Poll: What do you think about the removal of the Confederate legacy?
This poll is closed.
Leave everything as it is.
0 0%
Remove flags only.
2 66.67%
Change road names only.
0 0%
Remove flags and change road names.
1 33.33%
Total 3 vote(s) 100%
* You voted for this item. [Show Results]

South Carolina Confederate controversy
Surely you've all heard about the shootout in a church in South Carolina by now. If not, here's the wiki page on the event. Basically, a white guy who was probably a white supremacist decided to gun down a black Bible study group in an African-American church in Charleston, apparently shouting racially charged statements of hatred and later said, while under arrest, that he was considering not doing it because the group were so nice.

The entire event is indicative of a general remaining racism that permeates the US, and is being taken as such. Plenty are using it as fuel to the gun control debate: the NRA think it's the fault of the victims for not carrying their own guns, President Obama is on record as saying that this violence is partly down to guns being too easy to access and that this sort of mass violence doesn't happen in other 'advanced' countries. I am not debating this side here, we have a whole different thread for the gun debate.

What I am debating here is a current controversy that has sprung up because of this event. South Carolina has a lot of history regarding civil rights and, yes, the Confederates. In fact, the Confederate flag is flown on some official buildings, and plenty of roads there are named after Confederate generals. I'm paraphrasing Jon Stewart here when I say that, in Charleston at least, black people freely drive on roads named after those who fought to prevent black people from freely driving on such roads. Many now think that the flags should be removed and the road names changed.

Now, my views on this are a little unusual and possibly offensive but bear with me. Personally, I think the Confederate flag probably should be removed from official buildings. It's an uncomfortable reminder of what those who flew that flag were fighting for and could have won. I don't, however, think that the road names should be changed. Quite apart from the inconvenience any road name change will inevitably cause (and how many will this be?), I personally think that having black people freely drive on roads named after those who fought to prevent black people from freely driving on such roads is, in fact, an enormous 'screw you' to those who the roads are named after. I think it's a final poke in the eye, a smearing of everything those Confederate generals fought for, to have roads named after them used freely by black and white equally, completely against what those generals wanted. I personally think that's poetic justice and those roads should continue to have those names.

What about you guys?
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I live in Columbia, lmao. Honestly, there's no reason for that flag to fly; it isn't the symbol of a single good thing. It needs to go down. I've thought that long before this became a national issue. I drive by that flag everyday and it never bothers me less. That's all there really is to say.
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Honestly, I think both are an issue.

I'll start by saying that I am far removed from the problem in general. I'm a white northerner, who comes from two families of european immigrants, both of which arrived in the U.S. long after the American Civil War ended. I'm not personally offended by the road names or flag, though I do find them both disconcerting.

My reasoning should be fairly straightforward. There were many factors that ultimately started the war, but slavery was by far the most shameful of them. It's a fair point that the Southern states wanted to protect their economy and way of life... but their way of life revolved around slavery. I'd be more comfortable with this if they were just expressing anti-nationalism, or appreciation for the generals who fought... but by doing so they are also pouring salt on America's greatest wound: slavery. Neither the flags nor roads have any practicality whatsoever, and at worst they are an insult to a large fraction of the population.

I agree that the roads are are far less of an issue, but I also see no reason why they can't be changed. It's not really a question of whether it will be easy to do - if it's possible to change them for the better, then they should be changed. That's all.
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