Teen Sues Over Confederate Flag Prom Dress

Bob Hubbard

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Teen Sues Over Confederate Flag Prom Dress
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Author: AP Source: CNN
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Title: TEEN SUES OVER CONFEDERATE FLAG PROM DRESS

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A teenager is suing her school district for barring her from the prom last spring because she was wearing a dress styled as a large Confederate battle flag.

The lawsuit filed Monday in U.S. District Court claims the Greenup County district and administrators violated Jacqueline Duty's First Amendment right to free speech and her right to celebrate her heritage at predominantly white Russell High School's prom May 1. She also is suing for defamation, false imprisonment and assault.

"Her only dance for her senior prom was on the sidewalk to a song playing on the radio," said her lawyer, Earl-Ray Neal.

Duty, 19, is seeking actual and punitive damages in excess of $50,000.
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auxprix

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This young lady should just give up. No matter how the courts work out, she still loses. A confederate flag dress... how tacky. I mean, even my date had the decent enough taste to go with the Union Jack.

Jokes aside, she should have been able to wear it, but I'm not going to allow myself to care. And come on...$50,000? I'd be interested to see what these "actual" damages are.
 

michaeledward

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I agree ... she has every right to be an insensitive caucasion. Nothin' quite like disregarding one of the most long lasting symbols of oppression and slavery. I even hope she wins the battle. Perhaps soon, this war will finally come to a close.


Mike
 

kenpo tiger

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Want to know why she's going to lose?
An interesting companion article from today's NY Times:

Signs of Confederacy Are Vanishing in the South

[size=-1]By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS [/size]
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Published: December 25, 2004


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ITTLE ROCK, Ark., Dec. 24 (AP) - From renaming Confederate Boulevard in Arkansas to shrinking "Heart of Dixie" on Alabama's license plates, the South is slowly erasing reminders of its Civil War past for fear of offending tourists and scaring off business.

"Business people and tourists don't know what to think about slavery, elitism, the Civil War," said Ted Ownby of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi. "So one way is to give them an easy out. We'll change the name of this building, this street, change this display."

Over the last few years, more and more references to the Confederacy seem to be vanishing around the South. At Vanderbilt University in Nashville last year, Confederate Memorial Hall became simply Memorial Hall. The University of Mississippi dropped "Colonel Rebel" as its on-field mascot. Georgia reduced, and then eventually removed, a Confederate symbol from its state flag.

In Little Rock, the switch from Confederate Boulevard to Springer Boulevard was made in November, just before the opening of Bill Clinton's presidential library.

John Shelton Reed, a professor emeritus at the Center for the Study of the American South at the University of North Carolina, said that the trend was clear, and that business interests coupled with concern among blacks were the catalysts.

"Businesses named Dixie this and Dixie that, there are fewer of them than there used to be," Professor Shelton said. "If you're a business person, why do you want a name that's going to raise anybody's hackles?"

Mayor Jim Dailey of Little Rock said the Confederate Boulevard sign was changed after city officials noted that it was often the first thing visitors saw after arriving at the Little Rock airport. With the world's eyes on the opening of the Clinton library last month, and with millions of tourism dollars at stake, the city sought a different first impression.

Ron Casteel, chief of staff for the Sons of Confederate Veterans, called the removal of rebel reminders a "disgusting trend."

"We honor everyone else's traditions and heritage: why should we discriminate against Confederate heritage?" Mr. Casteel said.

Larry Griffin, a sociology and history professor at the University of North Carolina, said that the symbols should be placed in context.

"We don't want to rewrite the past so moments are silenced or hidden," Professor Griffin said. "The past needs to be observed and engaged, warts and all. There are places that would be proper sites for these kinds of symbols. It could be in a museum, in a national park or any of the Civil War battlefields."
 

MA-Caver

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I wouldn't think one way or another about her dress, it was tacky to begin with, flag notwithstanding.
Yes, the confederate states were responsible for most of the slavery and oppression and bla bla bla. But if they want to ban a flag just because it represents all of those things then they need to ban the Union Jack, French, Spain and the Stars and Stripes as well since those countries (among others) were involved in the slavery trade as well. Just as bad.
True, the confederate states were among the last to end the slavery trade at the end of the civil war, it doesn't make them more evil. I'm not advocating or trying to take sides because IMO there are no sides to this issue.
Slavery is a done dead deal. Over and done with. Bad memories to be sure but it's P-A-S-T. We need to know it happened, know that it was ended, look back on it -- shake our heads in sadness-- and move on.
Blacks have long since proven themselves to be outstanding statesmen, policitans, business people, athletes, entertainers, soldiers/sailors/combat pilots, and so forth. They have moved up from being oppressed to being equals among those who held their ancestors in bondage.
Dwelling upon it helps promote racism, dwelling upon the riots and horrible things that happened in the south (and elsewhere) during the late 50's and 60's helps keep racism alive. Associating symbols to those events when they represented a lot more than just slavery promotes racism.
I don't think the girl was promoting racism or slavery by wearing that god-awful dress. Because if she was wearing it for that purpose then she would've said so right? But then no-one is that stupid are they:rolleyes: ? So basically they're going to have to go after the dress manufacturer as well as they would be just as guilty.
I agree she shouldn't win her case but mainly because she showed up at a piviotal event in her life wearing a tacky dress. I wonder if the blacks in her school had anything to say about it? If they were offended?

I dunno :idunno:... am I missing something here?
 

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michaeledward

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She should win her case. The First Amendment to the Constitution supports free speech.

In her case, she is using that freedom to declare her (apparent) pride in a symbol of treason, oppression, and slavery. She made this dress herself. She spent, as I understand it, four years planning to wear this dress.

To compare the Confederate Flag to the Union Jack is not valid for this discussion. While the British lost a war to the United States, they were and remained an independent nation. The Confederate States lost the war in their attempt to succeed from the Union. As such, the continued display of the Stars and Bars is a continued expression of rebellion against the authority of the Union. (I remind you that one of the first actions taken by the United States after the invasion of Iraq was to create a new flag for that country).

This issue is much bigger than the "blacks in her school". The Confederate Flag is a symbol of the most costly war in which this country ever engaged. More than 600,000 Americans died.

Perhaps, this last paragraph from Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address should be a special assignment for this young lady.

Abraham Lincoln said:
With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.
 

Satt

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I think the dress is pretty hot!!! He he. I would've taken her to my prom. I love a southern girl with pride!!! Let me at her!!!

:partyon:
 

Kreth

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Well, a similar argument could be made against wearing a Catholic crucifix, as it represents an organization that was responsible for the Spanish Inquistion (not to mention it represents an ancient Roman form of torture and execution)... ;)
I personally think the PC movement has gone way too far. I'm sure many people in Afghanistan, Somalia, and Iraq see the Stars and Stripes as a symbol of oppression. It's all a matter of perspective. Many Southerners had no involvement in slavery and see the Confederate flag as a symbol of pride in their heritage.

Jeff
 

Jay Bell

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I'm with Jeff. Why is it that people automatically equate the Union Jack with slavery and racism? There was a hell of a lot more to it then that..

Yet another liberal double standard. Neat.
 

Nightingale

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funny... I'm a liberal, and I agree with you.

I think that the effort to wipe out a large part of our nation's history is shortsited and just plain stupid. The south has a lot to be proud of, and I've got no problem with confederate flags. The symbol is a part of our history and shouldn't be forgotten.
 
R

rmcrobertson

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People probably equate the Confederate Flag (which isn't a Union Jack, it's a version of the Cross of St. Andrew, though one could be wrong) with the Confederacy, with slavery, and with ongoing racism because of the century and a half of Klan marches, American Nazi imagery, racist attackers of civil rights, bumper stickers on pickup trucks driven by beer-swilling yahoos, "White Power," demonstrators, and assorted other displays by extreme right-wingers angry about integration in all its forms.

It's ludicrous to claim that this Flag is simply a symbol of Southern independence vs. Northern capitalism. That isn't even remotely its history--and while this silly child has the right to wear whatever she pleases, it's a guarantee that she is NOT doing this merely to wear a, "symbol of pride in their heritage."

Scratch this surface, and it's guaranteed that you find a white suprematist group.

Two other points occur: a) there've been an awful lot of these, "civil rights," cases brought by white rightists lately; b) it'd be cool if all the black students showed up for the Prom in full Klan regalia (Kleagle and Cyclops level...much prettier colors) and all the other students showed up in clothes with, say, the lynched body of Emmett Till silk-screened on both sides.

Then we could see the Confederate Flag in its proper perspective.

'Course, better still would be if everybody just sighed and ignored her.
 

Cryozombie

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michaeledward said:
As such, the continued display of the Stars and Bars is a continued expression of rebellion against the authority of the Union.
So, of course, it should also be removed from Museums, not allowed on the Battlefield of Civil War Re-enactments, airbrushed out of text books, etc... correct?

After all, a prominent Chicago Museum has a Replica of an Old Chicago Street, including store fronts, brick streets, and hitching posts and lawn-jockeys... but the African-american population was offended by the lawn-jockeys IN THE MUSEUM, so instead of preserving the history as it was, they were painted white...

So lets remove the confederate flag altogether as well, so as to be P.C. and not offend anyone... Cuz you know being PC is more important than, uh... THE TRUTH.
 
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rmcrobertson

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Nope, not at all. None of these images should be destroyed, or hidden.

And let's also not...ah, whitewash...what they mean, and what their history is, and why people use them.

Oh, and incidentally...let's try for better schools, in which kids learn both good history and decent manners.
 

kenpo tiger

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rmcrobertson said:
Nope, not at all. None of these images should be destroyed, or hidden.

And let's also not...ah, whitewash...what they mean, and what their history is, and why people use them.

Oh, and incidentally...let's try for better schools, in which kids learn both good history and decent manners.

*sound of tiger paws clapping* Robertson, you rock -- in spite of yourself at times...

I agree with your assertion that 'this child' was wearing the dress to make a statement. Otherwise, why spend four years of her life making it?

It's all I can do to not *utter* 'redneck', in spite of that country singer doing so well with her song stating that she is one. The connotations of that lifestyle supersede being politically correct about it, to my way of thinking.
 

Cryozombie

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Wow. I agree with Robert for a change... whaddaya know.

Say...

Is the confederate flag prom dress:

a) Better than
b) the same as
c) Worse than

Malcom X hats and Tshirts.

After all, Up until 1964, He preached that whites were evil, and thereby the Malcom X clothing is ALSO perceivable as racist in nature... Yet I have not heard of it being banned anywhere...
 
R

rmcrobertson

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1. Don't be so shocked. Mostly, I'm right--it's just that one's occasional spectacular screwups more than counterbalance this.

2. One agrees--it's odd that some of the folks who most vehemently wave that Stars and Bars are the very same folks who jump all OVER the slightest questioning of this country, let alone any namby-pamby flag-burning.

3. Malcolm X--unlike, say, Nathan Bedford Forrest--grew up. He changed, for the better--and gave his life, in part, for that change. Anybody know any of the Confederate Flag-wavers who can say as much?

4. Again: the history of that flag ties it intimately to the Klan, to Nazism in this country, to dogs and fire-hoses aimed at people who want to vote, to Goodman and Schwerner and Chaney.

5. When, say, James Baldwin gets a flag, we can all wave that 'un.
 

RandomPhantom700

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Whatever the connotations of this redneck's dress may be, it remains a civil liberties (or is it civil rights? I still don't have the distinction down pat; I know that there is one) issue. The KKK are allowed to hold their rallies in the name of free speech, despite how ignorant and inciteful their message is. The courts have allowed anti-war wristbands to be worn to school, despite their controversy during Vietnam. As far as rights and courts are concerned, she should be allowed to wear the dress, no matter how backward the ideology that back's it is.
 

michaeledward

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Jay Bell said:
I'm with Jeff. Why is it that people automatically equate the Union Jack with slavery and racism? There was a hell of a lot more to it then that..

Yet another liberal double standard. Neat.
Jay Bell ... the 'Union Jack' is a term for the British Flag. While there is a resemblence to the the Confederate flag, they are not now the same, nor ever were they. The common term for the Confederate Flag is the 'Stars and Bars', used in this thread by rmcrobertson and myself.

For a brief understanding of why the Confederate Flag is automatically equated with slavery and racism, you could review rmcrobertson's thoughtful posts, or perhaps visit Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

President Lincoln there stated that the battle fought there was part of a war testing whether any nation, concieved in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal can long endure.

It may not have been the only reason for 618,000 American deaths, but it seems to me it was a doozy.

I'll gladly listen to other arguments to counter Mister Lincoln's assessment.

Mike

Post Script ... Jay Bell, My apologies. ... The 'Stars and Bars' was the official Confederate Flag ... but not the one on the Dukes of Hazzard car. The Common flag we associate with the Confederate States is one of the Confederate Battle flags, known as the Navy Jack.

http://www.usflag.org/confederate.stars.and.bars.html
 

michaeledward

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Technopunk said:
So, of course, it should also be removed from Museums, not allowed on the Battlefield of Civil War Re-enactments, airbrushed out of text books, etc... correct?
That's not my suggestion. Those who don't know history, are doomed to repeat it.

Technopunk said:
So lets remove the confederate flag altogether as well, so as to be P.C. and not offend anyone... Cuz you know being PC is more important than, uh... THE TRUTH.
I do think a critical eye should be turned to State Buildings where the flag is displayed. Not because of Political Correctness, but because the South Lost the civil war.
 
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