” A Heritage Of Hate” By Erik Bryan

“I was never friends with people who still celebrated the Confederacy; I was raised to know better. When confronted with the obscenity that is this flag and what it represents, a majority of its defenders are likely to spout the tired cliché that the flag represents “heritage, not hate.” This is bullshit. It’s as much bullshit as anyone who begins their racist statements with the phrase “I’m not a racist, but…” It’s bullshit because the heritage those same defenders are supporting is founded on hatred. And I should know because it’s my heritage.”

What honor do we owe Confederate soldiers? They fought on the losing side of one of the most inhumane causes in human history, perhaps second only to that of the Nazis. I don’t believe this is an exaggeration. The Civil War—begun in earnest with a Confederate siege and bombardment of the US Army in Fort Sumter—claimed over half a million lives and destroyed numerous American cities, all so a minority group could be kept in chains. (Ever notice how proudly neo-Nazis in America display the Confederate flag? Does that not in itself put to rest any notion of “heritage, not hate”?) Why in the name of anything holy should the Confederate cause be memorialized at all? Why should we continue to esteem their hatred for and oppression of blacks by flying the battle flag of their soldiers? Especially considering how widespread their toxic and violent ideologies remain in America to this day.

Do I hate my ancestry? No. Honestly, I feel too far removed from these people whom I’ve never met to feel love or hate. I admit I find it fascinating, but isn’t feeling fascinated by my family’s sordid history a form of privilege? The very fact that I know the names of my relatives going back that far is a privilege in itself, as I’ve learned in discussions with African-American or Jewish friends about their family histories—many of which stop much more quickly. But I am ashamed of this heritage. I understand that my ancestors and others who fought for the Confederacy were human beings, just like everyone else, complex and filled with good and bad qualities. But that doesn’t mean we are obligated to venerate the bad qualities, the loathsome parts of our heritage. My family tree has its poets, scientists, doctors, and teachers, too. I simply see no reason to honor the fraction of my heritage dedicated to white supremacy. And really it’s only a small fraction of American history, too. The CSA lasted four short years, over 150 years ago. How many more causes and political movements have come since then far more worthy of acknowledgment?


posted by f.sheikh



3 thoughts on “” A Heritage Of Hate” By Erik Bryan

  1. No one would like to see the confederate flag displayed proudly if it was only a symbol of America’s dark past of slavery. History, however is a little different than general understanding that it was all about slavery. The real reason for the civil war was economic and it wasn’t the bleeding hearts of the North, for slaves in the South. War was started to preserve the Union and against the states declaring secession. North had not abolished slavery for feeling the pain of slaves but the economy of North having gradually changed from agricultural to industrial made the North work along with slaves and thus keeping slaves didn’t help much. South still was agricultural economy and needed slaves to work in the plantations. Initially America was a confederacy and while expanding West of Mississippi, the status of new states became debatable and new constitution was adopted making it a union and taking many rights of the states which the South didn’t like. Lincoln used the Emancipation Proclamation as a war tool, to create difficulties for South with slaves rebelling there. So when some claim the confederate flag as their heritage, they are not totally being racist. The fact is that, racism is very much alive and it doesn’t matter if a racist is from the South or North. I don’t give any credit to the North for freeing slaves so I think confederate sympathizers have a right to remember their resistance against the union and slavery would have ended in the South as well on its own just like it ended elsewhere (Europe for example). This guy Roof in Charleston had a grudge about South Africa’s apartheid rule’s end and a racist and a drug addict and was able to get a gun easily, confederate flag is a non issue here – just cheap publicity and politics.


  2. The correct statement would be “No one would proudly display the confederate flag and then say it is because he/she is/was proud of slavery”. That would be too politically incorrect ; so people use other reasons for their pride in that flag. At the bottom though there is either hatred or indifference towards Blacks’ feelings.

    Saying that the Civil War was not about slavery but about economics is much like saying the Holocaust was not about hatred towards Jews but for economic reasons. Refer to the following link; economy WAS one of the reasons Hitler was able to generate widespread hatred of Jews but he would have used anything available to achieve his object.. Economy is part of almost all wars. The economy that the southern state cared about then was the free labor they were able to get. There may have been other minor issues re. the states’ independence but slavery was the major part.


    I also find this link interesting.


    I am as surprised that the confederate flag still flies as I was in the early 1970’s, when I first came to this country where there were separate waiting rooms for blacks and whites in doctors’ offices in the South.

  3. We have witnessed white cops killing black men in New York and other regions, even for minor suspicions, where there is no question of any symbol of flag or economic reasons. The British brought in a large number of ‘Irish Slaves’ also. They were freed much earlier and they without any problem assimilated within their white race. Today nobody talks about Irish slaves. Since the civil war, the confederate flag has been there, and never became a reason for killing black people. Unfortunately, black Africans are still being treated as slaves and treated as possible criminals. They have been freed from physical slavery, but are enslaved economically, morally, and racially. At the same time it is also true that the Africans are still suffering from the psycho-biological complex of victimhood. Since the whites have oppressed and mistreated them, they are also living in a psycho-biological complex of being oppressors. It is the psychology of the oppressor and the cruel person, that he lives in fear of retaliation of the oppressed ones. . . . MIRZA ASHRAF

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