Friday, August 18, 2017

I hate political blog posts. Then again ...

When I was an undergrad, I went to the UK with some Georgia Tech History and English professors for the summer. This was before Tech had much of an overseas program, and it was a small, close-knit group of us. This was the summer that the state of Georgia was debating whether or not the Confederate battle flag should be removed from the Georgia state flag.

As a relative newcomer to Georgia, I didn't know a lot of Georgia history. Over breakfast one morning I mentioned that I thought it was silly to change a symbol that had always been on the flag just because it now meant something different to some people.

The Tech History professor who was traveling with us (Gus Gieblehouse - probably spelled differently) proceeded to give all of us a calm, reasoned, and well informed history of the Georgia state flag - including the fact that the Confederate battle flag was added as a defiant gesture against a federal government that insisted on integration.

Dr. G's explanation changed my mind about the Georgia flag and informs my opinions today on the debate over Confederate statues. There are statues that were put up to genuinely remember those who died - monuments at battle sites, perhaps the monuments at places like Lee's Arlington home. However, there are many, many others that were put up much later in defiance of segregation and in an attempt to intimidate minorities. Those do not have a legitimate reason to stay in the public view.

Atlanta Food Walks (@atlantafoodwalks) posted a very nice, reasoned, and informed piece on Facebook today that spun up this little walk down memory lane, and I had some interesting conversations with my Israeli colleagues on the topic as well. It is an interesting time and one that future generations will look to as a determination of our moral growth as a country and as a state.

Excuse the interruption.

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