I really need a bigger column

August 11, 2015

 

Lawrance Bernabo
The Sneezing Opossum

Too bad this column cannot be run as the cover story because I could use the extra space to talk about everything that happened this summer. I will try to restrain myself to just two topics.


With regards to the debate over the Confederate battle flag, the people who should really be outraged are racists, who started adding it to state flags during the Civil Rights movement as a symbol of white supremacy, only to see it hijacked as a symbol of Southern heritage. Of course, the flag’s heritage is that of killing other Americans.


Robert E. Lee is still considered the greatest general in American history and his Army of Northern Virginia might actually have killed more Americans than any other general and army in history.


It is ironic that with the 150th anniversary of the Civil War in April, now we are having a debate about why it was fought—states’ rights or slavery?


On the one hand, the South seceded because of the election of Abraham Lincoln, whose policy was to halt the expansion of slavery (which made him a moderate by Republican standards at that time).


What possible threat to states’ rights did Lincoln represent besides slavery?


On the other hand, the South’s commitment to states’ rights was such that it helped contribute to the Confederacy’s fall. Governors saved supplies for their own states instead of contributing to the cause.


Beyond that, Confederate flags represent the idea that one region of the country is better than any other, which is ultimately an argument against equality.


How far can this anti-Confederate sentiment go in terms of public policy? Will Mississippi and Georgia change their flags (it would be the third time in 20 years for the Peach State)? Should we change the name of Lake Calhoun? Remove all statues of Confederate generals from public display?


In Memphis, they want to dig up the graves of Nathan Bedford Forrest and his wife and relocate them. Forrest is usually considered the first Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, who commanded the Confederate troops to massacre black troops at the Battle of Fort Pillow. That would be sufficient to make him the easiest target, but where would this end?


What about the Confederate Memorial Carving at Stone Mountain Georgia of Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis? Should it be demolished? (The Taliban would do that. If ISIS did not beat them to it, which you know they totally would.)


Actually, I do not think we should ban the Confederate flag. If it is a sign of racism, then racists can be readily identified. Otherwise, Six Flags Over Texas has to become Six Flags Minus One Over Texas.


However, the argument that the Democratic Party should be banned as racist because it passed Jim Crow laws is absolutely brilliant.


The Southern Democrats of the late 19th-century became known as Dixiecrats, right up until the moment they became Reagan Republicans and their Confederate ancestors started spinning in their graves. It is like destroying a house, abandoning it, and then demanding the new owners be jailed for its destruction.


That sure reminds me of when Southern slave owners audaciously accused Lincoln of being a miscegenist, and ignores their proud Southern heritage of being Democrats for 100 years after the Civil War.


Meanwhile, there are fears that same-sex marriage will destroy the institution. Seeing as how 46 percent of opposite-sex marriages end in divorce, it would make sense that marriage could be in danger.


But I find it absolutely amazing that devout Christians seek to enact a religious freedom law that would allow a Muslim to refuse service to any woman not wearing a burqa. This would be a likely outcome unless the law is written only for Christians.


Then there are fears same-sex marriage will lead to polygamy, which I do not think will happen, even though heterosexual men have historically been way more interested in multiple women than in another man. Then again, polygamy was actually practiced in the Bible, so what other things in the Bible would we have to get rid of? Slavery?


All of the above is just the tip of this summer’s iceberg. You have Donald Trump, who prefers war heroes that were not captured, or, even better, got deferments and never went to war in the first place.


There are the legal woes of Tom Brady and Bill Cosby; the divorce of Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert; football players blowing off fingers with fireworks; people dying in jail after being arrested for not signaling a lane change; the nuclear deal with Iran; Pixels; and all the idiots running for president who are not named Trump.


Put it all together and it can only mean one of two things: Either Jon Stewart angered God by retiring, or from now on, I’m going to need a bigger column.

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