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Dixie's dilemma
Athens Banner-Herald ^ | January 6, 2003 | Michael A. Fletcher

Posted on 01/06/2003 7:55:23 PM PST by stainlessbanner

At the beginning of the school year, Dixie Outfitters T-shirts were all the rage at Cherokee High School. Girls seemed partial to one featuring the Confederate battle flag in the shape of a rose. Boys often wore styles that discreetly but unmistakably displayed Dixie Outfitters' rebel emblem logo.
But now the most popular Dixie Outfitters shirt at the school doesn't feature a flag at all. It says: ''Jesus and the Confederate Battle Flag: Banned From Our Schools But Forever in Our Hearts.'' It became an instant favorite after school officials prohibited shirts featuring the battle flag in response to complaints from two African-American families who found them intimidating and offensive.

The ban is stirring old passions about Confederate symbols and their place in Southern history in this increasingly suburban high school, 40 miles northwest of Atlanta. Similar disputes over the flag are being played out more frequently in school systems -- and courtrooms -- across the South and elsewhere, as a new generation's fashion choices raise questions about where historical pride ends and racial insult begins.

Schools in states from Michigan to Alabama have banned the popular Dixie Outfitters shirts just as they might gang colors or miniskirts, saying they are disruptive to the school environment. The rebel flag's modern association with white supremacists makes it a flashpoint for racial confrontation, school officials say.
''This isn't an attempt to refute Southern heritage,'' said Mike McGowan, a Cherokee County schools spokesman. ''This is an issue of a disruption of the learning environment in one of our schools.''

Walter C. Butler Jr., president of the Georgia State Conference of the NAACP, said it is unreasonable to ask African Americans not to react to someone wearing the rebel flag. ''To ask black people to respect a flag that was flown by people who wanted to totally subjugate and dehumanize you -- that is totally unthinkable,'' he said.
But the prohibitions against flag-themed clothing have prompted angry students, parents, Confederate-heritage groups and even the American Civil Liberties Union to respond with protests and lawsuits that argue that students' First Amendment rights are being trampled in the name of political correctness.
''This is our heritage. Nobody should be upset with these shirts,'' said Ree Simpson, a senior soccer player at Cherokee who says she owns eight Confederate-themed shirts. ''During Hispanic Heritage Month, we had to go through having a kid on the intercom every day talking about their history. Do you think they allow that during Confederate History Month?''

Simpson said no one complains when African-American students wear clothes made by FUBU, a black-owned company whose acronym means ''For Us By Us.'' Worse, she says, school officials have nothing to say when black students make the biting crack that the acronym also means ''farmers used to beat us.'' Similarly, she says, people assume that members of the school's growing Latino population mean no harm when they wear T-shirts bearing the Mexican flag.
Simpson believes the rebel flag should be viewed the same way. The days when the banner was a symbol of racial hatred and oppression are long gone, she contends. Far from being an expression of hate, she says, her affection for the flag simply reflects Southern pride. ''I'm a country girl. I can't help it. I love the South,'' she said. ''If people want to call me a redneck, let them.''

It is a sentiment that is apparently widely shared at Cherokee, and beyond. The day after Cherokee Principal Bill Sebring announced the T-shirt ban on the school's intercom this fall, more than 100 students were either sent home or told to change clothes when they defiantly wore the shirts to school. In the weeks that followed, angry parents and Confederate heritage groups organized flag-waving protests outside the school and at several school board meetings.

''All hell broke loose,'' said Tom Roach, an attorney for the Cherokee County school system. When principals banned the shirts at other county high schools in the past, he said, ''there was no public outcry. No complaints. No problems.''

But the Confederate flag was a particularly hot topic in Georgia this year. Democratic Gov. Roy Barnes was upset in his re-election bid in part because he successfully pushed for redesign of the Georgia state flag, which was formerly dominated by the Confederate battle emblem. On the new state banner, the emblem is reduced to a small icon. During the campaign, Barnes' opponent, Sonny Perdue, called for a referendum on the new flag, a position that analysts say helped make him the state's first elected Republican governor since Reconstruction.

Elsewhere in the South, civil rights groups have mobilized to remove the banner in recent years. Activists had it removed from atop the South Carolina statehouse and from other public places, saying it is an insult to African Americans and others who view it as a symbol of bigotry and state-sanctioned injustice. But that campaign has stirred a resentful backlash from groups that view it as an attack on their heritage.

''We're not in a battle just for that flag, we're in a battle to determine whether our Southern heritage and culture survives,'' said Dan Coleman, public relations director for the Sons of Confederate Veterans, one of the groups that joined the protests at Cherokee High School.

The battle over Confederate-themed clothing has made its way to the courts, which generally have sided with school dress codes that prevent items that officials deem disruptive.

In a 1969 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Tinker vs. Des Moines Independent Community School District that school officials could not prohibit students from wearing black armbands to protest the Vietnam War, but only because the court found that the armbands were not disturbing the school atmosphere.

By contrast, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit earlier this year revived a lawsuit by two Kentucky students suspended for wearing shirts featuring the Confederate flag. The court said the reasons for the suspension were vague and remanded the case to a lower court, where it was dismissed after the school district settled with the students.

Also, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit earlier this fall sided with a Washington, N.J., student who challenged his school's ban on a T-shirt displaying the word ''redneck.'' The student was suspended from Warren Hills Regional High School for wearing the shirt, which school officials said violated their ban on clothing that portrays racial stereotypes. The school's vice principal said he took ''redneck'' to mean a violent, bigoted person.
But the court overturned the ban, saying the shirt was not proven to be disruptive. School officials, noting the school has a history of racial tensions, have promised to appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court.

''Since last year, we have gotten well over 200 complaints about the banning of Confederate symbols in schools,'' said Kirk Lyons, lead counsel for the Southern Legal Resource Center, a North Carolina-based public-interest law firm that works to protect Confederate heritage and is in discussions with some families at Cherokee High School. He said the center is litigating six lawsuits and that dozens of others challenging Confederate clothing bans have been filed across the country.

As the controversy grows, Confederate-themed clothing has become more popular than ever. The owner of Georgia-based Dixie Outfitters says the firm sold 1 million T-shirts last year through the company's Web site and department stores across the South. Most of the shirts depict Southern scenes and symbols, often with the Confederate emblem.

''This is not your typical, in-your-face redneck type of shirt,'' said Dewey Barber, the firm's owner. ''They are espousing the Southern way of life. We're proud of our heritage down here.''

Barber said he is ''troubled'' that his shirts are frequently banned by school officials who view them as offensive. ''You can have an Iraqi flag in school. You can have the Russian flag. You can have every flag but the Confederate flag. It is puzzling and disturbing,'' he said.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: aclu; america; ban; battleflag; bigotry; black; censorship; cherokeecounty; civilliberties; confederate; confederateflag; dixie; dixielist; firstamendment; fubu; georgia; georgiaflag; heritage; hispanicheritage; history; litigation; naacp; pride; race; redneck; roybarnes; schoolprotest; scv; slrc; sonnyperdue; south; stereotype; supremecourt; tshirts
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1 posted on 01/06/2003 7:55:24 PM PST by stainlessbanner
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To: *dixie_list; sc-rms; Tax-chick; PAR35; condi2008; archy; BurkeCalhounDabney; bluecollarman; ...
Bump and a Happy New Year!

If you would like on/off this Southern news list, send FRmail.

2 posted on 01/06/2003 7:58:04 PM PST by stainlessbanner
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To: stainlessbanner
"Jesus and the Confederate Battle Flag: Banned From Our Schools But Forever In Our Hearts"
I love it.
Praise the Lord and Hoorah for Dixie!!!
3 posted on 01/06/2003 8:02:32 PM PST by Commander8
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To: stainlessbanner
"Jesus and the Confederate Battle Flag: Banned From Our Schools But Forever in Our Hearts."

I'll place my order. Bump!

4 posted on 01/06/2003 8:07:40 PM PST by 4CJ
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To: 4ConservativeJustices; Commander8

5 posted on 01/06/2003 8:19:06 PM PST by stainlessbanner
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To: stainlessbanner
Do it for Dixie and Jesus.
6 posted on 01/06/2003 8:19:09 PM PST by wardaddy
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To: stainlessbanner
Beat me to it by a matter of minutes. I love it..
7 posted on 01/06/2003 8:20:48 PM PST by Tennessee_Bob
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To: stainlessbanner
BUMP TO THE TOP
8 posted on 01/06/2003 8:21:36 PM PST by thatdewd
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To: stainlessbanner
Here's the one I want:


9 posted on 01/06/2003 8:22:11 PM PST by Tennessee_Bob
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To: stainlessbanner
'This isn't an attempt to refute Southern heritage,'' said Mike McGowan, a Cherokee County schools spokesman. ''This is an issue of a disruption of the learning environment in one of our schools.''

Sorry Mike but it should read:

'This is an issue of the truth getting in the way of the good teachers in our government propaganda centers forcing lies of the north upon young impressionable minds here in the South. We can't have anything in this school except an abject worship of the 16th President and his total ignorance of the Constitution of these United States. You let that happen and these kids might actually start thinking they have rights!!'

10 posted on 01/06/2003 8:26:44 PM PST by billbears
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To: Tennessee_Bob
Good choice, Tennessee! I noticed they have some great new designs at Dixie Outfitters!

Also, there are some emails re: issues in this article under the Interesting Emails link.

11 posted on 01/06/2003 8:27:06 PM PST by stainlessbanner
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To: stainlessbanner
Put reparations where the sun don't shine.
12 posted on 01/06/2003 8:27:57 PM PST by BIGZ
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To: stainlessbanner
Bump
13 posted on 01/06/2003 8:29:28 PM PST by Fiddlstix
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To: dbwz
Also, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit earlier this fall sided with a Washington, N.J., student who challenged his school's ban on a T-shirt displaying the word ''redneck.'' The student was suspended from Warren Hills Regional High School for wearing the shirt, which school officials said violated their ban on clothing that portrays racial stereotypes. The school's vice principal said he took ''redneck'' to mean a violent, bigoted person.

Hey, what y'all got against rednecks up there, eh? :-)

14 posted on 01/06/2003 8:39:07 PM PST by PistolPaknMama
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To: stainlessbanner
I can't get a real good picture of the tattoo - but this is what I have on my left bicep:

On a staff and waving in the breeze with the word "Tennessee" under it. The one question I'm asked most isn't "are you a racist," but "are you from Tennessee?" I look at them and say "No, but I couldn't spell Mississippi."

15 posted on 01/06/2003 8:42:30 PM PST by Tennessee_Bob
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To: Tennessee_Bob
I want one of each of their selections. I am buying the Jesus and Confederate Flag, the American Pride with a Southern Stride, and the one with the Davis quote: "A question settled by violence, or in disregard of law, must remain unsettled forever"

Southern By Grace of God BUMP
16 posted on 01/06/2003 8:46:25 PM PST by catherine of alexandria
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To: stainlessbanner
Ban all message clothing at secondary public schools. It is a distraction from the essential purpose of the place. Better yet, have uniforms. Call me a facist if you like. That is the way I see it. Folks can let it all hang out when they reach adulthood, and/or got to college. In the meantime, I don't hesitate in using the iron fist prudentially.
17 posted on 01/06/2003 8:55:54 PM PST by Torie
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Comment #18 Removed by Moderator

To: stainlessbanner
Thanks for the link!

They have a "dixie chicks" T-shirt! Yippee!

19 posted on 01/06/2003 10:03:50 PM PST by dixiechick2000
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To: Torie
I don't think that your position makes you a fascist, but I don't agree with you. If we are to survive as a society, we must be able to distinguish between messages and ideas that are harmful and those that are not harmful. We must distinguish between that which we may find offensive but must allow and that which we are right to ban. While I don't think that students should make the rules, they need to learn to live in a world where those distinctions are made. They need to learn that they must be productive even though they don't like the "message" of their neighbor's life, clothing, etc..

WFTR
Bill

20 posted on 01/06/2003 10:05:32 PM PST by WFTR
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To: WFTR
I would prefer that such debate be done through something other than message clothing, such as through a discussion in the classroom. Even then, I worry that it deflects schools from their primary mission, which is about acquiring reading comprehension, powers of reason, and numeracy. There is time enough later to apply all of that to the public square.
21 posted on 01/06/2003 10:09:59 PM PST by Torie
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To: catherine of alexandria
Please clarify. Are you a secessionist? As for the Confederate flag--wear it at home, boys and girls. It is the flag of a defeated nation that deserved to be defeated. There is nothing romantic about the lost cause. Slavery was evil; secession was illegal and treasonous. What would Jesus do? Wear a Confederate flag T-shirt? Get a clue; read the New Testament.
22 posted on 01/06/2003 10:11:57 PM PST by maro
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To: Torie
Scary to think your in the administration.
23 posted on 01/06/2003 10:12:14 PM PST by weikel
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To: Torie
I agree that debate needs to be deeper than the sound-byte posturing of message clothing, but as you said, a great deal of discussion in the classroom distracts from learning other skills and facts that schools must teach. The danger of your position is that we further condition students to be sheeple who spend their lives being told what to believe and how to live by the government. For a free society to work, people must learn to have control at the personal and family level and not primarily from the government.

WFTR
Bill

24 posted on 01/06/2003 10:21:43 PM PST by WFTR
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To: WFTR
I don't think what you wear in school has much to do with whether you become a mind numbed robot. I wore uniforms in grammar school. What do you think? In fact, what sets the mind free for kids is a discplined environment combined with teachers who inspire critical thinking. The rest is just jive, and inimical to that purpose. Sure a bunch of intellectual mensa students wearing message clothing might make for some conversation on the play yard. Whatever. Mostly what it will generate is noise.
25 posted on 01/06/2003 10:31:14 PM PST by Torie
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To: maro
Clarify what? The fact that I'm 100% Southern? That I am anti-Federal involvement in state's affairs? The SIMPLE fact was this: Things that are offensive to PC jerks who believe must be banned though they will NEVER be forgotten.

As for my insight on the War, sure, slavery was wrong, but the North trying to turn the South into their own slaves is just as wrong. Today we see the end result of what happened because "the defeated nation deserved to be defeated." Sure. 12 years of heavy-handed Federal control of 11 states and an irreparable tear on the Constitution.


26 posted on 01/06/2003 10:36:56 PM PST by catherine of alexandria
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To: maro; stainlessbanner
Slavery was evil; secession was illegal and treasonous. What would Jesus do? Wear a Confederate flag T-shirt?

Your view of History is rather simplistic.

U.S. Grant's wife, Julia, brought along one of her slaves on all of her visits to Grant's headquarters during the Civil War. When Julia was with Grant, their youngest son, Jesse, was in the charge of "black Julia," the slave that Julia had used since her girlhood.

By contrast, in 1858, Robert E. Lee wrote, "There are few, I believe, in this enlightened age, who will not acknowledge that slavery as an institution is a moral and political evil."

The Civil War was not a simply matter of "slavery" vs "emancipation" although it was certainly that simple to some Southern planters and some Northern abolitionists. U.S. Grant, fought to save the Union and tolerated slavery in his own family and had one of the four family slaves in his own Union Headquarters. Robert E. Lee, fought to defend his native State from attack and personally detested slavery.

What would Jesus do? Maybe, as seen in Luke 7:1-10 and Matthew 8:5-13, he would see 19th Century Americans from both North and South as men of their time just as he saw the slave-owning Roman Centurian as a man of his time.

If you demand pure simplicity in your History and demand that a nation fighting a war be judged solely on the basis of it's recognition of slavery and what one of the belligerents considers "illegality" and "treason", then the next flag you would have to ban would be this one:


27 posted on 01/06/2003 11:49:06 PM PST by Polybius
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To: weikel; Torie
Amen brother! Terrifying!
28 posted on 01/07/2003 12:28:50 AM PST by doglot
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To: weikel; Torie
Upon further thought, T-shirts with any "PC" slogan would be okay. I've seen that winked at in the workplace and schools many times.
29 posted on 01/07/2003 12:41:18 AM PST by doglot
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To: stainlessbanner
”...it is unreasonable to ask African Americans not to react to someone wearing the rebel flag.”

Is it unreasonable to ask Black Americans how they react to Senator Robert C. Byrd wearing a white sheet and hood?

For some unfathomable reason, only southerners and conservatives have no rights. I agree with Dewey Barber, the situation is very disturbing and even more disturbing that this rabble continues to force decent people to bow down for them. History, the part that is no longer in school history books, tells a very different story about the South and the blacks; many black Americans fought under that flag.

Seems to me that people had better turn their attention to the people who could care less if you are white, black, democrat, republican, liberal or conservative. They are out to kill you especially if you are a Christian, Catholic or a Jew anywhere in the world, but especially America.

These petty people call themselves American and all they can do is argue about trivial matters, not the preservation of their Republic. What a bunch of cowardly Idiots!

30 posted on 01/07/2003 1:38:19 AM PST by yoe
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To: stainlessbanner; sc-rms; catfish1957; THUNDER ROAD; Beach_Babe; TexConfederate1861; TomServo; ...

Aw, Shucks!


31 posted on 01/07/2003 3:51:06 AM PST by shuckmaster
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To: stainlessbanner
Schools in states from Michigan to Alabama have banned the popular Dixie Outfitters shirts just as they might gang colors or miniskirts, saying they are disruptive to the school environment.

The only disruption I see here is being caused by those who are threatening violence against those wearing the shirts. I reckon its just easier (and PC) to ban the shirts than to deal with those who are making the threats. Its sort of like saying that ATM's cause crime because people get robbed while using them.

32 posted on 01/07/2003 5:08:06 AM PST by aomagrat
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To: stainlessbanner
What is absolutely amazing is that this thread has gotten to almost 30 posts without being noticed by 'him-whose-name-must-not-be-mentioned'...you know "Lord Waltthebore"
33 posted on 01/07/2003 5:15:36 AM PST by Treebeard
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To: Polybius
Hehe, well said.
34 posted on 01/07/2003 5:28:01 AM PST by Guillermo
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Comment #35 Removed by Moderator

To: JJDKII
Yes, after his ill-fated attack on all things Southern, Lord Waltthebore's powers were greatly diminished, and he has been reduced to an almost parasitic life, existing by cutting and pasting the work of others.

Non-Sequitur, do you happen to wear a towel wrapped tightly around your head? ;)

36 posted on 01/07/2003 5:39:37 AM PST by Treebeard
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To: Tennessee_Bob
The one question I'm asked most isn't "are you a racist," but "are you from Tennessee?" I look at them and say "No, but I couldn't spell Mississippi."

"Here's your sign."

(A Bill Engvall bump!)

37 posted on 01/07/2003 5:47:28 AM PST by Jonah Hex
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To: stainlessbanner
Although there are a few D.O. shirts in my home, the kids go to school dressed like they care about going to school. No t-shirts and baggie pants. Golf shirts, sweaters and clean jeans or khakis. I told them if they wanted to make a statement in school, join the school paper and the student council.

I spent eight years of my youth being herded by an 80 year old, 5 foot tall nun with a 6 foot ruler, they're lucky I'm allowing blue jeans...

38 posted on 01/07/2003 6:02:31 AM PST by Hatteras
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To: catherine of alexandria
"...and the one with the Davis quote: "A question settled by violence, or in disregard of law, must remain unsettled forever"..."

I looked for this one in the on-line catalog, but I can't find it.
39 posted on 01/07/2003 6:09:47 AM PST by error99
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Comment #40 Removed by Moderator

To: Hatteras
I spent eight years of my youth being herded by an 80 year old, 5 foot tall nun with a 6 foot ruler, they're lucky I'm allowing blue jeans...

My father was stationed in Naples, Italy when I attended kindergarten and first grade. I was the only student in my class, towered over by what looked like four 8' tall nuns. I still have nightmares. My children are receiving an excellent education a private Christian school where Dixie Outfitter and Confederate Cotton shirts are allowed, toy guns are used as props for the cowboy themed homecoming decorations, and a history teacher asked me for a copy of my CNN LIES bumper sticker. Life is grand.

41 posted on 01/07/2003 6:17:37 AM PST by Quilla
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To: Tennessee_Bob

Former NAACP official embraces Confederate heritage

42 posted on 01/07/2003 6:22:15 AM PST by Rebelbase
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To: stainlessbanner
''Since last year, we have gotten well over 200 complaints about the banning of Confederate symbols in schools,'' said Kirk Lyons, lead counsel for the Southern Legal Resource Center, a North Carolina-based public-interest law firm that works to protect Confederate heritage..."

Old friend Kirk Lyons of Andres Strassmeir/Dennis Mahon/Tim McVeigh/OKC Bombing fame fame. Having been chased out of the neo-Nazi movement, he has recast himself as a defender of Southern Heritage. Southern Heritage does not need this guy around.

43 posted on 01/07/2003 6:22:46 AM PST by JohnGalt
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To: stainlessbanner
Southern Whites are a constant target for real racists who look for confrontations on an on going basis.
44 posted on 01/07/2003 6:26:18 AM PST by HELLRAISER II
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To: billbears
The South was oppressive on Blacks back then, none of us deny that. However no one alive today was ever enslaved by us Mr.Walter C. Butler so we have never dehumanized anyone. In my opinion Blacks & other minorities want to be able to rub their pride symbols in our face and yet we cannot do the same, that's totally unfair and eventually it will bite them in the @ss.
45 posted on 01/07/2003 6:30:25 AM PST by HELLRAISER II
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To: maro
...secession was illegal and treasonous.

Not so. There would not have been a USA if the constitution had included a clause banning secession. The original thirteen states, north and south, were far too jealous of their own sovereignty, to have entered into such a union.

If the South Carolina militia had not fired on Ft. Sumter, Congress would have had no legal authorization for declaring war.

The victory of the north in the Civil War definitively established the supremacy of the central government over the individual states, and thus, ended federalism as it had been understood by the founders.
46 posted on 01/07/2003 6:46:06 AM PST by ricpic
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To: Torie
I don't agree with you, however that would be fairer than what is happening nowaday's. The minorities are allowed to frollick in their ethniticity & nationality while we are punished & ridiculed for ours and that is not acceptable. It's P.C. gone Amok!
47 posted on 01/07/2003 6:47:47 AM PST by HELLRAISER II
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To: maro
Slavery was evil? Yeah we can agree with that. Secession was illegal and treasonous? I don't know about that, I seem to recall reading that the English said the same thing about us when we rebelled but I don't hear anybody saying we're all treasonous but it's only because we kicked their @ss. Yes the South was defeated but that doesn't mean that we aren't proud of our Southern Heritage so we'll wear whatever we damn well please, thank you very much. Oh by the way Jesus is just as discriminated against as we are in our public schools, it's a damn travesty and it isn't sitting well with us.
48 posted on 01/07/2003 7:05:08 AM PST by HELLRAISER II
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To: maro
What would Jesus do?

Read about St. Andrew and his relationship with Jesus and how he (Andrew) was crucified. Then read about the history of the CBF and St. Andrew - I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

49 posted on 01/07/2003 7:19:35 AM PST by stainlessbanner
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To: stainlessbanner
The really amazing thing is it's all this flap is elevating the Stars and Bars from a symbol of a defeated revolution to a status symbol of pride. The first black daddy (I know, he probably wasn't around but we won't go there) whose kid came home complaining should have simply told his upset son, "Grow up, boy, and live with it. You won't always like the people around you. The best way to deal with it is to do well in school, then refuse to hire the bums in the business you create." If that had been the black reaction then the flag would be a symbol of a bygone era, nothing more.

I think it was Lenny Bruce who did a comic routine suggesting that JFK should introduce his cabinet saying, "n*****, n*****, greaseball, greasball, whop, honkey, ..." so that the words would lose their offensive power. The black community could learn a lot from that kind of thinking.

Shalom.

50 posted on 01/07/2003 7:37:21 AM PST by ArGee (Good grief! Now I have to think of a clever tag line?????)
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