Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Jack Hunter: 'I was wrong about Confederate flag'

The ‘Southern Avenger’ Repents: I Was Wrong About the Confederate Flag - The Daily Beast - Jack Hunter:

June 23, 2015 - "As a Charleston, South Carolina-based conservative radio personality known as the “Southern Avenger,” I spent a decade defending the Confederate flag that is yet again the center of so much controversy.

"I said the flag was about states’ rights. I said it stood for self-determination. I said it honored heritage.

"I argued the Confederate flag wasn’t about race. I believed it. Millions of well-meaning Southerners believe it too.

"I was wrong. That flag is always about race. Whatever political or historical points the flag’s defenders make, there will never be a time—and never has been a time—in which millions of Americans have looked at that symbol and not seen hatred...."

"I thought a big part of being conservative meant picking a “side” and attacking the other. I thought not caring what others thought or felt was part of it. Some of my Confederate flag debates certainly reflected that mentality.

"This is something ideologues do and is by no means exclusive to the right, as evidenced by the way some liberals cartoonishly portray conservatives, Christians, and, yes, Southerners.

"Ideologues ridicule and dehumanize people at the expense of their personhood. Ideologues believe some groups must be attacked, and although the groups are comprised of flesh-and-blood human beings, it’s better not to think of them as people too much — it could get you off message.

"It’s crude collectivist thinking. It’s an intentional lack of sympathy. It’s dehumanization. It’s at the heart of everything that’s wrong with our politics and culture....

"My attraction to libertarianism a number of years ago began a journey of rejecting groupthink and placing primacy on the individual. Once you start down the path of putting individual human beings above whatever group they belong to, it puts politics — and everything else — in a new light. Putting people before an agenda or broad prejudices puts us all in a much better place."

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