Academic Magnet High School - North Charleston, South Carolina.

THE TALON

Supporting the Confederacy is an Act of Racism.

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Following the tragic 2015 A.M.E. Church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina, the Confederate flag was removed from its post on state capitol grounds. State officials decided it was no longer appropriate to fly the flag as it symbolized an era of racism and oppression and gave voice and recognition to a population of people who stood for this hatred. The removal was unfortunately not without controversy. Several misguided members of society argued that the Confederate flag symbolized southern tradition and “their ancestry” and fought vehemently against the ultimate decision to exclude the Confederate flag from a place of honor.
Supporting the Confederacy is an act of racism and the people who argue that it is part of their heritage, legacy, or, the most eye-roll inducing of them all “Southern Tradition,” are racists. Before that statement gets written off as harsh or undeserved, know it was not made without a close look at the facts.
The Confederacy, as I’m sure every some-what educated American citizen knows, was a group of states that broke away from the Union, prompting the start of the Civil War. Among a few other small triggers, the main reason for the breakaway of the South was the fear that the North would abolish slavery, a practice relied on heavily by the South’s economy. The Confederacy and Confederate flag were born out of the desire for slavery to remain in our country. So, by that logic, the Confederacy and any object, saying, or slogan that praises it or honors it is an object, saying, or slogan created condoning the practice of slavery.
Furthermore, to those confused and foolish individuals who say that promoting Confederacy symbols or leaders is part of honoring their heritage and southern tradition, I argue that there are far more admirable and frankly less racist ways to go about doing that. When I picture the South, or just Charleston in general, I picture the beautiful beaches, the history-rich downtown, and the amazing local cuisine, all of these things make up the southern tradition and deserve to be celebrated. These are the parts of southern culture we should be celebrating, not the long-abandoned symbols of our past prejudices. To choose to honor the Confederacy is choosing to give memory to the horrible racism that plagued the south, and continues to plague it to this day.
I understand that history shouldn’t be forgotten, but why can’t we accept our mistakes and learn from them rather than insistently promoting them and insisting we are still right. Still supporting the long dead Confederacy in 2017 is racist and the people who do are racists. Your “traditions” shouldn’t be based off of the oppression of others, and saying “the South should have won” is ultimately saying you believe slavery should still be in practice. I truly hope the masses of people who are too blind to see their erroneous ways wake up and realize they can celebrate their heritage without being racists.

 

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