Why Fly the Confederate Flag?

Question: I live in a small suburb of Kansas City, Mo. I have noticed more frequently that individuals in the area have confederate flag bumper stickers, flags hanging as windows, etc. What's the deal?

Luke Visconti's Ask the White Guy column is a top draw on DiversityInc.com. Visconti, the founder and CEO of DiversityInc, is a nationally recognized leader in diversity management. In his popular column, readers who ask Visconti tough questions about race/culture, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability and age can expect smart, direct and disarmingly frank answers.


Question:

I live in a small suburb of Kansas City, Mo. I have noticed more frequently that individuals in the area have confederate flag bumper stickers, flags hanging as windows, etc. What's the deal?

I find the flag very offensive. If people claim it's a part of history—I can't deny that it was, but it WAS a very horrid part of U.S. history that hatefully divided the country and families on the very foundations they were built on. It wasn't only about remaining economically independent of the North but the extreme moral debates on slavery. What's the deal?

Answer:

About 600,000 people died in the Civil War. In proportion to today's population, that is like 3.5 million Americans dying today.

The Confederate Flag came to symbolize resistance to the Civil Rights Movement in the late 1950s. For example, the state of Georgia incorporated the Battle Flag in its state flag in 1956 (and removed it in 2001). In my opinion, it is widely used today to rally people who think alike. When I see it, I understand exactly what the person is trying to say.

 

We White People Need to Own This

Martin Luther King has been dead for 50 years and Donald Trump is our president. Who is responsible?

REUTERS

Luke Visconti is the founder and CEO of DiversityInc. Although the title of his column is meant to be humorous, the issues he addresses and the answers he gives to questions are serious — and based on his 18 years of experience publishing DiversityInc. Click here to send your own question to Luke.

We will be deluged by Martin Luther King articles and columns today. Some will be excellent, like the one Rev. Jesse Jackson wrote. But most will be saccharine sweet and not say what needs to be said.

Read More Show Less

Fireside Chat

Warner Baxter, Chairman, President and CEO of Ameren Corporation, sits with DiversityInc CEO Luke Visconti to discuss how CEOs can lead the charge on addressing social issues with their workforces.

 

 

 

Stop Talking About the Rooney Rule

Magical thinking will not move the needle on your diversity efforts, or your career, if your leadership is not accountable for results.

REUTERS

Luke Visconti is the founder and CEO of DiversityInc. Although the title of his column is meant to be humorous, the issues he addresses and the answers he gives to questions are serious — and based on his 17 years of experience publishing DiversityInc. Click here to send your own question to Luke.

Read More Show Less

High School Football Players Kicked Off Team for Wearing White Hoods, Burning Cross in Photo

"I was just mostly shocked and I wanted to ask them why they did it," said Kylan Smallwood, the team's quarterback and only Black varsity player.

Original image posted by attendees to social media.

Five football players at Creston Community High School in a predominantly white Iowa town chose to wear white hoods evoking the Ku Klux Klan, wave a Confederate flag and burn a cross, then take a photo and share it on social media. The racist picture has gone viral, and the students have been kicked off the team.

Read More Show Less

Black UFC Fighter Rescues Man with Confederate Flag from Harvey Floodwaters

"He wanted to take the flag with him, and he just apologized and said, 'Man, I'll sit in the back of your truck,'" Derrick Lewis said.

Derrick Lewis

In an act of humanity during Hurricane Harvey, Houston resident and UFC heavyweight fighter Derrick Lewis used his Chevy truck to rescue residents trapped by rising floodwaters, but said he encountered a man who insisted on bringing along his Confederate battle flag — a symbol of the country's legacy of slavery and racism.

Read More Show Less

'Regardless Of,' 'It Doesn't Matter' — Bigoted Phrases in Common Use

Credibility is at the core of a successful diversity management effort. Secretary Tillerson provides a teachable moment.

REUTERS

Luke Visconti is the founder and CEO of DiversityInc. Although the title of his column is meant to be humorous, the issues he addresses and the answers he gives to questions are serious — and based on his 17 years of experience publishing DiversityInc. Click here to send your own question to Luke.

Read More Show Less

Diversity Management Is Neither Conservative Nor Liberal

The Google controversy is being cast as liberal versus conservative; it's neither.

REUTERS

Luke Visconti is the founder and CEO of DiversityInc. Although the title of his column is meant to be humorous, the issues he addresses and the answers he gives to questions are serious — and based on his 17 years of experience publishing DiversityInc. Click here to send your own question to Luke.

Read More Show Less