Divisive hateful behavior must be defeated by love and acceptance of our differences

To the Editor:

I read with interest in your newspaper last week about the controversy over the sale of the Confederate flags. Two flags that I see during modern times deliberately used with racist otivations and with the intention to divide people and not unite them, are the Conferate flag we commonly associate with the Southern States during our nation’s Civil War of the mid-19th Century and the Nazi swastika flag used by Adolf Hitler’s Germany during World War II. People who enjoy these flags and proudly display them are as I implied “Dividers of Peoples.”  They are insensitive and possibly ignorant of the historical facts that revolve around the symbolism of these flags!

Or, worse yet and more likely, it is their intent to cause bad feelings and conflict because it is in their nature to fear those who are different. It is so sad that mankind is still unreasonable when it comes to getting along with others and accepting our differences.

These two flags are representations of the serious oppression and death that was inflicted upon people who were simply different from their oppressors.

I ponder what our Civil War Union soldiers who laid to rest here in our northern cemeteries would think about allowing people to sell and display the Confederate flag here in modern America, when they gave their lives and left their families to defeat the symbolism of that flag! The Confederate flag represents a segment of the nation that supported the practice of slavery in the name of financial gain and the South’s desire to divide these United States over the practice. Folks, if the South had won, this nation would not be the United States of America.

I am also thinking about the woemn and men in our cemeteries across these United States and in other countries who fought and died inWorld War II and what they would think ab out someone who in modern times, is displaying a Nazi swastika flag here in America. Many patriots are buried here in America and overseas who fought so that we might remain these United States of America. They gave their lives opposing the symbolism of these flags and the oppression they represent over the people who were vulnerable to their power. The sacrifices of our nation and its people and the great losses inflicted on the many, occur on both sides of any conflict!

The Confederate flag and the Nazi swastika flag are representations of ideas and beliefs of people that have been defeated at the great cost of war! Insensitive people and troublemakers use these symbols to divide so that they can blame their personal shortcomings of character on people who are different from themselves. The truth is that our education system and more particularly families with social shortcomings regarding teaching their children how to interact with people who are different from themselves have failed to teach their children to treat others as you would have them treat you, if your situations were reversed.

So, after all this, you might think I’m against the sale of these flags here in modern America and I was, until now! Let’s keep our freedom of speech and freedom of expression.

Let the flags be sold and bought. I want to find out who the racist, ignorant people are who are disrespectful of our nation’s fallen heroes. I want to know who in my community is a divider of humankind and not a uniter.

I am reminded of a ficticious movie starring Brad Pitt, “Inglorious Bastards,” about World War II and Germany where Pitt;s character is an American soldier who, upon the capture of Nazi German soldiers, knocks them tot he ground, jumps on their chests and carves a swastika, with a knife, into their forehead and states that he wants everyone to know who the dirty Nazis were after the war when they no longer wear the uniform.

Again, I want to state, if the Nazis won, there would be no United States of America. One of the best ways to combat racism and oppression is to know who these people are by letting them display their flags. Exposing themselves as such helps the rest of us now who the troublemakers are and thus law enforcement can find them when they practice their hatred for others.

Divisive hateful behavior must be defeated by love and acceptance of our differences and a strong desire to coexist peacefully. Humankind will not survive the divisive behavior practiced by people who follow the symbolism of flags that represent hatred for others. It cannot be acceptable behavior if we are to unite as a nation and survive as a nation. We must come together despite our differences. Symbols of division like the Confederate flag and the Nazi flag can only be defeated by educating those who would use them, that their motives are out of line with the common good for all the people.

By defeating people's desire to divide, we can hope to achieve peace on Earth. Youcan’t defeat racism, ignorance, and the desire to oppress others by outlawing flags! You have to educate people about what’s wrong with their intolerance of others and their divisive conclusions and actions.

Then, let’s hope no one will want the flags! Frankly, if more people in this predominantly Christian country put their religious beliefs and the teachings of Jesus Christ ahead of their politics, we wouldn't have these kinds of problems. Remember one of our country’s mottos is “In God We Trust”.  Well, trust in God and do as he says “Love thy Neighbor!” Problem is, as the comedian RonWhite says in his act “Sometimes you can’t fix stupid!” We can only hope that reasonable, sensible and honorable behavior will prevail!

Timothy J. Albright


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