I’ve seen some posts floating around calling for the gay pride flag to be banned. After all, the man who killed those reporters was gay, so his flag should be banned right?
If you believe that the flag should be banned because of this tragic incident, I have one thing to say to you.
I get your logic here. Guns don’t kill people, flags don’t kill people. You believe the Confederate flag is just a flag and banning it was stupid. Just because one racist had a few pictures with it and then he killed a bunch of people doesn’t mean it’s all bad, right?
That would be true, if you weren’t ignoring the literally thousands of other cases involving hate crimes and the Confederate flag.
The gay pride flag hasn’t been around for 150 years. It doesn’t represent a portion of the United States that frankly under today’s terms committed treason. It hasn’t been flown as the official colors by which men justify their acts of violence towards minorities. Maybe you really do believe that the flag simply represents states rights, or maybe it’s just about a very vanilla non-descript heritage of standing up to oppressive governments. I could buy that. But it doesn’t mean that anymore. You can’t try to convince me that if the South had won the war that slavery would have disappeared because the war was simply about states rights. Slavery wasn’t just a small part of those rights, it was the BIGGEST part. People who defend the flags use seem to gloss over the fact that the South did in fact support, believe in, and fight for slavery. Maybe they believe the flag was meant to represent one cause such as a states rights to govern itself, but you cannot deny that one of those rights which The South fought for was SLAVERY. The Nazi swastika didn’t always represent what it does now, but I don’t see people proudly flying it in their yards and on their shirts citing its proud heritage. Not people who integrate into all parts of society well, anyways.
As an educated American I would think that you could look past what something was SUPPOSED to mean and instead look at what it DOES mean to most people now and make your decisions based on that. You of course have every right to fly the flag if you wish. This is America after all. But don’t be surprised if there are repercussions from doing that, like becoming a pariah. As a Christian, I would certainly hope that your “proud heritage” was not more important to you than the feelings of your neighbor. This might be a bit extreme but honestly as a Christian I see no benefit to the spreading of Jesus’ gospel by flying that flag. I don’t see any benefit by flying the gay pride flag either, but the pride flag at least tries to promote love and acceptance. Whether or not those things are misplaced or not isn’t up to me to decide. The confederate flag, however, doesn’t even aspire to that much.
What’s more, Vester’s motivation for his killing spree was supposed discrimination towards himself. He believed that he had been discriminated against in the workplace as a gay black man. He said he bought a gun after the Charleston shootings. Maybe he didn’t feel safe anymore. Maybe he was insane or imagined this discrimination or maybe it was real, we don’t know. Neither would justify murder. But he certainly didn’t kill those reporters because they were heterosexual. He didn’t say he was trying to make a better America by getting rid of all non-gay people. The gay pride flags meaning and his homosexuality did not necessitate hatred or violence towards non-gay people. That was solely on him, his experiences and interpretation of actions towards him led to his decisions. Dylan Roof, on the other hand, said he was killing people in that church because he wanted to cleanse America and punish black people for mixing with white. Dylan wore that flag and committed racist crimes, as have thousands of other men before him. His racism and hatred was intricately and closely tied to the heritage and meaning that flag and the Confederate in general had for him. I certainly hope you can see the difference there.
I would also like to point out that the Confederate flag has not been “banned”. Many stores no longer sell things with it on there and it’s no longer PC to have it on you if you’re a performer or public figure, but you still have the right to fly it if you please. The flag was taken down from the state courthouse in Carolina because unlike a flag on your shirt or flying at your home that represents your own beliefs, that flag was representing AN ENTIRE STATE full of many peoples with many heritages. And while for some people that flag represented a good memory, for many it represented oppression, discrimination, and hatred. In a legal sense that flag shouldn’t have been flying in a government facility at all because it represented a rebellion to the Union of the entire nation. Flying it at the courthouse was basically like flipping the bird at the federal government, saying that the South should’ve won and things should be different. But in a communal sense that flag should’ve been taken down a long time ago, before the Charleston shooting. There are so many other instances of racism and hate crimes occurring all over the nation, crimes where men who proudly display that flag rape and murder and attack minorities and then talk about their proud heritage. I don’t think the gay pride flag should be flying at a courthouse either, but if it did, at least it wouldn’t represent murder and slavery to half the people that saw it.
So to you people who are sarcastically or seriously saying the gay pride flag should be banned, take a second away from your kindergarten homework for a second and answer this for me.
Can you in good conscience tell me that the Confederate flag has never been used as a symbol to justify oppression and hate crimes? Let’s take away the absolute there. Can you tell me it hasn’t been used in MANY crimes of hatred?
I could go look up hundreds of hate crimes and find confederate flags tied closely to the men and women who committed those crimes. They proudly wear that symbol and openly state how racist they are. I have a doubt you could find anyone who associated the gay pride flag with slavery or discrimination. And maybe racists hijacked what the meaning of the Confederate flag was supposed be, and that sucks for you. Extremists do that sometimes, ruining what’s supposed to be a good thing. If your heritage is so important, maybe it’s time to make a new symbol that doesn’t represent hatred or oppression to everyone anymore.
I get annoyed sometimes with the current state of PC culture. Everyone is so easily offended nowadays, many times about stupid things. I know your pride has been hurt by the Confederate flag no longer being socially acceptable. In this case though, it’s not about being PC. Its about being RESPECTFUL. Maybe sometimes we should not be politically correct, but we should always be respectful and considerate. The Confederate flag is no longer considered either. And if you’re honest, rallying to ban the gay pride flag has nothing to do with respecting people’s hardships or helping create a better sense of community. Getting rid of the flag at the state courthouse wasn’t some random rallying cry that people used a horrible tragedy as an excuse for their political agenda. The massacre might have helped seal the deal, but that flag shouldve come down long ago. It came down because millions had been hurting for far too long, and one man’s massively covered hate crime finally helped the nation begin to see that pain and begin taking steps to end it.
On the other hand, you using this man’s actions as a sarcastic rallying cry because you’re still sore from losing a battle to have your offensive flag taken down is frankly disgusting. People didn’t fight to have that flag removed to promote their own political agendas, they did it out of respect for the dead and for the living who still felt offended by a symbol like that flying proudly. You probably don’t even care whether the gay pride flag is banned or not, as long as you make your point. You’re using the murder of two innocent people as a platform to say “see, removing that flag didn’t matter at all, we were right, put it back up.” That is, frankly, sickening, and I pray you can be a little more sensitive.
Maybe someday the gay pride flag won’t represent a respectful cause anymore. Any symbol can change its meaning, from good to bad. But right now, I can say that while the gay pride flag might be offensive to some because they don’t believe in homosexuality, a flag that to most people represents slavery and hate should be offensive to EVERYONE. If you’re using this tragedy as a platform to state your discontent about previous choices that probably didn’t even affect you at all, you make me sick, and I hope you’ll maybe stop thinking about your hurt feelings and start thinking about the families who just lost someone dear to them.