Civil Disobedience

Related Post Roulette

56 Responses

  1. Avatar Kazzy says:

    Under whose orders was she arrested? Given what so many GOP pols and leaders have said about resisting this ruling by refusing its enforcement, I’d love to see whoever has ultimate authority over whatever police force is responsible for that memorial employ the same tack and refuse to have Bree arrested.

    That said, I’m confident this courageous and intelligent young woman knew the potential consequences of her actions and undertook her mission anyway prepared to accept them. That doesn’t make it any less a miscarriage of justice.Report

    • Avatar Chris in reply to Kazzy says:

      She did it right in front of the cops (I believe state police in charge of policing the capitol grounds). She climbed down and pretty much just walked over to them.Report

    • Avatar gregiank in reply to Kazzy says:

      Committing Civil Disobedience does not make you immune from laws, even simple ones like trespassing or some such. In fact it is engaging in CD while knowing you will have repercussions that makes the act impressive. Good for her, i hope there is a kickstarter or gofundme if she needs money.Report

      • Avatar gingergene in reply to gregiank says:

        Isn’t getting arrested the point of civil disobedience? To show exactly how unjust the laws are?

        And yes, there’s an Indiegogo page for her bail. As of this writing, it’s at nearly $120,000.Report

        • Avatar Kazzy in reply to gingergene says:

          Oh, yes, I know all that. Just consider how cool a move on whomever’s part if they said, “Fish that… We ain’t arresting her.” Not to undermine her but support her.Report

          • Avatar gingergene in reply to Kazzy says:

            I honestly think that everyone played their parts well here. I’m not entirely comfortable with letting cops decide which laws they think are just and which aren’t- too many recent examples of exactly how wrong that can go.

            She took the flag down, walked over to the police and submitted to being arrested. The police politely arrested her with no “unnecessary roughness” and took her to jail, where I imagine she promptly posted bail, along with her co-conspirator.

            I think we need a lot more Bree Newsomes pulling down these flags wherever they are flown on the public dime, getting arrested and generally refusing to let this issue go, (as well as all the more substantive issues that lurk behind it).Report

            • Avatar Kazzy in reply to gingergene says:


              I’m not talking about individual cops but whoever the ultimate authority is. Imagine if the chief of Capitol Police… or the governor herself!… were thrown in jail for refusing to arrest. How powerful a statement would that be?Report

              • Avatar gingergene in reply to Kazzy says:

                Yes, that would be awesome. And still civil disobedience. Savannah’s current mayor (Edna Jackson) was arrested back in the day for swimming in a whites-only beach. I like to think she’s still got that fire in her.Report

              • Avatar Mark Thompson in reply to Kazzy says:

                There’s no such thing as a crime of “refusing to arrest.” Theoretically, I suppose, the officers involved could have let her go, but there’d be no point – some other officer just would have eventually arrested her, and quite likely would not have done so nonviolently.

                What’s more, letting her go would have been politically stupid, especially given the governor’s stated position (and assuming the chief of police holds the same position) by making them look uninterested in doing their jobs and/or acting above the law. That would be a good way to create backlash amongst some of those on the fence (and remember they need 2/3 to repeal the flag law) and might even alienate some of those who are on record as supporting repeal but whose support is tepid.Report

          • Avatar gingergene in reply to Kazzy says:

            Local example: Savannah is the hometown of Juliette Gordon Low, the founder of the Girl Scouts. Every year during cookie season, different troops take turns selling cookies next to the JGL house museum. This is technically an illegal obstruction of the sidewalk which no one ever cared about until somebody decided they did. This somebody called the cops and made a huge deal of it. The police turned up and very reluctantly asked the Girl Scouts to leave. It made the local and national news, and the mayor immediately issued a temporary injunction that allows Girl Scouts to continue selling their crack, I mean, cookies. And I’m fine with all of that, except whatever douchecanoe busybody complained to the police in the first place.Report

      • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to gregiank says:

        I hope some DA doesn’t decide to make an example & find some felony to charge her with.Report

  2. Avatar nevermoor says:

    So it turns out zic is Michael Moore?

    Who knew…Report

  3. Avatar Will H. says:

    I’m really hard-pressed to think of any more bs non-issue than the Confederate flag.

    I believe the statements from the linked article stand up only when rather creative constructions of the terms are employed.

    Pardon me while I yawn.Report

    • Avatar Chris in reply to Will H. says:

      Why do you think people feel so strongly about it?Report

      • Avatar Will H. in reply to Chris says:

        The outrage mill.
        People generally believe what they are told to believe.

        I know a wonderful young girl who is currently studying to take the GED. I wish her all the best.
        I understand that there must have been circumstances which prevented continuance of classes with her cohort, and I also understand that those circumstances were quite likely very painful.
        I also understand that she feels a sense of loss at failing to complete high school.
        But I also understand that the GED certificate that she seeks will not erase that sense of loss, nor will it heal the suffering that she went through– It will never come close to that.

        That is very much how I see removing the Confederate flag.
        While I see the underlying impetus as fully legitimate, that target at which it is directed is practically ineffectual.
        Neither do I support tearing down the castles of Germany to oppose the atrocities of the feudal system.

        In fact, the Taliban blowing up the Buddha is very much the same as this.
        They simply want a pound of flesh in order to express their anger.
        Any triumph they may attain in this will be hollow.
        Further, the diversion from action having the possibility of being effective in some means is actively detrimental.
        It’s essentially the same as mistaking the parade for the war which was fought.

        To answer your question:
        Feelings are not entirely rational.

        Now, were you to say something along the lines of:
        Don’t you think that protected environmental areas deserve as much, if not more, consideration than the historic monuments of the Civil War, seeing as how the latter are so numerous?
        . . . we might well find a point of agreement.Report

        • Avatar Chris in reply to Will H. says:

          The outrage mill.
          People generally believe what they are told to believe.

          Can I say this anytime any issue of symbolism comes up?Report

          • Avatar Kim in reply to Chris says:

            Only if you can cite the sources funding the Southern Propaganda Machine.

            Or, alternatively, if you’re busy creating the propaganda you’re referring to.Report

          • Avatar Will H. in reply to Chris says:

            It’s yours available for use a an introductory passage any time you please.
            Works great on wedding invitations as well.

            One point I would like to clarify, and thank you for giving me the opportunity to do so:

            While I see Jessi’s GED as placing her in a position where she might, in some future time, work beyond where the loss and suffering are relevant, the promise of a bright future is not implicit in the Confederate flag, even if we tie-dyed every one of them.

            It’s very much the same as drying off with a towel.
            With the GED situation, drying off is a possibility, because getting out of the bathtub is part of the plan.
            With the flag situation, drying off with a towel is not a possibility, because staying in the bathtub while using the towel is the entirety of the plan.Report

            • Avatar Michelle in reply to Will H. says:

              How many groups lose a civil war and then get to fly their battle flag on the public dime? Especially when said battle flag was flown by a people fighting to retain their right to enslave other people based on the color of their skin and was then appropriated by those who sought to deny black people their civil rights.

              The damn thing should have come down a long time ago. No, it’s not going to end racism, anymore than electing a black president did, but it does end state display of a pretty potent symbol of racism and white supremacy. The gesture is hardly meaningless.Report

              • Avatar Will H. in reply to Michelle says:

                Why “battle flag” rather than “flag”?
                Was there some other kind of flag they had?
                Does it make people feel better to talk about taking it down when images of Yosemite Sam popping up out of nowhere with a six-shooter can be invoked?
                Is it because calling it “the redneck bumper sticker” just doesn’t give one the same thrill in thinking removal is actually a substantive action?

                Let’s go tear down that redneck bumper sticker!

                I can see the Left going rabid for that one.

                “. . . flag was flown by a people fighting to retain their right to enslave other people based on the color of their skin and was then appropriated by those who sought to deny black people their civil rights.”

                Again, that is the Stars & Stripes right there.
                Ongoing and continual– not some distant memory.
                Something happening right now all across the nation, and not something long ago in this one section of the county.
                That is what it means to be ineffectual.

                Ok, say we re-decorate the place.
                Whose rights are augmented in doing so?Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Will H. says:

                Because people get stupid about “that’s not the flag of the confederacy”.
                as if by having gadizillions of flags it’s going to make a bit of difference.
                It is the correct way to refer to it (the flag of the confederacy is a different flag).

                I know one civil war buff, and half the time I’m convinced that’s one too many.Report

              • Avatar nevermoor in reply to Will H. says:

                Yes. There were many confederate flags. The infamous one is Lee’s battle flag.

                I can see the Left going rabid for that one.

                I haven’t seen a single person call for restricting private usage of the flag by the government. That’s different from being happy that some companies have chosen not to sell them.

                Whose rights are augmented in doing so?

                Is your claim that all symbols are irrelevant, or somehow only that this one is.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman in reply to nevermoor says:

                I haven’t seen a single person call for restricting private usage of the flag by the government.

                Ryan Noonan has! Some others have played footsie with the idea. But yeah, that’s not the common argument and I haven’t seen it here (though I’ve not participated in most of the discussions).Report

              • Avatar nevermoor in reply to Will Truman says:

                Man. The one time I leave off my “actually significant politician, meaning federal-level or significant state level” qualifier.

                ::happy face::Report

              • Avatar Mark Thompson in reply to Will H. says:

                Why “battle flag” rather than “flag”?
                Was there some other kind of flag they had?

                In this case, yes, there was. The “battle flag” – which is the flag we’re typically talking about – was never the official flag of the Confederacy. It was the battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia and, for part of the war, of the Confederate Navy.

                For the first half of the Confederacy’s lifespan, the “Stars and Bars” flew, which was this:

                For the last two years of the Confederacy, the government incorporated the battle flag into the official flag, placing it at the corner of an all-white field (which the designer explicitly intended to symbolize white racial superiority) and then briefly putting it at the corner of a white field with a red stripe. But even then, the battle flag was only incorporated into the official flag, rather than the entire flag.Report

              • As someone who objects to calling the Confederate Jack the “Stars & Bars”… it’s been a stressful week or so.Report

              • Yeah, I know. I was kind of hoping to save you at least one #headdesk concussion.Report

              • Avatar Michelle in reply to Will H. says:

                The Stars and Stripes was also flown by the country that fought to end slavery. The country that passed the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments. The country that passed the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts. Again, these acts didn’t end racism, but were certainly a huge improvement.

                We’re not augmenting anyone’s rights by removing the Confederate flag from state capitols and relegating it to bumper stickers, history museums, and white supremacy web sites. But we’re not robbing anyone of their right to display it either. The First Amendment and all that. It’s simply immoral for a state to fly a flag of a failed session attempt intended to maintain an immoral institution. It’s a slap in the face to a large percentage of the state’s residents.Report

              • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to Michelle says:

                Yeah, that’s where the whole “while bad things were done under the American flag as well, so you’re all hypocrites!” argument falls apart.

                Yes, shitty things have been done under all flags, but there’s been positives as well. Much like a certain other flag, there are no positives done under the Confederate flag.Report

              • As TNC’s been pointing out – frequently – there’s a whole universe of difference between a nation that fails to live up to its ideals, which is true of all nations, and a nation that makes slavery and white supremacy its entire raison d’etre.

                It’s possible to celebrate a nation’s ideals without celebrating its failures to live up to those ideals (and the ideals that are in the DOI and Constitution are pretty great). It is not possible to celebrate the Confederacy’s ideals without celebrating (even unintentionally) slavery and white supremacy, though, because slavery and white supremacy were the entirety, or at least close to the entirety, of its ideals.Report

              • Avatar morat20 in reply to Mark Thompson says:

                Also, there’s the thing where the Confederacy doesn’t exist. Existing nations get to fly their flag. Ones that don’t…really don’t.

                Especially losers of a Civil War. That’s pretty effing weird.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Mark Thompson says:

                Honestly, when we have multiple first world countries that are deliberately planning genocide, I’d rather focus on them than a 150 yr old grievance whose money is going to run out soon anyway.Report

              • Avatar notme in reply to Michelle says:


                All the good things done under the stars and stripes don’t seem to matter to folks like Lois Farrakan who wants it taken down as well. I can only image what he’d like to see flaign in its place.


        • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Will H. says:

          People generally believe what they are told to believe.

          Does that apply to you as well? If so, then your yawning about the confederate flag has just as much validity as the views you’re yawning about, yes?

          And told by who? And by that I mean: who tells you what to believe and why do you listen to em?Report

          • Avatar Will H. in reply to Stillwater says:

            There is a thread of truth in this scope shift argument; however, I am not inclined to expend the time necessary to grasp at those threads. Call it utilitarianism.

            Generally, I am very, very skeptical of anything which becomes of primary importance practically overnight.
            The importance of the matter is likely as fleeting as the attention span devoted to it.
            Apparently, this seems to be a thing of which I would be required to educate myself much more than I care to (and FWIW, learning the general’s names from Sid Meier’s Gettysburg! enough to play the game effectively was much more than I care to) in order to gin up an outrage.

            Additionally, as someone trained as a troubleshooter, I see the weak point here in attacking a symbol.
            Providing a different symbol isn’t going to change things much.
            This is a worthless fix.

            Other than that, once I realized the Left believes none of those things about cherishing rights and diversity as they claim, but by any objective measure are heavily invested in enforced homogeneity of thought, dismissive of rights and hostile to diversity, I generally find the Left to be full of crap.
            On occasion, they might happen to say the right things, but the actions they would associate with the thoughts expressed often run counter to stated intent. This is one such case.
            On other occasions, they may seem to do the right thing, but it is from a position so wildly divergent from rationality as to be dangerous.
            I’m one of those life-long Democrats who realized that the Left most often actively fights against those very things they argue for.

            Which is to say, I am skeptical on many levels.

            I accept that I could well be wrong. Maybe there will really be square dancing between Serbs & Croats following the burning of some flag.
            At the moment, all I see is a bunch of people not knowing their ass from a hole in the ground as to how to go about doing something substantial about racism.
            Because, really, it’s not about “ending racism” or “equality” or some such– It’s almost entirely about race relations— meaning, if we throw the dog a bone, it won’t growl so much. That’s all there is to it.
            It’s just another insubstantive act designed to shut people up, so we can go on pretending that everything’s ok– we are so wonderful because of our insubstantive act.Report

            • Avatar Francis in reply to Will H. says:

              “once I realized the Left believes none of those things about cherishing rights and diversity as they claim”

              Since you believe in a single, massive undifferentiated Left, I presume you have no objection to your political opponents believing in a single massive undifferentiated Right — whose economic policy is created solely by sociopathic CEOs and whose moral policy is created solely by unreconstructed evangelical bigots.

              What, there is nuance on the Right? Who knew.Report

            • Avatar greginak in reply to Will H. says:

              Did people just start to have issue with the confed flag??? Ummm No, not at all. People have wanted it down for years. It didn’t just become an issue out of nowhere and for no reason. People have wanted it down as long as it has been up over state houses.Report

              • Avatar LWA in reply to greginak says:

                Yes, but the fact that public opinion shifted is suspicious.
                There must be some other factor at play.
                Years of hard work by activists fighting and arguing, of pushing for positive modeling by movies and tv, of writing op eds and protesting finally paying off?

                No, no, that can’t be it. All these people over the past decade changing their minds…they can’t possibly be sincere. There must be another factor, somewhere.

                Of course!
                False Consciousness! That’s it!Report

    • Avatar nevermoor in reply to Will H. says:

      Next comes bargaining.Report

      • Avatar Will H. in reply to nevermoor says:

        I would anticipate some manner of asshattery from others unimaginative and uninquisitive enough to manage a legitimate position based on consideration rather than fanfare long, long before any manner of bargaining take place.Report

  4. Avatar Notme says:

    Her statement is good for a laugh. Did she even try to intelligently explain what was causing her “fear?Report

    • Avatar zic in reply to Notme says:

      You could go actually read her statement, the link to it is in the post, and decide for yourself. But that is, I suppose, too much effort and takes energy away from trolling liberals to make yourself feel powerful. (Note: it makes you seem sort of small-minded and verging on pathetic, not powerful, fwiw.)Report

      • Avatar notme in reply to zic says:


        I read the post and all I see is a bunch of self-righteous SJW blah blah blah. I don’t see where she has lived in fear of much of anything, except maybe living though other vicariously. She might be in fear of an overdose of hyperbole, though.Report

        • Avatar Kim in reply to notme says:

          When men hunt [African-Americans] on the streets of Philadelphia (their words, not mine), with guns — and dead black men lie in the street, you dare say that she’s not had to live in fear?

          America is no “safe space” for blacks. Or Women, or even white men if they don’t know when to run and hide. Why else do people clutch at guns so much? {Modified by Trumwill}Report

      • Avatar Zac in reply to zic says:

        Come on, now.

        Verging is being pretty generous.Report

        • Avatar zic in reply to Zac says:

          It’s a fault of mine, I know.Report

          • Avatar notme in reply to zic says:


            What is sort of small-minded and verging on pathetic is assuming that I had not read it. But you clearly have your assumptions about non liberals. You know the ones, we are are cowards that cling to our guns out of some warped sexual fetish. Frankly I’m a bit disappointed that you continue in the personal attacks.Report

            • Avatar Kim in reply to notme says:

              Been on neopets lately?
              Strange what you find when you pull the filters off…
              The most straightlaced people are totally batshit insane.Report

  5. Avatar DavidTC says:

    I’m not quite as hard-line on this as some people on the left seem to be. I read a law that would attempt to stop basically *all* displays of the Confederate flag by any government, and I actually think that’s a bit too much.

    I think it’s perfectly reasonable to have *memorials* with the Confederate flag. It’s perfectly reasonable to go to Gettysburg and see the Union flag over a list of those soldier’s name, and a Confederate flag over a list of *those* names. I think it might be more correct to have the *actual* Confederate flag instead of this battle flag, but whatever.

    The American Civil War Museum is a nonprofit that owns the Confederacy White House and one of the Confederacy constitutional copies, but I’d have no problem with the US government owning *that* as a historic site, or even flying the Confederate flag there. The University of Georgia owns another copy of the constitution, and no one seems to have a problem with them displaying that, nor would I have a problem with it having the flag next to that as long as it is part of some *historic* display.

    Of course, that concept has been twisted here by deliberately putting the memorial *on the steps of the capitol*, so the flag is quite deliberately ‘flying at the capitol’. In fact, the entire *reason* for all these displays is the 1960s and open racism, not actual history.

    So, as usual, thanks to racists, we can’t have nice things. I’m not quite sure what to do here, but I think trying to stop all government entities, and all private entities that get money from the government (Which would include almost all _museums_) is going a bit too far.

    OTOH, there is an interesting alternative: Demand all flags be historically accurate, which means in most cases the *actual* Confederacy flag would have to be used.Report