24 June 2015

Uncommon Commentary #463: Banners of a Banner

In the aftermath of any shooting that occurs during the reign of the “post-partisan unifier” Barack Obama, like the one that happened several days ago in Charleston, South Carolina, I often don’t know whether I’m revolted more by the bloodshed or by the Left’s exploitation of it. (And it is only the Left which is guilty of this politicization; I haven’t heard any rightists allege that racial quotas in hiring and in university admissions drove Dylann [sic] Roof to murder Blacks.) Now, leftists are contending that South Carolina’s use of the Confederate battle flag as its State flag somehow has relevance to the massacre at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, and are again demanding that the federal government force that State to replace its allegedly racist pennant.  I formerly thought that everyone learned in high school, as I did, that the so-called US “Civil War”—“War of Southern Secession” and “War for Southern Independence” are more accurate names—was fought over not slavery but sovereignty; see UC #340.  Someone who displays the Confederate battle flag may or may not be a White-supremacist like Roof, but, even if he is, his use of it does not necessarily make this standard an emblem of bigotry.  Ought Buddhists to desist from employing their ancient symbol the swastika, because it was adopted by National Socialists who believed themselves to be descended from the people of Tibet? (One might argue that the very fact that the Stars-and-Bars is regarded by many as hateful, however wrongly, is reason to abandon it.  To a Christian, there may well be justification for this viewpoint; St. Paul instructed followers of Christ to avoid giving scandal to others.  It must be remembered, though, that Paul lived in the First Century AD rather than the Twenty-First; I can’t believe that he would expect us to indulge the hypersensitivity that prevails in our Depraved New World.)
The only thing that I’ll add here, referring to what I wrote in the opening sentence, is that this controversy demonstrates that leftists don’t always oppose capitalism.  No one else capitalizes tragedy as they do!