Re: "Stars and Bars"
Timothy O'Leary (tjo@IMSNET.NET)
Fri, 3 Apr 1998 20:13:13 -0500
Mike, I thank you for your post.
Symbols mean what we teach them to mean. It may be that the Confederate
battle flag and the Stars and Bars were incorporated into state flags
out of defiance, but these symbols teach other lessons. Our history of
slavery and discrimination is not a history of which we should be
proud. Slowly and incompletely, though, I believe we have begun to
learn that holding others down only deprives us of our own humanity, and
of many blessings that the oppressed could have brought us. The Civil
War was the forge in which the steel of our country was tempered. This
war, and the practice of slavery that surely gave rise to it, should
remain high in our awareness, reminding us that the consequences of
oppression - whether the oppressed by black or while, Christian, Jew,
Muslim or atheist - are that we degrade not the person that we oppress,
but only ourselves.
"Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the
bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil
shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn by the lash shall be
paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years
ago, so still it must be said, "The judgments of the Lord are true
and righteous altogether." (Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address).
Oppression often leads to bloodshed. White brother oppressed his black
brother, and fought both his white brother and his black brother. Now
it is Protestant against Catholic (N. Ireland), Serbian against Croatian
(Bosnia), Muslim against Jew (Middle East).... And when we fight,
either to protect the oppressor or free the oppressed, all our brothers
shed blood the same color, and our mothers shed tears that signal one
pain, one sorry, shared by all.
Let us use the Stars and Bars to remind us of our history of oppression,
and the blood, and the tears, so that we may never walk that path again.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City