The Confederate Flag a Symbol of Racism in America – SC Take it Down

I don’t know what angered and upset me the most – hearing about the nine blacks murdered in the Charleston, South Carolina African Methodist Episcopal church or hearing some of the nonsense coming from Republicans running for President.

This reminded me of a quote in the bible that basically says, that it’s better to be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

So when people like Lindsey Graham, the former SC Senator running for President says that the young man that killed nine blacks who were, by the way, just minding their business studying and worshiping, may not have been racially motivated. He went on to say that this young man is obviously sick; and by the way, Christians are being killed all around the world because of their religious beliefs.

Huh? Dude are you serious?

But Graham wasn’t alone, Republican candidates have struggled with whether and when to label the AME church attack as a racist act. The GOP mantra seems to be to suggest that the shooter might have been motivated by religious intolerance, or was simply mentally disturbed.

And just when I thought that Ben Carson, the lone black Republican running for President had lost his mind and was completely out of touch with most African Americans, he proved that he is still black.

In an editorial in the Washington Post, Carson says, “Not everything is about race in this country. But when it is about race, then it just is. So when a guy who has been depicted wearing a jacket featuring an apartheid-era Rhodesian flag walks into a historic black church and guns down nine African-American worshipers at a Bible study meeting, common sense leads one to believe his motivations are based in racism.”

Amen my brother! Finally Sen. Graham, the SC Governor Nikki Haley and a few other Republicans leaders in that state are calling for the flag to be removed.

So I don’t have to rehash what happened last week in Charleston, but I have to say that it was unbelievable, unimaginable, breath taking, and down right evil. I’m sorry folks racism and hatred is racism and hatred; and when a state or local government allows symbols of racism to hang over public buildings, it sends the message that those views are being condoned.

Yes, I am talking about the Confederate flag that flies of the South Carolina State Capitol building.

The issue of the Confederate flag is one that embodies the cultural and racial gap that exists in this country today. Those who fly the flag or wear it on a hat or bumper sticker consider themselves as simply proud Southerners – I suppose.

Those of us who are bothered by the notion of that some people feel that Confederate flag still has a place in American society are proud Southerners as well, but we seethe flag for what it really stands for – a symbol of everything still wrong in the South.

There is a reason that Barack Obama didn’t win one real“Southern” state. Of course, I am excluding Florida because it’s really a big melting pot of transplants from all around, but primarily the Northeast.

But the reason Obama didn’t win any true Southern states is closely related to the flying of the confederate flag – it has to do with both race and social ideologies.

As I just said, the proponents argue that the Rebel flag is simply a sign of Southern pride. As the proud banner of Southern nationalism, this crisscrossed ban of stars is supposed to represent the South’s struggle against the oppression from the North.

Sounds a bit ridicolous to me, but some even go as far to say that the Civil War was solely about state’s rights not slavery. I guess I can go with that – state’s rights to own slaves!

For those who claim that they fly the flag because of Southern heritage should simply read the Confederate constitution that states, “The citizens of each state shall be entitled to all the privileges and immunities of citizens in the several states, and shall have the right of transit and sojourn in any state of this Confederacy, with their slaves and other property; and the right of property in said slaves shall not be thereby impaired.”

The opponents of this grand Southern crest say that it’s a sign of the legacy of hatred and racism that was so openly endorsed in the South. Over a century and a half after the flags creation, it remains at the center of a cultural struggle between old and new, tradition and change, and heritage or hate.

For me it’s very simple. The flag sends a message that who ever flies it or places a bumper sticker on their vehicle is proud of its heritage and proud of what it represents – years of racism, lynching, segregation and those who feel that they are a part of a superior race.

I don’t think that I need to say this, but for most African Americans (and I should stress the word “most”) and people not of southern heritage the flag is a reminder of decades of slavery and segregation. And by the way, the war is over and the South lost.

The “Rebel” flag is a reminder of the hundreds, if not thousands of blacks that were lynched, raped and brutally murdered in the South. It’s a symbol of hate, ignorance and bigotry, which dominated the landscape of the Southern states.

I used the term “dominated” in the past tense, but one has to question how far we have truly come in the South. The Charleston church killings from last week bring home just how evil and racists some people can be. And to think – it’s the year 2015 and we are talking about racism, bigotry and hate.

But some would argue that we do not have race issues in this country. If I were in front of a jury I point out Charleston, SC and simply rest my case.

Signing off Jacksonville, FL,

Reggie Fullwood

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