Robert Ariail for June 26, 2015

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    King_Shark  over 7 years ago

    There should be an additional icon called Bright and Shiny Distraction. Because that is what this is.

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    Darsan54 Premium Member over 7 years ago

    No, Jim, they are just saying it’s a sign of it. Bigots are being shamed about it. And that’s where racial bigotry needs to be right now, shamed and then shunned.

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    Darsan54 Premium Member over 7 years ago

    Your parents instead?

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    Jason Allen  over 7 years ago

    The flag is a symbol of bigotry, not the cause of it.

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    lonecat  over 7 years ago

    I’ve just been rereading “Slavery By Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II”, by Douglas A. Blackmon. It’s an important book, and I urge everyone to read it. The section I’ve been reading talks about the “rent-a-convict” system which developed in many parts of the South beginning soon after the Civil War and continued well into the 1930s and in some places even later. A young black man would be arrested on some minor charge, such as loitering, or talking loudly in public (no kidding), fined, and then when he couldn’t pay the fine he would be sent to county jail, where he would be charged for his food and board in jail. Then he would be rented out to some mine or factory or plantation to work until he paid off his fine. Meanwhile, he would still be charged for his food and board, so he could never get ahead on paying his fine. The working and living conditions were like those in a concentration camp, and the death rate was very high, as high as 30% in a year. No one had a reason to keep these convicts in good condition or even to keep them alive, since there were always more to replace them. The descriptions are hard to read.

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    lonecat  over 7 years ago

    Here’s one description, partly written by an inmate:“Archey, a prisioner leased into Comer’s Eureka mines, wrote that the convicts lived in a windowless log stockade, their quarters “filled with filth and vermin”. Gunpowder cans were used to hold human waste that periodically “would fill up and runover on bed” where some prisoners were shackled in place at night. (…)“Every night some one of us were carried out to our last resting, the grave. Day after day we looked Death in the face & was afraid to speak.” Archey wrote. (…) “Fate seems to curse a convict. Death seems to summon us hence.” Indeed, between 1878 and 1880, twenty-five prisoners died at the Eureka mines, most dumped unceremoniously into shallow earthen pits on the edge of the mine site." (pp. 70-71).There’s lot more, but that’s enough to give you a taste. I bet most people don’t know about this part of American history, and some probably don’t want to know.

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    tryoung71  over 7 years ago

    What I don’t like is that the 1st Amendment allows people to step on and do what they please with the American flag, because it is their right, yet with this current controversy, many retailers are pulling down all merchandise that displays the Confederate battle flag. That seems a bit hypocritical. I understand that the Confederate battle flag should not be flown on government buildings; it is a symbol of a failed secession and is not recognized. Even Robert E. Lee distanced himself from Confederate symbols and urged his Southern brethren to do the same. However, free speech is protected and if people have the freedom to stomp on Old Glory, then people should be permitted to fly the Confederate battle flag.

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    hippogriff  over 7 years ago

    lonecat: More likely arrested for not talking loudly. If the paranoid deputy couldn’t tell what they were talking about, it was assumed to be seditious. Well into my lifetime, this was required behavior.

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    Dtroutma  over 7 years ago

    Yes, Jase99, it IS the “mentality” of the supplicant, rather than just the symbol that matters, just like the “interpretation” by followers of so many religious symbols, star, cross, crescent, or others.

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    zachary.stucki  over 7 years ago

    The danger is coming as we shame those who do fly the flag. There is no mutual respect. We are villefying a group and saying that they aren’t american or un-american. I didn’t like it when they did it under Bush, I don’t like that they are doing it now. We are outlawing symbols socially now, creating thought crimes. The next step is burning books because we don’t like what they teach, then we kill the people who hold to those beliefs. It is a slippery slope my friend.

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    lonecat  over 7 years ago

    Another problem is that history is too often taught from the perspective of the famous. We learn about Lincoln and Jefferson Davis, Grant and Robert E. Lee, but we don’t learn about ordinary people and what their lives were like. It takes a different kind of historical research to get at the people who weren’t famous and didn’t leave a lot of records. You have to dig through dusty archives and piles of old letters and anything else you can get hold of. Often you don’t end up telling the story of one particular person, because often the records for individuals are too scanty, but you can put this and that and the other thing together and get a more general picture that can be very informative.

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    lonecat  over 7 years ago

    A first edition! That’s something. I enjoyed it. He’s a surprisingly good writer. Nothing fancy, but very clear and quite interesting.

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    lonecat  over 7 years ago

    That sounds fascinating. I will see if I can find it. I don’t work on material culture myself, I’m more of a word person, but one of the things I got out of graduate school was a respect for people who work on things. It’s amazing how much you can find out from ordinary objects.

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    jimguess  over 7 years ago

    Here it is again …

    Idiots of America are coming out in droves … and they are blaming a flag for all our bigotry. … sigh …

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