The Rebel Flag Is Not the Real Issue

If you know me, or have read many of my posts, you’re aware that I’m not a fan of the politically correct herd mentality overtaking the United States. Sadly, all too many of us have learned to close our ears to hear only what we want to hear and our eyes to see only what we want to see.

The truth is that racism still exists in our “civilized” society, and the pain of its impact is far reaching. Undoubtedly, the Confederate flag has no racist connotations for many of its supporters, but I would venture to say the vast majority of blacks find it a painful reminder of a problem that never seems to die. In this regard, I feel their pain and believe that it’s disrespectful to fly the rebel flag over a state capitol building.

I don’t run with the herd of public opinion for very long, however, because by “racism,” I’m not merely referring to the way that some whites look down on blacks. Plenty of evidence can be uncovered to show that racist attitudes run back and forth between various people groups. It seems to me that racism swims like a monster in a continuous undercurrent, only to rear its ugly head when one race manages to wrestle the coveted “wand of power” from another.

In spite of racism being ubiquitous, it’s not the only “ism” that mars our relationships. Ethnocentrism, classism, and sexism are all equally damaging. And again, they find their ugly expressions as one particular group in power oppresses another.

The Confederate flag may be viewed by some as a symbol of racism, but it is not the real problem. Humans, we must admit, are beset by an innate desire to lift themselves above one another. An ism here, an ism there, an ism everywhere.

Taking down the rebel flag may indeed be a good idea, but we’d be foolish to believe that it’s going to solve our ism problem. Until we are willing to honestly confront the prideful tendencies of the human heart, there will always be an ism. And as long as any particular group establishes a stranglehold on power, others will in turn be oppressed.

Is there any hope for the human race? Absolutely. But the solution is anything but politically correct.


“Confederate Rebel Flag” by William Porcher Miles (1822-1899)(Vector graphics image by Crotalus horridus)This vector image was created with Inkscape. – SVG adapted from this image. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons –


2 Responses

  1. S.K. Williams

    I have to applaud this more level headed Article. It addresses a point most seem to ignore, that Racism won’t die off just because one removes the Confederate Flag. I don’t even think it matters. Its a symbol, and means whatever we decide it means. The Real problem is us.

  2. Bob

    It seems we very much agree. However, it’s much easier to cast blame. I can’t help but wonder how much better our world would be if we could only be honest with ourselves. Thank you for the insightful comment!