On Moral Panics.

The other day on Facebook, I hit “share” on  a piece from Brietbart calling for the banning of the gay pride rainbow flag. It was, I believe, a somewhat satirical piece pointing out the hypocrisy surrounding the current controversy over the Confederate battle flag now swirling about us. A long time friend of the blog soon sent me a message informing me that my “hate” and “homophobia”  had motivated him to unfriend me.  My response:

If you wish to unfriend me, that’s certainly your choice. But as to homophobia, I think perhaps some context is in order.

I live in one of the most gay friendly cities in America. It’s in fact a vacation destination that explicitly markets to gay and lesbian audiences. I’ve quite a number of gay friends, both in real life, and across social media. I’ve invited and hosted married same sex couples into my home and cheerfully broken bread with them. I’ve enjoyed interacting with you via blogs for a decade now. I would gladly invite you and your family into my home.

What annoys me (and I’m presuming you are referencing the Brietbart link about the rainbow flag) is when the political left in America stakes out a moral position, usually one not held by even a plurality of our population, and then proclaims that it is the only proper position and that even debate on the matter is hate speech, and no decent person can think or say otherwise. Gay marriage, sexual assault on campus, the position of blacks in American society and the obvious racism inherent to all whites, male privilege, and a host of other issues.

The Left here has turned from a movement dedicated to growing the rights of all to instead restricting the rights of many, to reward people for being a member of one tribe, at the expense of others. Pointing out the hypocrisy of MANDATING the celebration of the rainbow flag versus the hysterical banishment of the Confederate battle flag, is to me, a legitimate expression of protest against the political left, and not, per se, a condemnation of the LGBT population.

A mentally unwell person walked into a church, one of the few well functioning majority black communities in urban America, and was treated with kindness and grace. And he repaid that kindness and grace with murder. And what is the reaction of the left in America? A serious discussion of mental health? A discussion about all the people that had heard from his own lips his murderous intentions, and yet did nothing to forestall this tragedy? No, we’re suddenly obsessed with talking about a flag, one that had, essentially, nothing to do with the horrific murders at hand.

I am conflicted by South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley’s call for the state legislature to debate removing the Confederate flag from its current position. In spite of my Southern heritage, I hold no particular brief for the flag. I’m not either for it, nor against it. And what South Carolina does is a matter for South Carolina. I have never lived there, and haven’t even visited in over 30 years.

But I also know that pandering to the passionate cries of the Social Justice Mob outrage du jour is never a good idea. My thinking was that Gov. Haley would have been best served to wait a week before rendering her call to the legislature.

Instead, now, we see a neo-Puritan purge of all things Confederate. Wal-Mart has pulled products, Amazon as well. Dukes of Hazzard merchandizing will be purged of the unclean flag. The reactionary Apple store has pulled every app or game featuring the image.

As you may have been already informed (Read Facebook link), Apple has removed our game from AppStore because of usage of the Confederate Flag. Ultimate General: Gettysburg could be accepted back if the flag is removed from the game’s content.

We accept Apple’s decision and understand that this is a sensitive issue for the American Nation. We wanted our game to be the most accurate, historical, playable reference of the Battle of Gettysburg. All historical commanders, unit composition and weaponry, key geographical locations to the smallest streams or farms are recreated in our game’s battlefield.

What social good has come from this? None. Instead, now people will smugly pat themselves on the back celebrating their moral purity over their peers, when in fact they are simply erasing the history, both good and bad, that has made the United States what it is. How can we celebrate the victory of the Union, and subsequent Constitutional prohibition on slavery, if we cannot even honestly discuss the Civil War itself?

The Social Justice left loves to bask in its glow of societal sophistication, when in fact, it’s merely engaging in the same prudery that led Victorians to put bloomers on piano legs.

We have serious issues facing our nation today. We’re deeper in debt than any nation in history has ever been, and the structure of our spending virtually guarantees that debt will be ever increasing. Our Supreme Court today issued a decision that in effect says that the law is not what is written, but whatever Obama says it is. We have a foreign policy that is rewarding nations that chant “Death to America” on a regular basis, but shun, mock and punish stalwart allies.

And yet here we find ourselves arguing over the most trivial matters, matters that have nothing whatsoever to do with the event that spurred our current discussion.  And it is a conversation I cannot avoid. I’m not only being told that this conversation must be had, but that I must take the only right and moral position, the position stakes by the far left.

You can pass any law that tells me what I must do or must not do. But history has shown, no matter your laws, you cannot tell me what to think.

19 thoughts on “On Moral Panics.”

  1. Standing applause to your very specific point relative to the loss of true perspective in this matter. Won’t work because your making sense, but it is point on. Thank you.

  2. How dare you have a thought that does not comply with the approved viewpoint? Delta Bravo likens the Libero-Fascists’ reaction to that of the Taliban blowing up historical artifacts to erase history. She has something there.

  3. Gov. Haley did the right thing, and the current flail over the CBF is proof of that. The statehouse flag issue was supposed to be a wedge for the GOP. Unlike Obama, Hillary! cannot count on the native racism of the black community to get the turnout she’d need to win. The flag issue was supposed to be something conservatives would oppose, giving Hillary! a brush to paint Republicans as racist and motivating blacks to vote against them. By immediately coming out and saying the CBF should come down from the statehouse, Gov. Haley has denied them the issue they wanted and caught them off-balance. In response they have overreacted into a classic moral panic. The thing about moral panics is that they quickly burn themselves out. In two months nobody will care about the CBF, the stores will stock them again (or new stores will arise to cater to the demand), and any mention of it will be seen as old news by the general public.

    1. I agree. I thought Governor Haley’s remarks, which I read in full at the NYT, hit the mark and were well-timed. I was disappointed by the backlash she received from some quarters, most notably Coulter who made a horse’s butt out of herself.

    2. The flag is not the statehouse, it’s on the soldier’s monument where it was moved to in 2000. The vote that moved it there included many of the blacks in the legislature, including the pastor that was murdered by Roof. Haley was simply a moral coward and acting like the Romney Republican she is. I expect such idiocy from Graham who is anything but a serious man, but Haley has killed any national aspirations she might have had, and Graham will now go no further.

    3. I used to have respect for Governor Haley and voted for her twice. Never again. And don’t get me started on Lindsey Graham. He might as well follow in the late Arlen Specter’s footsteps and call himself a democrat.

      1. People like you are why Republicans lose. You fail to realize that politics is a contest and that strategic thought is required to win. Never mind the obvious parallel to war, think about football. Imagine a team whose coach says “My principles demand that we always drive for the touchdown. To that end, we’re not going to have a kicker or any receivers. We are going to run the ball straight for the end zone every play.” How many games do you think this team is going to win?

        You know what, forget what I said about ignoring war. Do you know why Washington won the Revolutionary War? Because he knew when and how to give up.

    4. The south votes republican, to isolate and make southerners not vote means getting republican’s to have to take a stand on the issue.
      This is political divide and conquer tactics.

    5. Remeber, the whole idea is to take advantage of a crisis.
      If a man/woman doesn’t vote democrat the democrats don’t want them to vote at all.
      Make southern people not vote is a vote for democrats.
      democrats ran slavery, the confederacy and Jim Crow.
      Up until Al Gore southern people voted democrat.

  4. Of course, the CBF is not flying over the capital since 2000, but only over the civil war memorial. Rant on.
    About 5% of SC residents owned slaves while 47% on NY residents did.
    The “Emancipation Proclamation” only freed slaves from the “rebel” states, not those in the north.
    Feel free to consume yourselves over something so trivial while the “Supreme Court” sells us down the river.
    (Not talking about you folks, but the LIVs.)

    1. Not mentioned is the percentage of Slave owning Rich plantation owners was very small compared to those of us who were called white trash of the greater population who had to be paid and were not wanted or needed.
      Why hire a white trash when you can buy a slave?
      The fallacy of hating every white person for slavery is stupid in the face of those whites who immigrated after slavery had ended, what part did they play to be hated.

    1. Casey: Slavery was outlawed ONLY in the Southern states by Lincoln’s emancipation act.
      They wanted a tax for rebuilding Northern industry, the south did not wish to pay the tax and so slavery was outlawed in the south, not the north.

  5. About the flag and gay marriage I don’t care either way.
    In the end they are still black, will be offended by something else and always being reminded of slavery.
    As for the gay folks?
    Well marriage or not they are still gonna be gay and offended by something and reminded they are a small percentage of the population and not that popular because of what they remind non gays of their sex lives.
    In the end, nothing will change.
    “All this for a flag?”
    >Michelle Obama<

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