Tuesday, April 09, 2013
I finally have my own website (yay me)! Please head over to www.opinionateddiva.com. Feel free to still come here when you want to go down OD memory lane. Thank you to all that have supported me thus far. Let's continue this journey... on my own .com :-)
Posted by Tiffany D at 12:55 AM
Monday, December 05, 2011
University of South Carolina student Byron Thomas, who is African-American (though he hates this label- I will speak more on that later), sparked debate on campus when he chose to hang the confederate flag in his dorm room. You can read the entire story over at Huffington Post. I only skimmed through the article, but I got enough to form my solid opinion and it is simply so: going to college doesn't make one educated. In his case, it's quite the damn opposite.
Just because you attend an institution for higher learning, and are given a project on the Civil War- and in doing research, you come across information that suggests or implies this flag means anything other than what millions of African-Americans know it to mean for them, does not make it fact. I'm sure this information is technically true, I mean duh. Of course it was a communication symbol. But Mr. Thomas wasn't alive during the Civil War and his literary interpretation cannot be a representation of his true experience. Given the fact from the time his mother and father fell in love, decided to have a baby, and pop this idiot out, the confederate flag has been quite the communication symbol alright. To stay the hell out of dodge. I will even be devil's advocate for a sentence or two: the flag never affected me personally in an emotionally negative way. Seeing a confederate flag in the South is like seeing a bum on the streets of Manhattan- eh, what else is new. I saw people with confederate flags flying from their trucks almost every day in my youth- it didn't scare me; but it also didn't give me warm and fuzzy feelings of you know, I should get me one of those!. I am from the South as well and have mounds of Southern pride, and the confederate flag makes no appearance on my top MILLION things I love about the South. In his research, did he find the documentation in which Abraham Lincoln himself noted the primary goal for the war was bringing down the South, not slavery itself- it just so happened that ending slavery is what would ruin the South, thus their victory in war? Does he know this? Does he? Seriously, don't try to spark a debate as if you are some martyr for the younger generation. GTFOH.
He also says he is against labels and doesn't like being called African-American. There are others who have this same sentiment. And to this argument, which has SOME validity, I will say this. Do you think Blacks in this country liked being called Nigger? Legally? Right. So the fact that you even have the choice, and the RIGHT to say what you will and will not be called in this country by your own accord is a direct correlation to the AFRICANS who came before you-FROM AFRICA- all so you can sit your Black ass (you do like being called Black right?) on TV and attempt to sound intelligent about a flag you know nothing about, other than what you read in a book that systematically wants to keep you ignorant. Being called African-American has nothing to do with literally being from Africa and everything to do with socio-cultural identity; before, Blacks were just that. A color. So if you really feel that because your relatives from hundreds of years ago which you have no knowledge of or connection to makes you not-African- well that's your argument and you are entitled to it. You can always check whatever box you feel when asked. Though I'm sure when he filled out his FAFSA last year he checked African-American with a bold permanent marker (#minorityscholarships). I digress... So Byron, you say calling you African-American when you weren't born in Africa makes you feel like half an American? Imagine how it felt to be considered less than a human being. Legally. I hope your mother and/or father slap the shit out of you. Just because you are given information...unless you internalize, analyze, and at minimum use common sense to apply that to your own experience, you are no more rational in your desire to hang the flag than the person who carries it in his/her heart and would rather hang you instead. It's a harsh statement. And the truth.
I am all for the freedom of speech and expression (obviously!), and your right to be whomever you choose. That is what I like about being an American. But when you justify your views based on #1 misinformation #2 total disregard and disrespect for the people who died at the hands of the tangible item you seek to display and #3 Plain ole dumb-ass-ness (yes I made that up), I can't with you. Class dismissed.
Aside: As we are in the days of reality TV, viral videos, and 15 minute fame-whoring, I wouldn't be surprised if this guy just wanted to be different for attention. That was my first thought when I read the story. Yeah, I don't give the younger generation much credit these days. And I won't. Until they act like they have some damn sense.
Posted by Tiffany D at 1:27 AM