Before someone accuses me of being pro slavery, I point you to my previous post supporting reparations for descendants of slaves. Personally, if I were a descendant of a slave (which I am, just much farther back) or a Holocaust survivor (which I am not) I wouldn’t accept any reparations. But I support those who wish to claim them from whoever they can prove owe them.
Before I get into the whole argument over the flag, the basic point is the confederate flag stands for things other than slavery, which it does stand for, for some. Not for me. For me, and for others, it stands for secession and independence, which I support. I do not own a Confederate flag and have no intention to buy one. It reminds me of slavery even though I do not see that as its central message, so it makes me obviously uncomfortable to see it.
There were many confederate soldiers who were fighting for their freedom from Lincoln’s tyranny who did not support slavery. Not the least of which many of the Jewish confederates. Some Jews did support slavery. That is horrible. Others didn’t. Both fought Lincoln’s invading army. Conclusion being anyone should be allowed to wave a flag. If politicians want to pass a law forbidding the flag from being waved from tax-funded buildings, or their own homes, fine. I support that. Politicians can ban anything they want for themselves. But not for other people.
So, to begin.
Something funny happened last night. I was out to dinner in Tel Aviv with Moshe Feiglin and the rest of the Beth David staff (new company I’m working with on a gold initiative) and someone asked me if I heard about the whole thing with the Confederate flag. Truth is, I had only vaguely heard some controversy around the flag lately, but had no idea where it was coming from so suddenly. I don’t pay attention to silly controversies about pieces of cloth.
He told me that it was because of the Charleston shooting. Amazingly, I hadn’t heard much about that either. I knew there was a shooting and people were killed. I didn’t even know it was a black church, or that the sick murderer that did it was a fan of the Confederate flag. That’s how under a rock I am in my own world. I ignore the main stream media as best I can. I don’t visit Israel news websites because I don’t care whats going on in politics and I don’t want to know. Unless there’s a war and I need to know safety information, I don’t touch main stream media.
Every time something horrible like this happens, like a shooting of innocent people by a crazed murderer, there is a kneejerk reaction to direct it into some fruitless symbolic act of vengeance, in this case passing a law to ban a bunch of flags. That’s not so bad. Worse would be to itch for more gun control. That’s like passing a law forbidding shooting up black churches, and mandating a very very very death penalty for it.
I don’t want to turn this post into a gun control debate. I’ll only say that the highest murder rates in the country are in the cities with the toughest gun control laws. (I’m talking to you, Chicago.) And that practically everyone in my city is armed, many carry openly, and nobody shoots each other. And there are no gun accidents.
Here are the stupid things to do when a crime like this occurs:
1) Call for more money for better government education against shooting innocent people in churches
2) Call for a ban on guns
3) Call for a ban on a flag
4) Call for a ban on the brand of underwear the shooter was wearing at the time of the crime
If you’re going to tell me that the flag represents hate and underwear is underwear, I say that hateful people that would murder are not going to be swayed by a flag anymore than by their own underwear. If you take the flag away from these people, they will not suddenly become good people. They will buy the flag on the black market. The Confederate flag is not somehow infecting good people to turn them into murderers.
Here are some legitimate ways to expend energy, but which will accomplish nothing in the end:
1) Conduct a rally, invite Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, and let everyone express how against the murder of innocents everyone is. I understand these rallies. They are legitimate. I may even be tempted to attend one. They are simply large funeral processions, sadly. Potential future murderers don’t attend these things. Those that would, will never murder anyway. People can vent and go home.
2) Write open letters to the community addressing the victims, about how against murder we all are, and that we won’t tolerate murder. Letters are nice. They are necessary to a point. I understand why they are sent. I fully support these letters. They will still accomplish nothing long term. That is the truth.
3) Pen articles expressing how wrong it is to kill innocent people and how murder will not be tolerated. We all know this. I support these articles because sometimes they help in calming emotion. But there are evil people in the world and they don’t care about articles. The good people already know not to kill innocent people.
Here are some constructive things to do to prevent this from happening again:
1) Pass a law allowing people to arm themselves openly, even in churches.
2) Get rid of all taxes whatsoever on places of worship and their employees so they can afford to hire private security. Full, 100% tax and regulatory exemption. No sales tax on anything they buy, at all. No property taxes. Nothing. Total 100% tax haven. No forms to fill out, no bureaucrats interfering with ANYTHING. ZERO. I’m the treasurer of a shul. I know the crap you have to go through to stay legal. Get rid of it all. Will people use this as a front to escape taxes? Yes. Good. The more the merrier.
3) Get rid of all State welfare and drug laws. Much of the hate against blacks by murderers stems from these two things. They have also destroyed the black family unit. If no one – black or white – gets any welfare from taxpayers, and there is less crime stemming from drug laws, there is much less resentment in society. This has a much better chance of stopping the next murder spree than banning a flag.
It is impossible to say how one would have behaved or thought had he lived in a different century. But, knowing what I know now, had I lived in the 1860’s in the South, I would have taken up arms as a Confederate soldier to defend against Lincoln. I would also have been a vocal opponent of slavery, and possibly even an operative of the Underground Railroad, had I had the courage. Had I lived in the North I would have protested the invasion of the South, dodged the draft if I could, and deserted or mutinied if they dragged me into battle to murder Southern secessionists.
I’m not going to go into why the War Between the States had (almost) nothing to do with slavery. It was a war over tariffs and taxes. Lincoln was a white supremacist who said clearly, on many occasions, that he supported slavery. He voted for the Fugitive Slave Act, forcing runaway slaves back to their cruel masters. He did not free the slaves he could have freed. He only passed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, in the middle of the war, while losing the war, and looking for any way to increase support for himself. He was an evil man to the core.
Almost everyone in the North were white supremacists as well. Almost everyone hated blacks back then. Not just in the South. There is no way that Lincoln would have been able to mobilize hundreds of thousands of white racists to risk their lives fighting and dying for the freedom of black slaves. The “Civil War” was about taxes. And State glory. If it were only about slavery, Lincoln could have easily negotiated a deal to buy out all the slaves without killing a single person. It was not about slavery. It was about “saving the Union”. In other words, control.
If you want to read more about this, take a look at The Real Lincoln, and Lincoln Unmasked. Find them on Amazon.