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ASB: Don’t erase Ole Miss history

To our friends in the ASB:

This is not about a flag or even about a symbol but rather the attempt to completely erase history, simply because of a few pretending to be offended. If this were truly about something as simple as a flag, more discussion and intellectual debate would have been held. This was not the case.

This is because these people want to feel important. They want to be the ones who marched with Dr. King. They want to feel like they made a positive difference. In truth, their “achievements” drive a deeper divide between people and brew a bitter animosity. If racism does exist, it is through their perpetuation of tensions which do not, in reality, exist.

Based on the logic employed in this rash, childish and reactionary decision it can be extrapolated that the American flag, which has been a symbol of hate and oppression for over 200 years, must be removed. The constitution is void and must be burned because those who wrote it had slaves. People of opposing views should be silenced because they are uneducated racists.

Where is the line drawn? More importantly, what gives a few people the right to decide when that line should be drawn? You cannot arbitrarily decide that this year a flag is too much for you to handle. What about next year? Will your hate be satiated yet? Yes, your hate. The only truly racist people and actions that exist are those who declare things as racist.

It is not the people who fly the flag who have a problem but rather the people who look at the flag and think it a symbol of bitter racism. If a symbol offends you that deeply, this is likely an indication of mental illness.

However, if the argument is legitimized and we assume that some people are offended by the flag because it symbolizes racism, then the only way to truly remove that stigma is to no longer give that symbol power. Without the power of fear the symbol is meaningless and, thus (if it were only flown as a symbol of evil and racism), it would no longer be flown.

Removing an icon many people hold dear will deepen hatred — not promote healing. It may increase violent behavior — not create a cohesive society. You cannot tell people how to think and doing so is nothing short of evil and tyrannical. It is the easy way out. It is the coward’s way out. You don’t look brave or intelligent. You are not special. If you wanted to be brave and strong then stand for something, don’t bend to those who want to control you.

No one is actually offended by the flag. They may say so for some air time but no one truly cares. However, removing it — people do care about that.

Think critically — it is a skill this generation severely lacks.

You are a publicly funded university. This means you receive money from the state. You have, in effect, stated that state funding is not good enough for you as the flag is the symbol of the state. Furthermore, if you are not from this state, you should not have voted on the issue at all.

Zach Hampton

Oxford