So this guy came across my screen today. Mr. Andrew Duncomb, who calls himself the Black Rebel, complete with cowboy hat and confederate flag patch.
The comment section on Duncomb’s Facebook post went crazy, much in the way you would expect. Fellow African Americans were outraged with his declarations. Many called him out for being an Uncle Tom, and hilariously compared him to Uncle Ruckus, a black Tea Party character on “The Boondocks” who hates African-Americans, and Clayton Bigsby ala Chapelle’s Show.. Defenders came out of the woodwork, saying other commenters were racist for their responses, even calling them n*ggers to prove they weren’t the racist ones. Of course, people of all colors came together to mock Duncomb’s astounding ignorance:
Mr. Rebel Flag had something to say to his supporters — especially those in the black community. He further pleased his white masters by posting a bucket of fried chicken, apologizing for “forgetting” the watermelon:
Some have speculated that Duncomb doesn’t exist — but it seems he does. Last year, a Logan County, Oklahoma man by the name of Andrew Duncomb opened fire on a police officer before speeding away with his friends in a white pickup truck. Duncomb and pals led police on a high-speed chase before losing control while crossing some train tracks. It is unclear what happened with that situation, but a year later he seems to have reinvented himself as the “Black Rebel.”
I have subsequently spent a good part of my day trying to figure out exactly WTF is wrong with this guy. Why does he believe these things? How did he come to these conclusions? What is he thinking? Just WTF?
My conclusion, is complicated. There is a facet of growing up in an environment where racism is so ingrained that it has become the norm and is no longer as offensive as it should be. There is a component of desperation to fit in with those around you, becoming whoever and whatever you must to gain acceptance.
But the biggest factor I believe is education. A failure to understand the true history of our country and the real heritage of the South. American history in our schools has never been taught adequately, especially when it comes to the crimes of the past against brown skinned people, be they the Native Americans who were slaughtered for their land, the Japanese who were imprisoned in internment camps during WWII, or most especially the blacks who were enslaved on U.S. soil for more than 200 years.
In fact, public schools have recently stirred controversy in Texas after going so far as to refer to the slave trade in America as “immigration” and to call slaves on American plantations “workers” in history text books.
Without a knowledge of what really happened in the past, it becomes much easier to form this kind of warped worldview in the face of the psychological factors mentioned earlier.
In fact, ever since discussing the confederate flag with various “rebels” during the uproar over the flag in the wake of the Charleston church shooting, I have become convinced that the number one factor in anybody’s support of this symbol is either racism or ignorance. There is simply no way to stand behind this symbol and be against racism. Period.
So just what is the history?
I often hear proud southern folks proclaim that the Civil War wasn’t fought over slavery. This is a falsehood that gets taught as fact. All it takes is a quick look at the individual states’ declarations of causes of secession to see that yes, slavery was a reason for the Civil War. Not a single one of these documents is free from mentioning their right to own fellow human beings as a reason for commiting treason and declaring war on their own country.
Another argument you hear is that the modern confederate flag was only the Battle Flag of Northern Virginia, which it was.
There were several flags of the Confederate States of America used during its existence from 1861 to 1865. The First National Flag of the Confederacy was known as the Stars and Bars. (Much like the early U.S. flags, stars were added as states were added.)
Because soldiers got confused on the battlefield and couldn’t tell the Stars and Bars from the Stars and Stripes, they decided they needed a new flag. So the Second National Flag of the Confederacy, known as the Stainless Banner, was introduced, which featured the battle flag in the corner on a field of white.
Because some thought this looked too much like a flag of surrender, the Third National Flag of the Confederacy was introduced, the Blood Stained Banner, which kept the battle flag and field of white, but added a strip of red.
In reality, they all have the same meaning, which was best summed up by William Tappan Thompson of the Savannah Morning News in 1863, when he spoke of the Stainless Banner, calling it “The White Man’s Flag:”
As a people, we are fighting to maintain the heaven ordained supremacy of the white man over the inferior or colored race; a white flag would thus be emblematic.”
That folks, that is the heritage you are defending, the heritage you are honoring with your flag. The right to own PEOPLE. The choice of your ancestors to become traitors. The decision to fight a treasonous war AGAINST the United States. The desire to no longer be an American because you think you have the god given right to own slaves based on skin color. That’s it. When you want to honor confederate soldiers, THIS is who you are exalting. Anything else you are told is nothing but BULLSHIT.
Even if you ignore all the history since, and forgive the fact that this flag was the symbol of the Ku Klux Klan who lynched an untold number of people while too cowardly to even show their own faces, it is still the flag that flew as soldiers fought to the death against their own country for the right to own other human beings.
As for supporting Donald Trump? If you haven’t figured out who he is from his retweets of white supremacists, the bromance he’s had with former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke, his willingness to give press credentials to white nationalists, or his bigoted rhetoric, then you clearly haven’t been paying attention.
Mr. Duncomb, if I were religious, I would pray for you. Since I’m not, I’m just going to leave this here and keep on scrolling….and remind everyone
who isn’t a bat-shit crazy Uncle Tom to VOTE!
Featured image via Facebook
April has studied political science, psychology, and philosophy. Back in the good old days she was a reporter for “old fashioned” print newspapers. In addition to news and politics, she also blogs about service dogs and disability advocacy. As a black woman with a disability, she is fed up with the right-wingers who would prefer that she and others like her didn’t exist.