As in, near the state capital building in Columbia. See? There it is. Still flying so proudly in the sky.
Although many notable Republicans have refused to take a stand on what those stars and bars mean to them (say hi to Mr. Huckabee and Santorum), America has been speaking about it for decades. The supporters of Dixie claim that the flag is a “reminder of heritage.” Everyone else sees it as a “reflection of hate.”
Those who have signed petitions and expressed disgust are the latest in a long line of dissenters: the Civil War surrender at Appomattox Courthouse on April 9, 1865 has been the longest “cease-fire” in U.S. history.
Following the harrowing incident at the historically black Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, a few things were clear:
- There’s a special place in hell for Dylann Roof and his “88 friends on Facebook” (FYI — 88 is a skinhead nod with “H” being the eighth letter in the alphabet, as in ‘Heil, Hitler.’ Yes, that’s real.)
- The majority of this country is so done with the vocal minority that believe racism is still okay “as long as you keep it to yourself.”
- Gov. Nikki Haley and Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina politics fame really didn’t care about that aforementioned flag until now. In fact, they defended its presence less than a week ago.
Think of this like a PR person or a journalist: Why hasn’t that flag come down yet? While Southern heritage is something to cherish, perception can be reality–and most perceive the flag to stand for a group of states that fought to preserve the practice of slavery. The reality is what this flag represents to the masses, yet, there it flies.
And then Dylann Roof walked into that church only to leave remind all of us that heritage can be cherished but racial ignorance should be crushed. Ergo, Haley and Graham had an epiphany: Let’s remove the flag.
“Today, we are here in a moment of unity in our state, without ill will, to say it is time to move the flag from the Capitol grounds,” Haley said during a news conference attended by Republican senators Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott, along with other state leaders.
“The murderer, now locked up in Charleston, said he hoped his actions would start a race war. We have an opportunity to show that not only was he wrong, but that just the opposite is happening,” Haley said. “My hope is that by removing a symbol that divides us, we can move our state forward in harmony, and we can honor the nine blessed souls who are now in heaven.”
The Palmetto State is definitely not unified on timing, because plenty of people within the state have been calling for that flag to come down since before Dylann Roof was even born.
Today the South Carolina General Assembly said that it “is expected to consider whether to amend its agenda” to allow state lawmakers to even hold a vote on Haley’s suggestion. So the Assembly will consider whether to consider its own governor’s suggestion that maybe the flag should come down at some unspecified date in the future. Who even knows?!
This is a poor excuse for progress.
#PRWin for the act…sort of. #PRFail for the spark that caused it.
[Pic via Chris Hondros/Getty Images]