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A couple transgressive thoughts on race


The thing about this flag is, it’s the symbol of an America that is not entirely white. Without the organized slave trade, there would be (virtually) zero black people in America, and this flag became emblematic of that. I’m not sure the right people are swinging it around.

You can thank my slave-owning, plantation-running, lazy-ass louche Southern ancestors for an America that doesn’t look like Scandihoovia. Let this flag be your reminder.

Although…did you know in the 300 years of the slave trade to the colonies, fewer than half a million were sent to the U.S.? Of the ten million that came over in chains, nearly all ended up in the Caribbean and Brazil.

I hate to send you to Slate, but they have a genuinely fascinating animated map that demonstrates the flow of peoples.

There. I don’t know why I ever post about race. Nothing good can come of it.


Comment from Man Mountain Molehill
Time: July 2, 2015, 9:34 pm

In North America slaves were valuable property, worth taking care of, in the Caribbean they were cheap and plentiful enough to be worked to death.

Comment from Stark Ðickflüßiᵹ
Time: July 2, 2015, 11:45 pm

I think I’m just going to drink a lot & not think about it.

Comment from Feynmangroupie
Time: July 3, 2015, 12:16 am

They would have all stayed African slaves, but I don’t claim to know if that makes it better or worse. I do know that it is irrelevant if the vast majority of African slaves went to the Caribbean and S.A. because they are not considered wealthy Capitalist Imperialist countries, chock-filled with obese gringos. Europe doesn’t face any censure because it’s Europe and they are better than us ‘muricans. Islamic countries never have to justify their slave trade.

Luckily, the US is circling the drain and our grand experiment will be something that is lightly mocked in history books.Then we won’t have to feel bad about our collective guilt. We’ll suck just as badly as the rest of the world.

Comment from Stark Ðickflüßiᵹ
Time: July 3, 2015, 2:51 am

Okay, now I’m going to drink even more & think about it even less. Thanks, Feynmangroupie.

Comment from Oceania
Time: July 3, 2015, 10:48 am

All about race.

How long you live, how smart you are … after all – we are only machines which have propagated our genes isolated from others for 10’s or 100’s of thousands of years.

Besides, blacks, or correctly negroids … have a non-human common ancestor about 14,500 years ago.

You just have to read the code, to find it all there.

Comment from Oceania
Time: July 3, 2015, 12:27 pm

Yes, and Eugenics should be compulsory.

Besides, they smell funny. Woof!

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: July 3, 2015, 2:37 pm

I wrote a long and thoughtful comment but deleted it because, as noted above, no good can come of it.

However, I will note this: Obama was elected largely because in a political environment that is roughly evenly split between Republicans and Democrats, the Black vote is large enough to break the tie. Historically the only way to get a large Black turn-out has been to excite them. Thus issues like this one over the Confederate Flag are used as prods. However, this is occuring so far in advance of the elections as to be useless. I would like to think that this is a preemptive strike by the Republicans to remove it from the opposition’s arsenal before it can be turned into a campaign weapon. On the other hand, that would suggest long range planning and general competence from a party that hasn’t shown any in a decade….

Comment from Subotai Bahadur
Time: July 3, 2015, 9:47 pm

At the risk of saying something that no good comes of [which is a sad commentary when accuracy and truth is considered to be evil in a society]; let me speak as an amateur historian and past living history re-enactor for both schools and the National Park Service. I have “done” US Dragoons [1833-1860] as a Dragoon artilleryman [12 lb. Mountain Howitzer], Civil War Union artilleryman, “Galvanized Yankee” as Union Infantry, and Confederate Infantry [47th Virgina Infantry].

Leaving aside the modern usages of the Confederate Battle Flag [the Southern Cross] to usually symbolize resistance to government BS [and I note that in all of America’s wars the South has furnished a disproportionate number of America’s soldiers, and that America’s enemies all over the world have learned that hearing the “Rebel Yell” does not bode well in the immediate future] the silly buggers do not know what they are arguing about.

The flag everybody is getting upset about is not “the” Confederate flag. Nor is it the “Stars and Bars” as everybody is calling it. What it is, is the battle flag of the Confederate Army and the Naval Ensign. And it was then, and is now, properly referred to as the “Southern Cross” [from the cross of St. Andrew where the stars are. The same cross, incidentally, as on the Scottish flag.]. The Confederacy had several national flags, the first two were referred to as the “Stars and Bars”, and they look nothing like the battle flag.

Here is the first version of the Stars and Bars. There was a second, similar, version with more stars as more states joined the Confederacy.


I could fly that flag, and nobody would notice what it was. Now, do you see the military problem with that flag? From a distance, it looks an awful lot like the US Flag. Which in battle could be embarrassing to both sides.

So they rearranged the stars in the canton and put it on a white field.


You see the problem with that one? If the wind was not blowing, it hung down and looked like a surrender flag. [By the way, you can blame a Confederate Congressional committee for these flag designs. Their Congress was as screwed up as ours.] So they went to a third design.


NONE of which is what all the screaming about.

And even the picture with this post is not a Confederate battle flag. It is square and with a border. That is the flag of the Army of Northern Virginia, which was one of 17 such formations.

Now, to current events. While it seems that the uproar about the Southern Cross was something pre-prepared and organized by politicians and the media and just waiting for an incident; the incident was the murders in the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church on June 17th.

The accused killer is one Dylann Roof, 21. I cannot appropriately describe him, because I don’t wish to shock Madame Weasel. Let us just say that “football bat” would be included. The boy ain’t right. Aside from what I suspect are mental illness issues, he seems to be well to the left side of the bell curve for IQ. And he is, by his own writings, a racist [prolonged description deleted for reason above]. And he comes by it naturally, since his father seems to be a tattooed, pierced older version.

On his website he posted racist ramblings, and pictures of himself and a Southern Cross flag, several pictures of him burning American flags, and Nazi symbolism. I note that every one of the retailers who have dropped any reference to the Confederacy still has Nazi flags, etc. if they had them before. And that those protesting the Confederate flag tried to burn American flags in New York City a day or so ago, but were stopped by biker gangs.

Roof is being held up by the Left [including the Democrat Party] as an example of what all Americans, especially White Americans, who do not agree with them are like. Not bloody likely. He is far from any definition of normal. For the record I have personally encountered, and subdued, Black equivalents to Roof just as racist about Whites in my career. One of which shot one of my officers.

On his website, he was looking for like minded bigots. The reason that he went on his rampage was because he could not find any, according to his manifesto. Think about it. You can find anything online. Our whole society cannot be racist like Roof, or even have a significant minority of bigots like Roof, if he could not find any online.

I have no problem with finding him guilty. I have no problem with putting his a** to death. In fact I have several methods in mind, but cannot post them to spare Madame Weasel’s sensibilities [I promise, I am far more bloody-minded than her.] And I would gladly help.

I do not agree with the Left and the Democrats using this as an indictment of the entire country and the entire White population. This is a political power grab, and they need to be called on it.

n.b.: I am not White, I am Chinese. And admittedly, I am not a nice, or PC, person.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: July 3, 2015, 10:25 pm

I would pay folding money to see a Chinese Confederate reenactor’s regiment.

Comment from Subotai Bahadur
Time: July 4, 2015, 12:09 am

There wasn’t a regiment of Chinese in the Civil War. There were a few dozen Chinese in Federal service, mostly aboard ship as cooks, etc. They were not allowed in the combat arms in the Union; the Union being as racist as the South, just in a different way. There were a hundred or so actually fighting for the Confederacy [They had made their way to the South, and it was their home.]

I am, at heart, an artilleryman. Single “F” black powder being set off by the pound or significant fractions thereof is . . . exhilarating. Mind you, I have in my checkered past been a hard rock miner and a shot there was 250-300 lbs. of Gelex.

In any case, I have a certain fondness for a Confederate Chinese artilleryman who was awarded a pension by the State of Georgia in the 1870’s for his services at the battle of Gettysburg.

When I was doing Pvt. Nate Caudill [stole the name from a novel by Harry Turtledove], 47th Va. Infantry; it was with a friend who played a Yankee Sgt. We would set up camps side by side on the grounds of a school in Pueblo, Colorado [where my friend lived]. We would stay in role, and explain why each of us was in the war [and no, slavery was not part of mine], how we lived in the army, fed them hardtack and Confederate “Cush”, what battles we had fought in and how, show them musket drill and firing, and if I could borrow one, cannon drill and fire [Pueblo police drove by a few times, but did not stop when they saw where the loud noise came from.] In my portrayal, I did not look particularly Chinese.

I do have a picture taken of us at Pueblo County High School before the portrayal began while we were drinking campfire coffee. Another friend photoshopped us and our camp into a picture of a mountain meadow near his place. My floppy hat covered my eyes.

If I didn’t have to run back home to get ready for work when we did a presentation, we would stop and grab lunch. There is a restaurant/bar in downtown Pueblo known for their cheeseburgers. We went there, still in character. As we got to the door, a businesswoman came out. I held the door for her with my left hand, took my hat off and placed it over my heart, and said in my courtliest southern accent, “Your servant, ma’am.”.

She looked at both of us, and skittered sideways, somewhat disconcerted. Similarly, when we went into the bar side for lunch, it got real quiet for a while.

Comment from Anonymous
Time: July 5, 2015, 6:23 pm

If you are Chinese, how does it happen that you have an Indian name?

Comment from Subotai Bahadur
Time: July 5, 2015, 6:50 pm


Comment from Anonymous
Time: July 5, 2015, 6:23 pm

It is my nom d’blog. I decided to use it as such after an encounter with a political captain shortly after 9/11 back when I a) was still wearing a badge for a living, and b) was a very senior SGT with more time as a SGT than said “vacuum-induced promotion” captain had in the Department.

Said captain was opining that all the upset on the news was for naught, because we really were not going to war. We were just going to send some US Marshals to Afghanistan and arrest Bin Laden. At the time I and my crew were helping one of them get ready to go, him being Special Forces Reserve.

I pointed to the copy of the Congressional Authorization I had posted on the bulletin board in the “bullpen”. To which he replied, “[Name deleted], you are to the Right of Genghis Khan.”.

I said, “No captain, you are wrong. I am to the right of Subotai Bahadur, who was Genghis Khan’s chief general . . . and a REAL hard ass.”.

Captain threw up his hands, and stalked off to his office, my crew laughed and cheered, and we went went out to fight Darwin.

Comment from drew458
Time: July 8, 2015, 12:08 am

This is the best rolling thread on this blog in almost forever!

While I have long been familiar with “copperheads”, this brouhaha has exposed me twice in two days to “galvanized yankees”, a term I had never known before this.

And Subotai’s ramble is excellent, although now I don’t know whether to call him general or sergeant.

Comment from TwoDogs
Time: July 11, 2015, 3:40 am

Subotai, I salute you. Black powder set off by the pound should be awesome. I’m accustomed to setting it off 60 or so grains at a time behind 500 grains of lead at a target a thousand yards away. Big guns would be fun.

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