Not every Confederate flag supporter is a racist, but if you woke up tomorrow and found that it was the year 1861, would you actually choose to fight for the Confederates? If yes, then I don’t have a problem not only calling you a racist but also a traitor.

We should not forget that the good guys won the Civil War. You can try to bring arguments about how there were other causes for the war, but the other issues do not register on any moral barometer the way slavery does. You can read the states’ letters of secession; the war was about enslaving fellow Americans. If the Confederates had won the civil war, Americans would have continued to be enslaved. The Confederates fought for what they fought for, and there is no way to put lipstick on that pig.

If you want to say you would fight on the side of your family, ancestors and state, then you are a coward. When slavery is an issue, that is the time to make your voice heard. Our families were wrong. They were on the wrong side of history in the Civil War, and even now they seem to be lining up to be on the wrong side of history again.

If this is about honoring our Southern ancestors who died fighting, let us not forget that not only did the United States of America have soldiers who died in this war (you might call them “Yankees”), but think of the multitude of generations of Americans who died in chains after living through unspeakable evils for their entire lives.

Locally, we had the Battle of Baton Rouge. At the time of that battle, there was a hotel in Greenwell Springs. It was used as a makeshift hospital during the war. Both Union and Confederate casualties of the battle are buried on those grounds. It is shameful that fathers, husbands and sons from both sides had to die just so the entire country could make a simple moral decision. Those Union soldiers fought under the flag of the U.S., and they had to march thousands of miles away from their families to come down here and spank our racist bottoms. I’m sorry if that offends you 150 years after the fact, but we lost, and it’s a damn good thing that we did. What pride is it that you’re looking for that can’t be exemplified by the stars and stripes?

Remember also, that this is a free country; after you lose this debate, you’ll still be free to use the flag as you see fit. It simply won’t be flying over government buildings. Don’t worry, you aren’t being oppressed.

Neal Watts


Baton Rouge