Thanks Mike Williams for the good article*; and sorry it took so long for me to respond. It is important to note: That absent from this entire “flag” debate are the patriotically proud and affirmative voices of those descendants of those who fought and died during the civil war in the service of their nation. Honoring the ignoble confederate flag, and any other symbol of a band of traitors, shamefully dishonors the very noble efforts and sacrifices of the Union soldiers and sailors. As a nation we are under no moral obligation to honor traitors who took up arms against the US; only an educational professional responsibility to respect and be true to the teaching of history.
We are a nation that in many ways still exist in a state of “civil war”; and because this division of the nation, along with its continual rebellion and reluctance (this includes the north) to fully accept its Black population into full participating citizenship; (particularly in matters related to public education) greatly hinders our potential and progress as a nation. The “less developed” parts of the nation; meaning both intellectual, cultural and economic, is a continued legacy of this unresolved “civil war”.
And although this division of achievement and development exist in other nations like China’s rural-city divide; it has a very different deleterious effect when a nation is fully “developed” economically and educationally. Even in our most advance and “liberal” urban centers, large numbers of Black children can live in a city like Washington DC, NYC, Chicago, etc.; be very close to a quality education, and yet not receive a hint of it themselves.
These national acts of political rebellion against the American promise of liberty and justice for all, is based on the need of an economic system that will maintain a class of citizens who are poor and inadequately educated. The most efficient part of this national system is not public education, rather it is a self-funding criminal justice system that can “capture and dispose of” the human overflow of a failed on purpose educational system. The primary source and target for this cynical civil service job producing “sanitation system” are people of color.
The question that is raised of course is, how going forward will this work, when a nation refuses to take advantage of the talents and gifts of its own citizens? What happens when a nation is in some form of civil-rights-war with huge segments of its own population? And this is where China’s “developmental divided” has in my view a better chance at resolution. Because of their present state of racial homogeneity; there is every reason (and incentive) to bring all of their citizenry up to “educational speed”. They are also not creating a constantly in need of feeding criminal justice system (they prefer less, not more social unrest) that is required to siphon off a large number of what would be some very unhappy jobless members of the working class. We on the other hand have states and attitudes that refuse to move out of our apartheid past. See how the recent comments of a Donald Trump are paying off so well for him in the polls; he is not without a huge audience, for he is a spokesperson, and the last best hope of a dying class of Americans, who see their unearned advantaged world collapsing under the weight of a Black and Brown population explosion (They are probably not helping themselves in places like Alabama, where poor Black women find it almost impossible to get family planning education and healthcare!). Latinos should know that his comments have nothing to do with emigration, or “border security”; and everything to do with a world of racial exploitation coming to an end; his target (and his audience collectively winks and knows this) means all Latinos in America, regardless of their citizenship status.
The reliance on the demonization of the darker, non-English speaking “other” (including those who are US citizens) is a powerful cultural narrative in our nation. We are held back (as other nations evolve) because we use our diversity as a political weapon of disenfranchisement, rather than as an asset that could fuel a powerful national development. The south is in no hurry to have a same-nation marriage with the “enemy” north! And I see no movement in the intellectually developed parts of our northern nation to go back to the back of the bus of thinking about things like women not having power over their own bodies. Hope is coming, but in the immediate future it does not look good; and that means no incentive for (or not a hint in the interest of accepting on the parts of the south) an intellectual-modernity “Marshall Plan” for segments of the new-old confederacy. Unfortunately the Republican Party requires a voter base that is bare-brained, uneducated, prejudiced, poorly educated, unenlightened, and wedded to the idea that says: You may be poor, ignorant and destitute as hell, but at least you are not Black or Latino! If White Right-Wing politicians are desperately clinging to a pro-slavery, anti-American treacherous flag; or to a false illusionary heritage that their confederate ancestors fought and died for something anywhere close to noble; we indeed have a long way to go.
The strength of the present German economy is in part due to their seeing historical Nazism as a product of social pathology; not historical pride. To get some southerners (and their northern ideological comrades) to see the civil war in that enlightened context will be a serious (again educational) challenge; as leaving it behind also represents the leaving behind of the nostalgia for time when they had a privileged place in America; a time when Latinos stayed out of the place, and Blacks in America knew and stayed in theirs! That realization that time is not an ally, and that they really lost the war against the US, generates the intense anger you see spewing from the conservative class on places like Fox news! And If these same White misleaders are willing to say: I rather see my White constituents sick and without healthcare insurance, rather than take help from a Black POTUS; I think it is safe to say that we are probably in a very bad place in national race relations, confederate flag flying or not.
But we are also in a very bad place of desperation, when your concept of victory is to fly the flag of your failed anti-patriotic military effort, and traitorous disgrace. That confederacy of deceit and defeat flag, and those sadly desperate flag wavers, both belong in the same museum display case.
*How the South Skews American: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/07/how-the-south-skews-america-119725.html