Monday, January 15, 2007

Ok, John Tinker, your thoughts?

A teacher at my school has officially announced a proposal to ban
the Confederate flag image (otherwise known as the Rebel Flag or Navy
Jack) from campus. The reason that he is going after the image is
because some of his students have found the image offensive, and that
it could create an environment of violence. I don't like much of
anything about the Confederate flag, however I immediately voiced my
opinion to the instructor that his argument (he's very anti-censorship, except here) was A) unconstitutional, and B) simply attacking a group that he doesn't like.

The Supreme Court's rulings have been extremely open ended when it has
ruled on speech regarding the Confederate flag, usually only ruling in
favor of banishment when the school was facing a direct threat of
disturbance from the exposure from the image. The more recent case
found that the court didn't like the flag, but was more irritated that
the school was not banning all "hate based" images, just the
Confederate flag, and ruled as such. Although I agree that certain
images should be banned for the safety and security of the students, I
would be very careful about going after the idea that certain images
give off the apprehension of violence. Where do we draw the line? Think
I'm being an implusive, trouble-making moron?

This is the color "Red". Some schools have banned the wearing of the color red because it creates tension amongst certain populations. Some schools have also banned this color, called "Blue", for the same reason.





This is called a swastika, a Hindu symbol of peace and harmony, now perverted
by Nazi Germany to be considered the ultimate anti-Semitic image.
Obviously, this has been banned all over the country for what it
represents. Could a teacher get in trouble for putting this symbol on
the board while teaching Hinduism?




Ok
, ladies and gentlemen, ban this. Here is your Confederate flag. Yes, it
is. This was the first Confederate flag flown for the first two years
of the existence of the Confederate States of America.



Here is the flag of the moment, the Rebel flag of the Confederate States of
America. If you really hate what it represents, then why aren't you down with Southern heritage groups that actively fight against hate groups using this as a symbol?




How about this guy? Good old Che. He only
advocated for a nuclear strike on the United States, tortured and killed thousands at labor camps in Cuba and Latin America, and has become the new poster boy for white supremacists. I have students that wear Che t-shirts. Ban it?





Of course, I'm all about educating people, not taking away every single thing in existence
that offends them. I can see the Nazi flag being banned, but the
Confederate flag? I think we walk a fine line when we start eliminating
everything that might symbolize something that they don't like. How
about we really work on educating, not eliminating.




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