Let’s Not Stand by Idly and Allow This to Continue

As a child, my father forbid me to watch Hogan’s Heroes.  I didn’t get it then, but I do now as an adult.  The Nazis were not bumbling clowns.  The horror was real.  The show, in a very subtle way encouraged the belief that the Holocaust wasn’t so bad, perhaps it didn’t happen.  Is that what we want remember?

Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it, they say. They are right.  Growing up Jewish in the 60s and 70s, the Holocaust was a key event to learn about – to make sure it never happens again. One key piece by Pastor Martin Niemöller was often referenced

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

I’m not black. I’m not in the least bit implying that blacks are being rounded up and murdered.  But then, is that really too far from the church burning we are seeing (or in many cases NOT seeing) in the south?  Have we forgotten the violence of the 60s?  Did we really notice or did we turn aside and pretend not to see?  It is easier to believe that lynching no longer occur.  But isn’t that what effectively happened in a South Carolina church recently?

It is time to speak up.  To be heard.  To say “No! This is not OK.”  More than once I counselled to my son’s friend that the Confederate Flag (I’m sorry – Battle Flag) is symbol of racism and degradation.  I stand by that.  I’ll repeat it as often as necessary.  Bill O’Reilly says (probably for ratings) that there is no systemic racism in the US.  He won’t stand up and speak to our racial problems.  He encourages them.

Today I watched a few good ‘ol Northern boys get upset on Facebook that TV Land pulled Dukes of Hazzard reruns.  (I believe I mentioned that should happen a few posts back.)  They didn’t, or wouldn’t, understand the difference between history and perpetuating systemic racism with subtle and tacit approval.  I’m not saying that the civil war didn’t happen.  I’m just saying that perpetuating the pride in treason and slavery is not acceptable in a civilized society.

Still don’t understand? Well, let me help you.  There are always multiple sides to a story.  (You did see Rashomon, right?)  One side is racist and the other is education.

Here are two well written pieces you might peruse.

The Confederate Flag:  Giving Blacks the Finger (2013)

Why the Confederate Battle Flag is Even More Racist Than You Think (2015)

Educate yourself.  Racism requires our approval.  I’m removing mine.  When I see people whining about how PC and silly the uproar over the flag is, I’ll correct them.  It is time to stop allowing people to not see the damage they are encouraging and approving.  I’m speaking out whenever I see this.   I’ll lose friends.  Real change takes work.  I’m in.  Are you?  Let’s all speak out and make a real difference.  We can be so much greater than we are.

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