I don’t own a Confederate Battle flag. I don’t have a dog in the flag flap fight. My grandparents were born in Italy and came to the United States at the beginning of the 20th century. We’ve never owned slaves.
I’ve lived in various parts of the country – from Pennsylvania (where I was born and raised) to Michigan, New Mexico, North Carolina, Mississippi, and Florida. My wife and have lived in Georgia since 1979. We raised our two sons here, and our seven grandchildren are being raised here.
I visit my hometown of Pittsburgh periodically and often drive through the neighborhood where I grew up. I have never seen a black family. There are no Confederate flags, but there is still unspoken racial segregation.
Does this mean that there is no discrimination, bigotry, or racism in Georgia? Not at all. I am saying that there are a lot of people in Georgia who work hard to make race relations work. We were in neighborhoods where there were a number of black families as well as Hispanic, Korean, and Iranian, and who knows what else. No one blinked an eye.
Now to the flag issue. I contend that the knee-jerk reaction to the Confederate Battle flag flap is going to backfire. There will be more Confederate flags flying out of defiance. Nobody likes to be told what they can and cannot do even if they have no affinity for Civil War memorabilia.
People don’t like to be pushed, especially be liberal hypocrites who have their own racial baggage.
Read more: “Confederate Flag and Racism are a Democrat Problem.”
There’s a scene from the 1967 film The Dirty Dozen where Lee Marvin’s character, Maj. John Reisman, is teaching self-defense to a dozen of misfit-nothing-to-loser soldiers who have been released from a military prison to train for a special suicide mission during WW II.
The first lesson is how to defend against a knife attack. Maj. Reisman picks out Samson Posey — Clint Walker — the biggest of all the men. He’s 6’ 6” and weighs around 270 pounds. If Reisman can defend himself against Posey, then the men can do equally well against opponents with some training.
Posey is reluctant to participate. “I don’t want to hurt anyone,” Posey says to the Major. In order to get Posey to participate, Reisman asks Posey why he was incarcerated. Here’s how the conversation goes:
Reisman: Posey, what did they lock you up for? I mean, what did you do?
Posey: I already told you that, sir.
Reisman: Well, tell me again. I’m sure that your friends over here would like to know too.
Posey: This fella kept pushing me. I don’t like to be pushed, so I hit him.
Reisman: Killed a man with your bare hands because he shoved you?
Posey: I only hit him once.
Reisman: Only hit him once. And drove his jawbone right through his brain because he pushed him.
In order to get Posey to take the knife fight seriously, Major Reisman starts pushing Posey. For a time, Posey backs off, trying to avoid a confrontation. Reisman pushes him harder until Posey is pushed up against a training structure. It’s at that point that Posey loses his cool and tries to kill the Major, all because he doesn’t like to be pushed.
In a similar way, there will be people who will fly the flag in defiance. Not because they care about the Civil War, but because they got pushed, and they didn’t like it.