My Take on the Latest Controversy

I have been hesitant lately to express my opinions on the continual downward spiral our country seems to be in. The growing negativity, division and hatred among our many citizens since the many publicized shootings and deaths is very, very sad. I am not writing this post to defend one side or another, because when it all boils down, I wasn't there for any of it. None of us know 100% of the facts and I for one am not going to make assumptions because what does that help?

Does this mean I am oblivious to the fact that there are bad things going on? No. I think there are people killed unjustly but I also think there have been police officers berated unnecessarily. I see white people, black people, hispanic people, etc who one is just as racist as another. As someone who has friends of all races, it's enraging and disappointing to see the increasing hatred in this world. We are supposed to be making strides not backsliding. It's 2015.

All of that being said, my post is about a similar racially charged situation that has recently made the news. On a field trip to the Gettysburg National Battlefield this week, a high school student from Chapel Hill posted a picture on Instagram of her and a friend holding up flags with the caption "South will rise again." Parents are outraged.

You may think I am about to sit here and say that it isn't a sensitive topic and that there's nothing wrong with what she did. Nope. I think it was a bad call on her part, but here's what I want to say.

I, too was once 17. When I was 17, I dated a country boy. You know, the one who took me out on the tractor to pick blackberries and taught me how to fish. I once had a t-shirt that said Southern Chicks on the back because I knew he'd like it. It had 3 chicks on it and a confederate flag (see below). At 17? I hated history. Loathed it. I had a great teacher, but I found it to be way more boring than I do now. Had I learned all about the history surrounding these flags and what they meant? Yeah. Did I retain it? No. Did I care after I completed my test? No. I retained that knowledge at 17 about as well as I retained my fluency in Spanish. (For context? I received all A's in Spanish and now can only remember 15% of it).

I would never wear that shirt... but at 17? Yep and I didn't think anything of it. I actually remember my mom not liking that I had purchased it - and I thought she was being stupid and that she was wrong. I would have been devastated had this happened to me and I lost my friends over it. I don't know the girl, and I could absolutely be wrong myself, but I believe there is a significant chance that she thought she was being cute by posting the photo and wasn't being racist whatsoever. 

If people want to be upset, then they should educate her and tell her the things that she doesn't know. Don't harass her, stage protests and get in each other's faces. If anything, they're making it worse. 

With all of the horrible things going on right now, it's becoming easier to view everything as a racial issue whether it is or not. I wish I knew a solution for people (of all races) to step outside of this and rise above. Yes, there is still racism 100%, but I think a huge problem (in any controversial issue) is making assumptions... and the biggest problem is a lack of compassion and love in the world. We need to stand together not fall apart. Pray for each other because it only seems to be getting worse.


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