Not having been born with a computer in hand, I have a healthy distrust of many things digital or whatever we are currently calling the use of all these devices that are supposed to make our lives easier. I find, for example, that while I am able to do so much more in accessing info and seeing movies, I also spend (in my opinion at least) an inordinate amount of time having my computer guy come in to fix the various machines (probably an outdated term) I own. My TV suddenly brought up the streaming icons so dark I could barely see them. After my guy fiddled around, he found the set had mysteriously reset the picture modes to zero. Of course, he had no explanation for why that would happen. Traditionally, being an old paranoid White guy (NSA anyone?), I have eschewed using social media leaving that to Kathy who is quite adept at it. I have mastered my iphone enough to keep in touch with fam and friends. Lately, however, I have begun reading all the stuff on my Facebook page. I was really surprised to see all the beautiful young, often sexy looking women who are my friends. I had no idea! Who would have thought I would have all these gorgeous young women as my friends. My only regret is that they weren’t all friendly with me back in the day when I was young, fancy free and would have died to have all these lovely ladies sending me messages about their choice in makeup, their love of giant poodles, the best medicine for hangovers and so forth. Ah, wouldn’t it have been grand! I think I get it about Facebook. I have one friend ( I actually know him) who is obviously lonely as he lets everyone know the exact time he goes to bed each night. And several of my religious friends obviously keep their faith intact by sending out sayings like, “God is not dead, he’s just on vacation.” My favorite pics are of my “friends” with their friends compounding my mystification as to who these people are. Wasn’t there some joke or whatever it was about everyone being related to Kevin Bacon? With Facebook, I can see how that occurs. I suppose that if all these digital group hugs bring us closer together, then the exposure of about everything we do in life and the attendant loss of privacy may not be all bad.
Let me be clear: there is no reason to fly the Confederate flag on the grounds of any governmental institution. The best reason is that it represents a group of states which sought to end our Republic. It is akin to flying the Nazi flag, the flag of a foreign nation which also sought to destroy our Republic. Banning the Confederate flag, however, goes too far. While many see the flag as representative of racism, many others see it as a symbol of part of our history and a testament to those Americans who fought and died for it, whatever we think of their motivations. As a student of the civil war, it is important to remember that most of the Americans who died for the South were not slave owners. Many of the leaders in the South did not own slaves and were not comfortable with slavery. Some on the left have gone so far as to call for the dismantling of the Jefferson memorial because Jefferson, one of the architects of our Republic, owned slaves. This sentiment reflects an attempt to rewrite our history, not understand it. Defacing memorials to Southerners like Jefferson Davis will not bring our country together. Studying and understanding the times and the conflicts within our country during those times will do more to facilitate the maturity necessary to move ahead and continue our path toward racial equality. One of our current President’s avowed icons, Abraham Lincoln said it best when he said in his second inaugural address: “With malice toward none, with charity for all…let us strive…to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves….” Obviously, the families of the slain victims in Charleston got the message when they greeted the killer with forgiveness and compassion. We should follow their lead.