What’s to figure out? There are millions of African Americans across the country and as with any other very large group you can always find some who see and think about the world in a very different and interesting way. I imagine these two have their own experiences and thought processes which are very different from mine and about 99 out of 100 people who share their ethnicity and physical characteristics. It’s their right. Does it mean they are stupid? Bobby Fischer was a genius among geniuses and he was Jewish and one of the most vehemently anti-Semitic people to walk the Earth. Milo Yiannopoulos is a gay man who seems to believe that the only LGBTQ who are entitled to legal protection are pedophiles. I don’t even put this couple into that category. They have their beliefs, opinions, and philosophies.

I also have memories of Dixie flags being flown at Jesse Jackson rallies in 1988 and he commented in response to a question about them that for people in the south it is in fact a symbol of resistance in general, including to class oppression, but also against smug “northern” stereotypes of southerners as ignorant and stupid. It’s possible that for many years some southern black people flew the flag in that spirit. I tend to think that the nature of the symbol has changed since then due to the bad blood of the politics of the last 10 years, but really the flags also came out during the Civil Rights Movement Era in resistance to change, so I’m not certain whether Jackson was being a politician or being deep. I guess it’s possible that he was both. He did receive the endorsement of George Wallace at the time, and they were photographed together. Yes, the discussion has changed since the 1980s, and maybe this couple didn’t receive the memo.

It’s possible that these two harbor views which I find offensive, but I can’t make that assumption based on this photo. I also don’t know when it was taken. What I do think is that we need to understand the complexity of human beings and all they do and create and avoid the adoption of what we perceive to be absolute and universal truths. These two hold opinions which differ from mine, but to what degree do we differ, I don’t know. In my view the swastika held its own meaning pre-Nazi, but the Nazi appropriation of it is too powerful and overwhelms whatever meaning and value it once had. Same true of the Dixie flag? That’s the discussion these two want to have.

That is my “liberal” take on the meme.

7

Makes me think of the old Randy Neuman song which many people on all sides of politics took to be an obnoxious indictment of southerners, but I suspect that none of those people got to the end of the song where the hypocrisies of “northern” liberalism were laid out. Neuman is of course a “smartass New York Jew” (as he sings about) and the song is nuanced to the point where so many people miss its message.