I was poking around Facebook when I found this picture:
Facebook took it down.
Jermaine Rogers, the artist, posted soon afterward, explaining that it was not his decision.
He explained that people must have been really offended–he received a lot of nasty hate mail. Maybe that’s understandable. Maybe people saw the Swastika flag and failed to understand the artist’s message. For Jews, myself included, the Swastika connotes an oppressed people who were enslaved, gassed, burned alive.
It is estimated that over eleven million Africans were shackled and processed and forced across four or five time zones in a boat. Nobody knows how many died in total, but the estimate for African deaths on the journey across the Atlantic Ocean is over a million. That’s just during the trip, folks—and if they tried to escape, these people were branded, whipped, or killed.
Either flag is horrible. Today, the Swastika is illegal in Germany. The confederate flag’s legality is being discussed in the US: it is symbolic of an oppressed people. I’d be scared if there were Nazi flags hanging in my neighborhood. I’m just putting the shoe on the other foot. It’s the same size shoe.
Here’s the thing.
This is getting ridiculous.
Apple pulled the ‘Gettysburg’ game out of their app store “…because it includes images of the confederate flag used in offensive and mean-spirited ways.” It’s a history-based game—and shouldn’t history be preserved rather than denied? Bernie Sanders, who is running for President, recently said of the flag that it “belongs in a museum,” not in public. Can’t call that a bad idea. Apple just went kind of crazy with it.
Take the flag off the streets. Put it in a museum.
It’s still legal to print a Swastika in Germany, as long as the message is anti-Nazi (for example, a flag with the Swastika–and a cross through it–could be interpreted as legal). So this post here gets removed from Facebook. I realize that Facebook is not the government. But I find that its removal implies censorship’s trump over parody. Parody is a vital ingredient in the soup of political awareness (soup: no pun intended–that’s a Jonathan Swift joke!).
“A young healthy child well nursed, is, at a year old, a most delicious nourishing and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, …” –Jonathan Swift, a Modest Proposal