The Confederate Flag

Black people always have and probably always will have a problem with the confederate flag. For so many of us the flag is only one of the strongest reminders of the history of oppression in the South and pretty much sums up the civil war as far as what was important from our perspective in the whole thing. By that, the war was about more than just slavery and the plight of black people but the opportunity for freedom and this idea that a major concern of a large group of states was keeping that from us can never be forgotten.

Now during Kanye's most recent frenzy of media coverage and outrageous behavior, he was seen rocking the confederate flag as a patch on one of his jackets. Now of course the public went at Ye and he came back with some statement about undermining it in our culture the way the word 'nigga' has been transformed. Now, he might have a point and ability to do so but the main issue was it came at a time of so much ridiculousness for Kanye that no one really was paying attention to and giving him the benefit of the doubt on that point.

This leads me to Yelawolf who has been kind of involved in a different kind of controversy regarding his race. He and hip-hop veteran/legend Lord Jamar got into a war of words back in November after Lord Jamar said that white rappers were merely guests in hip-hop.

“Okay, White rappers, you’re coming to this almost as a guest,” Lord Jamar said. “Okay, matter of fact you are guests in the house of Hip Hop. Just because you have a hit record doesn’t give you the right as I feel to voice your opinion. White rappers, those of y’all who really studied the culture, that truly love Hip Hop and all that, keep it real with yourself, you know this is a Black man’s thing. We started this. This is our shit. We’ve allowed you, those of you who’ve proved your skill and all that, we’ve allowed you to come in and kick your shit, make yourself known. You know what I mean? And if you have enough respect for the culture we fuck with you. But don’t push it too far."

Now there are probably a lot of people who agree with that, I for one don't especially when he goes and decides to list some white rappers that he selectively has decided are alright in hip-hop. Now if it were just the exchange between Yelawolf and Lord Jamar on this subject, and what I would say are Lord Jamar's archaic views on rap when it comes to race and sexuality, that would be fine and just old news. However, we now get Yelawolf posting pictures of himself and his Confederate Flag on Instagram and we need to at least have the discussion because Yelawolf does know the distinction and has opinions like on whether or not white rappers should be dropping N-bombs.

So then to see him drop pics of himself wearing that flag are kind of crazy and makes you look differently in a way. I mean the Confederate Flag might be one of the more complex issues we have to deal with. I can get that for some people they look at the idea of a unified South as something of pride, almost like the Blank Panther's flag and the raised fist of power and unity, but the problem is that those symbols and the people who used and created them, were never intended to or used negatively towards another people. The symbols that refer to black pride have never been used in a way that was anti-white, though some of that may be due to the fact that black people have never been in a position of power to use their agenda negatively and repressively. But it is hard to look at someone and not feel taken aback by the Confederate Flag, I mean if even Kanye got flack what would make Yela think that he is immune?

The one good thing I would say is that because of this, there might actually be a conversation about this and we need to determine if we can separate the slavery aspect from the other things about the South and Confederate Flag that people may actually be proud of. What's your take on the issue?


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