Monday, August 31, 2015

Quando anti-racistas usaram a bandeira confederada

When Anti-Racists Adopted the Confederate Battle Flag, por Jesse Walker:

This is my favorite picture of a Confederate flag:
Like "The South's Gonna Do It" mashed up with "Ebony and Ivory."

That was the emblem of the Southern Student Organizing Committee, a New Left group founded in 1964. At a time when the activists most likely to be waving a Confederate banner were affiliated with the Ku Klux Klan, SSOC decided to adopt—and adapt—the battle flag for the other side of the civil rights struggle. The group did most of its organizing among southern whites, and it went out of its way to draw on regional iconography (...)

But not everyone in the movement thought the emblem was a good idea. "Explaining to their white counterparts that the battleflag had only one meaning to them," Michel writes, several "black activists stressed that no matter how SSOC altered the flag's image, African Americans forever would see it as a symbol of racial oppression." SSOC was predominantly white, but it wanted to become the biracial alliance implied by those clasped hands. And so it dropped both the emblem and the name New Rebel at the end of 1964. (...)

By that time, SSOC wasn't the only New Left group playing with Confederate signifiers. The Young Patriots were a Chicago-based organization made up mostly of working-class whites who had migrated to the city from the Appalachians; the Patriots joined the Black Panthers and the Young Lords (a Panther-like Puerto Rican group) in an partnership called the Rainbow Coalition. (This was unrelated to Jesse Jackson's outfit, which was launched much later.) "In a decade when symbolism mattered like never before, most Left groups chose their radical dress code—whether the dignified suits of civil rights leaders or the sleek leather jackets of the Panthers—to consciously send a message," Amy Sonnie and James Tracy write in Hillbilly Nationalists, Urban Race Rebels, and Black Power. "For better or worse, the Patriots adopted the Confederate flag as a symbol of southern poor people's revolt against the owning class."

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