Wednesday, 15 July 2015

A Carolina Inspired Apology: Why I’ve Removed the Confederate Flag from My Punk Jacket

This might appear to some onlookers as a very trivial thing – removing a patch from a personalised jacket – but if that patch is a symbol of racism and pro-slavery then it is worth explaining and apologising over.

I own two leather jackets – one of whom them is personalised with studs and patches of my favourite bands or references to films. And the other is a plain leather jacket which I’ve come to wear all the time. My patches jacket is one I’ve kept away for several years now, but I have officially decided to get rid of a part of it that I am fully ashamed of adding.

When I first became involved in the Punk Rock and Heavy Metal cultures, I was naive enough to confuse symbols of hate with those of shock value. I would have dismissed questions of why I was wearing the confederate flag on my shoulder as a piece of harmless shock humour – but even shock humour is capable of stepping over the line and delivering something profusely offensive.

I have therefore taken this flag of racism, sexism, homophobia and slavery off of my jacket and you can see what I’ve done with it below.

Having kept such a disgusting symbol on my clothing is something I don’t think I could ever forgive myself of doing. And recent actions in South Carolina, and a recent documentary on the Ku Klux Klan caused me to do something which I know I should have done a long, long time ago.

It is with this post that I sincerely, humbly and profusely apologise for wearing a patch so sickening that its ideology is equivalent to Nazism. I will see this as a learning curve.  A moment when you grow up and learn about how things you say and do can carry more weight and meaning than you might expect.
A memory of an act of pure stupidity.
One thing that I am now left to ask, is how was a naive youth like me ever able to get his hands on such a terrible symbol? I bought this patch in a music store in my hometown along with a patch which references The Omen, one of my favourite horror flicks. Why on earth are people being sold such atrocious things over the counter under the illusion that they are harmless pieces of paraphernalia? You wouldn’t sell a swastika flag to a child so why offer something like this?

All I can say now, is how could I have carried something so treacherous on my shoulders? I guess I made the stupid mistake of thinking the flag was harmless to handle because bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd and Kid Rock have used it in the past. Anyone who has studied the American Civil War, knows that the confederate ideology was white supremacist and has no place in a multicultural society today.

Once again I am sorry to anyone who ever saw me wearing this symbol of hate. I don’t think I can ever forgive myself for it and I will do all I can to fight anyone who calls it ‘shock humour’ because you have to know where and when you’ve crossed the line – and this is it.

And I don't think any word of mine can ever describe the atorcities committed under the leadeership of this symbol, but you have my word that no other such piece will ever be carried on my clothing again. I committed the very crime of not thinking before I acted.

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