Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The flag and some thoughts about racism

(My new American Thinker post)

As a naturalized US citizen, I don't have a reaction when I see Confederate symbols, from a Confederate flag to a school named after Robert E Lee.   

I learned about it in US history class.    I don't have the emotional attachment of a person who grew up in the South or an African American who sees a symbol of segregation.

I can understand how it may offend a black American.   For example, we Cuban Americans in the US get very angry when we see someone wearing a Che t-shirt.   We think of Che as a criminal and react strongly to the sight of a person living in freedom displaying the face of a totalitarian despot.

On the other hand, the flag also connects honest people to their roots.   I have a very good friend who comes from a family of Confederate military officers.   He is not preaching racism or slavery when he displays Confederate symbols at his home office.  He is simply connecting with his roots and doing so in a respectful way.  He is one of the finest gentlemen I've ever met.

So I say let the people of South Carolina decide.   I'm sure that they know what's best for their state.

We have bigger problems in the country than a flag.

I ask a simple question:   are we going to have an honest conversation about racism after we remove the flag?   Can we discuss the problems in inner cities without being branded a racist?   the lack of jobs?  lousy public schools?  black on black crime?

It's hard to have a conversation when so many people get accused of racism for simply having a different point of view.

I like what Cathy Young wrote today: 
Telling white Americans they are presumed guilty of racism and that they are not allowed to dispute any claim of racism by a person of color -- which happens routinely in progressive discourse -- is no way to move forward on racial issues. An honest conversation also requires an acknowledgment that far more black lives are taken by crime within the community than by racist violence. 
So true.   It's hard to have an honest conversation when people throw the racism charge in your face.   We will continue to hate each other as long as we can't talk honestly about our problems.

P. S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

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The latest in US-Cuba talks with Jorge Ponce & Alain Castillo

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