The Instigator
bettabreeder
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
black_squirrel
Con (against)
Winning
5 Points

The confederate flag is not racist

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
black_squirrel
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/28/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,921 times Debate No: 44769
Debate Rounds (3)
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Votes (1)

 

bettabreeder

Pro

The Confederate flag was the flag of the confederacy from 1863-65. It's cross is the cross of Saint Andrew and each star resembles a 13 colony. Flown By Northern Virginia and the Army of Tennessee, blacks freed and slaved including native Americans all died for this flag. Hate groups like the KKK and the Skinheads adopted the flag and changed the meaning of its history. The South seceded because of higher taxes in the North not slavery. The American flag flew over slaves for 89 years as the confederate states... 4.
black_squirrel

Con

I thank my opponent for hosting this debate. I will argue that the confederate flag is racist.

PRO: "The South seceded because of higher taxes in the North not slavery. "

Before the civil war, Jefferson Davis advocated secession (of Mississippi) if an abolitionist is elect president [1]. It is clear that one of his main motives is the preservation of slavery. He says:

"It seems now to be probable that the Abolitionists and their allies will have control of the next House of Representatives, and it may be well inferred from their past course that the will attempt legislature both injurious and offensive to the south. I have an abiding faith that any law which violates our constitutional rights, will be met with a veto by the present Executive. – But should the next House of Representatives be such as would elect an Abolition President, we may expect that the election will be so conducted as probably to defeat a choice by the people and devolve the election upon the House.

Whether by the House or by the people, if an Abolitionist be chosen president of the United States, you will have presented to you the question of whether you will permit the government to pass into the hands of your avowed and implacable enemies. Without pausing for your answer, I will state my own position to be that such a result would be a species of revolution by which the purposes of the Government would be destroyed and the observances of its mere forms entitled to no respect.

In that event, in such manner as should be most expedient, I should deem it your duty to provide for your safety outside of a Union with those how have already shown the will, and would have acquired the power, to deprive you of your birthright and to reduce you to worse than the colonial dependence of your fathers."




















Also, the Texas secesionists clearly state in a declaration that slavery is a reason for succession. They write [2], [3]:

" That in this free government all white men are and of right ought to be entitled to equal civil and political rights; that the servitude of the African race, as existing in these States, is mutually beneficial to both bond and free, and is abundantly authorized and justified by the experience of mankind, and the revealed will of the Almighty Creator, as recognized by all Christian nations; while the destruction of the existing relations between the two races, as advocated by our sectional enemies, would bring inevitable calamities upon both and desolation upon the fifteen slave-holding States.

By the secession of six of the slave-holding States, and the certainty that others will speedily do likewise, Texas has no alternative but to remain in an isolated connection with the North, or unite her destinies with the South.

For these and other reasons, solemnly asserting that the federal constitution has been violated and virtually abrogated by the several States named, seeing that the federal government is now passing under the control of our enemies to be diverted from the exalted objects of its creation to those of oppression and wrong, and realizing that our own State can no longer look for protection, but to God and her own sons—We the delegates of the people of Texas, in Convention assembled, have passed an ordinance dissolving all political connection with the government of the United States of America and the people thereof and confidently appeal to the intelligence and patriotism of the freemen of Texas to ratify the same at the ballot box, on the 23rd day of the present month."




















There is overwhelming evidence that slavery was one of the main reasons that the South wanted to secede from the Union.

meaning of the confederate flag

The confederate flag means different things to different people, also depending on the context. Since slavery was a major dispute in the American civil war, it is understandable that some people have associated the confederate flag with slavery. And it is not only black people, descendants from slaves, who have interpreted the flag in this way. As my opponent mentioned, the KKK and other hate groups have interpreted the flag in this way, and have abused the flag for their own political purposes. This abuse has strengthened the perception that the confederate is associated to racism. Nowadays, the perception that the confederate flag stands for racism is widespread. In a Gallop poll in 2000, 28% of the American people felt that the conferate flag is racist, another 5% believed it stood for both racism and southern pride.

A flag is a symbol. And symbols, much like words, change their meaning over time. (If I say I am tweeting, nobody will think I am making bird sounds nowadays.) The confederate flag has been tainted from the start, but even if it wasn't, even if it did not stand for racism initially, it does now. In my opinion, people in the south should acknowledge that the flag is perceived as racist, and find another symbol for southern pride. The south has a lot to be proud of, but slavery is not part of that.


There is a striking example in history where a positive symbol has become a symbol associated with racism. This is the swastika. To avoid any misunderstanding, let me make clear that I am NOT using this example to compare the South with the Nazi's, but only to illustrate the evolution of a symbol.

The Swastika was is an old symbol, that has a rich history [4]. Among other things, it symbolizes Lakshmi, the Hindu god of wealth, prosperity and auspiciousness. Then the Nazi's used this symbol in their flag. Nowadays, the swastika is almost always associated with racism and antisemitism. It would be foolish to use this symbol, even if your intentions were good and you wanted to honor Lakshmi.


In the same way, whatever the history is of the confederate flag, it IS perceived as racist NOWADAYS by a significant portion of the American population. Therefore, I think it would be foolish to continue using this symbol. People who want to use the confederate flag should understand that this flag is offensive to a lot of people. Sure, there may be some reasons to use this symbol, but what reasons would justify offending a lot of people?






[1] http://www.confederatepastpresent.org...
[2]http://www.confederatepastpresent.org...
[3] William Winkler, Journal of the Secession Convention (Austin: State library, 1912), 61-65.


Debate Round No. 1
bettabreeder

Pro

You only said two states that said slavery was there reason for secession, but what about Virginia or the Carolinas they seceded for there rights and taxes. Maryland wanted to leave because of being more agricultural than industry (by population). Florida had a low slave population but they left because they were taxed too high because there was no industrial use in Florida as in Maryland the people in the western industrial area was German how oppose the South. Slavery was in the North, but was abolished because farms died out and and industry moved in so slavery was something they didn't need it. The USA kept slaves for 89 years as the CSA only held slaves for 4 years. The swastika stood for hate against the Jewish people. but are Lakshmi you should be 100% to hold the symbol as Christians show the cross. And at the end of the 1800's the KKK stop using the Confederate flag and made their on flag and used the American flag. Also freed men fought for this flag and its nation its standed for. slaves where only used to dig trenches and find bombs hidden in the ground but in 1863 these men got to fight for the South. Did i even say that Mexicans and Native Americans fought for this flag.
black_squirrel

Con




PRO: "Florida had a low slave population but they left because they were taxed too high because there was no industrial use in Florida as in Maryland the people in the western industrial area was German how oppose the South."

Most of the "Florida Declaration of Causes" [1], the official reasons for secession of Florida, speaks about slavery and abolition.
"By the agency of a large proportion of the members from the non slaveholding States books have been published and circulated amongst us the direct tendency and avowed purpose of which is to excite insurrection and servile war with all their attendant horrors. A President has recently been elected, an obscure and illiterate man without experience in public affairs or any general reputation mainly if not exclusively on account of a settled and often proclaimed hostility to our institutions and a fixed purpose to abolish them. It is denied that it is the purpose of the party soon to enter into the possession of the powers of the Federal Government to abolish slavery by any direct legislative act. This has never been charged by any one. But it has been announced by all the leading men and presses of the party that the ultimate accomplishment of this result is its settled purpose and great central principle. That no more slave States shall be admitted into the confederacy and that the slaves from their rapid increase (the highest evidence of the humanity of their owners will become value less. Nothing is more certain than this and at no distant day. What must be the condition of the slaves themselves when their number becomes so large that their labor will be of no value to their owners. Their natural tendency every where shown where the race has existed to idleness vagrancy and crime increased by an inability to procure subsistence. Can any thing be more impudently false than the pretense that this state of things is to be brought about from considerations of humanity to the slaves."

Florida still had a lot of Slaves at the beginning of the war (61,000), and their labor accounted for 85 percent of the cotton production. Also, a lot of slaves that fled fought in the civil war, on the Union side!

"By 1840 white Floridians were concentrating on developing the territory and gaining statehood. The population had reached 54,477 people, with African American slaves making up almost one-half of the population. Steamboat navigation was well established on the Apalachicola and St. Johns Rivers, and railroads were planned.

There were over 61,000 slaves in Florida in 1861. Their labor accounted for 85 percent of the state’s cotton production. Confederate authorities used slaves as teamsters to transport supplies and as laborers in salt works and fisheries. Many Florida slaves working in these coastal industries escaped to the relative safety of Union controlled enclaves. Beginning in 1862, Union military activity in East and West Florida encouraged slaves in plantation areas to flee their owners in search of freedom. Some worked on Union ships and more than a thousand enlisted as soldiers and sailors in the U.S. military"


PRO:"You only said two states that said slavery was there reason for secession, but what about Virginia or the Carolinas they seceded for there rights and taxes."
Now, if we look at the South Carolina declaration of secession [3], the Wikipedia synopsis says:
"The opening portion of the declaration outlines the historical background of South Carolina and offers a legal justification for its secession. It asserts that the right of states to secede is implicit in the Constitution and this right was explicitly reaffirmed by South Carolina in 1852. The declaration states that the agreement between South Carolina and the United States is subject to the law of compact, which creates obligations on both parties and which revokes the agreement if either party fails to uphold its obligations.

The next section asserts that the government of the United States and of states within that government had failed to uphold their obligations to South Carolina. The specific issue stated was the refusal of some states to enforce the Fugitive Slave Act and clauses in the U.S. Constitution protecting slavery and the federal government's perceived role in attempting to abolish slavery.

The next section states that while these problems have existed for twenty-five years, the situation had recently become unacceptable due to the election of a President (this was Abraham Lincoln although he is not mentioned by name) who was planning to outlaw slavery.

The final section concludes with a statement that South Carolina had therefore seceded from the United States."

Again, slavery is the main reason for secession of S. Carolina. Need I go on??? Surely, if you check the other states, you will find the same (I think I have done enough research for now).


KKK and confederate flag

PRO: "And at the end of the 1800's the KKK stop using the Confederate flag and made their on flag and used the American flag."
I just went to the KKK website (www.kkk.com - easy to remember), then clicked on "...KKK t-shirts and more", then clicked on "flags" [4].

Out of the 17 flags they offer, 5 have the confederate flag (or a variation) on it. Only 3 have a KKK logo. One of the flag has both:


White Power Ku Klux Klan - Click Image to Close

So it seems that the KKK is still using the confederate flag, even if it is not their official flag.

Main point

My main point though, is that regardless what the flag originally stood for (and it stood in part for slavery), it matters what it stands for today. The poll results show that the flag is conceived as being racist. And it is easy to see, why people could perceive it as racist (slavery in civil war, KKK, etc.)

PRO: "The USA kept slaves for 89 years as the CSA only held slaves for 4 years. "

True, but for whatever reason, the stars 'n stripes has evolved as a symbol that unites all American people, and the confederate flag has evolved as a symbol that divides the American people.

Blacks dying for the confederate flag?

PRO: "The Confederate flag was the flag of the confederacy from 1863-65. It's cross is the cross of Saint Andrew and each star resembles a 13 colony. Flown By Northern Virginia and the Army of Tennessee, blacks freed and slaved including native Americans all died for this flag. "

There were very few black soldiers on the confederate side, about 300 perhaps. Compare this to the 180,000-200,000 black soldiers on the union side. [5]

"It is widely accepted by historians that perhaps as many as 200,000 blacks served in the Union Army."

"CWG has discovered that historians and staff – notably Robert Krick – atSpotsylvania National Battlefield Park have sifted through about 100,000 soldiers’ records to see how many non-whites were represented. Non-whites could be blacks, Native Americans, and mulattoes. They found that only 20-30 non-whites were found out of 100,000 soldiers’ records. That is less than 1/300th of one percent. Taking into account that the following estimate involves more conjecture than a good historian would be comfortable with applying to acceptable methods of reliable historical inquiry, one can still get a fairly solid “finger in the air” estimate that if that same ratio of 1/300th was applied to the figure-range of 750,000 – 900,000 Confederates serving during the war from 1861-1865, then one could only reasonably conclude that, at best, between 250-300 black soldiers may have served in the Confederate Army, and of those an even much smaller percentage would have been entrusted to take up arms."


[1]http://www.civilwarcauses.org...
[2]http://en.wikipedia.org...
[3]http://en.wikipedia.org...
[4]http://americanheritagecommittee.com...
[5]http://civilwargazette.wordpress.com...

Debate Round No. 2
bettabreeder

Pro

Please tell me what this means from SC
>In the year 1765, that portion of the British Empire embracing Great Britain, undertook to make laws for the government of that portion composed of the thirteen American Colonies. A struggle for the right of self-government ensued, which resulted, on the 4th of July, 1776, in a Declaration, by the Colonies, """that they are, and of right ought to be, FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES; and that, as free and independent States, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent States may of right do.

Also I want to say that the Confederate states freed her slaves in 1863 prior to the emancipation as the border states freed her slaves in 1665 prior to the 13 amendment
It wouldn't paste on for me but the Flag of the Cheerkree Braves, flown a flag that looked quit like the first national. 15% of the Southern army was Native American

In 1863 Jefferson Davis let all black southerners fight for this flag, he said that you could be working in the trenches building walls or armed you will aloud to fight In battle so calling this flag rasict is weird because all races fought for this flag.

Maryland had a higher slave population then Florida. Most of Florida kept is slaves in the north as Maryland kept them all over, secession in Maryland would've happened if it wasn't near DC

The confederate Flag/KKK that you showed me seems racist by that's not what the flags about. States rights, less government and less taxes and freedom of the state are what this flag is truly about. Never to be about rascism. Secession left for freedom of there states not knowing what racial issues will happen in our future (KKK, segergation )

And if this flag stood for "slavery" and if the south history Is "racist" why is the south in the Black belt?... Think bout that
black_squirrel

Con

PRO: "Please tell me what this means from SC
>In the year 1765, that portion of the British Empire embracing Great Britain, undertook to make laws for the government of that portion composed of the thirteen American Colonies. A struggle for the right of self-government ensued, which resulted, on the 4th of July, 1776, in a Declaration, by the Colonies, """that they are, and of right ought to be, FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES; and that, as free and independent States, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent States may of right do."

Are you saying that the southern states had the legal right to secede? I am not sure what that has to do with the question whether the confederate flag is racist. I also claim slavery was one of the main reasons the south seceded.

PRO:"Also I want to say that the Confederate states freed her slaves in 1863 prior to the emancipation as the border states freed her slaves in 1665 prior to the 13 amendment"
Certainly not in all confederate states. You should give a resource for that statement.

PRO:"15% of the Southern army was Native American"
African Americans and native Americans are not the same.


PRO:"In 1863 Jefferson Davis let all black southerners fight for this flag, he said that you could be working in the trenches building walls or armed you will aloud to fight In battle so calling this flag racist is weird because all races fought for this flag."

How gracious of Jefferson Davis for allowing blacks to get killed in the war. In any case, very few blacks did fight on the confederate side, as I have shown before. (300 on the confederate side versus 200,000 on the Union side).

PRO: "The confederate Flag/KKK that you showed me seems racist by that's not what the flags about. States rights, less government and less taxes and freedom of the state are what this flag is truly about. Never to be about racism. Secession left for freedom of there states not knowing what racial issues will happen in our future (KKK, segregation ) "

The problem is, it is not just you decide what the flag stands for. There are many Americans who find, with good reasons, that the flag is offensive. You may use a confederate flag and not having any racist intentions, but 1/3 of the American do find the confederate flag racist to some degree. If a person nowadays waves a confederate flag in front of black people, being perfectly aware that it offends them, then I would suspect that they do have some racist intentions.
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by kbub 3 years ago
kbub
bettabreederblack_squirrelTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Con has strong historical primary sources, and has clearly shown how both then and now the confederate flag has been a symbol of racism, though not always. Con clearly won; Pro dropped way too many of Con's arguments. Pro also had far more sources. Excellent argumentation, Con.