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MdKnightR
06-05-2008, 11:05 AM
I'm sure this will spark some debate. I personally think that both the kids and the school are in the wrong....and for the same reason. Neither of them seem to have a grasp of its history. But beyond that, is this really something that should prevent a student from graduating from high school if they have met the requirements to walk?


http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/19529829.html?location_refer=Homepage

Three Bloomington Kennedy seniors were kept from their graduation after bringing Confederate flags to school.

By PATRICE RELERFORD, Star Tribune

Last update: June 4, 2008 - 11:25 PM

Three high school seniors were barred from Bloomington Kennedy High School's graduation ceremony Wednesday night at Target Center because of what the school district called a prank involving Confederate flags.

Rick Kaufman, a spokesman for the Bloomington School District, said three male students brought the flags onto school property Tuesday morning. Kaufman said they were suspended after "carrying and waving" the flags in the parking lot as parents and students arrived at the school.

Bloomington Kennedy senior Kellie Rezac is a friend of the three boys. She helped organize a protest Wednesday against the suspension of Dan Fredin, 18, Justin Thompson, 18 and Joey Snyder, 17.

Rezac said the flags were on the boys' cars and that her friends aren't racists. She said they've flown the Confederate flag before and simply admire the "Southern lifestyle" and TV shows such as "The Dukes of Hazzard." A male character from the popular 1980s show would slide across the hood of a now iconic two-door muscle car featuring a Confederate flag decal.

Fredin said teachers and security guards told the boys to get rid of the flags.

One of them complied and another drove the truck home and returned to school without it.

"They didn't even drive 100 feet into the school parking lot and the teachers and [security guards] came out and said 'remove it from sight,'" Fredin said.

He had arrived separately and had gone into the building before the teachers made the request. Fredin said someone removed the flag from his vehicle on Tuesday without notifying him. "I don't even know where it is now."

Principal Ron Simmons spoke with the boys shortly after the incident and suspended each of them for three days based on the district's anti-discrimination rules. Superintendent Les Fujitake affirmed Simmons' decision Tuesday evening, despite objections from the boys' parents and several students.

Construct
06-05-2008, 11:12 AM
...wow...this...this is one reason why the USA is goin' down I think...

Web Rider
06-05-2008, 11:17 AM
1: nobody other than that kid should have touched his car. If people, be them police or school started removing things from my car without my permission, or any form of notification, be it a flag, a quarter, or my passenger seat, I would probably take legal action against the school.

2: If the students took their flags home then why are they being suspended for it? Their punishment was to remove the flags from campus and return without them. "you brought a Confederate flag to school yesterday, so you're suspended today and banned from graduation." what? On the list of things kids can do that are stupid, this ranks just a little from the bottom. Guns, knives, swords, drugs, "I hate black people!" t-shirts, yeah, I can understand a retroactive suspension, but seriously, In Ojai, the liberal intellectual elite town near Ventura, ca, tons of people had confederate flags. In one of our 4th of July marches, there were more confederate flags than US flags!

Darth InSidious
06-05-2008, 11:54 AM
Now, kids, this is what comes of flag-worship.

JCarter426
06-05-2008, 12:23 PM
But beyond that, is this really something that should prevent a student from graduating from high school if they have met the requirements to walk?
Just to clarify: they are banned from attending the graduation ceremonies, not from graduating.

Now, when I first saw the title, I was going to come in here ranting about how it was 145 bloody years ago and the Civil War wasn't about slavery at all. But then I saw that the students are even dumber than I thought, because they aren't white supremacists or militiamen; rather, they just like to wave Confederate flags for no apparent reason, which led me to the conclusion that whoever suspended them and banned them from graduation is even dumber than the students, is overly sensitive, or has to deal with dumb and/or overly sensitive people to such a degree that they deserve more sympathy than anyone could possibly give.

Also, it seems the school system isn't doing its job right. You'd expect the people of a state that was admitted to the Union just before the start of the war to have a better grasp of history.

Jae Onasi
06-05-2008, 01:37 PM
Waving the Confederate flag in a southern state is very much an in-your-face racist move. Saying they're waving that flag because they like The Dukes of Hazzard, a show from the 1970's, is a load of crap. If there are rules about the flag in the anti-discrimination rules in that school district and the kids violated that rule, then they get what they deserve. If it's not that clear, then the suspension is overkill.

JCarter426
06-05-2008, 02:07 PM
Waving the Confederate flag in a southern state is very much an in-your-face racist move.
They're not in a southern state; they're in Minnesota. They're so far up north that I wouldn't be surprised if they don't know what color the flag is. :xp:

Corinthian
06-05-2008, 02:37 PM
Idiots.

All of them. They're stupid for bringing the Confederate Flag, and the School's stupid for overreacting. I mean, come on, this is like going into a berserker rage over the sight of a noose.

Sometimes I wonder how I managed to keep any faith in humanity for the past sixteen years.

Jae Onasi
06-05-2008, 02:44 PM
They're not in a southern state; they're in Minnesota. They're so far up north that I wouldn't be surprised if they don't know what color the flag is. :xp:

Whoa--totally my mistake. I misread Kennedy as Kentucky. I woke up after about 5 hours of sleep after being up for over 24 due to a family emergency illness so I'm brain-fried today. Sorry about that.

MdKnightR
06-05-2008, 03:06 PM
Waving the Confederate flag in a southern state is very much an in-your-face racist move.

I see someone has bought into the NAACP propaganda machine. It is not a racist thing to do to wave, fly, or display a Confederate battle flag (or other emblem) in any state, southern or otherwise.

Jae Onasi
06-05-2008, 03:10 PM
No, it's not technically incorrect to do wave the Confederate flag, no. However, it's become a cultural convention in the south to associate the Confederate flag with white supremacy and racism.

It depends on how the flag was used, but I somehow doubt it was because they loved watching the Dukes of Hazzard. I laughed at that one.

JCarter426
06-05-2008, 03:12 PM
It is not a racist thing to do to wave, fly, or display a Confederate battle flag (or other emblem) in any state, southern or otherwise.
Neither was the swastika, before the Nazis adopted it.

Darth InSidious
06-05-2008, 03:40 PM
Neither was the swastika, before the Nazis adopted it.

Many would argue that it still isn't - only those used in overtly Nazi cases. The town of Swastika in Canada is a particularly interesting example.

JCarter426
06-05-2008, 04:04 PM
True; it's all about context. The context here seems to be that the students just associated the flag with the South, not with its other connections.

EnderWiggin
06-05-2008, 06:03 PM
Idiots.

All of them. They're stupid for bringing the Confederate Flag, and the School's stupid for overreacting. I mean, come on, this is like going into a berserker rage over the sight of a noose.

Sometimes I wonder how I managed to keep any faith in humanity for the past sixteen years.

I disagree. I think that the kids were totally within their rights to do what they did and because they complied with the administrative mandate to remove the flags there should be no punishment. I personally would take action against the district.

_EW_

And no, I'm not racist. I just separate the idea of racism and the tangibility of the Confederate flag a little bit more than others do.

jawathehutt
06-05-2008, 06:05 PM
I dont think what they did was right, just I dont think the school should have any right to stop them unless they were impeading traffic or something.

EnderWiggin
06-05-2008, 06:07 PM
I dont think what they did was right, just I dont think the school should have any right to stop them unless they were impeading traffic or something.

2 Questions:

Why wasn't it right?

And why, if it _wasn't_ right, should the district not been allowed to stop them?

_EW_

Rev7
06-05-2008, 06:14 PM
To me it seems that what these kids did was within their rights. However, I don't think that they should have done this. To me, it shows racism, and all the junk associated with it.

EnderWiggin
06-05-2008, 06:17 PM
However, I don't think that they should have done this.

I can agree with this part, at least.

_EW_

Web Rider
06-05-2008, 06:33 PM
I don't think the Confederate flag implies racism, the North wasn't exactly a paragon of tolerance either. I think when I see the Confederate flag I mostly think of redneck morons who chant "The South Will Rise Again!" which is completely stupid. I mean, most of America(or, I should say, the Confederate States), where racist against the Irish at the time. Was that a Confederate idea? no, it was pretty much shared by anyone who wasn't Irish.

JCarter426
06-05-2008, 06:38 PM
It's not the flag's significance back then that's in question, just like objections about the swastika have nothing to do with Hinduism.

EnderWiggin
06-05-2008, 06:48 PM
It's not the flag's significance back then that's in question, just like objections about the swastika have nothing to do with Hinduism.

For the record... what then, is in question?

_EW_

JCarter426
06-05-2008, 06:56 PM
Well, seeing as I myself don't object to it, I couldn't say. ;) But I'm betting it's its (perceived) connection to racism, through white supremacist groups.

Pho3nix
06-05-2008, 07:46 PM
I'd understand if the flag in question was the nazi swastika, but this sort of punishment seems out of place.

Web Rider
06-05-2008, 07:47 PM
Well, seeing as I myself don't object to it, I couldn't say. ;) But I'm betting it's its (perceived) connection to racism, through white supremacist groups.

which is a bit of historical revisionism on the part of political correctness groups.

JCarter426
06-05-2008, 07:58 PM
No arguments there. That's why I said "perceived".

JediAthos
06-05-2008, 09:07 PM
Hmm...I think as Jae mentioned before this is really dependent on what the school policies are. It sounds to me like the boys complied with authority figures requests to remove the items from the school campus so I'm not sure I see the problem. I certainly don't think they should have been excluded from the graduation ceremony. I am of the opinion the principal has overreacted in this case.

I'm not going to say that the boys were smart for what they did, but I don't agree with the punishment either.

*Don*
06-05-2008, 09:16 PM
I have to say that some things just don't add up.
Why are they getting banned because they brought in a flag?
Additionally, they cooperated with the school officials so they shouldn't be in trouble. A minor detention might be in order but nothing more than that.

I'd understand if the flag in question was the nazi swastika, but this sort of punishment seems out of place.

Interestingly (though kinda off topic), there used to be kids in my school that had the nazi swastika tatooed to their skin and never got in trouble.
I forget the full details but their parents apparently threatened to sue the school cause they felt it was "freedom of expression" or something.

TKA-001
06-05-2008, 09:36 PM
All I see is a flag with red, blue, and white on it. I personally don't see how or why anyone should link the flag with racism (since it is just a freaking flag), but I guess there's something here that went way over my head due to my utter lack of interest in politics or whatever this is about.

Rev7
06-05-2008, 09:49 PM
The Confederate Flag (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flags_of_the_Confederate_States_of_America)

jawathehutt
06-05-2008, 10:06 PM
2 Questions:

Why wasn't it right?

And why, if it _wasn't_ right, should the district not been allowed to stop them?

_EW_

Its not right because I'm assuming they did it to be racist or make a scene, not debate the cause of a war thats been long over and done. Just because something isn't right doesn't make it illegal. Its the same as holding a Nazi rally, as long as no laws are broken, I believe they should be allowed to hold it, however that doesn't mean I think the Nazis are correct in their beliefs.

Added: And really, its graduation. Its not like theyre being pushed out of school with no diploma what so ever, at a lot of schools they just give you a blank sheet of paper anyways and then mail you your diploma later.

EnderWiggin
06-05-2008, 10:34 PM
Its not right because I'm assuming they did it to be racist or make a scene, not debate the cause of a war thats been long over and done.
assuming
Need I say more? You have no basis in saying they were doing it because they were being "racist" or to "make a scene." And now, since your reasoning is flawed, let's examine your conclusion:


Just because something isn't right doesn't make it illegal. Its the same as holding a Nazi rally, as long as no laws are broken, I believe they should be allowed to hold it, however that doesn't mean I think the Nazis are correct in their beliefs.
So if I read your analogy right, you disagree with the racist beliefs that some people who use the flag hold, but not the flag itself? Rightfully so. There shouldn't be an argument with having the flag then. The argument should be with racism.


Added: And really, its graduation. Its not like theyre being pushed out of school with no diploma what so ever, at a lot of schools they just give you a blank sheet of paper anyways and then mail you your diploma later.
:confused:

Maybe not the case with you, but some people put a lot of importance on the graduation ceremony.

It has nothing to do with the actual piece of paper. It's the event.

_EW_

FWIW, you only answered my first question. If I afford you the statement that their actions weren't right, isn't it within the school's right to stop them? I'm not sure how you can say otherwise.

mimartin
06-05-2008, 11:03 PM
I have a Confederate Battle Flag music box that was handmade by my grandfather and painted by my grandmother. I proudly displayed first in my room and then in my apartment for most of my life. Then a few years ago, it suddenly became taboo and after I saw one of my friends was offended by it I removed it to the shadows of my bedroom. It saddens me that a family heirloom could be perceived as being raciest by others. The reason I was proud of it was because my grandparents made it and for no other reason.

Rev7
06-05-2008, 11:05 PM
Did you ever explain why you had this music box to your friend?

EnderWiggin
06-05-2008, 11:14 PM
I have a Confederate Battle Flag music box that was handmade by my grandfather and painted by my grandmother. I proudly displayed first in my room and then in my apartment for most of my life. Then a few years ago, it suddenly became taboo and after I saw one of my friends was offended by it I removed it to the shadows of my bedroom. It saddens me that a family heirloom could be perceived as being raciest by others. The reason I was proud of it was because my grandparents made it and for no other reason.

Did you ever explain why you had this music box to your friend?

Good question.

If it were me, I would have tried to explain it to my friend. If they didn't agree, I would have only removed it when they were present.

_EW_

mimartin
06-05-2008, 11:14 PM
Yes, and he understood. He even said it did not offend him, but you could see it in his eyes at the time. I still don’t think his wife understands. All that matter is we are all still friends.

If it were me, I would have tried to explain it to my friend. If they didn't agree, I would have only removed it when they were present.Have a few African-American, Hispanic and Japanese (not Japanese Americans) friends so it was just easier to move it than to remember to take it out of the living room.

Rev7
06-05-2008, 11:24 PM
Well, I have to say that it is good that you explained the story behind your music box. That definately helps. :)

The thing is that when most people see a confederate flag, they think of racism, and all that comes of it.

EDIT~ I found this (http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/us/2008/06/05/hult.confederate.flag.kare) video on CNN.

One thing that doesn't make sense was that these guys said that they really like the Dukes of Hazzard, but then describe the Confederate Army?! :giveup:

Arcesious
06-06-2008, 12:54 AM
A lot of people are total nationalists. If I went waltzing through a country hostile to the U.S.A with an American flag, what do you think that government would do to me?

Hoenstly, sometimes, there is a point when extreme patriotism and overreacting cause many problems... I honestly, when I see a confederate flag, do think of racism. That's what it symbolizes, at first thought, to me. But that doesn't mean that I'll go all crazy about it when the people with the flag claim not to be racist. However, if it were the Nazi flag, I'd probably overreact too. A flag is typically a symbol, and that flag is most often associated with racism, even if the person presenting the flag doesn't intend to be making a racist demonstration...

But, before you get on me about this, in my opinion, the teachers overeacted, and I agree that the punishment was ignorant and unneccessary.

Samuel Dravis
06-06-2008, 01:36 AM
To be honest, I've always associated that flag with rural people who own many large guns, have farmer's tans, and can be generally referred to as "good ol' boys." This idea has connotations of racism, yes. Even so, I know someone that have several of these flags and even does Civil War reenactments (Confederate side) and is not racist.

So, while I can understand why some people would say that waving the flag around was a bad idea, I don't think it should be taken as racism on the kids' part unless accompanied with some other identifiably racist action. Let's not assume intent when it can easily be explained by kids being kids, i.e. not thinking things through.

As such, the school probably was wrong to keep them from the graduation ceremonies, but right in telling them to remove the flag immediately (after all, the school clearly was aware of the connotations of the flag even if the students were not).

Now if they were violating some school rule on this subject, then the punishment given is certainly justified, as Jae said previously.

Web Rider
06-06-2008, 01:37 AM
Have a few African-American, Hispanic and Japanese (not Japanese Americans) friends so it was just easier to move it than to remember to take it out of the living room.

You know, I find this reaction odd. None of these people went through the Civil War, few if any of them experienced life before the 1960's, and fewer of them had any awareness of life during the 70's(ie, they were born in the 70's, so didn't feel it personally). Even newer generation's parents didn't experience racism or the civil war.

So, what I find is interesting is the racism on their part. Seeing the flag makes them assume that you, as a white person, are a racist. Why? Because of the historical revisionism around the Civil War. It's kinda sad really, the Civil War was fought about states rights, and the ability to separate from a country if you felt it was unfair to you. Slavery was a minor issue, and most everyone was racist, so the war certainly wasn't over that.

Japanese(not Japanese Americans) are very racist against other asian cultures and non-japanese in general. I'm always a little miffed about this politically correct double standard that allows non-whites to be racist toward whites, but punishes whites for even slight assumptions of possible racism.


Anyway, you decision worked out for them I guess, and sorta 50/50 for you, that's what counts.

MdKnightR
06-06-2008, 02:40 AM
So, what I find is interesting is the racism on their part. Seeing the flag makes them assume that you, as a white person, are a racist. Why? Because of the historical revisionism around the Civil War. It's kinda sad really, the Civil War was fought about states rights, and the ability to separate from a country if you felt it was unfair to you. Slavery was a minor issue, and most everyone was racist, so the war certainly wasn't over that.


Exactly! The only reason the battle flag has been associated with racism is due to its adoption by the KKK. The problem has been perpetuated in modern times by black power advocates who see racism where there is none. People really need to wise up and read some history.

Here in Georgia, the 1956 state flag contained the battle emblem until Gov. Roy Barnes decided to abolish the design to pander to the NAACP and other minority groups that found it offensive. The new flag was abhorrent and caused an uprising of Confederate loyalists. Their determination to go back to the 1956 design, coupled with the indignation of teachers disenfranchised by his education reforms, caused him to lose his bid for re-election. His successor, Gov. Sonny Perdue, had promised a vote on the flag design. The choices were the 1956 flag, the Roy Barnes flag, or the new "compromise" flag. Unfortunately, Sonny wimped out and the 1956 flag was omitted from the ballot and the "compromise" flag won out. Funny thing is, the new "compromise" flag is more Confederate in design than the 1956 flag....but you don't see the NAACP raising hell about it. Know why? Ignorance of history! 'Nuff said!

Web Rider
06-06-2008, 02:47 AM
Funny thing is, the new "compromise" flag is more Confederate in design than the 1956 flag....but you don't see the NAACP raising hell about it. Know why? Ignorance of history! 'Nuff said!

Yup, quite a kick that. Admittedly the Battle Flag is more commonly known and even "the south will rise again!" people associate more with the Battle Flag than any others.

mimartin
06-06-2008, 09:27 AM
You know, I find this reaction odd. None of these people went through the Civil War, few if any of them experienced life before the 1960's, and fewer of them had any awareness of life during the 70's(ie, they were born in the 70's, so didn't feel it personally). Even newer generation's parents didn't experience racism or the civil war. I’m 43 years old, the friends I was speaking of are all 30 and over. Just because civil rights and desegregation happened in the 1960’s does not mean that those attitudes died. My early childhood was in a small town; really, it was two towns separated by the color of people’s skin. The first time I visited my father in Mississippi, there were no African-Americans living within the city limits. I remember walking down the sidewalk of Main Street when I can upon an elderly man. The sidewalk was narrow so as I was taught to respect my elders I stepped off the sidewalk to allow him to pass. He did the exact same thing. When I respectfully told him to go on that I would wait he replied (not sure of the exact words, but I remember it because it was the first time I remember being called sir, at term I despise today. This is the exact meaning that I received for him.) “No sir, you go on. They’d string me up if I’d do that.” We were at an impasse because I am too hardheaded and fear my grandmother (even though she was dead at the time) to much to disrespect my elders, so I turned and walked around the block. Things change today most of the population of that town is African-American. The mayor and the constable are also African-American.

So, what I find is interesting is the racism on their part. Seeing the flag makes them assume that you, as a white person, are a racist. Why? It sad we judge people at face value instead of really getting to know them, but some people are really good at hiding their true self. I knew people in high school that I’d never guess were racist, but once I was at college and living with them the truth came out and you just set there wondering how you could not see the signs. The Confederate Battle Flag could be a sign.

Because of the historical revisionism around the Civil War. It's kinda sad really, the Civil War was fought about states rights, and the ability to separate from a country if you felt it was unfair to you. Slavery was a minor issue, and most everyone was racist, so the war certainly wasn't over that. I agree with this statement. The Civil War was one of the few times in history when the byproduct of war was something good. The slaves were free, yet it would be over a 100 years before their ancestors could truly feel that freedom.

Japanese(not Japanese Americans) are very racist against other asian cultures and non-japanese in general. I'm always a little miffed about this politically correct double standard that allows non-whites to be racist toward whites, but punishes whites for even slight assumptions of possible racism. Maybe, but that is judging an entire race and culture from the perceived stereotypes. How is that any different from someone judging me because I own a Confederate Battle Flag?


Anyway, you decision worked out for them I guess, and sorta 50/50 for you, that's what counts. No, it worked 100% for me because I cherish their friendship and did not want some stupid misunderstanding to come between that. I did not do it to be politically correct, I did it because I care about my friends and their feelings.