WHETHER THE REBEL FLAG IS A HATE SYMBOL OR NOT IS THE WRONG QUESTION.
Whether those trying to subvert the Constitution to get it removed being symbols of hate on the other hand…..
Whether the Confederate flag is a hate symbol or not is the wrong question. We all know that when accompanied by hate speech, or hateful behavior it is certainly part of the presentation , but we also know that the Dukes of Hazzard reruns on TV are not racially motivated. Context is everything and we are Constitutionally obligated to consider the difference.
A much more important, and actual proper question should be, what right does a person who is offended have to take away another persons Constitutional freedom of expression with no evidence other than a presumption? Especially one that more often than not is false, and highly prejudiced in its implication. The correct answer of course is that we don’t have such a right. The school absolutely has a compelling interest to keep order, but blaming a person who did nothing but wear a shirt to school which might offend a self anointed victim is not the answer. This country used to arrest blacks for “trespassing” simply because they were in the “wrong” neighborhood at the time. We cannot return to a time when a person who decides they are offended gets to interpret the laws at someone else’s expense.
I would imagine, based on the daily reporting from the main stream media that more blacks feel intimidated by the sight of a Police Uniform than someone wearing a shirt with a Rebel flag on it. Does that mean we shouldn’t allow Police to wear their uniforms on school grounds? What about a black person wearing a hoodie? The odds are incredibly small that that means trouble, but if even one person gets nervous…..Simply put, the person with the most sensitive ears, sensitive eyes, or even the least ability to hear, does not get to decide the lighting or sound level in the room. They can put on sunglasses, put in ear plugs, or get a hearing aid, but they do not have a right to make others change for them to accommodate their victim hood issues.
The movement to remove statues and the Rebel flag are both based on “feelings” not facts. A young girl felt intimidated by the statue and instead of explaining the Constitution to her.(and perhaps educating her to who RE Lee really was) Wes Bellamy decided to hijack state law and attempt to get the statue removed. Now three people are dead and the conversation is still about trying to remove others right to freedom of expression. Charlottesville brought hell upon itself and then blamed the devil because it fought back when challenged. It is true that white supremacists use the flag as part of spreading their agenda. That does not mean we have the right to restrict someone else from wearing it just because some Supremacists use it. In fact the argument could easily be made that wearing it neutralizes its power and makes it impotent. People who blow up abortion clinics often wear a cross, and people that blow up skyscrapers often carry a Koran. This does not give us the right to stop their constitutionally protected behavior to wear a cross or carry their holy book. Many black lives matter members condemn those among them who chant to “kill the police” and many pedophiles use the rainbow flag to cover their nefarious behaviors. Should we outlaw those “symbols” because they have been hijacked at times for evil? The answer again, is no.
Lets look at the REAL agenda that these troublemakers have for removing the Confederate flag. They openly admit that they “hate” those they accuse of hatred. That alone should nullify anything else they have to say about the matter, but their true agenda is even worse. What they really want is to control anyone who disagrees with their Alice in Wonderland version of the world. They try and slip this agenda in under the disguise of school disruption, when in fact, if it does disrupt the school, the person who makes a big deal about it is in fact the problem, not the flag. The problem person should be educated or removed but the flag has a right to stay.
The argument that blacks feel “threatened” and unsafe because of the flag is simply hogwash. Feeling scared and being threatened or unsafe are two entirely different things. There are already many mechanisms in place to deal with threatening behavior. One interesting and often overlooked fact is many whites often feel pressure because they are surrounded by the “n” word spoken all day everyday by blacks, and played from every speaker in every corner of their world, but if they repeat the word regardless of the context, not only are they often physically attacked, but they are also often blamed for the incidents occurrence. Blacks are often given a free pass on this issue which just furthers racial division as many whites feel taunted by its daily use. Are school boards willing to ban the two versions of that word by everyone or allow everyone to use them? Those two options are in fact the only two constitutional choices open to them.
We cannot allow these charlatans to use the school disruption argument to violate a students right to free speech and expression. Especially when the likely disruption would be one student refusing to acknowledge another students freedom of speech and expression. They need to teach the importance of respecting the Constitution, even when it doesn’t go your way. The common good is still served because we never want to go back to a time where someone was denied their rights based upon another persons “feelings” about their motives. Most blacks should understand this all too well if they have ever been followed by a store clerk for doing nothing. The schools need to stand up and defend the rights of all students. A shirt with a flag on it is not hate speech any more than a short skirt makes a girl promiscuous. The Schools need to teach the students that claiming to be a victim doesn’t make you one. There is actually a vetting process and the person asking for victim status doesn’t get to decide. The Constitution and rule of law do.
If the school board surrenders to these vigilante attacks on the Constitution then come election time they need to be tossed out on principal. We simply can no longer afford to have students graduate thinking that they can legislate someone else’s free speech or expression. We are doing them no favors by even considering the argument. The schools have all the tools they need to resolve any issues that come up with rules currently in place. They just need to step up and use them without being afraid of a self proclaimed victim demanding something they are not entitled to demand. They need to reject the real hate, which is those who refuse to respect the Constitution. Let the flags stay, and offer those who want it gone a civics lesson.