A Stones Throw 7-16-15

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It has been awhile since I have written ‘A Stones Throw’. To my loyal readers, I hope this week’s column will renew your interest. To those who don’t read A Stones Throw, it doesn’t matter, you didn’t know it was missing.

While I have been neglect in writing the past six weeks, I had to write about the current controversy surrounding the Confederate flag.

I have to ask: “Why?”

Why is a flag that is a major part of American history being banned?

It can no longer fly over public buildings. It is being removed from the shelves of stores throughout America. And, coincidentally, there is a movement to dig up confederate soldiers and move their bodies to unmarked graves – or to remove the markers from their graves.

Why?

It seems that a few incidents where a police officer killed a black man, as well as the recent shooting where a white man shot and killed nine people at a predominantly black church justifies rewriting history.

After all, these killings show we still have a race problem in America.

I agree.

However, the gate swings both ways.

Recent history shows a lot more black on white killings than white on black. And even more black on black.

The Al Sharpton’s and Jesse Jackson’s of the world have shown more racial prejudice for more years than have any white celebrities. They, and others like them, seem to think it is okay to blame race for every incident against an African American.

But not the other way around.

That doesn’t mean we don’t have racial problems. In fact we do –

Both ways!

Regardless, there is no justification in banning the Confederate flag.

Why is it still possible to buy a flag with a German Swastika? Why is it still possible to buy a Vietnamese flag? A North Korean flag? A Japanese flag?

And why is it not illegal to possess an ISIS flag?

Most importantly, why is it legal to burn the American flag, but not fly the Confederate flag?

Insanity is why.

In America today, an illegal (undocumented is the politically correct term) alien is allowed to enter America, get free education, free health care, food stamps, welfare, – even a driver’s license in some states.

When someone suggests illegal aliens should be sent back to their home country, there is a cry of racism. It seems most of these undocumented aliens should be allowed to stay in America. We should just send those who break the law home?

By definition – didn’t an illegal alien already break the law?

But wait – don’t send them home. That would be prejudice.

Insanity!

I have never owned a Confederate flag. But, I have studied a bit about the Civil War. At the time, the Confederate flag represented a group of states that were fighting for state’s rights against a federal government that was trying to impose its will against those states.

While slavery was certainly one of the focal points, it was by no means the only reason the Southern states formed the Confederacy. The economic differences between a rural South and an industrial North was also a dividing factor.

Did that make slavery right?

No.

It does put in perspective that the Confederate flag was not all about race.

But banning the Confederate flag is!

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On a different note, I would be remiss to not add a few random notes on sports.

For instance, during last Saturday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race the television announcer’s reported that Sparta, Kentucky is a town of 1,600 residents, but that on the Saturday night of the Sprint Cup race, Sparta becomes the third most populous city in the state.

And people wondered why getting a NASCAR race was so important.

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By the time you read this, the 2015 Major League Baseball All Star game will have been played in Cincinnati. Pete Rose will have been on the field during the All Star festivities.

I hope there was no violence that destroyed the game or the image of Cincinnati.

Pete Rose already did that. (And I still think he deserves to be in the Baseball Hall of Fame.)

*

I always considered myself to be one of the biggest sports enthusiasts (better known as sports nuts). However, I could not believe it when ESPN broke away from SportsCenter in order to show the live weigh-in of UFC fighters Conor McGregor and Chad Mendes. Even more unbelievable was that there were over 15,000 people in attendance while the two fighters stripped down to their underwear for their official weigh-in.

At first I thought those people had to be crazy. But then, I remembered that the National Football League draft is held in front of a full auditorium. In fact, this year the second day was held outside with over 50,000 people in attendance.

I would say those people were crazy too, but I have to admit I was in front of the television for every draft pick the first two days.

Crazy?

Not me!

I don’t know about all those others.

Finally, by now I think everyone has had their say about professional basketball player DeAndre Jordan’s decision to walk away from a verbal agreement with the Dallas Mavericks in favor of a contract with the Los Angeles Clippers.

I found interesting the number of people who said Jordan did nothing wrong. After all, all he did was verbally agree to an $80 million contract. All he did was shake hands on the agreement. All he did is change his mind without having the courtesy to tell the Mavericks that his word and his handshake meant nothing.

And he did nothing wrong?

Insanity is everywhere.

- Mike Cooney