Charleston, Confederate Flags and Caitlyn: In the context of time

History, and the context of the time in which we view it, changes things - a lot


CHARLOTTE, N.C., June 28, 2015 – Whenever a Muslim terrorist kills multiple people in an attack, the first thing we hear from the media is that “AAALLL Muslims are NOT terrorists.” So when a nutcase goes berserk in Charleston, S.C., and kills nine people, why are AAALLL southerners suddenly now rednecks and racists?

The time has come to put things in perspective, and that means you too, Mr. Obama.

Charleston shooting proves politics is war by other means

A hate-driven man walks into a church and shoots up the place, and suddenly the Confederate flag is to blame. Yet somehow taking down the flag is going to change everything. Or, at the very least, make us feel better.

Let’s put things in the context of our times and use some common sense.

We’ll begin with Texas. The state slogan is “Six Flags over Texas” to commemorate the six countries that have flown their flag over the state: Spain (1519 to 1821), France (1684 to 1690 and later from 1800 to 1803), Mexico (1821 to 1836), Republic of Texas (1836 to 1845 until it became a state), United States of America (1845 to 1861 and 1865 to present), and Confederate States of America (1861 to 1865).

So what does Texas do now? Do they change the slogan to “Five Flags over Texas” to be politically correct? Weelll, that’s history, you say. That’s different.

OK, so a conservative Islamic critic named Pamela Geller goes to Texas and holds a Muhammad cartoon exhibition, and another lunatic tries to kill the people inside.

What was the furor all about when it was over? Free speech, remember. Ahhh but the Confederate flag is somehow different.

What about the symbol depicted in the picture below? What does that represent? NAZI Germany?

Hindu temple in Nepal with an ancient sign that looks like a swastika  (Taylor)
Hindu temple in Nepal with an ancient sign that looks like a swastika (Taylor)

Wrong. It is actually much older. It’s a Hindu symbol used in that religion. In fact, if you look closely, the Indian “swastika” isn’t even in the same position as a German swastika.

The context of our times.

Why now? Why are American always reactive rather than proactive?

Time was, when you went to a sporting event in the south, they played Dixie immediately following the national anthem, and everybody remained standing and cheering. That was in the late ’50s and early ’60s. Why wasn’t the Confederate flag an issue then? Was it not just as wrong then as it is now? Was it because Rosa Parks was still in the back of the bus and Martin Luther King still hadn’t has his dream?

More than a flag perpetuates racism

The context of the times.

Charlotte, N.C., which is about three hours NW of Charleston, S.C., is the second largest financial district in the United States. The city is bursting at the seams with growth. Ask any Uber driver how many “northerners” they pick up who are transplants from Chicago, Detroit, New York or New England.

Maybe they came so they could become “rednecks” too. Wanna bet there are more people moving into Charlotte percentage-wise than there are moving into those other places?

Dearborn, Mich., has more Muslims than Charlotte has rednecks. Now that’s comforting. Of course there has never been any violence in “the city of brotherly love.” At least nothing that measures up to that lawlessness in the coastal city of Charleston, S.C.

Here’s a fun fact many people don’t know. Since they stopped printing the Sears Roebuck catalogue almost all the houses in the South have indoor plumbing! Amazing.

The context of our times.

Ben Affleck appears on a PBS special and has the producers edit out the fact that some of his ancestors were slave-owners. Big deal. So what? Does that make Affleck a racist? It is part of his family history. So be it.

The dirty little secret about the South that nobody ever mentions. Middle-class white children growing up in the 20th century often were raised by black nannies. Oh horrors! How racist is that?

White children in the mid-20th century were also raised to say “Yes ma’am” and “No sir” and those nannies were every bit as much of a role model as the kids’ parents were. You didn’t give any guff to “Hattie” or she’d pop you upside the head with your parents’ approval.

In fact, when their housekeepers died, those white families usually attended their funerals, and they were the only white faces in attendance because those nannies were as much a part of that white family as anyone.

Racism had nothing to do with it. “Hattie” was poor and uneducated and couldn’t get work. She WAS NOT a slave. She was earning a living as best she could.

In fact, after she was gone, many of her recipes became family traditions during holiday meals, and she was remembered as a beloved family member.

The context of our times.

Barack Obama almost did the right thing in Charleston. Almost. He showed up and spoke and he was at his eloquent best. And then he sang “Amazing Grace” while the media swooned. Yet another example of the president’s narcissistic ego making himself more important than the memorial itself.

In his own way, the president himself fueled the controversy even more. That was by design, by the way, to further politicize his agenda.

Oh, and by the way, where was Mr. Obama at the funerals of Brian Moore, Chris Kyle, Nicholas Oresko or James Foley?

All white patriots in one endeavor or another.

Yes, Obama and Hillary did appear when four diplomats from Benghazi were returned to the U.S. Why? Because he wanted to politicize a YouTube video.

Barack is still looking for those Libyan terrorists, by the way, just like O..J. Simpson is still looking for the killer of his former wife.

Che Guevara, Walmart and Confederate flag hypocrisy

The Confederate flag is a symbol. Symbols mean things. The flag should have been removed long ago. It should never have been allow to denigrate to the symbol of hatred that it has become.

However, making every southerner out to be a “good ole boy” and calling everyone in the South a redneck is an offensive stereotype that even someone as eloquent as Garrison Keillor of “Prairie Home Companion” had the stupidity to utter over the weekend.

You can find ignorance anywhere. Not only in the South. Just look at Congress. Or the high percentage of Hillary Clinton supporters who will vote for her just because she has a “D,” or a Mrs.,  beside her name.

The context of our times.

The time has come to use common sense and stop jumping on the political bandwagon when it is convenient to do so.

If we must continue in that vein, then after our first half-black president goes out of office in 2017, let’s elect Caitlin Jenner so we can celebrate our first half-female president as well.

The context of our times.

Bob Taylor has been traveling the world for more than 30 years as a writer and award winning television producer focusing on international events, people and cultures around the globe.

Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (

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Bob Taylor
Bob Taylor has been travel writer for more than three decades. Following a career as an award winning sports producer/anchor, Taylor’s media production business produced marketing presentations for Switzerland Tourism, Rail Europe, the Finnish Tourist Board, Japan Railways Group, the Swedish Travel & Tourism Council and the Swiss Travel System among others. He is founder of The Magellan Travel Club ( and his goal is to visit 100 countries or more during his lifetime.