Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Problem of Evil

It doesn't seem likely that the Mississippians who cherish their Confederate past are going to be quick to renounce it, however. As [Greg] Stewart[, executive director of the Jefferson Davis Home and Presidential library] explains, to do so means turning their backs on their ancestors.

"Implicit in the argument that the flag represents evil is for me to have to say, yeah, you're right, my people were evil," he says. "And that's just not true."
Will Confederate flag backlash strike Mississippi next?
This goes back to the point that I was making a few days ago. As long as the Dixie flag represents beloved prior generations of the families of people who grew up in the South, it's going to be impossible to get them to be at peace with giving it up.

Another interesting piece of the issue is the general conservative aversion to moral relativity. So one's Confederate ancestors cannot have been good people by their standards, but bad people by our standards. (Although it is worth noting that this isn't universal - there are plenty of people who fall back on the argument that "It was a different time then.") The Confederates have to be righteous, upstanding, moral and tolerant people in 2015 as much as 1865. Which is where most of the rhetoric that slaves willingly fought under Confederate banners came from.

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