The Caddell Derail
"SUMMERVILLE, S.C. – Annie Chambers Caddell, whose ancestors fought in the Civil War, insists the Confederate flag flying over her home is an important reminder of her heritage. But for her neigbors in this tree-shrouded, historically black neighborhood, it's an unpleasant reminder of a by-gone era they'd rather not see every time they pass by her house.A lot of white Americans say they're not racist. They claim they "want" to live in a post-racial society, absolutely adore "biracial babies", and oh yes...their ancestors never owned slaves. It's something POC hear/read at least once a day when a white American, in fact, says or does something racist. But when they break down and cry, it's not because their feelings are hurt. They're throwing a tantrum because they've been asked the blasphemously unspeakable: to make an individual sacrifice for the collective good.
"Caddell, who is white, moved into the Brownsville neighborhood in June and began flying the flag about a month later. Since then, more than 200 residents signed a protest petition, and now neighbors plan to march Saturday along the street in front of Caddell's house.
"...Caddell plans to be on nearby James Island on Saturday for the wedding of a friend who is black. She tearfully told the town council earlier this week that she is not racist.
"She also flies the American flag from her modest brick house, and her yard has various ornaments including a gnome, Halloween and Thanksgiving decorations, and a sign on her fence reading, 'Confederate Boulevard.'
"That flag means a lot more to me than anything I can describe to you," Caddell said. 'It's my heritage and it's my right. I'm not trying to slam anybody, and I wish I wouldn't be slammed either.'
"Violet Saylor, a 74-year-old retired social worker who lives about three blocks away, said the flag brings back to her memories of Jim Crow in the neighborhood she has lived all her life.
"'She shouldn't fly that flag because it represents slavery and the Ku Klux Klan that used to ride through the town and we used to have to turn our lights off and hide behind the shades,'" said Saylor.
"Dexter Mack, 31, the head of the Brownsville neighborhood civic association, lives a street away from Caddell on a block where his family has lived for more than a century. He said he's not sure how many people may turn out Saturday.
"'She has the right to fly the flag but when it offends people, we want her understand and try to come to some kind of agreement where she can take the flag down,'" said Mack, who is black.
But Caddell said that's not something she wants to do.
"'Yes, I could take it down, but what message does that send?' she asked. 'If you don't stand for something, you'll never be anything.'" (Source)
The Caddell Derail primary comprises the Sweet Tooth and Happy Montage Thinking. Not only do people like Annie Caddell think that they can pull stunts like these (and I have feeling there is "stunt thinking" behind this), live amongst black people, and have black friends, but they also try to say racism is "dying out" anyway and that this whole thing will "work itself out" if people of color would just shut up and endure like we're supposed to...because after all, that's what we were designed to do. Being dehumanized is supposedly our raison d'être.
Just to Clarify
Racism isn't "dying out" - racism is being killed off, by people, and with great difficulty, mind you. Remember: people designed racism. People just like Annie Caddell maintain it and give it strength. And people, living, breathing people - in the past and present - have been beaten, lynched, jailed, and assassinated because of it, where because they were fighting racism, or because they were its everyday target.
The Confederate flag is the flag of lying, thieving, murdering, sadistic racists - deal with it. In the dark of its flapping shadow, atrocities abounded. The soldiers who rallied beneath it - many of them poor and illiterate - were recruited by rich white men carrying that same flag and waving its false promises. If we were to bring those soldiers back from the dead right now, they would be the first to tell people like Caddell to burn the damn thing and spit upon the graves of its owners. Their homes burned to the ground, their kin, their friends, their very lives were destroyed for that flag, because its owners were so deeply, soullessly selfish and morally deficient. The Confederate flag is "heritage", all right; a sick and poisoned heritage will which continue to infect American society until its followers finally decide otherwise.
And for the last time, children, the Civil War was about abolishing slavery. Slavery was the only thing the Southern states unanimously agreed upon; it was the one thing each and every one of them devoutly clung to and unequivocally refused to give up. And contrary to popular belief, John Brown did help trigger the war. Because at the time, Lincoln and Jefferson were considering extending slavery another 100 years - up to 1950, when my father would've been 3 years old, mind you - in order to help the South "adjust". John Brown, his followers, every abolitionist, every enslaved African, and every sane, rational Northerner with a soul disagreed. And while they talked that extending slavery nonsense, John Brown was executed and sixteen months afterward, the North declared war on the South.
So much for that extra hundred years.
Now for white Americans who claim they want everyone to get just along, understand this here and now: you're going to have to give some things up. That's the inevitable price of progress; that's the core component of every revolution: those with the most have to give things up. Why? Because someone else gave up too much, lost too much, so that people like Annie Caddell could walk up and down this land, a land that isn't theirs to begin with and never will be theirs.
People of color have already given much up. We're waiting on you. Make no mistake: there will be no post-racial society until you start giving certain things up. Consider it one of those things you're not going to get around. It's a non-negotiable step. Now, if you're unwilling to take that step - regardless of the reason (seriously...we're not interested) - then you're committing a Caddell Derail and whatever happens next will be all on you.
You can go to your graves crying, "I am not a racist!" all you want, but it won't matter because everyone else will go to theirs remembering very clearly that that's exactly what you were.
So much for preserving your precious image...and heritage.
"John Brown" by Abagond