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Inspiration for this post:  http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44667234/ns/us_news-life/ 

 

This controversy always upsets me.  A person has the right to fly a Confederate Flag if he or she wishes.  My advice to others is to stop associating it with slavery and racism, learn to tolerate (at least) and respect (at best) other people’s opinions and beliefs and their rights.   It’s almost comical that we scream “American Freedom” when we want everyone to conform to our individual thinking and beliefs.  I was raised to respect the rights and beliefs of others and allow ~~ tolerate ~~ their displays of them.  It’s only fair, if I want to be able to display my own rights and beliefs. 

 

I have my own beliefs about the origin of “slavery” in this country.  I really think some French invaders of West Africa started ravaging the land, throwing natives in jails (essentially cages) and filled the to such capacity that, well, there was “standing room only”.  Conditions were so deplorable that the natives were sick and dying.  Some sympathetic merchants from the new America, and some doing business with it, wanted to help and thought, maybe, people in this country would take in some of these Africans, to save their lives, and, in return the Africans could help in their endeavors to build this struggling country.  Of course, it was the rich that could buy boats and pay for the passage of the Africans, so that’s the way it was.  The African natives worked to “pay back” the investment made to save their lives.

 

I will bet that their lives, in this country, were not as bad as they are made out to be today.  The majority were probably grateful they were given freedom (from the prisons), though, surely saddened by having to leave their country; and, no doubt, some were angry that they were “rescued” from the prisons, in the dead of night, and pushed on to boats, quietly, so the ravagers would not detect what was going on.  And, of course, no records could be kept and any papers destroyed of the transition (of Africans out of the country) or the ravagers might wage war on America and other countries ~~ and that was the utmost priority.

 

“Slave” comes from the French word “slav-ah” (as pronounced… and I don’t know how to spell it).  It means a “person from French West Africa” and synonymous with “prisoner” there.  Americans, diverse in their cultures and darn few French, found a French word in their sentences difficult, so Americanized it to “slave”. 

 

The fact that President Abraham Lincoln signed a declaration, after the Civil War, to “free slaves” was merely a coincident in timing.  (The Civil War had nothing to do with slavery.)  It was a statement that, by law, Americans could not bring people to this country and make them work of a debt, nor could they keep persons to work, against their wills.  It was “time” — most slaves were free, anyway, they wanted land of their own, and the cry, from West Africa, for help was minimal, if any.  

 

The Civil War was, purely, a battle between two economic cultures ~ one industrial and the other agricultural. 

 

When I was ten years old, I was visiting (with my family) two great aunts — one of whom was 89 (born about 8 years after the end of the war) and the other “almost 84 (she said).  As we sat on the porch, an “African-American” drove through the intersection, so I seized the opportunity to ask if the Civil War had anything to do with slavery.  (They were old and I just wanted it “as first-hand” as I could get, that information.)  They said “No, nothing, not a hint”.   They looked at each other and asked “Do you think it anything to do with slavery?”  They both agreed and said, again, “Nothing, no!”  Surely, being young, so close to the time of the war, they would have picked up “talk” about it if it was.  That put my mind at ease.  🙂

 

So, being a symbol of heritage, a stand in a war, purely, of economic principles, people should have the right to display that flag, that history, if they choose to.  We should practice and teach our young, tolerance, not conformity.

 

Peace.  🙂            

 

 

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