6 Questions for a Flag Whiner

“you idiot…offended over BS…stop playing a victim and grow a set…tunnel vision…bleeding heart…white guilt…liberal trendy faux outrage…eliminating of history”

I got told “what for” when I voiced my opinions against symbols linked to slavery. I was writing in response to a  Southern newspaper’s poll about the confederacy and flags.

It is wise to consider the opinions of others. After all, what if they are right?

I will have to ask myself some hard questions:

1. Aren’t you just being trendy?

No. I grew up hearing racist jokes. I also had good examples of people who fought against racism and for human dignity. I chose to fight racism while I was still in elementary school. I am 50. I still fight this issue year after year.

2. Aren’t you just being manipulated by the media/government/”them”?

No. I encounter racist thinking and actions directly. White people say things to me about other races. Maybe they assume things since I am a white man from the South.

3. Aren’t you just an ignorant idiot?

No. I am not an expert but I do have two earned masters degrees, I speak several languages and I read historical accounts from primary sources:


rebel flag
“We hold as undeniable truths that the governments of the various States, and of the confederacy itself, were established exclusively by the white race, for themselves and their posterity; that the African race had no agency in their establishment; that they were rightfully held and regarded as an inferior and dependent race, and in that condition only could their existence in this country be rendered beneficial or tolerable.” ~ A Declaration of the Causes which Impel the State of Texas to Secede from the Federal Union
4. Aren’t you just closed minded to other ways of looking at the issue?

I listen to Southerners explain how slavery wasn’t that big of a deal, or that there was a lot of good too. I think about it. I fail to understand. I am still willing to hear a coherent explanation to justify a symbol of inhumanity.

5. Aren’t you just an easily offended “bleeding-heart-liberal” wimp?

No. I served in the United States Marine Corps. I am an ordained Southern Baptist preacher from a conservative seminary. I planted churches in the US. I was a pioneer missionary to an unreached people group. I have convictions I live by as courageously as possible. Caring about others is one of those convictions.

6. Aren’t we right to keep going after racism as a gardener goes after weeds?

Hmmm…. that’s a good question!


*This post was edited for clarity July 1, 2015.

I will continue to develop these ideas in subsequent posts.

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6 thoughts on “6 Questions for a Flag Whiner”

  1. Roxboro, North Carolina is the home of the paper mentioned in the post.
    Here are the results of the poll .

    The poll was taken as part of a community’s ongoing efforts to promote healthy race relations while wrestling with how to best honor Southern heritage.

    In my post I respond to some harsh words from some locals.

    However… Roxboro is a community filled with wonderful people.

    I am genuinely grateful for their courageous efforts, without fanfare, to do real racial reconciliation steadily and sincerely.

    Being proud of being a Southerner is not about abandoning one’s heritage, it is about wisely separating the good from the bad so we can live well in the present.
    That is true of any community’s struggles with their heritage.

    The most important heritage for a current generation is the one they leave for their children’s children. Let’s keep asking questions of one another and pursuing good answers.

    1. Thanks Donna. As Jeff knows, the reference to weeds to be pulled start with my own thoughts, feelings and actions. I am so grateful for our cross-cultural service together!

  2. Sherwood Ellsworth Haisty Jr, on a FaceBook post from David Rogers, is the 1st defender of Confederate symbols I have encountered to attempt to deal with the issue in a sustained and fact based way. That is after more than 1,000 hits on this site in the past few days and countless FaceBook and comment section interactions.

    I was not persuaded against my rejection of Confederate symbols, but I was encouraged by the example of someone at least making a disciplined effort at exchanging difficult ideas.

    I pray that people committed to Christ will move beyond defending one’s rights to this/that opinion and press on toward maturity, dealing with complex questions with diligence, humility, courage and grace.

    Shalom, y’all!!!

  3. Wow seems like you’ve been thru a lot bro, since we were addressing other cross ➕ cultural challenges. Reaching out if you need to talk in private. Don’t want to be a silent friend.

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