An unscripted, unedited video to Kizzume Fowler (Stinky) on the topic of flags. But mostly not flags, because flags are cloth and dye. Really, we’re talking about ideas… which has been my point all along.
Be forewarned: I’m sick, tired, and a bit haggard from the camping trip I just returned from. Hopefully I didn’t ramble or “uh” and “um” too much, because I’ve done no editing at all on the source material. Oh well, deal with it.
One of the hazards of shooting from the hip with this video is that I didn’t emphasize or demphasize my points so much as string together consciousness. In terms of McCarthyism, my point was not so much the attack on communism, it could have been any ideology, but how they went about it. As I said, the ends do not justify the means.
In terms of racism and bigotry, rewatching this I can see I spent too much time talking about the flag and not enough time talking about racism itself. That’s irony. As a child I did not comprehend racism. I saw people with different colored hair, eyes, skin, shirts, etc. and I thought it was neat that we were all a little different. I still feel that way to a large extent, though my childlike wonder was suffocated by the trials of life long time ago. As arrogant as it may sound, it’s unfortunate to me that more people don’t see race the same way I do.
What I am ultimately cautioning against is not the demonization of symbols, but of people, and of their ideas — even if we find both vile to our person. We need to be able to answer them, rather than plugging our ears and singing “Lalalalala!” Saying “it doesn’t feel right” or “I think that’s evil” may be true, but it is highly subjective and not at all compelling.
In terms of “banning”, in actuality, I’d argue that in America in-particular, demonizing something or somebody is far worse than outright legally banning it. If something is banned, it can almost be a mark of pride. If something is shunned, it cannot be discussed honestly and openly. We need to be able to openly discuss racism, BOTH SIDES OF IT, even the side we loathe. If people can’t give their honest opinions because they’ll be lynched, we can’t really talk about it, can we?
And that brings me to the crux of this all, the reason I argued back and forth with Kizzume on Dee’s video, the reason I made this video, sick and all. That is the mob. The hideous rabble. It is a monster. It does not think, it does not reason, it has no pity. It judges, it silences, it destroys. If the monster crushes those we perceive as our adversary, we pretend not to notice — or perhaps even cheer it, in our blood lust. But the monster is not tame. It will turn on us as well, given half a reason. This is what I saw when people went from not giving a shit about the idiotic, anachronistic rebel flag to full on rabid lather overnight. And I didn’t like the looks of it.
Now, just to clear the air… My personal view on that flag is that it should have been decommissioned in 1866 and never marred the facade of a state building from that time forward. I’m looking forward to a time when all private citizens relinquish not just symbols of bigotry, but of the ideas that they represent, and we can all just try and be better humans together. I’d as soon wipe my ass with the rebel flag as fly it, but the underlying issues mean more to me than my feelings on the stupid symbol, so I’m willing to swallow my pride and grab the shitty end of the stick.
However terrifying words, symbols, or any expressions of free speech may seem, censorship is by far the greater evil. Suppressing ideas does not defeat them.