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IT’S NOT ABOUT THE FLAG

On May 1, Governor Jim Hodges of South Carolina signed a bill designating the third Monday in January a state holiday to celebrate the birthday of Martin Luther King. In doing so, South Carolina became the last state to make this date an official holiday. You might assume that the measure was applauded by the NAACP. You would be dead wrong.

While the new law removed the birthdays of Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis as state holidays it also designated a permanent Confederate Memorial Day. This simple act was too much for those who preach inclusiveness and diversity. It seems that we are to honor only what the NAACP thinks is fitting.

Those who would have compromised on the flag issue, and I count myself among them, have to face the fact that no compromise short of destroying all vestiges of our Confederate ancestors will suffice. For reasons that bear no connection with reality, the NAACP and other groups have chosen a search and destroy strategy that would make Sherman proud.

When decisions are based on something as subjective as what might be offensive, where will the line be drawn? It is difficult to think of anything that is not in one way or another offensive to somebody.

Pluralism is defined as: “A condition of society in which numerous distinct ethnic, religious, or cultural groups coexist within one nation.” Many of the same people who would deny us the right to honor our heritage are the ones touting the benefits of a diverse society. The concept of pluralism and diversity require a great deal of tolerance. Those who attack our heritage do not demonstrate that tolerance.

The reaction of those who demean our flag is quite inexplicable if one would take time to review the historical facts. Syndicated Columnist William Raspberry wrote about the West African state of Benin offering apologies for its part in the slave trade. He noted that the average annual income of a Beninese citizen is about $400 and then stated: “... but the great-grandchildren of slaves are way better off economically than the great-grandchildren of those who sold them into slavery.” In other words, whatever happened in the past you are much better off because of it.

It is evident that our enemies have taken little or no time to study history. Maybe this isn’t all their fault. Thomas Sowell stated in a recent column: “Ours may become the first civilization destroyed, not by the power of our enemies, but by the ignorance of our teachers and the dangerous non-sense they are teaching our children. In an age of artificial intelligence they are creating artificial stupidity.” Dare I say it? Our enemies are stupid.

Unfortunately for us, they are also powerful. They are fawned over by the politically correct crowd. They are given newspaper space and television coverage in abundance. Those of us who merely want to remember our heritage with respect are treated as if we should be ashamed of our ancestors. We are not. We are proud of their sacrifices and courage and bravery in the face of insurmountable odds.

Our enemies demand respect, but offer none. They require state sanctioned benefits for their heritage, but fight the same for us. They have failed to learn from either their past or ours. When our rights are taken away, just as surely as night follows day, their rights will be meaningless.

If the name of Robert E. Lee can be removed from a street or a school today, we can just as easily erase the name of Martin Luther King tomorrow. Those in power will write history as they choose. Sounds familiar doesn’t it? We fight for much more than a flag. We fight for our children and even the children of our enemies.

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