Confederate Symbolism Sends the Message, “Black Lives Do Not Matter.”

On June 17, 2015, Dylann Roof murdered nine Black people in a historically Black church in Charleston, South Carolina.  Shortly thereafter, it was discovered the shooter obsessed over Confederate symbols, and since then a debate has raged over the presence of such symbols in U.S. culture. Since this is the U.S., there was no cogent discussion about gun violence, but that is a separate rant.

What took the spotlight alongside the horrific and disturbingly sadistic nature of the crime was the reverence Roof had for the Confederate States of America, namely its flag[i]. The abundance of Confederate memorials and symbolism in South Carolina and around the nation, including a Confederate Flag flown at the South Carolina Statehouse, immediately came under harsh criticism after the shooting, and such criticism was met with feverish opposition.

Around this time, the #BlackLivesMatter movement was picking up steam as a national uprising and simmering racial tensions in the U.S. had been ripped wide open yet again, as they continued to be every few weeks through the present day. Certain groups of people, bonded by ideology, defend the presence of Confederate Flags and memorials as being historical symbols of heritage while simultaneously skewering the #BlackLivesMatter movement as being anti-White racism, with some even calling it a terrorist group[ii].

Initial Thoughts on the October 13 DNC Debate

A lot of people have asked me what I think about last night’s debate, specifically Bernie Sanders’ performance.  I am not nearly an expert on anything, but I rant about stuff a lot so I guess some people wanted to know what I think.  Here it is:

Presidential debates in the U.S. are dog and pony shows.  What wins a debate in a presidential campaign is not a candidate’s ideals, voting record, or aptitude for presidential responsibilities, but rather the appearance of those things over the course of the debate.  Perceptions of these things by viewers can be affected by the things the candidates say, their demeanor, their body language, and by things asserted by their opponents.

Overall, Sanders won the debate.  He did not “crush it” like many people are saying.  While most public polling shows him winning the debate by a massive margin, this simply means that a lot of people think he won.  It doesn’t mean people think he won by a lot.