The Confederate Flag Controversy

Paul Gottfried writes: The most interesting aspect of the war against Confederate symbols is not its predictable backing from black activist groups or the leftist media or members of the Rainbow Coalition. Those are the sources of support one would expect to find in this campaign. Far more striking is the overwhelming, effusive help that is coming from elements of what is imagined to be the conservative movement. Whether we look at the Murdoch media, listen to Republican office-holders throughout the South, or read statements prepared for our capitalist CEOs, the message is hardly different from that of black civil rights activists and organizational heads. Not at all surprising is the evidence of the usual Republican game of triangulating, which takes the form of doing anything to win groups on the left while assuming that what there is of a Right will stay with the GOP. Unfortunately, this game has done very well among Southern whites, who continue to vote overwhelmingly for any so-called moderate the party throws at them, whether McCain, W, or Lindsey Graham.

Among neoconservatives, the repugnance for Southern white society and culture has long been evident, and it seems that one encounters escalating effusions of hate from neoconservative celebrities that were it directed against their own ethnicity would evoke understandable outrage. Just the other day the latest neocon candidate for the title “hating Southerners the most” Jeff Jacoby ranted in all the usual venues of conservatism, inc. that the Battle Flag banner “is the emblem of the most poisonous ideologies in our national history.” Jacoby fulminated against “the hatefulness of the proposition” for which Southern soldiers “were prepared to kill or be killed.” One wonders whether authorized “conservative” sources would publish the invective of a Palestinian whose family had been expelled from their land by Israeli soldiers if he offered a similar rant against the Israeli flag. Just wondering!

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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