During a survey of New Yorkers who fly the failed symbol of Confederate racism, a fantastic moment occurred. Read the rest
Confederate Flag wavers claim the the Civil War was all about "states' rights," not slavery. But in this video Colonel Ty Seidule, head of the history department at the US Military Academy at West Point, offers plenty of evidence that this isn't the case. For example, Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens wrote "Our new government was founded on slavery." And slave states were happy to bow to federal law when it benefited them:
Mississippi once complained that New York's notion of states' rights was too strong — because it prevented Mississippi slaveowners from bringing their slaves up North. This war wasn't about the principle of federal power; it was about the threat that the federal government might eventually use that power to abolish slavery.
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Ultimately, Seidule's point boils down to something very simple: Be honest. Americans should be able to admit that a huge part of the country was devoted to slavery, so much so that they were willing to die for it. But at the same time, Americans should be proud that their government waged a war to end slavery.
"It is to America's everlasting credit that it fought the most devastating war in its history in order to abolish slavery," Seidule concludes. "As a soldier, I am proud that the United States Army — my army — defeated the Confederates."
A sousaphonist added the most fitting soundtrack to this Ku Klux Klan rally. Read the rest
It's about time.
South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, just now: “"The Confederate flag is coming off the South Carolina Statehouse. Tomorrow morning at 10:00am, we will see the Confederate Flag come down,” she added, “with dignity.” Read the rest
New Confederate Flag: a tumblog of greatness. Read the rest
The General Lee loses its Confederate Flag, and the truth about Bo and Luke comes out. Read the rest
In BooFlag, just switch on your computer mic and boo at the Confederate flag. As you do, it will slowly be lowered, and eventually it will catch on fire and burn to a little pile of ash. Is it all happening too slowly? Boo harder.
It's satisfying, of course, but as the game reminds you, chiding an emblem doesn't solve structural problems. It's an "unofficial sequel" to BulchyC's Americlap, a game where you earn money by clapping your hands at the American flag til you feel embarrassed. Sometimes very simple mechanics can create such fertile territory, and they make often complicated ideas and thought spaces simple to experience and share.
The game is by Carnegie Mellon professor Paolo Pedercini, whose imprint Molleindustria has done some of the most provocative critiques of systems and issues in the game space for years, on topics from church sex abuse cover-ups, the human cost of smartphone manufacturing, and drones, among many others.
BooFlag comes just after news that Apple would remove a swath of Civil War-themed games from the App Store because they feature the Confederate flag. Attention has been renewed on the fraught Southern emblem since the tragic Charleston church massacre earlier this month—many on social media abroad were surprised to learn the basically racist flag still flies on government buildings in certain parts of America, and remains well-beloved by people who don't like to think about racism.
BooFlag calls attention to how anger at the symbol, however righteous, might be for some people a much easier method of taking action against structural inequity in America than, you know, actual action. Read the rest
Another southern state tears down the popular symbol of racism and slavery. In this Reuters photo, state workers take down a Confederate national flag on the grounds of the state capitol on Wednesday in Montgomery, Ala. Read the rest
Sales of the flags were skyrocketing at Amazon at the time of the announcement. At the time of publication, a cheapo polyester Confederate battle flag remains the top seller in the site's flag category, knocking the ever-popular Swastika into second place.
The sudden revulsion at the flag follows last week's killing of nine people by white supremacist Dylann Roof, who has been charged with the murders and returned to South Carolina to face trial.
UPDATE: And Etsy too!
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"Today, we are removing confederate flag items from our marketplace," the company said. "Etsy's policies prohibit items or listings that promote, support or glorify hatred and these items fall squarely into that category."