In support of American values
This is in response to a letter to the editor by Lou Ouellette dated March 2, 2018, submitted in Fiddleheads.
Unlike Mr. Ouellette in “stitches’ over my letter “Confederate, Nazi flags nothing but symbols of hate,” I will try not to level ad hominem attacks. I will, however, highlight his misstatements and untruths.
- On April 12, 1861, the United States declared war on the southern states after soldiers of the Confederate states attacked Fort Sumter, South Carolina. History is pretty much on the side as to the “why” of the Civil War: it was about slavery. (Racist Confederate flag wavers will try anything to make the Confederate flag anything but about slavery.)
- The Confederate flag as we know it today was the last one of 3 previous versions developed by the south, during the war. This flag was flown till the end of the war and it represented the beliefs and heritage of the South: slavery. They flew this flag while they were murdering Americans to save the institution of slavery. (Is this the supposed “heritage” Mr. Ouellette speaks of? Go tell that to the thousands of Civil War patriots buried in Arlington Cemetery defending the real heritage that was America.)
- Eight of the pre-war presidents were from the South because the southern states were part of the United States at the time. During that time slavery was still legal.
- I reread my letter 2-3 times: in no instance do I mention Lincoln. By the way, the Republican Party of Lincoln’s time in no way reflects the modern Republican Party of today, as at that time it was still morally and ethically intact.
- Attacking “Pelosi, Schumer, Reid” is of course a common right wing ploy: when you have nothing much to say, deflect and attack the other side (a favorite tactic used by Fox News and right wing fanatics — remember the Obama “show me your birth certificate” and recent Hillary “show us your emails” rants?)
There is a reason why white racists want to legitimize the Confederate flag as their own: once the flag becomes just a “feel good” symbol, like our own Acadian Flag, it can then be flown anywhere and everywhere to represent their supposed “feel good” values, one of which is white racism. The same with the Nazi flag: legitimize it and you can then legitimize fascism and hate.
As I stated in my previous letter, the Confederate flag, along with its Nazi cousin, are symbols of hate and fear, no matter how much right wing fanatics want to sugar-coat and legitimize them.
James P. Chasse