My Hubs and Champ need new haircuts. For a while the retro cuts from the 40’s and 50’s made an innocent comeback. The pompadour, slick back, etc etc etc which in themselves have no racist connotations. They were different, and they were trendy. Hubs has worn a modern pompadour for a few years now, and Champ has matched him. Now with the resurgence of neo-Nazi white supremacists bullshit in the mainstream societal conscious it’s inappropriate to sport such coifs. The Nazi’s have stolen my Hubs’ sexy haircut and used it as a symbol of hatred.
A hairstyle isn’t the only thing that has been transformed from something innocent and unassuming to something synonymous with hatred. A lot of things have taken that course in recent years. I’ve been thinking a lot about what’s happened with the recent protests and violence in Charlottesville. On the one hand, I think it’s important to preserve the historical significance of what happened during the American Civil War. It wasn’t just about slavery. It was an important, albeit ugly chapter in the history of our nation and it needs to be preserved for future generations to look back at and reflect upon.
On the other, I also don’t think that the preservation needs to be in the public eye in the forms of statues, monuments, or the Confederate Flag. Those things, much like my Hubs’ haircut, have become symbols synonymous with hatred. Whether the original meaning or intent behind them has anything to do with hatred, white supremacy or not that’s what they’ve become. I think it’s possible to preserve history, and recognize why others are upset and want to have these symbols removed. The issue is not about erasing history, or taking away anyone’s rights. It’s about recognizing the fact that these symbols have become tainted. In fact, I think it becomes more of a service to the true meaning/memory of all that the Civil War encompassed when you remove the bastardized symbols from public debate.
The Swastika is a perfect example. I’ve practiced Yoga for years, and Sanskrit is a beautiful language. The original meaning behind the Swastika symbol is beautiful and something that I would love to emulate around my home, EXCEPT (and this is a big ass exception) for the fact that it’s been used in such a vial manor. It doesn’t really matter what the original meaning was before Hitler defiled it. What matters is what the symbol has become. The statues, flags and other publicly displayed memorabilia from the Civil War might not have always been racist symbols, used for hate speech but the reality is that’s what they’ve become.
What’s that quote? When you know better, do better? Something along those lines? I don’t remember and I can’t look it up typing on my phone… but I think that’s the gist of it. That’s what’s happening in the American South right now. Most people understand that their symbols of pride have been tarnished, and it’s time to move forward as a society. It has nothing to do with one group or another crying the loudest. It’s a shift in consciousness as a whole. This is progress. This is moving forward, and unfortunately it often comes with violence. The oppressors clinging desperately to the past, and the oppressed finally rising up to take a stand.
That’s the difference by the way, between BLM and the Alt-Right. The Alt-Right are the oppressors. They want things to stay the way they’ve always been: white male privilege reigning supreme. BLM is a voice that won’t be oppressed anymore, and when two groups of very impassioned people meet there will be chaos. Change is rarely brought about quietly.
Which isn’t an excuse for violence from either side. Marching through the streets destroying public property is not the only way for voices to be heard, but I don’t think anyone can really deny it is one of the most effective. Honestly, sitting in my white privilege here, I have no idea how long people have been protesting the Confederate Memorials. For all I know people have been waiting for years to see some sort of change in their cities and local governments. Maybe there has been multiple votes, multiple denials, miles of bureaucratic red tape and hoops to jump through? Maybe the violence we’re seeing now is because we, the rest of America, have turned a blind eye to these issues for entirely too long? Maybe BLM has existed in different less destructive incarnations for years, and no one’s been paying attention until now? Maybe instead of getting lost in the rhetoric, and violence we should listen.