Thomas Wictor

Keeping it simple for the stupid

Keeping it simple for the stupid

After the psychopath Dylann Roof murdered nine people at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, on June 17, 2015, the United States lost its mind. Roof declared himself to be a racist and a supporter of the Confederacy; the nation—encouraged by politicians, pundits, academics, and activists—went into a frenzy of moral preening by banning what it thinks it was the official flag of the South. By keeping it simple, the ruling class has easily led the stupid.

In reality, this is the battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia.


It’s square, not rectangular, and the cross is diagonal in order to avoid it being mistaken for a Christian symbol, since many prominent Confederates were Jews.

The Confederate Army of Tennessee and the Confederate Navy adopted the battle flag in rectangular form.


I’m sure that the average American is ignorant of the fact that the Confederate national flag is completely different and underwent multiple changes from 1861 to 1865. The first Confederate flag had four versions.


This is its final rendition.


This emblem was easily confused with the United States flag on the battlefield, so the Confederates adopted the square flag of the Army of Northern Virginia on a white field.


The problem with this design was that when the wind wasn’t blowing, the “stainless banner” looked like a white flag of truce or surrender.

In the end, the Confederacy settled on the “blood-stained banner.”


After the Civil War, the flag of the Army of Northern Virginia was flown at monuments to honor the war dead, not the slave-owning Confederacy. Almost no southerners owned slaves.


The “antagonistic economic systems” are thus:

The Northern and Southern sections of the United States developed along different lines. The South remained a predominantly agrarian economy while the North became more and more industrialized. Different social cultures and political beliefs developed. All of this led to disagreements on issues such as taxes, tariffs and internal improvements as well as states rights versus federal rights.

But as always, reductionism came into play. Massive, complicated, confusing issues that couldn’t be easily explained were reduced to one: slavery. In reality, however, the Confederate soldier wasn’t fighting for the right to own another human being. Back in 1861, men went to war because it was an adventure, because they felt honor-bound to do so, because of peer pressure, because they wanted to be part of something greater than themselves, and because they were paid.


My great-great grandfather Levi Lower (left) and his two brothers Abram and Eli fought in the Civil War as volunteers, even though Kansas was a free state.


They had no personal stake in the war.

I lived in Tyler, Texas, from 1972 to 1975. It wasn’t the happiest period of my life. Despite not fitting in on any level, I grew to understand Southern culture. It’s clear to me that the vast majority of Americans in the South see what we now call the Confederate battle flag as a symbol of cultural pride through courage and suffering.

One of my heroes is General William Tecumseh Sherman, a man hated in the South to this day.


Sherman was not sentimental. He’s famous for his jaw-dropping quotes.

If the people raise a great howl against my barbarity and cruelty, I will answer that war is war, and not popularity seeking.

My aim, then, was to whip the rebels, to humble their pride, to follow them to their inmost recesses, and make them fear and dread us. Fear is the beginning of wisdom.

Every attempt to make war easy and safe will result in humiliation and disaster.

War is the remedy that our enemies have chosen, and I say let us give them all they want.

If I had my choice I would kill every reporter in the world, but I am sure we would be getting reports from Hell before breakfast.

There will soon come an armed contest between capital and labor. They will oppose each other, not with words and arguments, but with shot and shell, gun-powder and cannon. The better classes are tired of the insane howling of the lower strata and they mean to stop them.

War is cruelty. There is no use trying to reform it. The crueler it is, the sooner it will be over.

Sherman put his money where his mouth was. His “March to the Sea” from Atlanta to the port city of Savannah, Georgia, November 15 to December 21, 1864, was a revolution in war-fighting. He went deep into enemy territory and destroyed everything—military objectives, industry, infrastructure, and civilian property. His campaign struck a death blow at the Confederacy’s economy and transportation system. Sherman hastened the end of the war.

I perfectly understand why American southerners hate him. Under no circumstances would I tell them that they must admire him the way I do. But there’s room enough in our nation for both sides. The Civil War is over. Southerners aren’t required to think like me, and I don’t find their honoring of their ancestors offensive.

On the other hand, I’m not going to tell black Americans that they shouldn’t be offended by the Confederate battle flag. I will say, however, that if we’re going to ban everything that offends us, then I want this removed from our culture.


From the song “Blurred Lines.”

Hustle Gang Homie
One thing I ask of you
Lemme be the one you back that ass up to
From Malibu to Paris boo
Had a bitch, but she ain’t bad as you
So, hit me up when you pass through
I’ll give you something big enough to tear your ass in two

To me, black street culture represents racism and slavery as much as the Confederate battle flag does to many blacks. I’m deeply offended by the misogyny, violence, stupidity, coarseness, failure, promiscuity, drug abuse, and child neglect. This is extremely offensive to me.

It does my heart good to see repulsive polluters self-destruct.

Iggy Azalea has been called a great many things, from racist to homophobe. But she may have just earned herself the most painful descriptor of all: irrelevant.

Late last month, Iggy was forced to cancel her “Great Escape” tour. While her official statement insisted that the rapper sought “a different creative change of heart” and needed a “break”—the convenient cousin of the oft-cited celebrity “exhaustion”—it’s no secret that Iggy’s first tour was already shaping up to be a ticket sales disaster.

I don’t know anything about her alleged racism and homophobia, traits that aren’t exactly rare in hip-hop culture. It’s her music and imagery that make me feel like I’m in hell, projectile-vomiting for all eternity. Warning on language and stench.

If the Ku Klux Klan wanted to present black popular culture as irredeemably disgusting, what would they do differently from an Iggy Azalea song and video?

Now that we’re cleaning house, America, the next thing we have to ban is this toxic garbage.

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