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We need to stop blaming inanimate objects

July 10, 2015
Shepherdstown Chronicle

The continued controversy over the Confederate flag, which happens to be this week's targeted inanimate object, needs to cease. The flag was not responsible for the actions of a sick young man who killed individuals in Charleston, South Carolina. That individual, while obviously with mental issues and much hatred in his mind and heart for others, is solely responsible for his own actions.

The rush to condemn a piece of this nation's history, even one that was a symbol of men and women who had different values than those who opposed them, does nothing to stop the hatred or desire to do harm to others that exists in the minds and hearts of individuals like this young man.

Instead, that condemnation of an inanimate object leads to strife and division among the people in today's America who should be beyond the barriers that were in place during the Civil War. But the call for removal of the flag from every building, every cemetery (even here at Elmwood) and every store shelf will only fuel disagreement and create continued dissension among the masses.

To what good is it that all of these big box stores have declared they will no longer carry any merchandise with the symbol on it? It frankly hurts their sales, which in turn hurts their employees. The same can be said of NASCAR who called for the removal of all confederate emblems from the race cars. Such an irrational demand will drive away many of their followers.

Television network, TV Land, for some unforeseen, idiotic reason has removed the show "Dukes of Hazzard" from the air because of a paint job on a car. I beg someone to tell me how that action will stop another crazed killer in the future from opening fire on another unsuspecting group.

We as a people need to stop looking to place the blame on objects, be it the flag, guns, a bad home life...whatever and realize that individuals are responsible. A gun cannot fire itself; a flag cannot cause harm in and of itself.

Excuses can be made all day long about why individuals do what they do and commit the atrocities that they commit; however, the bottom line is that it is that individual's choice. No symbol, whether some see it as a symbol of hatred or not, can cause those actions. And the rush to condemn what is a part of this country's history and remove it from sight and mind does an injustice to those who fought and died for their beliefs.

We are a nation of "over-reactors" who rush to place blame anywhere except where it belongs. We need to move on and focus on issues that are of so much more importance in our country.

 
 
 

 

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