Confederate Flag Cake

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by lovebeingteach, Mar 10, 2012.

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  1. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Exactly! It doesn't matter whether or not you personally think the flag is racist. The truth is that the VAST majority of minorities (and MANY whites) in the South see it as such, and to display it sends a (maybe unintended) racist message to them! You can argue that the person displaying it is not racist, and that may very well be true, but that's how the majority of people will see you if you do display it. And that, Cerek, is what I meant by "it is what it is."
     
  2. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    No, those things do not make one a redneck. If your dad has an ornament on his truck that looks like a pair of balls hanging down, or an obscene decal of some sort on the back window of his truck, that's redneck. Typically, in this part of the country, flying the rebel flag is associated with certain other characteristics that I find... distasteful, I guess. Not that they are bad people, I just find that I have little in common with them. Maybe that makes me stuck up, but I think it's just being real about differences in people.
     
  3. TeachOn

    TeachOn Habitué

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    Do you genuinely struggle to find a distinction between views on slavery in the Confederacy and in New England during the Civil War? If so, let's hope you never attempt the teaching of history.
     
  4. CFClassroom

    CFClassroom Connoisseur

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    Personally, I'd be more upset with the fact that I signed my son up for a physical activity and he was fed cake...in the morning no less (your post was at 10:27 a.m.) than I would be about the flag.
     
  5. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    I'm not sure what you are implying with the "redneck" comments?
     
  6. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    Who doesn't love those decals.
     
  7. GemStone

    GemStone Habitué

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    Mar 11, 2012

    Read up on the Fugitive Slaves Act. Of course slavery was worse than anything up north, but the struggles were severe for blacks everywhere at that time.
     
  8. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    If we are going to discuss history, then we also need to include views of slavery in the North BEFORE the Civil War. The slave trade flourished just as strongly in the New England colonies as it did in the South, but this is often overlooked or completely forgotten because slavery has become so distinctly associated with the South.

    Here is a brief excerpt from a paper on the subject:

    African slavery is so much the outstanding feature of the South, in the unthinking view of it, that people often forget there had been slaves in all the old colonies. Slaves were auctioned openly in the Market House of Philadelphia; in the shadow of Congregational churches in Rhode Island; in Boston taverns and warehouses; and weekly, sometimes daily, in Merchant's Coffee House of New York. Such Northern heroes of the American Revolution as John Hancock and Benjamin Franklin bought, sold, and owned black people. William Henry Seward, Lincoln's anti-slavery Secretary of State during the Civil War, born in 1801, grew up in Orange County, New York, in a slave-owning family and amid neighbors who owned slaves if they could afford them. The family of Abraham Lincoln himself, when it lived in Pennsylvania in colonial times, owned slaves.

    Now, it is true the Northern states abolished slavery before the South, but this had nothing to do with an improved morality in the North. Rather, it was due, in large part, to the massive immigration of Irish after the Potato Blight in Ireland. These new immigrants provided the North with a brand new work force, which greatly diminished the need for slaves. And the Northern states did not free their slaves. Instead, they sold them to Southern states, where the economy depended primarily on agriculture - necessitating the need for a large work force in the South.

    So, when it comes to the issue of slavery, the Northern hands are just as dirty as the Southern ones - a fact that is conveniently forgotten in most discussions on the topic.
     
  9. TeachOn

    TeachOn Habitué

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    "So, when it comes to the issue of slavery, the Northern hands are just as dirty as the Southern ones."

    Oh please. What's next, do we abandon the principles in the Declaration - "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal..." - because of the Sally Hemmings affair? Revoke the Emancipation Proclamation behind that "Why even Lincoln's family itself" thing? This revisionism begins to caricature itself.
     
  10. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Mar 11, 2012

    Like that boy peeing on the Ford logo (and a host of other things)? And sexy cowgirls? Man, some are pretty horrible. :haha::rolleyes:

    My father is called a "High-Tech Redneck". He's so talented, but I won't go on about that now. That said, I do thing that is the wrong name for him because he is NOT a redneck according to how I think most see rednecks. I think a better word would be country. Redneck carries too many negative connotations which wouldn't fit my dad. But let me be sure. What is a redneck exactly?

    Kind of funny: When my husband and I were first together I remember us heading into a store. As I was walking, he asked where my shoes were. I said they were at home. He was shocked. He was from the same county as I, but from town (a small town, but town) and couldn't believe that at eighteen I was going into places barefoot. But that's just what we did sometimes. Not "on purpose"...we just didn't think about putting on shoes. I think some may say that's redneck, but I think it just shows the laidback, country-loving personality of country people. Oh, and I wear shoes in public without fail now, but I see barefeet at least once every few times at the grocery.
     
  11. 2ndTimeAround

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    Mar 11, 2012

    I'm confused - are you doubting the research or do think it isn't relevant to the discussion?
     
  12. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    Mar 11, 2012

    I haven't read through all these pages- but to respond to the original posts--

    I'm from the south. In fact, SC still flies the Confederate flag over the capitol. Which is nothing but ignorance. I don't think the confederate flag should represent hate, but to some it does. So what's the big deal about taking it down? What does it represent about the south? It represents the time when slavery was still abundant. That's not something to be proud of.

    The confederate flag offends people, put it away and keep it away.

    This is coming from a true southern belle:)
     
  13. TeachOn

    TeachOn Habitué

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    I question the conclusion drawn from the evidence, which I assume to be factual. I question, that is, the moral equivalence drawn between North and South in this period. I find it ridiculous. It smacks of the sort of cynical moral nihilism (formerly relativism) which flattens all moral distinctions, rendering null all moral discourse. I consider this so irresponsible as to be odious.
     
  14. 2ndTimeAround

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    so you're saying North was innocent, South was guilty?

    Or, North was just a little bit guilty, but nothing compared to the South?

    I'm not getting it, really, I don't. Were you even aware of the amount of dirty money that ran though the North at the time or had you been taught all along that those in the North were dead-set against slavery of any type?
     
  15. smurfette

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    I'm from a southern state, and my family is from an even more southern state, and I agree with this.
     
  16. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Mar 11, 2012

    I've read through this thread, walked away, calmed down, and walked back. First, I do understand why someone would assume showing a confederate flad was a racist statement. However, I would hope they would take a step back and re-think. I live in the deep South and there are confederate flags everywhere. (Flown proudly by white, African American, and mixed race people.) It's not viewed as a racist symbol. The reasons for the creation of that flag were about states' rights, not about race. And as far as our "treasonous ancestors"....our founding fathers committed treason. That's why we are American now. I think we, as a society, have become very sensitive. It's so easy to assume or read into situations. Sometimes a flag is just a flag. It was a great opportunity to educate your child about the history of the flag and what it meant to our country's history. I tell my students all the time that there are dark times in our country's history that we are responsible for knowing about. Slavery, the Trail of Tears, internment camps....we've made some mistakes. WE...the country, not just a region. We can choose to wallow in those mistakes, or we can learn from them and become stronger.
     
  17. John Lee

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    Mar 11, 2012

    Or we can choose to be ignorant of them, which is what we do with most important issues we face.

    I also said the same thing, that it was a good teaching moment. Also FWIW, I see no need to confront the teacher about it. It seems like he does see it as a source of pride rather than a symbol of hate, and so I wouldn't bring it up.
     
  18. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I wouldn't bring it up either...

    He won't likely say, "Oh, yeah, we're racist so we went for that cake!"

    And if he explains it as something else, where does that leave the OP? Pulling her child?

    And if the OP just wants to make the teacher aware of how such decisons could be read, he likely knows that already.
     
  19. TeachOn

    TeachOn Habitué

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    First of all, one might reasonably wonder whether we can legitimately talk of either "The North" or "The South" as entities susceptible to legitimate moral assessment. We all seem to be assuming that this is the case, however, so let's just go with that.

    I am saying simply that the actions and beliefs of the South were more morally reprehensible than those of the North, during the Civil War period. Of course, my point of view does not depend on any delusion that all Northerners were morally perfect, or that all Southerners were morally depraved. I think you know that. Is that a little straw I see on the floor?

    Sadly, perhaps, moral judgments can never achieve the seeming tautological incontrovertibility of some statements in math or logic - problematic counterinstances will arise and doubt always looms - but that cannot mean that we may not offer moral judgments. I think, in fact, that the moral person is obligated to do so. Judgment is, of course, not very popular in our age - as a matter of leftist/enlightenment dogma - but that is, I think, most unfortunate.
     
  20. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    I personally get tired of hearing how people from the South are rednecks or backwards.
     
  21. 2ndTimeAround

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    No, TeachOn, I did not know that. I have seen many, many people from the north come down here and seldom have they had any true teachings on those times. I've had a HISTORY teacher argue that no one from her area ever owned slaves since it was always illegal. And she assumed that anyone who had roots here came from slave-owning families.

    FTR, I have met just as many racists from outside this region as I have from here. Racists from here have it drilled into them for generations. Racists not from here are shocked at how much of a majority the minority can be and are afraid of the unknown.

    Like I said before, to assume the cake was a symbol of racism would be just as narrowminded as racism itself is.
     
  22. TeachOn

    TeachOn Habitué

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    Your history teacher was, of course, simply wrong, and we agree that that is unfortunate. Just to be clear, if I were to teach this historical period (I don't), I would give facts supporting both views (perhaps others) and would ensure that both get a full hearing in our discussions. The students would never guess my own views, which I have shared with you here. That's the way I teach. I am, in fact, politically very conservative - according to most though not all of the various meanings of the term; but my students would never guess - have never guessed - that, even though I trade in matters of opinion all the time. I jump from side to side, helping out whichever side is flagging, in an effort to keep the conversational ball in the air. The kids hardly bother even to ask what I think any more. When they do, answer with a question.

    I've never been south of Virginia International Raceway. I spent my day in the pits: all I really remember is the red dirt. No doubt my views are colored by this fact, my view partial in both senses. All I know is that where I live, the flag is understood to convey a racist sentiment, and to put it out for a diverse group of children would be at the least insensitive. When in Rome, I suppose, do as the Romans do, whether it be Rome, New York or Rome, Georgia.

    Thank you for your passion. I am sure that your students benefit by it.
     
  23. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    I don't think anyone here is saying that at all.
     
  24. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Did I suggest anything of this nature? Not at all. I simply pointed out the Northern colonies were just as guilty of slavery as the Southern ones, which is almost never brought up in any discussion of slavery.

    The only revisionism occurring are the ones trying to deny or dismiss the fact of slave ownership in the North.
     
  25. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    I think the bottom line is this: Should the instructor have known that the confederate flag, fairly or unfairly, symbolizes racism to some? Yes. Knowing this, should he, as an educator (even a private, extra-curricular coach) bring this cake to class, regardless of its intended meaning? No. I might not pull the kid from class, but I would be sure to let the instructor know that I wasn't pleased.

    I would find it hard to believe that he doesn't know it could be considered racist, regardless of whether or not that was intent.
     
  26. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    I went back to read the OP. The cake was meant for the other teacher, not necessarily the kids. It is unclear if the other teacher helps with the karate club or does another club. It's also unclear if the teacher bringing the cake planned a party or if the second teacher just decided to share the cake with the kids. Either way, any "message" from the cake design was meant for the other teacher, not the kids.

    It would be the same as one teacher bringing a cake to another teacher during school and the second teacher deciding to share the cake with her students, even though it wasn't originally meant for them.
     
  27. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    I think this is a good idea. I hope everything works out well for you. It seems as if your child enjoys the class and has learned a lot.
     
  28. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Actually I think there are people on here that feel that way and it shows in their posts...not only in this thread, but others.
     
  29. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    Whether it was for the kids or not, if the kids were going to see it, I think it was inappropriate.
     
  30. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    While checking out a local public elementary school in the deep south (major city), the K classroom displayed the confederate flag. I asked about it, and they said because it is part of the history.
     
  31. Geauxtee

    Geauxtee Comrade

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    I live in New Orleans and no one flies the Confederate flag or has it on the back of their car.

    I probably wouldn't put my son from the class just because of the cake.

    Personally, I find the Confederate flag simply low-class.
     
  32. Securis

    Securis Cohort

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    What this thread needs is some levity. So...

    Several years ago in Mississippi, 2001, there was a referendum vote to change the current flag to a new design.
    From an 1894 version which legislatively expired in 1906:
    [​IMG]
    To something like the following except with another seven stars in the circle on the canton and a blue stripe across the top:
    [​IMG]

    Interestingly,
    [​IMG]

    Won out over this:
    [​IMG]

    in near landslide fashion. Who would have thought?

    Ironically, this:
    [​IMG]

    Is the First Confederate National flag in its final version. And interestingly, there was a second national flag:

    [​IMG]
    and third:
    [​IMG]
    which were both also revised several times before being accepted as they appear here.

    And on a final note to add the punch line, the proposal to carry the "new" flag:
    [​IMG]
    Would have also stipulated a protection on all current memorials, buildings, state parks, and even street names from ever being changed as a matter of heritage, in perpetuity.

    This flag:
    [​IMG]
    Carried the vote and thus no such protections were granted.

    And stubborn traditionalism wins yet again.
     
  33. Teachings4Me

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    Well, I grew up in Michigan and used to be appalled by the Confederate flag, but now that I live and teach in NC, I've become numb to it. In my part of the south, it really is just a sign of pride. It all depends on the context in my opinion. I've seen a bumper sticker down here numerous times that says, "If this flag offends you, then you need a history lesson." referring to the Confederate flag. They're not out to offend anyone, just show their pride and loyalty to the southern states.

    Now that I teach a curriculum that introduces the Civil War to 2nd graders, I don't teach who was right or who was wrong. I explain that both sides fought for what they believed in.... which is a bit different from the skewed version of the war I got taught about in the north....

    Ultimately, it's up to you what you choose to do, but why don't you talk to the teacher about it and try to understand their reasoning? I seriously doubt they would put something out in front of children that had a racial connotation to them.. (at least I hope so!)
     
  34. DrivingPigeon

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    WOW, I started reading this and thought This person must live in Wisconsin! When I was in high school, the "hicks" all had confederate flags flying from their trucks. To them, the flag stood for "white power."

    However, this is in Wisconsin. I have heard that, to some, the confederate flag simply means "southern pride," and does not have any tie to race. For that reason, it would depend on what the teacher's intentions were. It is entirely possible that they didn't think anything of it.
     
  35. Sam Aye M

    Sam Aye M Mr. Know-It-All

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    Can I ask an honest question? Why do southerners have such fierce pride in being from the south? Where does that need to identify with being a southerner come from? You don't see "California" pride, or Wyoming pride, or northern pride, etc. It is amazing to me how much some people are defending the southern way of life, and southern pride. I'm not saying it's wrong, just that you would never see someone from so cal do that. From an outsider's perspective, it's a pretty interesting topic to me. The civil war was well over 150 years ago, yet people are still invoking it in a conversation defending their way of life.
     
  36. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I see that sort of regional pride all the time. I'm from North Dakota and I have a tremendous amount of prairie pride.
     
  37. Sam Aye M

    Sam Aye M Mr. Know-It-All

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    Maybe it's just southern california then. The only pride I see here is hispanic pride, which is more ethnical than regional.
     
  38. MissCeliaB

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    Bostonians have an extreme amount of pride, as do people from New York, down to the particular city or borough. I don't think it's any different in the south.
     
  39. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    Arguing as to what the true meaning of the confederate flag is will accomplish nothing. Everyone takes symbols like this in a very different way. I think the point should be that the Confederate Flag while a symbol of Southern Pride to some, absolutely does serve as a symbol of racism and hatred for others. You can argue that the Civil War was about State's Righjts and not slavery, but the fact remains that in today's world the Confederate Flag is seen by some as a symbol of racism. Look at the Civil Rights Battles post Civil War, the Confederate Flag is seen in countless pictures of the KKK and other protests for Civil Rights.
     
  40. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    I agree completely. We have to realize that it has been (and still IS) used by many as a sign of white supremacy, and we must be sensitive to that. It's not a matter of being proud of the South. I'm very proud to live in Texas and be a "southerner". I love most of our culture down here, and I'll say "y'all" and "fixin' to" right along with everyone else. But the fact of the matter is that there are some parts of our history that are a disgrace, and we have to acknowledge it and work to change it. To many, many people, that flag is a symbol of our disgrace.
     
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