The boycott will NEVER (and should not) get the flag down

On a previous post, there was an exchange between the two Michaels: Michael Rodgers, who believes passionately as I do that the Confederate flag should not be flying on our State House grounds, and “Michael P.,” who seems to disagree.

The exchange had to do with the NAACP’s boycott of South Carolina over the flag. Michael Rodgers had asserted (in his defense, as but one of five reasons, the other four being perfectly legitimate) that the boycott was a reason to take the flag down. With THAT, I had to respectfully disagree.

We MUST remove the flag from the grounds. But in order to accomplish it, we must first ignore the NAACP’s efforts to FORCE the state to do so, and get others to ignore it as well. It’s a necessary precondition to getting to the point that we do the right thing.

It is my firm belief that the absurd, ineffective NAACP boycott is one of the things keeping the flag up. It plays to the cranky white neo-Confederate’s sense of persecution. And it plays to the genetic predisposition of white South Carolinians (including those who could easily be persuaded to put the flag away otherwise) to never, EVER let anyone MAKE them do something.

I have that genetic predisposition, so I understand it. Allow me to explain: If flying the flag at the State House is the right thing to do, then NO amount of economic pressure should EVER induce us to take it down. Coercion should be resisted at every point along the line. If flying the flag is right, we could keep flying it even if the boycott were successful, even if it starved us.

The thing is, it is NOT right to fly the flag. But since the NAACP gets all the ink and has positioned itself in the mindless media (which is always all about a FIGHT rather than reason) as THE opposition to flying the flag, there is no way most white South Carolinians are going to go along with someone who is trying (however unsuccessfully) to HURT them into making them do its will. That fact, that the NAACP is doing its damnedest to try to hurt SC, obscures the wrongness of the flag for the white majority.

We’re talking about the white MAJORITY instead of the wacky neo-Confederate activists. The majority that can take the flag or leave it alone, that neither weeps for the Lost Cause nor sits up nights fretting about the social injustice of flying the flag in the faces of black people who are also citizens of our state.

The majority, in short, that needs to be won over. These folks don’t want to ally themselves necessarily with the people who play Confederate dress-up, but they don’t want to side with the people trying to hurt SC. And unfortunately, as long as the media continue to paint the issue as one off conflict between the extremes, as a mandatory choice between those options, the average person who just doesn’t want to spend time thinking about it wants to stay out of the whole thing, would prefer it not be brought up at all.

For those people — and we’re talking about at least a plurality of people in this state, defined as having the above-described attitude — there is an all-too-convenient default position: Embrace the “compromise” that in the minds of intellectually lazy people “settled” the issue.

And we’re never going to be able to deal with that problem as long as the NAACP continues to wage its farcical boycott. Unfortunately, I see little chance of the NAACP dropping it. It is an organization that, sadly, has become defined by conflict. Drop the conflict, and too many people in the group’s leadership would feel that they’d lost their raison d’etre.

So we have a HUGE challenge before us — changing the conversation so that it is NOT about those people on the two sides of that conflict caricature.

We need to move South Carolina to a more mature place. In fact, I’ve never seen removing the flag as the goal. I see the flag going away as a sure SIGN that the real goal has been achieved. And the goal is a South Carolina that has decided, in its own collective heart and mind, that it has outgrown such foolishness. That we are bright enough to understand that relics of history — particularly such painful history — belong in museums, and should not be given present life at the center of our public, common existence. And that we are one people, with common interests and respect for one another, having outgrown the desire to wave defiance in each other’s faces.

THAT’S the goal, growing up as a people. Once we do that, the flag will become a footnote of history.

45 thoughts on “The boycott will NEVER (and should not) get the flag down

  1. Michael P.

    Blah, blah, blah… I didn’t make it past the first paragraph.

    Take it up with your state representatives. As far as I’m concerned the compromise was made. If the two of you want to stand out at the corner of Gervais and Main with your handwritten signs knock yourself out. I’ll just drive past and let you know you’re #1, just like I do with the 2-3 anti-abortion poster people.

    Reply
  2. Brad

    Hmmm. A reasonable person begins to wonder whether Michael P. contributes anything to a useful dialogue here. Particularly when he proudly announces his unwillingness to listen to the rest of us.

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  3. Susan G.

    Brad,

    You know what a troll is and why they do what they do. (If you don’t, just google “comment troll”). So why do you keep insisting on pretending like there’s an actual interest in engaging in dialog here? I find it a little frustrating that you keep wasting cycles on it, myself. Like watching someone poke themselves in the eye over and over and complaining every time that it hurts!

    (That being said, Michael P has actually been cleaning up his act pretty much lately, but sometimes just can’t help himself, I guess).

    BTW — if you used Disqus or something similar for your comments, your commenting community would end up taking care of this issue for you, and you wouldn’t have to keep wrestling with it.

    I do really enjoy the blog, though, trolls or no trolls — and thank you for all the time you’re willing to expend on it — it’s a lot of work, I know.

    And as I’ve said on a previous post, over the life of this blog it seems like karma insists that you have one and only one troll. So maybe you just let this one be, but don’t feed it so much!

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  4. Michael P.

    Brad, if you’re waiting my input I’m not going to send any. This is a dead issue, and discussing it is nothing more than a waste of my time. Maybe if it ever comes back up in the State House for discussion or a vote I’ll revisit it. Until then it’s just bitching and moaning over something that nobody here can do anything about.

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  5. Matt

    I am a member of that white “majority” that you described above. I could take the flag or leave it. I’m a white South Carolinian whose family came to the U.S. several decades after the Civil War ended. But as a conservative I don’t usually get caught up in all the political correctness stuff, which is normally misconstrued anyway. So flag or no flag, whatever.

    But as a member of that majority, I can relate what I often hear from my fellow majority members when this issue comes up. I heard it back in 2000 and I’m thinking it myself now in 2010. It goes something like this:

    I don’t think removing a square piece of cloth from beside a momument is going to give one single black kid in Marion or Allendale Counties a better education. I don’t think it will decrease the out-of-wedlock birth rate of black babies, and I don’t think it will suddenly cause black men to grow up. I also don’t think that taking the flag down will result in a more efficient delivery of rural healthcare services in places like Greeleyville or Olar. With all the problems that poor black folks face in a state like South Carolina, the least of their worries should be a piece of cloth on Statehouse grounds. And you know what, I bet it is the least of their worries. Because it’s really a cadre of folks ranging from local and national NAACP leaders to Jackson/Sharpton/et. al to white liberals and the “Enlightened Class”…all of whom supposedly are interesting in lifting up the lives of black people but waste so much time on the symbolic rather than the substantive.

    The reason I supported the compromise was because it was supposed to let the state move on and address important issues.

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  6. Kathryn Fenner

    One does indeed have to wonder why someone who does not have the fortitude to read an entire post nonetheless bothers to comment thereon, but one digresses.

    Okay, so the NAACP should drop the boycott. Then what happens next to get the flag tucked away in a museum where it belongs (the Relic Room, anyone)?

    What do you think the NAACP *should* do to get the flag down? (and please don’t say “they have bigger fish to fry”–it bothers them; it’s wrong; and they have a right to try to get it removed.)

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  7. bud

    For those people — and we’re talking about at least a plurality of people in this state, defined as having the above-described attitude — there is an all-too-convenient default position: Embrace the “compromise” that in the minds of intellectually lazy people “settled” the issue.
    -Brad

    That’s me, intellectually lazy.

    Seriously Brad, is that what you really think, that those of us who consider the issue settled are intellectually lazy? Wow. What a obnoxious, insulting thing to say. I consider it settled, not because I’m intellectually lazy but, well, because it’s SETTLED. We argued over it for years. I had a strongly held position that I defended until I was blue in the face. That position was not, repeat, not what passed the general assembly and was signed into law by the governor. I could easily dust off those old talking points. I could advocate for the position I once embraced. Or I could formulate an updated opinion.

    But I chose not to. Not because I’m “intellectually lazy”. No. Because the damn issue is settled. Period. End of story. Finis.

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  8. Brad

    Bud, how utterly absurd. Look — that refugee from a museum is FLYING, as a symbol of what we’re about RIGHT NOW, in front of the State House (OK; technically it’s not the front; but in our automobile-centered culture, it’s perceived as the front — in by far the most conspicuous spot in Columbia at that particular altitude, in any case).

    We are pretending, in a live, palpable, material way, that the Confederacy is NOW, that it is what we deeply value, that it is what we’re about.

    As long as that condition persists, it is absolutely NOT settled.

    It’s extremely ironic that YOU would say that. Let me tell you something, Bud: The people who rammed that “compromise” through as a way of getting the issue away from them, who absolutely refused to spend time even debating ACTUAL proposals to settle the issue (such as, for instance, Bob Sheheen’s sensible proposal to replace the flag with a bronze plaque saying it once flew there), are pretty much all people who voted to elect George W. Bush twice, and would do so again given the chance.

    In fact, then-Speaker David Wilkins, whom I hold most responsible for assuring that no better approaches got a hearing in the lousy one day that the House allowed for the issue, proudly decorates his office with photos of himself with W.

    Since, on a separate post, you rather passionately communicated to me the idea that anyone who would do that was not a person with a legitimate world view, your statement on this issue is extremely surprising.

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  9. Michael P.

    “One does indeed have to wonder why someone who does not have the fortitude to read an entire post nonetheless bothers to comment thereon, but one digresses.”

    Ummm… maybe seeing my name in the first paragraph and then seeing what he was discussing and what side he was trying to push. I’ve read basically what I’m assuming is the same anti-flag sermon that’s been written about over and over and over. There’s nothing I, you, Brad, Michael Rodgers can do that’s going to make one bit of difference.

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  10. Matt

    Sorry Brad, but bud is right in his sentiments. You’re the one blogging about a dead issue.

    And yes, we DO have bigger fish to fry in South Carolina than a historical piece of cloth in front of a statue.

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  11. Brad

    Matt, you may not have noticed, but we fry ALL the fish here. We’ve got a BIG ol’ pan, and have no trouble frying them all.

    This particular phenomenon fascinates me. About one in 1,000 posts on this and my old blog brings up the subject of the flag, and on those rare occasions, it is INEVITABLE that someone will respond, “Don’t we have MORE IMPORTANT things to talk about?” As though we don’t talk about everything else in the world in the other 999 posts.

    What is it about this issue that makes so many people so INSTANTLY reluctant to engage, sends them wobbling toward the fainting couch?

    Here’s the way I look at it, my weary friends: Every day, that flag flies. When it gets even a tiny bit faded, it gets replaced, lest Glenn McConnell die of mortification. We as a people go to a lot of trouble to keep that flag flying there.

    I think y’all can stand it if, just every once in a while, I say that we ought to quit going to that trouble. I think you can bear it.

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  12. Brad

    And no, for those of you who are obsessively particular, I did not COUNT to see how seldom I mention the flag, so I don’t know whether it’s really one in 1,000. I started to say 1 in 100, but I was absolutely certain it was more rarely than that. I posted at least 100 posts every month, and I’m pretty sure I haven’t devoted a post to the subject, before today, in a year or so. Which frankly, makes me ashamed. And proud of Michael Rodgers, who makes far more of a prominent thing of it than I do.

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  13. Mark Stewart

    Huzzah!

    One can respect the Confederate Battle Flag as a representation of a transformative era of American history, but to continue to fly it at the State House as a symbol of devisiveness and animosity is nothing short of immoral.

    There was no compromise in the compromise reached last decade; or in the hoisting of the flag atop the State House in the 1960’s. Only the footdragging few see the shift to the plaza that way.

    However, the way to remove it is not to fight it (which is all it’s proponents want anyway), but to build a consensus among the majority that we all deserve to see ourselves in a better light.

    I am not personally offended when our State’s politicians make themselves into comedic fodder, but I do strongly resent the presence of that flag on governmental property. This proud state deserves far better.

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  14. Burl Burlingame

    White neo-conservatives love to portray themselves as victims. Just watch how often they do it.
    Alas, a boycott just plays into their hands. Street theater would likely be more effective. The NAACP might hire black actors covered in blood and chains to sit moaning under the flag during business hours, particularly during tour groups.

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  15. Ralph Hightower

    Indeed. The NAACP thinks that they are holding South Carolina as hostages.

    However, nobody’s going to act with a gun pointed to their head.

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  16. bud

    Since we have such a big pan to fry in let’s discuss some issues that are important:

    1. Railroad tracks that inconvenience thousands every year on Assembly Street
    2. Ridiculous Blue Laws
    3. Failures of the 1993 Restructuring law.
    4. High air fares and parking rates and Columbia Metro
    5. The absurd waste of money spent using the hospitality money on useless stuff like the Township.
    6. The Innovista failure
    7. The increase in college tuition in SC in a time of zero inflation.
    8. Issues related to the recently passed health care bill. This one has disappeared except for the rantings on the right for repeal.

    There is plenty to discuss so lets get on with it.

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  17. Kathryn Fenner

    Well, actually, a smart person *will* act with a gun pointed at his or her head, and live to fight another day. The problem seems to be that the NAACP doesn’t actually have a gun to point at our heads–just a replica….the boycott effect is not sufficient. If the NAACP were more powerful and people actually did boycott the state in far greater numbers, we’d take down the flag.

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  18. Phillip

    Seeing as how you think that economic pressure in the form of a boycott is counterproductive to getting someone to make the desired change in behavior because of only intensifying a “dig-in-their-heels” kind of cultural pride…

    I’m wondering…does your view on this have any effect on the way you might imagine those in Gaza feeling about the blockade, or Iranians about sanctions? Do not the same laws of human nature apply?

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  19. Brad

    Completely different dynamic, Phillip. The blockade of Gaza is not an economic pressure tool, designed to make the populace say, “Golly, this is hurting our economy; let’s do what Israel wants.”

    It’s an arms blockade. It’s to keep Hamas from importing more rockets to fire into population centers in Israel.

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  20. Brad

    Bud, anybody ever call you a curmudgeon, Bud? That’s quite a cranky list you have there.

    Is there anything CONSTRUCTIVE you’d like to address, something that might build up South Carolina, improve our economic opportunities, or anything like that?

    Or is your agenda just about stuff that ticks you off and that you consider to be a “failure.” You really seem to go out of your way to complain in some cases. You sound just like Mark Sanford when you complain about the increase in tuition as if it were a function of inflation. Are you really, truly unaware of the extreme cuts in state funding? Before the latest cuts, state funding was down to about 12.5 percent of USC’s operating funds, down from about 15 percent the year before, down from 20 or 25 percent a couple of years before that — which of course was WAY down from when it was the majority, practically ALL of the funding a generation ago.

    There are only a few places colleges can get that back from. One is the students. Another is grants, which the schools pursue very aggressively, and have increased in recent years. Then there’s private donations, which is a huge part of how the president and other top administrators spend their time. And of course private donations are as hard to get in bad economic times as state money.

    I mean, just to address one thing on your list.

    We won’t even go into the fact that we have not yet even truly TRIED putting the elected chief executive in charge of the executive branch so he can be held accountable for it, but you want to undo the baby steps in that direction.

    As for the tracks across Assembly Street — well, I dealt with that for 22 years working at The State, and always wished something would be done about it. I probably lost a few months of my life waiting for those trains. But even at my most frustrated, I would NEVER have put it near the top of a public priorities list. In fact, except for facetious references, I felt it was a little too self-interested for me to push at all. I mean, I can be pretty curmudgeonly about the stuff that frustrates me, too, but not to that extent.

    You want a handy-dandy list of what I think we need to work on? I wrote a partial one for my last column at the paper…

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  21. martin

    What do you think the boats the Israelis boarded were carrying? How about medical supplies and building supplies? Did you know some Palestinians in Gaza don’t have a roof over their heads because supplies can’t get in to rebuild their houses? But, gee, that’s OK, they’re just Palestinians. You know, those people who were run out of their homes by the Israelis.

    If someone said things about Jews, blacks, Somalis, Mexicans that you say about Palestinians, you would jump them with both of your neo-con militaristic feet.

    If you’re interested in something other than the misinformation you get from Rupert Murdoch and his Wall Street Journal, read this:

    http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/editorials/la-oe-makdisi-palestinians-20100613,0,3488415.story

    or this:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/14/opinion/14iht-edashton.html?scp=6&sq=Gaza&st=cse

    If you don’t read the first 2 pieces, read this straight reporting story from 6-17:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/18/world/middleeast/18mideast.html?scp=2&sq=Gaza&st=cse

    One thing is horribly apparent, ignorance of an issue don’t slow you down.

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  22. Phillip

    Brad, with all due respect, you are factually incorrect in calling the Gaza blockade “an arms blockade.” If the blockade were designed to keep out only arms you would be correct, but the list of items prohibited from import into Gaza is much vaster than that, sometimes veering into the quizzically comical…musical instruments for example! No, Brad, the blockade of Gaza is only partly to keep weaponry out of the hands of Hamas. It is also economic, punitive, presumably (from the Israeli point of view) to get the Palestinians to become fed up with life under Hamas and to vote in more moderate leadership.

    But even if I grant you the point re Gaza, you didn’t answer the question as it pertains to Iran. Aren’t sanctions in that case meant very specifically to get the Iranian people to see the cost their government’s stubbornness is exacting on them as a people, and to hopefully foster domestic political discontent? Or to get the Iranian government to change its policies in order to forestall that discontent?

    Look, for the moment I’m not saying the Iranian sanctions are wrong. I’m just pointing out that some of your arguments about economic boycotts against SC could be used against some aspects of US foreign policy and I was just wondering how you square the two in your own mind.

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  23. bud

    I at least got you talking about these real issues.

    On the two you referenced. The tuition issue affects me directly with two kids recently graduated. Is this selfish? Yes. But it also affects the welfare of all South Carolinians. If folks can’t afford college or if they are strapped with huge debt for decades after graduating doesn’t that affect the economy of the state? Folks with debt can’t buy as much stuff. If they don’t buy stuff businesses suffer. If folks skip college all together they don’t have the skills to compete. Ultimately businesses make decisions about where to locate based on the skill levels of the population. This is an important issue to all of us, not just those of us with kids. I think that’s worthy of discussion in a serious thoughtful manner.

    As for the RR tracks. Isn’t that vastly more important to the welfare of the citizens of Columbia than the fascade of the Township Auditorium? I think this is about priorities. It’s certainly more than just a nuisance. It cost money and at some level it’s a safey issue. Is it a huge issue? NO. But it’s a billion times more important than a piece of nylon cloth flying behind a statue on the State House.

    As for the curmudegon label. I wear it proudly if it will bring attention to the important issues of the day.

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  24. Doug Ross

    Brad,

    You didn’t mention that USC could cut costs. Or is that ever an option?

    USC sucked up all the LIFE scholarship money and increased tuition to the point where it no longer has much value. The legislature should have increased the LIFE scholarship to match the tuition increases.

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  25. Brad

    Doug, the university has cut costs and cut costs and cut costs and cut costs and cut costs.

    And as we speak, it’s cutting costs some more.

    That’s how the university managed to keep the increase last year to the inflation index, and is not all that much above it this year. By cutting and cutting and cutting. Otherwise, these tuition increases would be a LOT higher.

    The assumptions you lead to…

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  26. Brad

    Actually, Phillip, we could go on and on all day about sanctions — the economic kind, as opposed to the arms kind (we could go round and round about Gaza and what that blockade is intended to accomplish). And in the end, I would probably cite a lot of sources about how ineffective boycotts tend to be. I’m not crazy about them. When’s the last time one actually worked? Apartheid South Africa?

    But in any case, NONE of them would be relevant to my opposition to the NAACP’s pointless, destructive action.

    To understand me, you sort of have to have read everything I have written on the subject, and that goes back hundreds of editorials and columns, to 1994.

    But to hit a couple of main points: If someone COULD force the issue, if someone could MAKE a majority of the Legislature take up the issue, against its will (something the NAACP will never accomplish with this tactic), nothing would be achieved. The other “side” would be deeply embittered and lash back any way it could, and some other stupid gesture would become part of the fabric of our lives in SC, and the back and forth would continue forever.

    What I want, and what Bud has trouble understanding (otherwise he wouldn’t think this was inconsequential), is to achieve a maturation, a moving forward together, in SC politics. The flag coming down would be and EFFECT, not a CAUSE, of this positive progress. And once we’d accomplished that (the progress that led to the flag coming down), we could transform our politics to where the competition between Dems and Repubs would no longer be about black and white and our insane bloody history, but would be about a competition of ideas about how to improve education and raise incomes and grow our economy and generally improve the standard of living for all of us.

    The NAACP move represents the exact wrong dynamic for getting there, particularly as it represents South Carolinians refusing to deal in good faith with each other. Something a lot of folks don’t realize is the boycott is about some South Carolinians trying to make other South Carolinians do something, rather than reason with them. People are fooled by the N in NAACP. But if this were actually a national strategy, South Carolina would be probably the fourth or fifth choice or lower in the queue for states to go after. Several states do things with that symbol that are far more objectionable — such as, for instance, have it in their actual state flag. At least one recently acted to put it BACK in the state flag. But no boycott. Why?

    Because the NAACP boycott started at the behest of the SC chapter. Similar pushes, I suppose, didn’t come from within those other states.

    Bottom line for me, the flag issue is about getting the right conversations going in SC. And the boycott, combined with lawmakers’ extreme reluctance to deal with the issue, prevents those conversations from happening. I base this on experience. Before the boycott and the execrable “compromise” — back in the 90s — it was easy to get those conversations going in the business communities, among churches and other constituencies. But this double wall — the NAACP making EVERY conversation about the flag become about whether the state will “knuckle under” to pressure, and the Legislature clinging to its “compromise” — causes those constituencies to give up before they start.

    I believe that if we could get the churches and the business leaders engaged again, the legislative wall could be overcome. But these folks just have no appetite for jumping into something that has been defined along conflict lines — they don’t want it flung at them that they are on the “side” of someone trying to hurt South Carolina’s economy.

    You can call them cowardly for not having the guts to engage anyway, and I would agree with you. But I find that calling them names doesn’t make controversy-averse people braver.

    I’ve tried and tried to get people to join me in saying, “Never mind what the NAACP is doing. The flag needs to come down anyway — not for our pocketbooks, but because flying it is the wrong thing to do.” But as battle cries go, that one hasn’t caught on, even in bumper-sticker form (“Just take it down”).

    Anyway, my family’s about to go have a Father’s Day gathering. I’d better go join them.

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  27. bud

    The problem with Brad’s logic, no matter how important and high minded he thinks it is, most folks simply don’t think that deeply about it. No one is going to sit around worrying about a flag, that by all rights is nothing but a commemoration to Confederate soldiers, while they’re struggling to pay college tuition and the light bill. The general assembly may not be the most constructive body ever assembled but they really did about all they could with this issue. Folks really do just need to move on. No matter how important this is in your own mind at some point you just have to accept that for the vast majority of folks it just isn’t that important. I’d rather talk about ways to move the RR tracks. Talk about a symbol of a city that’s out of touch with the modern world.

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  28. Brad

    Thanks, Phillip. Yeah, I saw that this morning. And probably what I wrote before arose from things I had seen presaging this.

    I had recently read that Israeli had offered to let the ill-fated flotilla put in at an Israeli port so that the cargo could be inspected for weapons, then passed on via truck to Gaza minus any weapons found — which the flotilla’s organizers declined.

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  29. Kathryn Fenner

    @ Doug Ross– Enrollments are way up, and there’s inflation. Tuition doesn’t even come close to paying the full cost, especially in-state.

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  30. Brad

    Bud, you ever take the Myers-Briggs personality test? If so, what’s your type? I’m an INTP. I have a feeling there’s a big cognitive gap between us somewhere, perhaps on that second letter…

    Not that there’s anything WRONG with either type. Or so the Myers-Briggs people tell us…

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  31. Brad

    Oh, by the way, Martin says above: “If someone said things about Jews, blacks, Somalis, Mexicans that you say about Palestinians, you would jump them with both of your neo-con militaristic feet.”

    Huh? What, precisely, have I said about Palestinians? Ever? I must have missed something…

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  32. Kathryn Fenner

    Actually, you both may be INTPs–it’s a low empathy type. You could easily not relate to each other….

    Bud may be an ISTP, but as a chess wizard, I’m less inclined to believe that.

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  33. Mark Stewart

    In 1861, railroad tracks through town were all the rage.

    The true symbol of other-century backwardness is the flag. The legislature flew it in the not too distant past from the State House and the legislature must remove it if this state is to embrace the future.

    Yes, most people do not want to talk about the flag; because nearly everyone is silently revolted by it’s current political use and what it says about our state. Yet that civility hurts this cause – the removal of an immoral blight on our public facade.

    One may fly the battle flag anywhere on private property. But it cannot continue to fly on public property – especially the place that is supposed to represent ALL of the citizens of this state.

    The symbolism of the flag today is not about honoring dead soldiers and everyone implicitly understands that. Well, most of us anyway.

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  34. Kathryn Fenner

    Civility is usually a good part of South Carolina’s heritage.

    People need to understand that by flying the flag, we are being rude to our descendants of slaves, and also those who suffered under Jim Crow and similar abuses, enforced by those who carried a very very similar flag.

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  35. Doug Ross

    @Kathryn

    The full cost of what? Brad said that cuts and cuts and cuts had been made. I showed the data from USC’s site showing the budget was larger last year than two years ago (I couldn’t find the one in between).

    Where are the cuts? My son just graduated from USC and based on his experience and what he has told me, there is PLENTY of waste that goes on there. Start with the entire department related to finding graduates jobs. My son went in one time this Spring to ask for assistance and was told that noone would speak to him because his resume was not in the approved format (it was in the format recommended by his strategic management professor).

    Show me the cuts that have been made. Let’s see how much USC has been impacted by the economy. They have a nice little semi-monopoly advantage in that once a student enrolls, they typically are not going to transfer if tuition goes up, particularly when they reach their junior or senior year. They just have to bend over and take the tuition increase (which always exceeds inflation).

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  36. bud

    Let’s start with duplication (at USC). There are 2 PE centers, 2 basketball arenas. I’m sure there are plenty of other areas that are duplicated. I just wonder what USC spend on the old coliseum for upkeep considering it is basically only used for high school graduations now. And don’t even get me started on innovista.

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  37. Kathryn Fenner

    Not a duplication–the Strom Thurmaond Wellness Center, which was paid for by student activity fees, is only available to students and, for a large fee, faculty and staff. Blatt is a classroom for actual college classes, which Thurmond cannot be under the terms of its financing. Blatt also hosts numerous outside events, for a fee, and has many faculty offices.
    The Coliseum is home to the Journalism School and, I believe, most of the Hospitality, Restaurant and Tourism (HRT–whatever that stands for). It’s not vacant.

    Bud, I truly trust Dr. Pastides’ ability to run a tight ship….and my husband has not had a raise in more than five years.

    Reply
  38. scout

    It’s true – the coliseum has classes all around the bottom and there are several departments there, as well as, a lot of the athletics offices, I think. Plus, the coliseum is still available for rent to outside groups and thus can generate revenue to offset it’s overhead as a classroom building. It is rented for more than just graduations – until recently the Columbia Inferno played there, and musical artist tours rent it out as a rehearsal space, to name a few. How many other classroom buildings have a built in way to generate revenue? (Admittedly, there may be a few others).

    Doug, here are some cuts I know of. My husband works in a lab at USC that actually is able to generate revenue by doing analysis for outside industries, as well as, faculty and student research. Over the past few years, larger and larger percentages of this revenue, which is needed to maintain the instrumentation in the lab, has been diverted to cover salaries. In addition, the university has implemented hiring freezes on faculty and staff and has cut back on – in some cases eliminated- adjunct faculty. In addition, in my husband’s department, I know of at least one case where a talented faculty member was lured away to another university, and USC, constrained by cuts, was unable to make a suitable counter offer to keep him on faculty – and he is essentially not being replaced, in order to absorb more cuts. Oh, yeah and no raises, like Kathryn said.

    I’m not sure what counts as “zero inflation” but utility costs have not been flat. Why do they not count?

    Doug, you say “My son went in one time this Spring to ask for assistance and was told that noone would speak to him because his resume was not in the approved format” and based on this one experience, you would shut down the entire career center. I don’t see a problem with the career center having an approved format for resumes – did they deny your son the opportunity to find out the approved format – did they say he couldn’t come back? I kind of think shutting down the career center based on this would be a bit of an overreaction.

    Have y’all directed any of these concerns to the legislature? Just curious.

    Reply
  39. nancy c jeffcoat

    Geesh…do you guys work ? I travel a lot. What boycott? There are always large conventions for blacks or reunions in great numbers. But that being said, many of my black friends own businesses that would suffer from such a boycott. The NAACP needs to rethink its stratagy. Dont kill the messenger.

    Reply

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