Like any movement worth its dip can, the Confederate Battle Flag movement has a terse slogan, which is, “Heritage not Hate.” Proponents repeat that slogan like a mantra, especially if someone points out that the battle flag comes part and parcel with one of the greatest holocausts in human history: slavery.
They say they are bearing the flag in memory of their ancestors who fought and died for the Confederate States of America. That’s the “heritage” part. Those memories are well, good, and not to be denied, but they are as inextricable from the holocaust of slavery for the descendants of slaves as Lincoln’s death was from the first act of Our American Cousin for Mary Todd Lincoln.
But hey, let’s give these folks the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they simply don’t realize that for many of our Georgia family, the “heritage not hate” mantra is as flimsy as a rusty F-100 floorboard. Maybe these comparisons can help.
1. The National Socialist Party: “At Least It’s an Ethos”
Godwin’s Law. We know. But in this case: no, really. What would it be like if you were rolling around Nuremberg in a jacked-up Mercedes pickup flying the Nazi flag? You’d probably be arrested. But if you leaned out the window during your arrest and delivered the above line, it might help. Just kidding, it wouldn’t.
2. The Khmer Rouge: “Farming Not Harming”
Okay, sure, maybe Pol Pot evacuated the cities of Kampuchea in the aftermath of the U.S. extrication at the end of the Vietnam War, forcing citizens to farm in the countryside while starving, mutilating, and killing upwards of two million of them, but hey, come on, surely some of those farms produced some pretty good veggies, right?
3. Stalin’s Great Purge: “Job Creating not Capitalist Hating”
If you’re going to be a persnickety fusspot about it, Stalin’s Great Purge did result in estimates of up to, maybe more than, a million lives lost. Stalin had anyone that he thought might be a rival killed, in addition to anyone suspected of being a capitalist. Some people died for no reason at all: just ’cause. But hey, some of those people had jobs, and when they died, those jobs needed someone to fill them, right? Let’s not focus on the killing part so much as the job creating part.