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Posted: 12/30/2002 2:26:10 AM EST
[Last Edit: 12/30/2002 2:26:50 AM EST by Ire]
[b]this PC crap has got to stop[/b] washingtonpost.com A Ban on Hate, or Heritage? Ga. School Divided Over Confederate-Themed Shirts By Michael A. Fletcher Washington Post Staff Writer Monday, December 30, 2002; Page A01 CANTON, Ga. -- At the beginning of the school year, Dixie Outfitters T-shirts were all the rage at Cherokee High School. Girls seemed partial to one featuring the Confederate battle flag in the shape of a rose. Boys often wore styles that discreetly but unmistakably displayed Dixie Outfitters' rebel emblem logo. But now the most popular Dixie Outfitters shirt at the school doesn't feature a flag at all. It says: "Jesus and the Confederate Battle Flag: Banned From Our Schools But Forever in Our Hearts." It became an instant favorite after school officials prohibited shirts featuring the battle flag in response to complaints from two African American families who found them intimidating and offensive. The ban is stirring old passions about Confederate symbols and their place in Southern history in this increasingly suburban high school, 40 miles northwest of Atlanta. Similar disputes over the flag are being played out more frequently in school systems -- and courtrooms -- across the South and elsewhere, as a new generation's fashion choices raise questions about where historical pride ends and racial insult begins. Schools in states from Michigan to Alabama have banned the popular Dixie Outfitters shirts just as they might gang colors or miniskirts, saying they are disruptive to the school environment. The rebel flag's modern association with white supremacists makes it a flashpoint for racial confrontation, school officials say. "This isn't an attempt to refute Southern heritage," said Mike McGowan, a Cherokee County schools spokesman. "This is an issue of a disruption of the learning environment in one of our schools." Walter C. Butler Jr., president of the Georgia State Conference of the NAACP, said it is unreasonable to ask African Americans not to react to someone wearing the rebel flag. "To ask black people to respect a flag that was flown by people who wanted to totally subjugate and dehumanize you -- that is totally unthinkable," he said. But the prohibitions against flag-themed clothing have prompted angry students, parents, Confederate-heritage groups and even the American Civil Liberties Union to respond with protests and lawsuits that argue that students' First Amendment rights are being trampled in the name of political correctness. "This is our heritage. Nobody should be upset with these shirts," said Ree Simpson, a senior soccer player at Cherokee who says she owns eight Confederate-themed shirts. "During Hispanic Heritage Month, we had to go through having a kid on the intercom every day talking about their history. Do you think they allow that during Confederate History Month?" Simpson said no one complains when African American students wear clothes made by FUBU, a black-owned company whose acronym means "For Us By Us." Worse, she says, school officials have nothing to say when black students make the biting crack that the acronym also means "farmers used to beat us." Similarly, she says, people assume that members of the school's growing Latino population mean no harm when they wear T-shirts bearing the Mexican flag. Simpson believes the rebel flag should be viewed the same way. The days when the banner was a symbol of racial hatred and oppression are long gone, she contends. Far from being an expression of hate, she says, her affection for the flag simply reflects Southern pride. "I'm a country girl. I can't help it. I love the South," she said. "If people want to call me a redneck, let them." It is a sentiment that is apparently widely shared at Cherokee, and beyond. The day after Cherokee Principal Bill Sebring announced the T-shirt ban on the school's intercom this fall, more than 100 students were either sent home or told to change clothes when they defiantly wore the shirts to school. In the weeks that followed, angry parents and Confederate heritage groups organized flag-waving protests outside the school and at several school board meetings. "All hell broke loose," said Tom Roach, an attorney for the Cherokee County school system. When principals banned the shirts at other county high schools in the past, he said, "there was no public outcry. No complaints. No problems." But the Confederate flag was a particularly hot topic in Georgia this year. Gov. Roy Barnes (D) was upset in his reelection bid last month in part because he successfully pushed for redesign of the Georgia state flag, which was formerly dominated by the Confederate battle emblem. On the new state banner, the emblem is reduced to a small icon. During the campaign, Barnes's opponent, Sonny Perdue, called for a referendum on the new flag, a position that analysts say helped make him the state's first elected Republican governor since Reconstruction. Elsewhere in the South, civil rights groups have mobilized to remove the banner in recent years. Activists had it removed from atop the South Carolina statehouse and from other public places, saying it is an insult to African Americans and others who view it as a symbol of bigotry and state-sanctioned injustice. But that campaign has stirred a resentful backlash from groups that view it as an attack on their heritage. "We're not in a battle just for that flag, we're in a battle to determine whether our Southern heritage and culture survives," said Dan Coleman, public relations director for the Sons of Confederate Veterans, one of the groups that joined the protests at Cherokee High School.
Link Posted: 12/30/2002 2:26:42 AM EST
[b]cont[/b] The battle over Confederate-themed clothing has made its way to the courts, which generally have sided with school dress codes that prevent items that officials deem disruptive. In a 1969 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District that school officials could not prohibit students from wearing black armbands to protest the Vietnam War, but only because the court found that the armbands were not disturbing the school atmosphere. By contrast, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit earlier this year revived a lawsuit by two Kentucky students suspended for wearing shirts featuring the Confederate flag. The court said the reasons for the suspension were vague and remanded the case to a lower court, where it was dismissed after the school district settled with the students. Also, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit earlier this fall sided with a Washington, N.J., student who challenged his school's ban on a T-shirt displaying the word "redneck." The student was suspended from Warren Hills Regional High School for wearing the shirt, which school officials said violated their ban on clothing that portrays racial stereotypes. The school's vice principal said he took "redneck" to mean a violent, bigoted person. But the court overturned the ban, saying the shirt was not proven to be disruptive. School officials, noting the school has a history of racial tensions, have promised to appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court. "Since last year, we have gotten well over 200 complaints about the banning of Confederate symbols in schools," said Kirk Lyons, lead counsel for the Southern Legal Resource Center, a North Carolina-based public-interest law firm that works to protect Confederate heritage and is in discussions with some families at Cherokee High School. He said the center is litigating six lawsuits and that dozens of others challenging Confederate clothing bans have been filed across the country. As the controversy grows, Confederate-themed clothing has become more popular than ever. The owner of Georgia-based Dixie Outfitters says the firm sold 1 million T-shirts last year through the company's Web site and department stores across the South. Most of the shirts depict Southern scenes and symbols, often with the Confederate emblem. "This is not your typical, in-your-face redneck type of shirt," said Dewey Barber, the firm's owner. "They are espousing the Southern way of life. We're proud of our heritage down here." Barber said he is "troubled" that his shirts are frequently banned by school officials who view them as offensive. "You can have an Iraqi flag in school. You can have the Russian flag. You can have every flag but the Confederate flag. It is puzzling and disturbing," he said. In an angry letter to Cherokee Principal Sebring posted on its Web site, Dixie Outfitters called the two families who complained about the shirts -- but asked not to be identified publicly -- "race baiters." "Are you going to ban the American flag, if one or two people out of 1,800 find it offensive, because it had more to do with the slave trade than any other flag, including the battle flag?" the letter asks. It is an argument made by many who do not understand why some people find the Confederate battle flag deeply offensive. "The Confederate flag itself is not racist," said Rick Simpson, Ree's father. "It was the American flag that brought slaves to this country." David Ray, a Cherokee County contractor, said his son, Eric, has been punished with in-school suspensions a couple of times this year for defying a Confederate T-shirt ban at Etowah High, another Cherokee County school. He said he couldn't understand why the shirts are causing such a fuss. "Slavery ended almost 150 years ago," Ray said. "You might have some parents who still hold the slavery issue or black versus white deep in their hearts. But for the most part, I think, people are over that." © 2002 The Washington Post Company
Link Posted: 12/30/2002 2:34:52 AM EST
[Last Edit: 12/30/2002 2:35:06 AM EST by DoubleFeed]
Link Posted: 12/30/2002 2:37:11 AM EST
[Last Edit: 12/30/2002 2:37:28 AM EST by Ponyboy]
I really like this part
Walter C. Butler Jr., president of the Georgia State Conference of the NAACP, said it is unreasonable to ask African Americans not to react to someone wearing the rebel flag.
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I think it's unreasonable to ask anyone, regardless of color, not to react to someone telling you what you can't wear because they don't like it. MARPAT anyone? I did learn something from this article however, I always thought that FUBU stood for "Fucked Up Butt Ugly".
Link Posted: 12/30/2002 2:38:52 AM EST
Link Posted: 12/30/2002 3:16:56 AM EST
Originally Posted By DoubleFeed:
Originally Posted By Ponyboy: I think it's unreasonable to ask anyone, regardless of color, not to react to someone telling you what you can't wear because they don't like it.
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This is the most confusing statement I have ever read, bar none [BD]
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Exactly, and that's why I'm hiring a lawyer.
Link Posted: 12/30/2002 3:23:18 AM EST
Link Posted: 12/30/2002 3:26:26 AM EST
You know, I was born in the south. My parents were from the south. Both sides of my family have been here since before 1750. We fought in the revolution, and lost our land in the civil war. So, I know a little bit about southern heritage. The meanings of symbols, just as the meanings of words, change over the course of time. For example, the swastika had its place among the native americans, but nobody sees it that way anymore. Cry about it all you want, but the reality of it is that the CBF is now viewed the world over as a symbol of racism. To insist otherwise is to float on that river in Egypt.
Link Posted: 12/30/2002 3:36:50 AM EST
Originally Posted By 82ndAbn
We could start being more like France and just wave white flags.
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Unfortunately this is exactly what the whiners want. I however will NOT be participating.
Link Posted: 12/30/2002 3:39:35 AM EST
Originally Posted By Emoto: Cry about it all you want, but the reality of it is that the CBF is now viewed the world over as a symbol of racism. To insist otherwise is to float on that river in Egypt.
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I insist otherwise. You might have been born in the south, but it doesn't appear that you were raised in the south. I see the Confederate flag everyday and I don't think about slavery when I see it and neither do most of the people I know. I've had some in depth conversations with a good black friend of mine over the subject as well and I changed his mind on what he thinks about it. He grew up thinking the same way many people do, and had never talked to any white people about it. He just thought that everyone that had the flag on something was a racist. When he heard what I thought about it, it changed his mind, since I'm obviously not a racist and a good friend of his. If somebody doesn't like it, then tough shit, because I do and I'll fight over it.
Link Posted: 12/30/2002 3:40:20 AM EST
[url]http://www.dixieoutfitters.com[/url] maybe I will have to place an order
Link Posted: 12/30/2002 3:45:59 AM EST
Link Posted: 12/30/2002 3:55:41 AM EST
Originally Posted By Ponyboy:
Originally Posted By Emoto: Cry about it all you want, but the reality of it is that the CBF is now viewed the world over as a symbol of racism. To insist otherwise is to float on that river in Egypt.
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I insist otherwise. You might have been born in the south, but it doesn't appear that you were raised in the south. I see the Confederate flag everyday and I don't think about slavery when I see it and neither do most of the people I know. I've had some in depth conversations with a good black friend of mine over the subject as well and I changed his mind on what he thinks about it. He grew up thinking the same way many people do, and had never talked to any white people about it. He just thought that everyone that had the flag on something was a racist. When he heard what I thought about it, it changed his mind, since I'm obviously not a racist and a good friend of his. If somebody doesn't like it, then tough shit, because I do and I'll fight over it.
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And I will gladly fight to support your right to express yourself in the way you choose. If you want to work to re-educate the world's population about what it means to you, then have a ball, but I think that whenever one displays a symbol, one needs to be conscious of what it says to those who see it.
Link Posted: 12/30/2002 4:01:34 AM EST
Link Posted: 12/30/2002 4:15:27 AM EST
When do we get to the point that we can't say anything, do anything, wear anything because it might offend someone's sensitivities... Oh we're already there...
Link Posted: 12/30/2002 4:24:42 AM EST
This politically correct bullshit never ceases to sicken me. Though my family has been in the North forever and fought on the side of the North during the Civil War, I still respect the heritage of the South - and agree in principle on the real reasons they seceded from the Union - states rights - not slavery. Personally, I think people should be able to wear anything they want - short of public nudity perhaps.( Well, depending...hmmm) If clothing offends someone, thats between the wearer and the offendee to deal with.
Link Posted: 12/30/2002 2:44:26 PM EST
Remember the Dukes Of Hazzard? The HUGE flag on the roof? No one seemed to care then. Friggin dolts.
Link Posted: 12/31/2002 4:43:31 AM EST
Originally Posted By Ire: Remember the Dukes Of Hazzard? The HUGE flag on the roof? No one seemed to care then. Friggin dolts.
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Loved that show... Liberalism never ceases to amaze me. Next we will have fricken Chocran (sp) running around with Rev Jackson spouting more liberal racist crap...
Link Posted: 12/31/2002 5:06:51 AM EST
"If heaven ain't alot like Dixe I don't want to go" (Mr. Williams) "Floating on a river in Egypt".....HEHEHE that was a good one. How about those shirts that proudly say.. "Get my knowledge at a White College, I don't think so" I saw plenty of those in High school.[rolleyes]
Link Posted: 12/31/2002 10:57:16 AM EST
[Last Edit: 12/31/2002 10:59:13 AM EST by dsr611]
Earlier this month, there was a business set up in one of the local malls that sold the Dixie Outfitters t-shirts and camoflauge (there was actually more camo there than Dixie Outfitters wear). The managers of the mall evicted them because he had had complaints about the merchandise promoting racism. Here is a link to the story from one of the local TV stations... [url]http://www.wpmi.com/Global/story.asp?S=1045729[/url] Here's another article from the Tuscaloosa News (cannot find the link to the paper but this article is word for word what was in the Tuscaloosa News)...
The manager of a Mobile mall has evicted a merchant selling clothing with Confederate battle flag designs, citing complaints from people angered by the merchandise. The merchant, Camo Unlimited, opened a kiosk in Colonial Mall Bel Air just after Thanksgiving. The Blountsville-based company sells Dixie Outfitters clothing at the Mobile mall and at other malls throughout the Southeast, owner Toby Smith said. Dixie Outfitters offers more than 600 designs with themes such as hunting, trucks and dogs, all including the stars and bars of the Confederate battle flag. The clothing line's "Legends of the Confederacy" series features generals and other leaders of the Confederacy. Smith said that soon after he opened the kiosk, employees of another store at the mall complained. Soon afterward, the mall's management told him to clear out by Sunday. Tim Nolan, the mall's general manager, said he heard from several people who indicated the store could spur a boycott of the mall. "May I remind you that blacks and other minorities constitute a major portion of consumers who patronize Colonial Bel Air Mall," chapter president Lettie Malone wrote in a Dec. 5 letter to Nolan. "They should not be embarrassed or made to feel uncomfortable by those who are still fighting and trying to revive a war that never should have been a part of our civilized society." The state president of the NAACP, the Rev. R.L. Shanklin, said the group never had plans for a boycott, and that he would have to approve any boycott carried out by the organization. Nevertheless, Nolan said the mall was in an "emotionally charged controversy that we didn't want to be in the middle of." "There was going to be no easy decision," he told the Mobile Register. "Certainly customers are disappointed that we took them out. Customers would have been disappointed had we left them in." Asked whether he thought his clothing was offensive, Dixie Outfitters owner Dewey Barber said, "We certainly don't put any designs out there that we feel are offensive to anyone." Dixie Outfitters' Web site has links and news stories about the Battle Flag, and in a section called "Our Mission" it states: "The truth about the Confederate Flag is that it has nothing to do with racism or hate. The Civil War was not fought over slavery or racism. We at Dixie Outfitters are trying to tell the real truth via our art and products in regards to the Confederate Flag." Ben George, head of a local Sons of Confederate Veterans camp, said he was considering a protest against the eviction.
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Here is a link to the above article on FreeRepublic.com [url]http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/806150/posts[/url] [b]Political Correctness will be the death of this nation!!![/b]
Link Posted: 12/31/2002 11:10:14 AM EST
All 3 Dixie Outfitters stores in my state were closed, one of them was in our local mall. I heard it was over NAACP complaints. What bullshit! McBalming
Link Posted: 12/31/2002 11:22:12 AM EST
Originally Posted By Balming: I heard it was over NAACP complaints. What bullshit! McBalming
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Don't even get me started![:|]
Link Posted: 12/31/2002 12:46:43 PM EST
Arguments against the flag are well worded drivel composed by Black racists in order to keep blacks marginalized and dependent souls. Hey, someone's got to pay for all those Cadillacs, private jet trips, vacations, white whores and fat bank accounts the race hustlers get.
Link Posted: 12/31/2002 12:52:18 PM EST
This does not surprise me in the least. My father used to work for Cherokee Co schools and my mother still does. Oh the F*CKED up stories I could tell......but I wont. [;D]
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