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Monday, June 29, 2015

TALK ABOUT THE CONFEDERATE FLAG

milton avery

Media interest in pointing the finger of blame at the South over racism has become uber-tiresome. The southwestern quadrant of USA is at least as racist as the southeastern; so is the northwestern and the northeastern. To solve a deep-running issue, NY and LA media want to rid-a-flag they've defined racist. Suppress one, another pops up. In the Soviet time, religion was suppressed. As soon as the Soviet system went away, religion came back. American media is engaged in another frenzy of make-a-law-against. We're so overrun with laws against, we're about painted into a corner. Already, any one of us can be arrested at any moment for something we're doing or have done or conspiracy. Example: the word nigger has been suppressed for the last half century. The working class uses it freely, as does the ruling class. It is only the white middle class that says, "the enword," or uses asterisks between obvious letters. F*t is the same as spelling fat. Saying enword and using asterisks is an act of denial that denies nothing. It's being nice, denying it while saying it. Like it was ok to say shit in front of mommy if I quoted somebody else saying it.

milton avery

I don't mean to be going on like I'm serious about the matter. The flag is too complicated an issue to limit to right or wrong, true or false. Like everything in this phenomenal world we call living, too much is interwoven, experience, thought, beliefs, to call anything or anybody one thing or another. I don't like the way somebody who got drunk and did something stupid that lasted maybe three seconds is called a criminal. I also don't like the way people who have served their time are treated and watched as criminals after their time is served. This is getting into things I have a problem with that I can't do anything about, but I don't have to be that way in my own behavior. Ex-cons I've met along the way, I regard with the same respect as anyone else, with a bit more respect for what they have been through in what I consider an unjust legal system, especially if you're black or any version of non-white, colored, or poor white. Again, nothing I can do about it. I fall back on my boycott of one. Today, I set out to buy a watermelon, wanting to paint one again. I chose to buy it at a roadside stand instead of Food Lion. I can't see giving my five dollars to a corporation that underpays its employees and treats them like shit when I can give somebody an assist who goes into the field early in the morning and selects the produce herself. 

milton avery

I stopped by the welding shop on the way home to visit with Ross and Harry. Milly, Ross's sister, stopped by for a bit and we had a good time sitting and standing in a circle, smoking cigarettes, laughing like the bunch of rednecks we are. These are people I feel at-home free with. We're so close in the heart, I'm about the same as a Richardson. I'm natured a lot like one. Milly and I have been at each other's throats almost with knives, Ross and I have too, and they're my friends I can count on for backup if needed unto the grave. It runs both ways. The subject of the flag came up and we had different thoughts and passions on the matter. Harry most of all. Harry is a retired Army lifer. He said the Confederate flag is treasonous, they fought against the American Army. He called it "you-guys' flag." I said the Civil War was a Yankee invasion. The South defended homeland. Ross said he knows what the flag means. It don't make no differ'nce to him. Milly, the Civil War buff, went off on Yankees and we laughed quite a lot. Except Harry, who identifies Southern, but not with any glorification of the Civil War. It was the Richardson in the rest of us that got us wound up about the South the homeland. 

milton avery

Yesterday, watching the race, Justin told me he was out of sorts with Dale Earnhardt Jr, his favorite driver, for coming out and making a statement that Nascar shouldn't have anything to do with the Confederate flag. I hated to see him so disappointed by a guy he looks up to so personally, like an older brother. He likes Jr's character. I told him Jr is not his own man. I said every time you see him in a commercial, he gets at least hundreds of dollars per showing. He was told by Nascar and corporate sponsors this is what he will do. To say no would cost him hundreds of thousands, millions, maybe his career. I pointed out that television is about money not ethics. Jr is in that world of high-paid celebrities. Once you cross the line into celebrity, your life is no longer your own, you're a product, your name a logo. I wanted to remind him this is a show, this is not real. I knew he knew, just forgot it in a moment of passion. This just a pie-slice of my friends. Very few of them would repeat any other. One can give a hundred reasons for, and another a hundred reasons against, every one of the two hundred reasons valid from some point of view. 

milton avery

The only thing I can see coming of this banning of the flag is a new item in the inventory of underground collectables, flea markets loaded with inflated Confederate flag items, if you know who to ask. Suppression never works and the ones doing the suppressing never get it. We'll have roadside stands selling velvet wall hangings of the flag, tshirts, belt buckles, an infinity of possibilities, just like now. My solution: deal with racism up front and let interest in the flag fade away as it will when nobody cares anymore. I feel like it is healthy for collective American culture to face up to racism as our way of life. Everyone knows it, everyone lives it. We act like we never heard of it. Our racism is rooted deep in our American denial. Which came first, denial or racism? Something like this needs to be brought into awareness collectively, as it does individually, before any real work can be done toward untying the knots of habit patterns that go all the way back to the beginning. It's looking like the Charleston church slayings have brought awareness of pervasive racism in white rule to the surface. If we don't get past blaming the flag, it will have been for naught. I can't imagine television allowing awareness of racism in the white American heart to go beyond blame and punishment, especially not unto self-awareness. 

milton avery


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1 comment:

  1. as usual......TJ Richardson nailed it.......flags dont kill people, hate mongers spewing their poision on the airwaves, promoted by political oportunists...kill people.....God Bless those in Charleston who paid the ultimate price for the crimes of the afrorementioned.....

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