Too little, too late

Today, because of the racially motivated massacre at the Charleston church, Governor Nikki Haley finally called for the removal of the Confederate flag from the Capitol grounds. It took her almost an entire week to do something besides call for the death penalty for the shooter. She stood with Lindsay Graham and Tim Scott who previously were disinclined to comment on the matter, tho Scott did promise to have some “robust” conversation on the topic of race relations. Wisconsin’s own Reince Priebus even jumped on the flag removal bandwagon with his usual drivel about uniting people (actions speak louder than words, asshat). Since the Confederate flag had flown over the Statehouse until 2000 (just think about that…135 years after the end of the Civil War), we’ll see if the Legislature can muster the fortitude this time and remove it altogether. I have my doubts. WalMart has taken more of a stand by discontinuing the sale of Confederate merchandise than South Carolina officials…of course, they wouldn’t do anything as extreme as discontinuing the sale of firearms.

The sad fact is that the hatred behind the Confederate flag will still be there…whether or not it is still flying on the Capitol grounds or being sold at WalMart. What’s more, those in power want to maintain that hatred along with the economic (and social) slavery mindset that it supports. It is deeper than a symbol….it is fuel to the fire. As long as we are divided, especially along racial or class lines, the more likely we are to be exploited. America needs to face the facts…and demand more from ourselves and our leaders.


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5 thoughts on “Too little, too late

  1. Nancy, thanks.

    Impressed with Walmart. #wordsithoughtiwouldnevertype

    Haley could be positioning herself to run for President. She’s one of the GOP governors not running.

    It’s the right thing for the Republican party and the nation. If someone wants to hang it in their garage, the First Amendment protects them. It’s got no place on or in a government building.

  2. I went to school at the University of South Carolina my freshman year of college. My dorm (which has since been torn down, I wonder if they gave eviction notices to all the cockroaches) was about five blocks from the state house and I had a clear view of it every day as I went to class. At the time (this was 1999) the confederate flag flew atop the state house. I don’t recall if the order was US, SC, Confederate top to bottom or US, Confederate, SC (I believe the former but I am not totally sure). The debate then was whether or not to take the flag down off the capitol building. There were a few pretty big protests as I recall and in the end, the compromise was to move it where it is today, which I believe is the confederate war memorial, on the grounds of the state house.

    As a northerner I was more or less told to stay out of it, when it came to voicing my opinion on the flag, but the impression that I got from the pro flag people wasn’t a racist vibe so much as they were still mad about losing the war. I realize that sounds ridiculous, but I really felt like a lot of people down there treated the civil war as if it had just ended. More than once I was lectured on how the ‘south had better troops, the north just had more’.

    That’s not to say that there wasn’t racism. I distinctly remember a guy from my English class writing a letter to the editor in the school paper that basically stated the slaves were better off as slaves. My point is when people talk about their ‘southern heritage”, I don’t think they are lying. The problem is that part of that heritage includes buying and selling people as property, and all the other awful things that went along with slavery, and that flag is representative of it.

    1. “…part of that heritage includes buying and selling people…”

      Yes, Dan, but it has since been dramatically reduced to only buying members of Congress, regardless of ethnicity or color, by the 1%, slave masters thanks to the conservative majority on SCOTUS.

  3. Dan, appreciate your take. Per, “The Complicated Political History Of The Confederate Flag” confirms Governor Hollins first flew it in 1962, and exactly as you recall, below the U.S. and state flags.

    Per their declarations of secession, the south started the Civil War to preserve white supremacy and slavery. Please note the mention of the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

    “The Declaration of Causes of Seceding States, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia”

    While the subordination and the political and social inequality of the African race was fully conceded by all, it was plainly apparent that slavery would soon disappear from what are now the non-slave-holding States of the original thirteen.
    The prohibition of slavery in the Territories, hostility to it everywhere, the equality of the black and white races, disregard of all constitutional guarantees in its favor, were boldly proclaimed by its leaders and applauded by its followers. With these principles on their banners and these utterances on their lips the majority of the people of the North demand that we shall receive them as our rulers.

    The Constitution declares that persons charged with crimes in one State and fleeing to another shall be delivered up on the demand of the executive authority of the State from which they may flee, to be tried in the jurisdiction where the crime was committed. It would appear difficult to employ language freer from ambiguity, yet for above twenty years the non-slave-holding States generally have wholly refused to deliver up to us persons charged with crimes affecting slave property. Our confederates, with punic faith, shield and give sanctuary to all criminals who seek to deprive us of this property or who use it to destroy us.

    The Supreme Court unanimously, and their own local courts with equal unanimity (with the single and temporary exception of the supreme court of Wisconsin), sustained its constitutionality in all of its provisions. Yet it stands to-day a dead letter for all practicable purposes in every non-slave-holding State in the Union.
    In several of our confederate States a citizen cannot travel the highway with his servant who may voluntarily accompany him, without being declared by law a felon and being subjected to infamous punishments. It is difficult to perceive how we could suffer more by the hostility than by the fraternity of such brethren.

    For twenty years past the abolitionists and their allies in the Northern States have been engaged in constant efforts to subvert our institutions and to excite insurrection and servile war among us. They have sent emissaries among us for the accomplishment of these purposes. Some of these efforts have received the public sanction of a majority of the leading men of the Republican party in the national councils, the same men who are now proposed as our rulers. These efforts have in one instance led to the actual invasion of one of the slave-holding States, and those of the murderers and incendiaries who escaped public justice by flight have found fraternal protection among our Northern confederates.

    Why? Because by their declared principles and policy they have outlawed $3,000,000,000 of our property in the common territories of the Union; put it under the ban of the Republic in the States where it exists and out of the protection of Federal law everywhere; because they give sanctuary to thieves and incendiaries who assail it to the whole extent of their power, in spite of their most solemn obligations and covenants; because their avowed purpose is to subvert our society and subject us not only to the loss of our property but the destruction of ourselves, our wives, and our children, and the desolation of our homes, our altars, and our firesides.”

    White supremacist slave owners created the Stars and Bars as their symbol. The First Amendment protects American’s right to hang it in their garage, on private property. It has no place on or in a government building.

  4. Nancy, ot, and just fyi, I read in the JS comments that Gov. Haley is a Sikh and per that’s accurate.

    Whether that influenced her, whether the Oak Creek massacre of Sikh’s influenced her, I don’t know.

    You’re a terrific writer, really appreciate your contributions to BB.

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