Some folks were upset that I referred to a woman toting a Confederate flag yesterday as “pro-slavery” in a cheeky photo caption. For example, here’s Daniel Kuehn:
I challenge Yglesias to tell me: do you honestly, truly believe that woman is “pro-slavery”, or do you think she’s anti-slavery and simply has a different view of the Confederate flag? If you think she’s honestly pro-slavery then you’re not nearly as thoughtful as I’ve always thought you were. If you don’t think she’s pro-slavery but just think it’s funny to pretend she is, then you’re not as classy as I always thought you were. Either way I suppose I’m going to end up disappointed.
The answer is that I have no idea whether or not the woman in question favors enslaving black people, but I desire to live in a world in which the social understanding is that embracing the Confederate Battle Flag is an embrace of the cause of treason in defense of slavery.
Hence, I fully intend to continue stigmatizing those who embrace it. I don’t think this is a difficult question. It’s important to note that this is far from a futile cause, the state flag of Georgia was de-Confederated in 2001 and it was an excellent decision.