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Charleston and the art of offense

Written By | Jun 29, 2015

WASHINGTON, June 29, 2015 — The people of Charleston know that not everyone is to blame for the tragedy there. White and black stood together, arm in arm, against the evil that has destroyed the tranquility of the city.

In the end, they will move forward and the city will go on, with no riots and no bitterness, but with a great deal of pain. The healing will hard, and the pain will long be felt throughout the city, but as its people support each other in a time of crisis, Charleston will survive.

Some people in the grievance and fear-mongering industry are trying to ramp things up to a fevered pitch. Louis Farrakhan from the Nation of Islam not only wants the Confederate flag thrown out with the trash, but the American flag as well. To be replaced with what, exactly? The Nation of Islam flag?

Malik Zulu Shabazz of the New Black Panther Party calls for the killing of all “white slave masters.” Who those are exactly he hasn’t said. Slavery ended during the Civil War. If he means all whites, that would mean the start of a genuine racial war, something almost no one wants.




The debate about the Confederate flag and Southern heritage has taken a troubling turn. Does the flag stand for slavery, or is it just an emblem of Southern tradition and a way to honor the region’s heritage? The South has a rich history, complete with rogues and great men. The flag is not to blame for what happened in Charleston; that was the work of the deranged psycho who did the shooting.

To blame the flag is over the top. The flag did not instill the hate, the statues of Southern leaders that are now being pulled down did not pull the trigger, the film “Gone with the Wind” does not call for a return to slavery. Yet all these are being targeted for destruction. Even the Jefferson Memorial in Washington is being targeted by the revisionists.

This is our usual overreaction after a tragedy, the playground of race hucksters, black and white, who revel in being offended. The Confederate flag has been under attack for a while, and Charleston is the excuse to eliminate it once and for all. If those who are offended get their way, you will never see the battle flag again, unless you fly it in your own backyard where no one can see it and be offended.

Being offensive has never been a criterion for banning speech and symbols. But there are plenty of other symbols that raise people’s hackles:

Many are offended by the LBGT flag; take it down.

The cross is offensive to atheists; burn them all.

The Stars and Stripes offends people all over the world and Louis Farrakhan; replace it with something inoffensive.

The Star of David offends Palestinians; away with it.

Rap is hard on the ears; opera is the music of dead white men; spirituals are a reminder of slavery. Let freedom ring without a soundtrack, in silence.

A lot of expression is offensive. Why not remove it all? It it only offends conservative Christian white men, it doesn’t count. Only white men can be racist, sexist or any other negative “-ist,” so offenses against them are only a way to balance the scales of justice in the world.



They have a name for hurting the feelings of everyone else. Outrage over “micro-aggression” is a way to make people with “privilege” fear everything they say and do. In matters of gender, it doesn’t apply to women or gays; in matters of race, it doesn’t apply to blacks.

Life isn’t fair, but the response to that is to fight for change, not to nurse the offense. If you are offended, that is your own doing. Stop blaming someone else for holding you back. Pull your pants up, put a belt on and look for a way out. You may even find “privileged” people who would be happy to help. Changing the world and overcoming adversity is hard, but it’s much better than rioting, filing lawsuits and burning down neighborhoods over your grievances.

The world doesn’t care about your feelings. It cares only about what you do to make things better.

John Velisek

John C. Velisek is a retired Navy Veteran, entrepreneur, write, and lives in Apple Valley California with his wife. Working since he was 14, he has recently retired to write full time, about a terrorism, racial issues, the economy and government on a personal level.