with Thanksgiving itself. It's just an ironic aftermath. *YOU* are putting those meanings into the symbol, those are meanings that were not actually represented within it.

The swastika debate however, wasn't an aftermath irony. Hitler PURPOSELY chose the swastika. He wanted the symbol to represent his army and what it stood for.

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That is one possibility.  However, most things work both ways.  Remembering the oppression, subjugation, abuse, enslavement, etc., may also lead to copycats on one side and vengeful people on the other.  It takes most people far more effort to come up with a new idea than to copy or react emotionally to an old one.  And, even understanding what people thought about the Nazi party doesn't prevent Neo-Nazi groups from existing.  Would such people have been capable of coming up with Nazi ideals all by themselves if they didn't have something to copy it from?  I think it helps the "good" side to destroy the original power of "evil" symbols by diluting them so much that they no longer carry any sting or by redirecting the power of "evil" symbols backwards on themselves.  I also think it's a very natural thing for Americans to do.  Yankee Doodle Dandy.
I don't even get what this is saying. From what I get to it... you're arguing against your own point.

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As far as history, humans are very inconsistent creatures, and whether humans are remembering or forgetting, humans are still going to find ways to keep making the same mistakes.  Being reminded of discrimination against minorities didn't prevent many of those very minorities from voting yes on Prop 8.  Whether a symbol is reclaimed or not merely depends on sheer luck, and sheer luck also determines whether the reclaimed symbol will affect history in the same way the original one did, swing things the other way, or cancel out the original altogether.
There you go again with "luck". Stating it almost the same as "unpredictable random events". You miss a huge point.

People see symbols how they want to see it. You can "reclaim" anything.

"Porch monkeys... I'm taking it back."

It doesn't change that it will still be a racist term. It doesn't change that it will offend millions. Or... let's go to my favorite overlooked example.






Jap. A term used all the time by anime fans. A term used all the time by people who state they LOVE JAPANESE CULTURE. It's kinda funny though how many people will argue against someone for stating that the term is a racist term and is a reminder of the horrors that many Japanese Americans went through during WWII and post WWII.

The word is an abbreviation of the word Japanese in the eyes of millions... but in the eyes of millions of others, it's a hateful word that is no different than the word nigger, or wetback. You can take it back, and hell you can even make it fully acceptable to say, but to those that were there for WWII, and to many of their children, they will never accept it.

Are you saying that these people would help get over it, if Jap was okay to say to people?

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