Racism isn't over, it's on full parade.
An estimated 2,000 vehicles, mostly motorcycles and trucks adorned with Confederate battle flags, took part in a rally and ride Sunday afternoon to support maintaining the flag flying in front of the McPherson Governmental Complex in Ocala.
The event was organized by David Stone of Ocala and was called the Florida Southern Pride Ride.
Police officials estimated participation in the ride, which started about 1 p.m., at a couple of thousand vehicles.
Participants were wearing shirts that said "heritage not hate" and talked of defending a way of life rooted in Southern traditions.
Danny Hart of Dunnellon had two Confederate flags and the American flag in the back of his truck. He pointed out that the U.S. flag was flying higher and said he had come to participate in the ride to "defend freedom."
Another ride participant, Rick Hart, said: "It's a history thing. The flag is also a military flag. It's not a race symbol."It's not a race symbol? The designer of that flag would be surprised to hear that!
"As a people we are fighting to maintain the heaven-ordained supremacy of the white man over the inferior colored race. As a national emblem it (the Confederate flag) is significant of our higher cause, the cause of a superior race."
~ William T. Thompson, designer of the confederate flag
History is the polemics of the victor, William F. Buckley once said. Not so in the United States, at least not regarding the Civil War. As soon as the Confederates laid down their arms, some picked up their pens and began to distort what they had done and why. The resulting mythology took hold of the nation a generation later and persists — which is why a presidential candidate can suggest, as Michele Bachmann did in 2011, that slavery was somehow pro-family and why the public, per the Pew Research Center, believes that the war was fought mainly over states’ rights.You know your society is going to hell when South Carolina has more sense.
The Confederates won with the pen (and the noose) what they could not win on the battlefield: the cause of white supremacy and the dominant understanding of what the war was all about. We are still digging ourselves out from under the misinformation they spread, which has manifested in our public monuments and our history books.