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America can have hundreds—if not thousands—of statues dedicated to famously racist American figures of the former Confederate States of America, and yet practically ignore the black heroes not named Frederick, Martin, or Malcolm? The flag of the Confederacy is an emblem of not only anti-black sentiment and oppression, but of high treason. The Confederates seceded from the Union (Northern States), then went to war with them solely to keep blacks enslaved so they could be free to dehumanize, rape, murder, terrorize and, of course, make a fortune off slaves.
It doesn’t matter if they felt bullied by President Lincoln; the institution of slavery was atrociously wrong morally. Every single person who fought and served in the Confederacy was a traitor to this country. Isn’t treason a crime punishable by death? So why in the world is a treasonous flag still waving in the air on several public and private across the country?
Traitors are among the worst class of human. Remember Benedict Arnold? The Continental Army officer who betrayed America for Britain, which nearly cost America the Revolutionary War (if the next words out of your mouth are that “America committed treason against its original British owners," keep in mind that that was open rebellion against a foreign power. The antebellum Southern United States is NOT a foreign power and is not its own separate government independent of the U.S. Government). Thankfully, America didn’t lose and, much of that had a lot to do with the efforts of the first American double agent James Lafayette Armistead (1748/60-1830). This unsung hero lied to and spied on Arnold and the Brits so well to the point that the British had no idea which way was up, information-wise.
What would be surprising were it not so grossly typical is that many American students of all ages go decades without ever hearing about Armistead’s selfless patriotism, or worse yet, never hear or learn about him at all. Why aren’t there any statues of Armistead, or even Frederick Douglass, as tall as the Lincoln Memorial? Or what about Harriet Tubman, the bravest slave abolitionist in American history? Where’s her God-like effigy of remembrance? Or Madam C.J. Walker, the first BLACK and FEMALE millionaire in the United States? If any of these black figures received half the attention their white counterparts did (i.e. Lincoln, Alice Walker, etc.) it would have done so much for the black American psyche…and this country would be all the better for it.
Pro-Confederate flag-wavers argue that their flag is embroidered in American history. And I agree, it is, but so is slavery. Yet one is held closely to the chest like a baby’s cheek to its mother’s breast, while the other is treated like the mistreated and unwanted stepchild neither parent wanted after the ink on the divorce papers dried. You don’t see commemorations to Hitler, the worst human being to ever live, in Germany because the Germans embrace every ounce of their twisted and bloody history so they don’t repeat it, like we here in America seem to do religiously. Fanning the flames of hate in America must come to an end and it starts with the Confederate flag. In time, and with the right amount of understanding, one day we may yet see state governments do the just and noble thing without fear of the fury of the fanners of the X in red and blue. Glorifying an archaic idol of racial oppression as a crest of unabashed regional defiance to the ‘Establishment,’ while completely ignoring the inhumane truth that symbol screams at the marginalized population corrodes all manner of human decency.
Let us do what Congress and every northern state government should have done the day after Union general Ulysses S. Grant accepted Confederate general Robert E. Lee’s surrender at the Battle of Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865: Legally ban and burn, with great fire and fury, the longest surviving sigil of treason and reckless hate in these United States for all coming time.