Frequently, I will allow someone whose perspectives differ radically from mine—even when I believe their perspectives are biased and immoral and fundamentally wrong—to make their case without allowing myself to automatically reject their arguments. Usually, I find their arguments weak and unpersuasive. Occasionally, though, my mind will not be changed about the position on the issue, but about the immorality and bias I assigned to the person making the case.
So it was today, when I read an impassioned argument that the Confederate flag should not be “thrown into the wastebin of history.” Though I still believe the Confederate flag is a symbol of hatred, I believe it is not always a symbol of hatred. For some, it really is a symbol of heritage. That notwithstanding, I have not changed my position on the flag; it should be preserved in museums and not in homes or in public buildings. But we should not ban it, any more than we should ban books. We should feel free to condemn it and the hatred associated with it. But we should take in account those who want and need a symbol of their heritage and help them identify other symbols that do not carry with them the pain that flag inflicts on others.