21 September 2016

Should Public School Teachers Do This? - Part 2

Story here.

As an aside, have you noticed that all the CW bloggers who are so critical about any display of the Confederate flag, never make even the weakest criticism of the desecration of the flag that was carried into battle by Union soldiers? Isn't that amazing? And isn't it rather telling? I've told you over and over again that Confederate iconography was simply the low hanging fruit. The SJW's aren't anywhere near finished.


Jeffrey Mathews said...

Respectfully Sir and I have been a regular reader of your blog for many years, but I am of the belief that his actions were appropriate as a teaching tool.

This was, if I understand the context, an attempt to illustrate a very American capacity to protest to achieve a redress of wrongs as guaranteed by our Constitution. And our Constitution protects not one point of view about this country but all points of view, including those who would replace it by peaceful means.

I beg your kind indulgence as I am going to go long in my posting but consider an entire truck load of freshly made American flags being delivered to various merchants who would sell such to any buyer. There is an accident and the entire truck and hundreds of flags are destroyed by the resulting fire.

No one, I do believe, would think the truck driver unpatriotic for saving himself or that the destruction of the flags was an issue for anyone or meant anything except to the insurance carrier who has the policy on the vehicle and cargo.

WE are not offended because we recognize that there was no intent to burn the flags on the part of anyone involved and therefore no possible inferences may be drawn from their destruction except that accidents happen on our roadways that sometime result in the destruction of cars and trucks and all within.

Suppose at a protest, one protestor tells his audience that his opponents have engaged in conduct that will destroy the application of the rights enumerated in the Constitution as surely as if they had struck a match to it. He thereupon lights the flag and reiterates that if his opponents are not voted out of office this is what they will do to our country and waived the burning flag by way of illustration. In other words, the burning flag is a portent of what those in power will do if they are not voted out of office.

Again, that is another instance when reasonable men may agree that the burning flag serves as a legitimate piece of theater and not an assertion of contempt for what it represents. It is a burning in effigy of what the party in power wants to do according to the demonstrators.

If I understand the context, the teacher was attempting to show that there is a physical flag that can be destroyed and a spiritual flag that all good men and true hold in their hearts. All "merely human things" as the Anglican Book of Common Prayer tell us "in the passage of time and upon the wickedness of the human heart" inevitably become utterly corrupted. So what actually is the American flag? Is it pieces of colored cloth or is it the values of wisdom, prudence, moderation, public and private virtue that the Founders believed that their countrymen could learn and practice and apply for a personal good and a general happiness?

Respectfully, I do not think that pieces of colored fabric can possibly hold the latter however well constructed the physical flag may be. In the end it can only be in those places in a man that most makes him desire to be a good man that those very real virtues may grow.

We must never, if we wish to sustain for our generations upon the face of this Earth a free country, confuse a physical representation with what a good man must always be. All to often demagogues have appropriated the physical representations and said that because they possess the appearance, they also possess the actuality of what the symbols are only a shadow.

Honorable men can never be harmed by the physical destruction of their symbols as long as what those symbols represent continue to be safe in their minds and in their hearts.

I am Sir, as always,
Your very Humble Servant

Jeffrey Mathews

New Orleans Louisiana.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Jeffrey - yeah, we will have to agree to disagree on this one. I support his *right* to do whatever he wants to do to the flag, but I maintain it's inappropriate for an American public classroom.

Desecrating the flag to demonstrate free speech is like spitting on someone to demonstrate rude behavior. Our countrymen have given their lives for what that flag stood for in their hearts and in our founding documents. It's a dishonoring act and has no place in a public school classroom.

Poor taste,classless and stupid.

Jeffrey Mathews said...

My Dear Sir:

I take your point that actually spitting on a person to demonstrate bad manners is not acceptable.

But is miming or acting as if you are spitting on a person the same thing?

I see no intent to demean the flag on his part in the sense that the anti-war protestors intended to show their contempt for the war and the people who ginned it up.

It is not clear what opinions he holds about this country from his prefatory remarks before stepping on the flag and this was not a class in civil disobedience tactics. He stepped lightly twice and then stopped. If he truly wished to incite his students, would he not have been more aggressive. He did not, it is clear, plan to burn the flag as he was asking for matches or a light from his audience.

I am deeply involved in stopping the historical and cultural cleansing of the Confederate history and monuments now going on in New Orleans and indeed all over the South. I've seen those SJW types burn many a Confederate flag in their vulgar and aggressive smugness. But it would never occur to me to physically restrain them for so doing, as wildly offensive as I think such behavior is.

The point is that in some sense the South was fighting for the greatest freedom of all: The freedom to be wrong, to make up one's own mind and to not be told what one MUST believe to please ones' self anointed "betters."


Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

We'll agree to disagree. This is a public school. The students are not adults. There are very likely children and grandchildren of Veterans in this classroom and their parents and grandparents would likely not approve of this. He could have made his point without stepping on our flag.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Here's an example of what I'm talking about: