Larry Parsons, Warner

After World War II, Germany enacted laws banning swastikas, Nazi propaganda, pro-Hitler material and everything having to do with the darkest stain on their past. These laws are still on the books including Volksverhetzung; incitement of the people, or hate speech. They also have a law criminalizing Holocaust denial.

Would that this country had the foresight to act similarly after the Civil War. Instead, Northerners basically engaged in appeasement, the same type of which British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain engaged in toward Hitler. In a misplaced spirit of "reconstruction," only a small handful of rebel leaders saw prison time. Jefferson Davis served barely two years, the last year in what today would be called a white-collar prison. Robert E. Lee never saw one second behind bars. And instead of banishing every trace of the rebel's part in the bloody insurrection, they were allowed to erect statues to honor traitors, enact Jim Crow laws, terrorize Black families with lynch mobs and burnings, and basically teach generations of Southerners of how their "heritage," as symbolized by the stars and bars, had been tarnished and stolen.

The only relevant thing about a confederate flag is that the number of stars on it exceeds the number of working brain cells in the heads of white supremacists. Other than that it's nothing but a disgusting filthy piece of cloth which should be seized and set ablaze. Their "southern heritage" is really very simple: that the white race has the right to own other races as property.

Speaking of flags, how many presidents prior to Trump had their names on flags? Answer: Zero. These domestic terrorists pledge allegiance to him, not America. Anyone with a Trump flag and a Confederate flag flying side by side really should receive a visit from the FBI.

On Jan. 6 Trump was guilty of Volksverhetzung. He initiated a coup, and he's responsible for everything that resulted from it. For that he should spend the rest of his life in prison. And since Trumpism is nothing but a cult, his followers need deprogramming, which is the recommended treatment for cultists of any variety. These people have been poisoned and need some serious help. And as long as they're allowed to fly their flags of hate and disloyalty, we're doomed to repeat out mistakes.

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