With the political lines being so adamantly drawn in this country, I would think that the issue of the confederate flag would obviously be an easy one to handle. Nope. For those of you who have noticed, there’s been several articles written about the wish of the Durham-Middlefield Racial Justice Team to ban all sales and display of the confederate flag at the Durham Fair this coming September. There is a surprisingly robust amount of people who adamantly believe that limiting its access in any way is an infringement on their rights as free citizens Along with this way of thinking, I also hear many people insist that their wish to see the flag hung without any limitations has to do with “heritage”.
Let me address the second issue first. Heritage. Sure, its true that if one comes from a long line of slave owners that that history becomes part of your heritage. The facts are that all illusions to the confederacy will always swing back to the undeniable fact that this war was about preserving a way of life where one group of people(white slave owners) lay claim on the freedom of another group (slaves) and tried to remain in a position of supremacy. In other words, revearring the flag is a means of celebrating racism. Its a racist action. If there’s ANY other way to look at this, please tell me.
As for the issue of limiting free speech and people feeling threatened by these kind perameters, let me say this: Free speech does not mean that one gets to say anything they want when ever they want to. A private organization has the right to limit what can and can’t be seen under its purview. But most importantly is considering trauma and empathy. These two concepts refer back to the title of this piece “Some Things Are So Utterly Simple”. First concept that I hold as fact is that African Americans have been deprived of their rights and kept in a second class position for over 400 years. The collective experiences of slavery, “Reconstruction”, Jim Crow laws, KKK, years of being killed (many times unjustified by police), segregation, verbal abuse and on and on have resulted in a particularly heinous and terrible form of trauma that is passed on from generation to generation. The confederate flag sympolizes all that American society has denied to African Americans and all the hurt and pain that racist people have inflicted on them (over hundreds of years. Hundreds). So the flag becomes an unwelcome trigger for these feelings of trauma. The therapist and social worker, Resmaa Menakem has illustrated this sad but true situation in his book “My Grandmother’s Hands”. You can also hear him being interviewed by Krista Tibbits here: https://centerpost.rowecenter.org/notice-the-rage-notice-the-silence-an-interview-with-resmaa-menakem/ In my own heart, I would never knowingly do anything to create trauma in another human being. Why would any of us want to subject someone to something that could trigger trauma. The Racial Justice Team is not alone in this endeavour to make the world a more welcoming place to ALL peoples. NASCAR no longer will allow the flag to be shown. Many state fairs throughout the country have banned it from their shelves. North Carolina will no longer be issuing a special edition license plate. Mississippi has removed the image of the flag from its own state flag. This is a growing movement. Its certainly not the most important step in creating equity but the fact that its being aired has helped put the issue much more in the forefront of the public.
Simply put, the flag can create trauma and large unnecessary pain in African American people As a country, why would we want to create horror and pain for our fellow citizens?
This is what I mean by “….Utterly Simple”. If you come to this “flag situation “with your heart open to the possibility of love, you’re going to come out in favor of empathy. Isn’t that the one true thing that should guide all of us?
We’re going to talk about tomato grafting in more detail soon. For now, for those of you who haven’t heard of this procedure-its a method for blending two different tomato plants. One is the flavor and the other is the root stock, which we think of as the engine. To graft, one literally cuts the tops off of both and sticks them together. I’ll go over the ins and outs soon.
In the meantime, please stay safe. Keep wearing that mask. Hope you enjoy what we have to offer this week. Oh, one more thing of excitement- we’ve received our turmeric /ginger tubers this weeks from Hawaii. They’ll be put in large flats to get them to start growing.