Confederate Flag Sale Banned at County Fair Because Someone’s Feelings Got Hurt

What makes this story unusual is that Vernon County is virtually all white. More than 97% of its residents are white while less than one percent are African-American.

But apparently it takes only one offended individual to get the County Fair Board to institute a ban. At its June meeting, the 11-member board voted to bar the sale of the Confederate flag. John McClelland, Jr., board vice president, explained why the nonprofit organization took the stand it did.

As a board, we decided it wasn’t a necessary item. It’s a piece of our history, but someone got their feelings hurt. So we decided not to sell it.”

Now the criteria for deciding suitable items allowed for sale at the fair depends on those items not hurting a single person’s feelings or offending anyone. Can’t wait to see what comes out of this year’s fair.

The brouhaha began at last year’s fair when Mark Kastel, the offended party, confronted the vendor selling the flag. Clearly not amused at Kastel’s approach, the vendor became angry and allegedly began cursing at Kastel, who provided the following rationale for his position.

It angers me personally because I consider (the Confederate battle flag) a symbol of hate. Family members of mine who were active in the Civil Rights Movement were beaten up in the past.”

One man’s symbol of hate can be another man’s symbol of pride in his ancestors, as well as an expression of free speech.

Kastel filed a police report against the vendor and began his campaign to get the flag banned.

His main argument was that because the nonprofit organization that runs the fair receives county assistance it should be treated as a public entity and therefore shouldn’t tolerate the presence of the flag.

After approving the ban, the fair board received some backlash from those who disliked the decision. McClelland acknowledged that when he sees the flag he’s reminded of the “Dukes of Hazard” television program from the late 1970s, and doesn’t think of racism or hate.

It goes both ways,” McClelland said. “You make two people happy and 50 people get angry.”

In turn, Kastel sees the controversy through the eyes of today’s liberals who believe no one anywhere, at any time, should ever be offended, unless they don’t believe what liberals do.

I just don’t have a lot of sympathy for people who claim that (the Confederate battle flag) is some important part of their heritage. I’m asking the board to be conciliatory to everybody in the community. Even if there is one person negatively affected by this, that’s too many.”

It’s hard to figure how supporting the view of one offended individual over the community at large is the least bit conciliatory.

Source: Lacrosse Tribune




Leave a Reply

Pin It on Pinterest