Total Pageviews

Thursday, October 27, 2011

State issued confederate license plates


Here, we go again. It seems that every week a divisive issue comes up, such as the confederate flag license plates. I'm not against people displaying emblems on their license plate holder or elsewhere, but I don't want the state of Texas to be part of any cause. When a state makes a special plate, it's putting their stamp of approval on that plate. This could be seen as a revenue generator or people trying to gain acceptance for displaying a rebel flag on their license plate.

I've heard the age-old argument of some wanting to honor their southern heritage, which is honorable, but most of them are dismissive when it comes to recognizing the fact of how much resentment it may cause to others. A poster said that we should read the history of the Civil War, I guess implying that it was fought over state rights. Alexander Stephens, vice president of the Confederacy stated, “Our new government’s foundations are laid. Its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the Negro is not equal to the white man, that slavery—subordination to the superior race—is his natural and normal condition.”

I do agree with some Supreme Court decisions that it is a constitutional right to display confederate symbols because you cannot anticipate the anger or resentment it might cause. I remember when I was still working; a coworker was called in and told to remove his confederate flag belt buckle because, as a supervisor told him, it might create a hostile work environment. This same supervisor removed a bible from open display for the same reason. The employee was not a racist, but he was a Civil War buff but at the same time, I couldn't wear a political shirt or button. The company did not want to be taking sides on any issue that wasn't work related. I know some will think that my analogy doesn't have anything to do with a confederate flag license plate, but if you tie it in with condoning, ignoring, or not being aware of all the pros and cons; I think it makes a little sense.

Governor Rick Perry is against the confederate flag being displayed on license plates, but I assume it's because he's in a presidential campaign. It seems to me that he would've taken the other position because those that don't want the confederate flag displayed will not vote for him anyway.

I don't need a symbol to remind me of this country's dark age when man was held in bondage, but I probably don't have any relatives who served in that war. I certainly don't have any problem with people honoring their civil war heroes and descendants, but as I told my friend who wore the belt buckle," the south lost-let's get over it and move on." This is a southern issue that's not shared with the rest of the United States. I hate superficial issues and I think this is one of them.

According to the unofficial VA poll, I’m out in left field on this issue but I've been there before. I've had the same view about flying the confederate flags over state capitals. We're one of many, and with that comes different opinions, that's the reason I chose this venue rather than to stir up the locals. Right now, the commission voting on this issue is deadlocked at 4-4, so it'll be up to whoever Rick Perry appoints. If the issue passes, it won't devastate me because I'm not used to getting everything I want anyway.


Edith Ann said...

I left my comment over on the Advocate. But let me add, I do support specialty plates. They are voluntary. I have had a "State of the Arts" plate on my vehicles for, well, this is the 4th car I have transferred it to. I know the money is going to support the arts in Texas and I happily do that.

I can't get all excited about the Confederate flag on a license plate. Personally, I think that when we get all tangled up in what that symbol represents, and we back off--the racists win.

That flag is part of our history, and has not always represented bad. So, until we take it back and acknowledge it in its proper context, we have allowed the bullies to rule.

And the Refugio Bobcats are not going to quit playing Dixie!

This is just my opinion, and I know I am probably in the minority. Maybe it's the other party's fault, but I am tired of having to back down because someone might get offended. Too bad.

(I apologize for sounding so angry. I'm really not, and I have had several cups of tea!)


Mike said...

I understand your viewpoint but the argument you make for the flag not always representing the bad but it's not shared by all, as you acknowledged.

If I was on that commission I would have voted no, because the image of Texas has already been hijacked by the extremes.
You stated "Personally, I think that when we get all tangled up in what that symbol represents, and we back off--the racists win."... Doesn't that work both ways?

As I said this issue doesn't affect me one way or the other but I like the different viewpoints.... Don't you think, it's gonna take a long time to change people's minds, not because there's no evidence of the good the flag might have represented but because the rest of the United States doesn't care. I think that's a southern issue but I could be wrong.

Edith Ann said...

Well, I can't argue the point about Texas being hijacked by extremes, because I agree.

And I agree that other than a small handful of states down here, no one else cares.

But I do feel very strongly about always thinking I have to make the sacrifice to yield to someone I disagree with. It's kind of like the comment I saw about the folks who booed the gay soldier at one of the first debates--when the republicans booed him, the terrorist won. They had Americans turning on an American.

Okay, maybe an extreme example, but I do know you'll let me have my opinion, and you won't quit talking to me if you disagree!

And I really shouldn't worry about it. I'm not giving up my Texas Flag plate.

Mike said...


I have to disagree because I just can't see a situation where you would yield to some one you disagree with..:-) you're as tuff as they come.. I can see you displaying your Texas Flag plate proudly.... When I was on vacation, I was always proud of my Texas plates and apparel. I'm very proud of my home state.

The last time I had a discussion about an issue like this, was back in the 2000 presidential campaign when John McCain said he was sorry for not speaking up about the confederate flag issue.

From what I have remember of my discussions: My black friends and the ones I saw discussing the issue on television,they all came to the same conclusions. Today, they don't really care about that rebel flag but they are more upset with the flaunting without considering what they might think. I never knew what they were talking about until I visited the slave quarters around the New Orleans area and listened to the tour guide about the conditions the slaves had to live in. I saw a plaque where slaves were listed as a commodity and the reasons the south left the union. This was the south in 1861 and what that flag stood for. I was taught the sanitized Civil War version and all my black friends wanted was for the other side to be taught. They thought if both versions were put out there, people wanting to revisit that era wouldn't be so quick to do so. They understand that some slaves fought for the south and some were even treated kindly by the masters but no human being should be a commodity. It's 2011 and yes it's part of our history and while we can take pride in some of it, we just have to realize there are those that will disagree.

I know you think it's OK to display the rebel flag on license plates for the right reasons. I know this because you have never displayed one ounce of racism and that matters. You have a long, long, history of comments to back that up...That's why I agreed with your side of the issue.

Mike said...

Well it take me long to come with a topic for tomorrow...Some people are hardwired for skepticism...They don't READ,all they want to do is complain and tell a story of their mediocre past.

Edith Ann said...

See, if I don't yield, then my mother tells me I am too adversarial!

I try to pick my battles carefully--contrary to what anyone wants to believe, I really am not all that fond of arguing. Really. But I also know I cannot say everything I'd like to on Facebook, for example. I am very aware of who is on my friends list (my pastor, my boss, my kids, etc.) and I have to temper what I say and what I respond to.

I figure the reality is that I have very few filters, and what I have are self-inposed.

Hey, again, since I'm not in the mood to change my plate, it really doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things, does it?

But good discussion material, right?