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Letters: Confederate flag needs to be removed

"Confederate flag may keep on flying" story, Sept. 4

Flag needs to be removed

I recently read Andrew Meacham's article, "Confederate flag may keep on flying," and I am shocked and appalled. Every morning for the last two weeks during my commute to work, that giant Confederate flag greets me like a slap in the face at the junction of I-4 and I-75. This virulent symbol is a constant remainder of the South's failed attempt to defend the unconscionable practice of slavery.

Meacham's article does well to explain the facts, but does not address the history behind the story. The Confederate flag is a powerful symbol of both slavery and segregation. When the South seceded from the Union to defend the institution of slavery, all slaves in the South came to fear the Confederate battle flag. To slaves, the flag represented the cruelty of the slave system and the idea of the indefinite bondage of human beings.

The flag still carries this historical baggage and by 1948, the Dixiecrat party used it as a symbol to galvanize support for segregation. The flag has thus morphed into a potent symbol for slavery and oppression.

Some proponents of the flag argue that it merely represents heritage, not hate. However, this statement is flawed considering the flag's historical usage. It represents a racist call to the Old South in which both slavery and lynchings were the norm. The Confederate flag is similar to the Nazi flag in that they both represent an evil past in which the hatred and subjection of a people was acceptable. Proponents of the flag merely appear to be couching their thinly veiled prejudice behind the Confederate flag.

This flag is unacceptable in our society. Our country has made incredible strides toward healing some of the wounds from our checkered past. My drive to work reminds me that there is still much work that needs to be done to overcome our difficult heritage. The flag needs to come down now!

Nausherwan Hafeez, Apollo Beach

"Postpartum depression on the rise" story, Aug. 29

Help educate readers

I just read the article about postpartum depression and wanted to reach out to any women who are or have suffered with this debilitating illness.

Eight years ago I fell victim to postpartum depression when my son was born. It was a devastating and absolutely debilitating illness. I called my sister-in-law, who had had a baby just one month before me and, surprisingly enough, was suffering very similar symptoms. We were lucky enough to get the help we needed from someone who specializes in helping women with postpartum depression. It took me approximately one year to feel somewhat normal again.

Postpartum depression is a very serious and common condition that many women feel too ashamed to admit to and often struggle with in private.

I would love to see a series written on this to help educate others about this illness, its variety of symptoms and the different levels of severity. This doesn't just affect the mom; it affects the whole family. And it's necessary to note that this is not something to be ashamed about because hormones can really wreak havoc on a new mother.

Sandy Porto, Brandon

Letters: Confederate flag needs to be removed 09/11/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, September 17, 2008 11:35am]

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