Is America raising the white flag to the threat within?

August 3rd, 2015
As an old joke goes, two U.S. congressmen from opposing parties went hunting and came across some tracks. Arguing whether they were deer or bear, they never heard the train racing down the tracks towards them.

Sadly, it underscores a current debate in Congress over the Confederate flag—one focusing on a lesser evil as a much greater one races down upon us.

Due to the senseless act of a single white killer who hated blacks, killing nine as they prayed in their Charleston, South Carolina church, and his subsequent depiction with the Confederate flag in a photo taken earlier, Congress recently debated the flag’s symbolic message.

Unfortunately, several relevant considerations were not addressed.

First, those supporting removal of the flag from public display would be hard-pressed to name a 21st century incident in which the Confederate flag played a significant motivational factor in an act of racial brutality. While there may be some, it is not endemic so as to indict all who choose to display the flag.

Most of those who died on battlefields fighting under the Confederate flag during the Civil War never even owned slaves. They saw their fight as one for state’s rights. Thus, the flag today should not be generalized as symbolizing racism. In fact, to many Southerners, it is a reflection of a proud heritage.

Second, if political correctness demands removal of the Confederate flag from public display, what about sensitivities native American Indians might have about our nation’s flag due to its history of repression against them. Would they, therefore, be justified in demanding removal of the American flag as well?

What one deems offensive often lies in the eyes of the beholder; however, it opens the door to an endless stream of victims claiming they are offended.

Third, in recent on-the-street interviews about the July 4th holiday, Americans were asked what the day represents. A majority could not answer. Other such interviews involving knowledge about U.S. history, such as whom we fought during World War II, have received similar responses.

If a majority of Americans lack a basic knowledge about our history, one wonders whom among them today—including the Confederate flag wavers themselves—comprehend the flag’s link to slavery.

Fourth, such historical naiveté is evident in other images proudly displayed by class members victimized by one they choose to promote today.

A case in point is Cuban revolutionary/terrorist Che Guevara whose image has become a fashion statement. Today, stores across America display his image on clothing, such as T-shirts. Such shirts are proudly worn by blacks—whom Che ridiculed in his writings for being inferior to whites.

The historical naiveté about Che’s black hatred was apparent when rap artist Jay-Z visited Cuba in April 2013, declaring him to be one of his heroes.

Fifth, if all symbols of hateful bigotry are fair game in a politically correct America, why then is the flag of Islam not banned? The last vestiges of our early history’s slave trade which progressives now seek to erase by removing the Confederate flag is a trade in which Muslims thrived for centuries. And, as we see in the Middle East today, it continues.

Long ago Muslim slave traders tore African families apart, taking natives captive to sell to Western buyers. Were it not for the role played by Muslims—one justified by the Quran both then and now—it is doubtful the slave trade would have flourished in early America as it did.

The point to be made here is, depending on how far back one chooses to go, no nation and no racial or religious group can escape its dark history. Thus, it is of far greater import to focus on historical hatreds that have failed, even with the passage of time, to abate.

Such hatred is indeed found thriving in America today as well as the rest of the Western world. But Confederate flag critics are looking for it in all the wrong places. They need to look at the hatred directed against non-Muslims, regardless of color, taught in every Islamic house of worship around the world. To understand it, one need only heed Friday prayers in these mosques where imams pray for the return of the Mahdi.

If we are concerned about symbols of hate, we need focus on what these prayers are demanding happen with the Mahdi’s return. For all non-Muslims, there are but two options: total submission to Islam or death. Such prayers are repeated religiously not only by Islamic extremists but all Muslims.

Ironically, on July 9, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) called for a review of all Confederate symbols and memorabilia on public U.S. government display. This will undoubtedly include looking at the possibility of removing statues of Confederate leaders, changing names of U.S. military bases named after them, etc.

It is disturbing to see such a focus put on burying an already dead past while the present threat posed by Islamic hatred goes unaddressed.

This author was raised by a father who, as head of the U.S. Navy in the early 1970s, worked tirelessly and successfully to create a racially color blind military service.  That effort was an awakening for the author as to numerous racial insensitivities rampant within our military. But, while it is important everything be done to level the racial equality playing field both within and without the military, it is also important to focus on identifying and addressing threats endangering all players.

One lone gunmen’s crazed act in a South Carolina church has created a national uproar against a symbol of American history that may or may not have been a motivational factor triggering his act of racial hatred. Yet Islam’s hatred for all Westerners, reflected in thousands of violent acts occurring worldwide, is ignored by these same critics.

A selective cleansing of America’s past hatred while disregarding a present hatred festering unabated within our borders creates a ticking time bomb.

While Congressional leaders call for a review of the Confederate flag, none call for a review of Islam’s flag and the teachings of hatred manifested in weekly sermons given in mosques across America.

Perhaps our submission to political correctness and to Islam would be better served by adopting a new American flag for which none, save patriots, might find offensive—a white flag of surrender.

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