I was readiung Statter911 abut Emont FD of NY. There were issues with a confederate flag in the firehouse and on the emblem. As an African American I do find this offensive. Someone commented that Chapel Oaks an African American Fire company has a black panther as a "mascot" Now to me one is offensive and one is not. Looking at Chapel Oaks Website (they are my companies sister company) using the animal as opposed to a Huey Newton Black Panther is totally different. Just like companies use, owls, bulldogs, alligators, chickens...okay you get the point. I would be the first, maybe the second to say the Huey Newton Black power first would be a wrong emblem, cool but wrong. They want to be called the rebels but to me there are hundreds of images that denote rebelishness without denoting slavery.

 

We had debated in adding a green strip to out black over red engines. for you whipper snappers red, black & green was used to show black unity on flags in the 60's and 70's. The problem was that while we are considered a "black" fire company (even though we've always been intergrated) we wanted to be known as a fire company, period.

 

My question to the gallery is, what do you consider offensive.

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You have valid points Craig and I can respect that. By the same token, hundreds of thousands of my ancestors were slaughtered and tortured by the Christians because we didn't share their beliefs and refused to conform. Should I be offended and demand the removal of all symbols of Christianity because "I" am offended? Even today, in our "enlightened society" I still suffer offensive remarks and threats of violence from the offspring of those early peoples. Should I get me a lawyer and sue or stage boycots or marches? Maybe I should but the point is, "I" can choose my responses to the ignorance of others and by giving them "air time" as I like to call it, they get attention and it only serves to incite more of the same behavior.

On the other hand when I simply walk away and ignore them, that strikes something within their psychology and makes them come to me later asking why I choose to ignore them. That usually ends up with an intelligent and informative exchange of information and everyone leaves the conversation a better man. Just because some ignorant assholes choose to use the Confederate flag and/or a Swastika as a symbol of hate, doesn't mean the rest of us have to acknowledge that and feed into their ignorance. Are you aware the Swastika was at one time in history a revered holy symbol? It was co-opted by a crazed, Jew hating lunatic who was himself part Jewish ancestry. A symbol is simply a symbol. It has no meaning other then that which we ascribe to it. The raised index finger today is indicative of a vulgar slur. Its origin has nothing whatever with soliciting a sexual adventure but rather an indication of the Celtic people's wrath promised to the English archers that they would lose their "trigger" fingers if caught alive. I seriously doubt any of my ancestors had the slightest idea of playing hide the sausage with their enemies. My comments are not meant to incite disfavor or argument but to inspire people to educate themselves and not fall for the divisive BS and rhetoric of today.

Together we stand, and that doesn't serve the wants of those who seek to tear us down. Where's the logic in you and I going side by side fighting a fire and watching one another's back, if back in the station we go to our separate corners and snipe at each other? Friends one moment and enemies the next? Doesn't make much sense to me. For what it's worth, I've been called "cracker" and everything else under the sun by the same black folks that I just saved most of their belongings or their lives. The only way "we" are going to change any of this is to teach others how to live and behave, not react to and feed "their" misbehavior. I've found that most folks who fly the Confederate flag do it FOR the reaction they get from others, not because of some deeply held personal belief or ancestry. Looks like a modified British Union Jack to me.
Vic your master's in biology has exactly what reference to the discussion at hand? From what I've been reading here this revolves around politics and beliefs, as opposed to biology, so I fail to see your point. Unless that point is trying to say that since "you" have a master's degree that somehow makes your opinions, ideologies, etc. more valid than mine or anyone else here? Is that your intention? If so, then you really skin your ignorance for formal education is one thing; the ability to apply said education is quite another. May I suggest you take your master's degree and a couple bucks down to the local Waffle House and get yourself a cup of coffee and impress the great unwashed there? As for your left-handed jab at my attempt at injecting a little humor about being a leatherhead, just another example of someone who has nothing meaningful to add to the conversation resorting to name calling and derogatory and inflammatory innuendo to draw attention back to themselves.
You used terms like "mongolid" and "negroid." These terms have not been used in decades to describe human diversity, and are antiquated. You claimed it is "science" (with no reference, I might add) and told me to get educated. Now you are upset that I called you out on it. My education gives me enough credibility to comment on your use of "scientific" terms.

For the hell of it, I did some research into your "3 races"... even Linnaeus broke humanity into at least 5 races all the way back in the 1700s, so I have NO idea where you are getting this. As usual, Wikipedia has an awesome (albeit long) page on this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_definitions_of_race

You threatened me with an ambulance ride, and can't take my counter-post? I respectfully retreat several thousand miles to the nearest Waffle House for some capped, smothered, chunked home fries and hope the locals don't take offence to you referring to them as "the great unwashed."
Being a Southerner I do not find the Confederate flag offensive (if displayed in the right context). Much like I take pride in my States flag. When I see the Great State of Alabama's flag flying I see a rich history spanning over 300 years back to the French settlement of Old Mobile in 1702 (thousands of years if you count the indigenous settlements), but does my pride in my State make me a racist? I don't believe so. I accept the good, as well as bad things in Alabama's history, and appreciate the role they had in bringing us Alabaman's where we are now. Every single State in this Union has actions in their past that are bad, if you try to demonize one state for their past, while ignoring your own states past, then aren't you worrying about the speck in your brothers eye, while ignoring the beam in your own?

The Confederate flag is part of our history as a Nation and as a part of the history of the South, like it or not, it is and you cannot ignore that, or make it go away. But that does not mean it has to be the legacy of the South. I hope that at some point in my life we as Americans can get over this damn issue regarding the Confederate flag. Getting worked up over things that cannot be changed is damn asinine and does nothing but cause division. Banning the Confederate flag will never change what happened in our past, it won't change the fact that 11 States seceded and formed their own nation, and banning the Confederate flag won't magically disband every white supremacist group. Will the existence of the Confederate today render our 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments void? Of course not. Do we not have bigger problems facing us as a Nation these days? Rather than getting worked up over events nearly 150 years in our past let's move forward how about it..

If you want to talk about offensive emblems, what about the emblems used for the Cleavland Indians baseball team, and the Washington Redskins football team? Where is the outrage over those?
Vic, you're a piece of work for sure. You cite Wikipedia as though it's some sort of be-all end-all repository of knowledge. Surely with a "master's" degree you can do better than that. I didn't "claim" science, it's a well known fact, so there's no real requirement for qualifiers or references. "You" claim your "education" grants you credibility as though occupying a seat in a classroom somehow confers irrefutable knowledge and expertise. Nostradamus said the earth was round and he was ostracized from the church for blasphemy. I threatened you with an ambulance ride? I injected humor into "your" threat to "Whack me on the head", (gently), with a history book, and now "I'm" the offender? Really stretching it there aren't you? Seriously Vic, try coming down off that lofty perch you've assigned for yourself and mingling with us mere mortals. Hell, you might even find you're one of "US"!!!! Oh the humanity of it all.

Now, before this thread degenerates into a Vic vs David sort of thing, I'll bid you well and defer to your obviously superior intelligence since after all, YOU have the master's degree in biology and all I have are a few degrees in other fields of study.
Yes, the worst way to learn about something would be several years of reading, classroom study, and independent research. Good point.
I think if you read too far into anything, you will find it offensive.

The Confederate flag for some may be simply a symbol of pride at being "Southern", while to others it may remind them of slavery thus being offensive to them. The African American Fire Company with the Black Panther as their macot may conjure up images of the Black Panthers of the 60's - 70's, while for the Fire Company it may be just a bad ass animal that they admire. The Swastika symbol is actually an ancient symbol found in Asia, and also found in the Hindu religion. But after a man named Adolph Hitler adopted it as the symbol of Nazi Germany, it will forever be associated with evil rather than the other meaning it also stands for.

I'm afraid that all of this ultra sensitivity will result in the downfall of the United States of America. Hopefully I'll be long dead by the time that happens.
I'm 2 changes behind you Russ. I've been white and caucasian. I'm half Irish and half German. Although I was born here. I'm waiting for them to say I'm an Irish/German American! I often wonder who's in charge of coming up with what we're all supposed to be called. I work with an African American Firefighter who actually hates the term African American. I'm waiting for the day when we're all just "people", not being labeled by race or color. Stay safe!
Thanks Vic. I almost spit beer all over my screen!
I see what Jim is saying. While slavery was an issue during the Civil War, it wasn't the ONLY issue being fought about.
I disagree with the term, "African American" being used to describe a black person. A white person of South African descent would also be "African American". One of my personal heroes, Gen Colin Powell would be described as African American, however his parents came from Jamaica, NOT Africa. Unless one's parents came from Africa, one cannot be "African American". Just my 2 cents. Stay safe!
I think the origin of "African-American" traces more to the desire to have an origin. "Negro" and "coloured" are both rather dated and arguably derogatory; "black" and "afro-american" (which was the favoured term when I was young, which is funny because my (white) father had an afro) were attempts to be a little nicer. African-American gives the same "origin story" as "Italian-American" or whatever other label you wish.

There is a lot of merit to losing these labels, but to do so misses the reality of how people identify themselves. My personal experience, traditions, language, and culture are tied to my ethnic heritage, as are all of ours. I think it's valuable to celebrate the diversity that makes America so great, but to do so without disparaging anyone else.

On a hilarious side-note, at the University of Maryland the Banniker scholarship for African-Americans was discontinued when a white guy from South Africa got it.

BTW - sorry about your monitor. This dago will have to shout his mick-kraut brother a pint to make up for it!

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