HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » What kind of people claim...

Fri Jun 19, 2015, 10:10 AM

What kind of people claim they don't understand the symbolism

Of the confederate flag, that it stands for hate and racism. It's not a "red neck" symbol. It's a national embarrassment.

Regardless of what color your skin is, we are all human beings. The thing that makes us different is our humanity.
Reicht wing hate radio has a river of blood on it's hands for the provocation of hate on the ignorant. This must end...

9 replies, 1652 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 9 replies Author Time Post
Reply What kind of people claim they don't understand the symbolism (Original post)
onecaliberal Jun 2015 OP
truebluegreen Jun 2015 #1
onecaliberal Jun 2015 #2
truebluegreen Jun 2015 #5
onecaliberal Jun 2015 #7
Igel Jun 2015 #9
Phentex Jun 2015 #3
el_bryanto Jun 2015 #4
onecaliberal Jun 2015 #6
GeorgeGist Jun 2015 #8

Response to onecaliberal (Original post)

Fri Jun 19, 2015, 10:16 AM

1. The willfully blind

 

and politically craven...that's if they aren't racists who simply don't want to say it out loud.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to truebluegreen (Reply #1)

Fri Jun 19, 2015, 10:19 AM

2. The governor stands before her state

Crying her crockodile tears, saying her state doesn't see color while the confederate flag is flying over the Capitol is just beyond the pale.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to onecaliberal (Reply #2)

Fri Jun 19, 2015, 10:42 AM

5. Even she was embarrassed to be trotting out that line of bull

 

--I think. I read her as uncomfortable, not saddened.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to truebluegreen (Reply #5)

Fri Jun 19, 2015, 10:44 AM

7. She was asked point blank about it,

She danced around the question. The flag needs to go, now. There is no excuse for it anywhere.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to truebluegreen (Reply #1)

Fri Jun 19, 2015, 12:12 PM

9. And semioticians.

Symbols don't stand, independently and inherently. They are merely symbols that we assign meanings to, often individually or often as a group.

To say that a symbol has the inherent meaning that you give it is to deny others the agency to assign their own meanings. You impose your interpretation on them.

Take words. They're symbols. Take the set of sounds "sh" + "long u": "shoo" Does it mean "shoe," "cabbage", "book," "tree," or "lose"? Most English-speakers would say "shoe." Most French speakers would say "cabbage." Most Mandarin speakers would listen for your intonation, and depending on your tone choose from among "book, tree, lose". The sounds mean nothing by themselves. "Con" is a bad word in French; it sounds exactly like "qu'on", which is not a bad word in French, although some avoid it a bit because it sounds like "con." Words are just symbols. Symbols are given meaning by communities, and often by context.

For another example, look at Soviet imagery in Ukraine, specifically Lenin statues and "Leninopad" ("Lenin-fall", a word similar to "listopad", Ukrainian for November but also clearly the word for when leaves fall off of trees). For Russians, the Lenin statues are a sign of when they were prosperous and strong, able to squash fascism in its cradle, for all the good things in Russian and even Orthodox culture. For socialized medicine and guaranteed living space. Stalin's excesses were regrettable, but used to dishonor and insult Russians because their interpretation isn't accepted and their feelings slighted. In other words, to disagree with the Russianist interpretation is to be intentionally hateful and ethnicist.

For most Ukrainian-speaking Ukrainians, the Lenin statues are taken to stand for Soviet imperialism, the Holodomor or "Ukrainian genocide", Stalinist oppression, and forced Russification. To continue to respect them is to disonor and insult Ukrainians because their interpretation isn't accepted and their feelings slighted. In other word to disagree with the Ukrainianist interpretation is to be intentionally hateful and ethnicist.

Some try to say Lenin was a good guy when others point out that Lenin had few options but to hold off--and that repression was firmly on the increase late in his rule as economic conditions improved. Nobody really cares what they think any more: That was a Third Way option when those who thought the truth mattered but who didn't want to make enemies were tolerated by those with the Truth. Lenin's been assimilated to Stalin in most ways, so it's hard to even try to hold this view.

The rub comes in with Russian-speaking Ukrainians and ethnic-Russians that are Ukrainian nationals. They have to decide between the two, and many don't. The statues are what they are. They're not interested in refighting the '30s and '40s and '50s, and in most interactions until everybody was up in arms they knew that most people got along well enough with each other, regardless of sides, because they were struggling to feed their families and improve their lives. Even though some areas were more backwards than others. But they're forced by the absolutists, the "symbols must have the inherent meaning I and poeple I agree with give them," into deciding. Or they'll be assumed to have sided with the enemy.

So now to topple a statue is often taken as a sign of anti-Russian hatred = pro-Ukrainian independence. The two were inextricably linked in the minds of a few percentage points on either side of the fence 20 years ago. The "4%". Now they're linked in the minds of far, far more. People have become hypervigilant, and assume that to be proud of (some aspects of) Russian culture and history is to be a "roshist" (rhymes with "fashist" 'fascist' in Russian, but with "Russia" as the root). Others assume that to want to have Ukrainian used as the dominant language or even just respected when it's the dominant and native language is "fascist" or "Banderist", meaning you want a genocide of Russians and hate all things Russian. The hatred has become generalized and inchoate: The LNR head gave a speech yesterday in Kolyma territory, Russia, in which he said that the "Euromaidan" was actualled the "Jewromaidan" (Evropa = Europe, Evrei = Jew) because the Jews control Ukraine, and he promises a military slaughter of Ukrainian troops as his forces surround and take Kiev. Hatred is hatred. The Ukrainian loons point to the "new popularity" of Buryat "miners" as bridegrooms among local girls, playing to the "they're after our women" theme (many squads of separatist fighters are called "miners," even if they don't know any Ukrainian and not much Russian, but speak Yakut, Buryat, Chechen, Ossetian ...).

Quick: Which is the One True Meaning of the Lenin statues? The one which an indigenous native of the Amazon rainforest with no Western exposure would immediately think is obvious.

I've known people who consider the stars-and-bars to be a racist symbol and liked it because of that. Some were probably white supremacists, some just rank-and-file racists. Some wore it just because it offended people and "broke the rules". Some wore it because they viewed it as having positive but non-racist meaning. It's hard to know in many cases, and it's hard to generalize accurately. When I see somebody wearing them, I ignore them. If it creates a problem, I ask why he wears them. If because he's racist, I ask him to cover them up or remove them. If he gives another reason--whether I think he's lying or not--I tell him that I'll assume he's not a liar and would have the courage to state his actual beliefs and not be a coward, and then ask the other person if s/he has any proof he's lying. Usually that person's upset at having his or her beliefs questioned, but usually that person has no evidence. "Would you like being called a liar without evidence?" The answer is usually "no, but..." and I tell the person to get evidence. If the kid wants to be moved in my classroom, I move him/her. As for the kid who just likes being offensive, I let that stand. I had one kid who wanted to be offensive by adding "except black people" at the end of the Pledge of Allegiance. He wanted to offend and invite repression. When one kid asked me to stop him, I said it was American and he had the right to even speech others found offensive (because no words are inherently offensive) as long as it didn't create a disturbance. When others were bored and he was ignored, he did it a few more times and then grew stopped. He even failed to amuse himself.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to onecaliberal (Original post)

Fri Jun 19, 2015, 10:31 AM

3. the uneducated

and some people who watch Fox news.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Phentex (Reply #3)

Fri Jun 19, 2015, 10:34 AM

4. With the best will in the world it's hard to contenance the uneducated argument

I know they exist, but it's so bizarre to me that someone living in 20th century America can look at the nation and not understand what that flag represents. Or can look at it and not even consider how a black citizen of South Carolina might feel about it.

Bryant

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to el_bryanto (Reply #4)

Fri Jun 19, 2015, 10:42 AM

6. It's unbelievable...

I don't even know what to think.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to onecaliberal (Original post)

Fri Jun 19, 2015, 11:43 AM

8. Racists claim ignorance ...

because they are.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread