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Call it legal but offensive driving
Commercial Appeal ^ | February 5, 2004 | Wendi C. Thomas

Posted on 02/06/2004 6:08:51 PM PST by stainlessbanner

Call it legal but offensive driving

By Wendi C. Thomas

February 5, 2004

pictureThe Sons of Confederate Veterans is the latest group in Tennessee to get a specialty license plate, one that includes the Confederate flag logo.

The license plates remind me of a T-shirt I had in college that said: "It's a Black Thing, You Wouldn't Understand."

It was an accouterment of my militant phase, when I taped a poster of Malcolm X to my dorm room wall, when I badgered the university in a futile attempt to get it to divest from South Africa, when my friends laughingly dubbed me "Wendela."

My mom wasn't too fond of the "It's a Black Thing" shirt. She worried that others, mainly white people, would see the shirt and think I was a racist.

Any assumption would be unfair, I argued. Clearly, I'm much more than a pithy saying on a piece of cotton, and I had no time for those who would reduce me to a slogan.

I dismissed the conversation as yet another piece of evidence in the case of Wise Young Wendi vs. Woefully Out-of-Touch Mom.

After my indignation faded, as it usually did, I was left with a question.

Was this shirt and its message so important to me that I was willing to risk being labeled, at the least, indifferent to the feelings of white people, and, at worst, a racist?

I decided that no, it wasn't that important. And I got rid of the shirt. I knew it probably would make many white people uncomfortable. And while the comfort of white people wasn't and still isn't my chief concern, it could stifle any honest conversations about race between my classmates and me.

Any reaction my T-shirt provoked is tame compared with the visceral gut-punch many have at the sight of the Confederate flag.

So I have a question for the Sons of Confederate Veterans and others who will spend an extra $35 on these Confederate-flag emblazoned plates.

Is this flag so important to you that you'll risk being seen as, at the least, incredibly insensitive to black people, and, at the worst, a racist?

In the flag's defense, the SCV's Tennessee Division commander Skip Earle of Franklin told The Associated Press, "We have really changed people's minds on what people think the flag stands for."

No, commander, you haven't. When I - and most people - see the flag, it reminds them of a time when people who looked like the Sons of Confederate Veterans could own people who looked like me.

Worse, the flag has been co-opted by white supremacy groups, while those who claim the flag is merely an emblem of a fight for states' rights look away, their hands stuck in the pockets of their Wranglers.

I believe the SCV has a right to these plates, just as I had a right to wear my T-shirt.

And I have to believe that those who hold this emblem so dear are aware of the risks - the chance that others will see them, see the flag, and wonder if they're a white supremacist or a prejudiced wacko.

And that's a risk they're more than willing to take.

Contact Wendi C. Thomas at (901) 529-5896 or send an e-mail.

TOPICS: Editorial
KEYWORDS: confederate; dixie; license; scv; tag; tn
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1 posted on 02/06/2004 6:08:52 PM PST by stainlessbanner
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To: stainlessbanner
Worse, the flag has been co-opted by white supremacy groups

Yea, and the hatchet has been co-opted by lesbians, but that doesn't prevent me from keeping one to chop roots in my flower garden.

Get a life....AND an education.

2 posted on 02/06/2004 6:15:59 PM PST by PistolPaknMama (pro gun Mother's Day 2004!
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To: stainlessbanner
Why do these people yearn for a time when "insensitivity" will be against the law?
3 posted on 02/06/2004 6:17:06 PM PST by tet68
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To: stainlessbanner
How 'bout we call it something else like, "Kiss My Rebel Butt"?
4 posted on 02/06/2004 6:17:39 PM PST by TomServo ("Why does the most evil man in the world live in a Stuckeys?")
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To: stainlessbanner
Any reaction my T-shirt provoked is tame compared with the visceral gut-punch many have at the sight of the Confederate flag

Why does this remind me of my father's favourite saying, "It's not racism unless you're white"???

Why is it okay for blacks (or any other minority group) to promote racial hatred, whilst it's all "wrong" for whites to do the exact same thing?

Believe me, this is not just an American problem. (White)Australians and New Zealanders are subjected to just exactly the same sort of wrong-headed political correctness. It's gone way too far in favour of the "oppressed (???) minorities", IMHO.
5 posted on 02/06/2004 6:17:52 PM PST by KangarooJacqui (Deliver us from evil... vote Conservative.)
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To: PistolPaknMama
hatchet... lesbians...hmmmm I'm having visions of a bad Supercuts chop job.
6 posted on 02/06/2004 6:19:20 PM PST by cyborg
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To: KangarooJacqui
Hopefully Brash will win in New Zealand and send those idiots packing. To compare an insipid slogan to a time honored heritage symbol shows intellectual dishonesty.
7 posted on 02/06/2004 6:20:53 PM PST by cyborg
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To: PistolPaknMama
8 posted on 02/06/2004 6:24:31 PM PST by doodad
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To: cyborg
somebody who knows about this stuff, some assistance please. Were there not slaves who were offered their freedom if they fough to the confederacy? If that is the case, could then not also join the sons of the confederacy?

If may be sarcastic, but technically it is correct.
9 posted on 02/06/2004 6:24:36 PM PST by longtermmemmory (Vote!)
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To: longtermmemmory; All
10 posted on 02/06/2004 6:26:18 PM PST by cyborg
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To: doodad; PistolPaknMama

Yeah....flannel shirts I might understand.
But hatchets?

11 posted on 02/06/2004 6:29:47 PM PST by eddie willers
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To: stainlessbanner

Stuff every freeper must, and US citizen should, know.
12 posted on 02/06/2004 6:39:29 PM PST by H.Akston
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To: cyborg
Hurrah for Mr. Edgerton!
13 posted on 02/06/2004 6:58:27 PM PST by stainlessbanner
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To: longtermmemmory
Richmond, Va., March 23, 1865.

I. The following act of Congress and regulations are published for the information and direction of all concerned:

AN ACT to increase the military force of the Confederate States.

The Congress of the Confederate States of America do enact, That, in order to provide additional forces to repel invasion, maintain the rightful possession of the Confederate States, secure their independence, and preserve their institutions, the President be, and he is hereby, authorized to ask for and accept from the owners of slaves, the services of such number of able-bodied negro men as he may deem expedient, for and during the war, to perform military service in whatever capacity he may direct.

SEC 2. That the General-in-Chief be authorized to organize the said slaves into companies, battalions, regiments, and brigades, under such rules and regulations as the Secretary of War may prescribe, and to be commanded by such officers as the President may appoint.

SEC 3. That while employed in the service the said troops shall receive the same rations, clothing, and compensation as are allowed to other troops in the same branch of the service.

SEC 5. That nothing in this act shall be construed to authorize a change in the relation which the said slaves shall bear toward their owners, except by consent of the owners and of the States in which they may reside, and in pursuance of the laws thereof.

IV. The enlistment of colored persons under this act will be made upon printed forms, to be furnished for the purpose, similar to those established for the regular service. They will be executed in duplicate, one copy to be returned to this office for file. No slave will be accepted as a recruit unless with his own consent and with the approbation of his master by a written instrument conferring, as far as he may, the rights of a freedman, and which will be filed with the superintendent. The enlistments will be made for the war, and the effect of the enlistment will be to place the slave in the military service conformably to this act. The recruits will be organized at the camps in squads and companies, and will be subject to the order of the General-in-Chief under the second section of this act.

IX. All officers who may be employed in the recruiting service, under the provisions of this act, or who may be appointed to the command of troops raised under it, or who may hold any staff appointment in connection with them, are enjoined to a provident, considerate, and humane attention to whatever concerns the health, comfort, instruction, and discipline of those troops, and to the uniform observance of kindness, forbearance, and indulgence to their treatment of them, and especially that they will protect them from injustice and oppression.

It has been estimated that over 65,000 Southern blacks were in the Confederate ranks. Over 13,000 of these, "saw the elephant" also known as meeting the enemy in combat. These Black Confederates included both slave and free. The Confederate Congress did not approve blacks to be officially enlisted as soldiers (except as musicians), until late in the war. But in the ranks it was a different story. Many Confederate officers did not obey the mandates of politicians, they frequently enlisted blacks with the simple criteria, "Will you fight?" Historian Ervin Jordan, explains that "biracial units" were frequently organized "by local Confederate and State militia Commanders in response to immediate threats in the form of Union raids". Dr. Leonard Haynes, an African-American professor at Southern University, stated, "When you eliminate the black Confederate soldier, you've eliminated the history of the South."

As the war came to an end, the Confederacy took progressive measures to build back up its army. The creation of the Confederate States Colored Troops, copied after the segregated northern colored troops, came too late to be successful. Had the Confederacy been successful, it would have created the world's largest armies (at the time) consisting of black soldiers,even larger than that of the North. This would have given the future of the Confederacy a vastly different appearance than what modern day racist or anti-Confederate liberals conjecture. Not only did Jefferson Davis envision black Confederate veterans receiving bounty lands for their service, there would have been no future for slavery after the goal of 300,000 armed black CSA veterans came home after the war.

In 1864, President Jefferson Davis approved a plan that proposed the emancipation of slaves, in return for the official recognition of the Confederacy by Britain and France. France showed interest but Britain refused.
Free black musicians, cooks, soldiers and teamsters earned the same pay as white confederate privates. This was not the case in the Union army where blacks did not receive equal pay. At the Confederate Buffalo Forge in Rockbridge County, Virginia, skilled black workers "earned on average three times the wages of white Confederate soldiers and more than most Confederate army officers ($350- $600 a year).
During the early 1900's, many members of the United Confederate Veterans (UCV) advocated awarding former slaves rural acreage and a home. There was hope that justice could be given those slaves that were once promised "forty acres and a mule" but never received any. In the 1913 Confederate Veteran magazine published by the UCV, it was printed that this plan "If not Democratic, it is [the] Confederate" thing to do. There was much gratitude toward former slaves, which "thousands were loyal, to the last degree", now living with total poverty of the big cities. Unfortunately, their proposal fell on deaf ears on Capitol Hill.

excerpted from:

14 posted on 02/06/2004 7:02:53 PM PST by visualops (I'm still trying to figure out why kamikaze pilots wore helmets.)
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To: H.Akston
Great link. That thread was an ole FR throw-back: LLAN-DDEUSANT
15 posted on 02/06/2004 7:03:24 PM PST by stainlessbanner
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To: longtermmemmory
could then not also join the sons of the confederacy?

Absolutely. Nelson Winbush, HK Edgerton and other honorable men have joined the SCV.

16 posted on 02/06/2004 7:06:58 PM PST by stainlessbanner
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I read this on bumper sticker every day here in Houston and think that US is the best country on planet.

If I had that bumper sticker back in 1993 in my birth country Serbia and said same thing i will be accused of ethnic cleansing, genocide or who knows what.

Everything is in the eye of beholder. Imagine T-shirt with line :

" "It's a White Thing, You Wouldn't Understand."

Or : "White Miss America " pageant

Racism 101 or equal rights for every group of people ?
17 posted on 02/06/2004 7:08:18 PM PST by Fredy (Ne moze nam niko nista jaci smo od sudbine - No one can not hurt us, We are stronger than a destiny)
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To: longtermmemmory
This is an inspiring story I think you might enjoy about a man named Chris Columbus: Former Slave's Family Sees Him Honored At Last
18 posted on 02/06/2004 7:14:14 PM PST by stainlessbanner
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To: longtermmemmory
There are actually a few blacks who have joined the SCV and the UDC (United Daughters of the Confederacy). Many more would be eligible and would be warmly welcomed if they asked to join. There are a surprising number of blacks who are actually not angry, bitter, and hostile because their ancestors were held in slavery. This is particularly true, I find, among those who are historians, genealogy researchers, and reenactors.
19 posted on 02/06/2004 7:14:16 PM PST by Capriole (Foi vainquera)
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To: longtermmemmory
I am currently reading a book entitled "The South was Right" by James ROnald Kennedy and Walter Donald Kennedy.

Many interesting acts, such as that it was not uncommon for free people of color in the south to own slaves. Many slaves took up arms and fought against northern aggression.

The tone of the book of course is Southern Propanganda and there are a few historical mistakes, but all in all very interesting to here from the other point of view so to speak.

One main issue was that the north derived much of its money selling slaves to southern plantations, but the northern slave trade made even more meony selling slaves to South America. Only about six percent of the slave trade was to the south, the rest to South America and Caribbean.

Much of the monied society up north had its fingers in the slave trade, although I have yet to see any attached names, I wonder if any current northern families are connected to that trade...

something to think about this being Black History Month and all.

20 posted on 02/06/2004 7:18:02 PM PST by abigkahuna
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