South Carolina must disown the flag of Dylann Roof South Carolina is one of only two states that display the Confederate flag on its statehouse grounds.
It has done so for over 50 years, with pride and conviction. But the murder of nine African Americans by an apparent white supremacist, has prompted renewed calls in Charleston to finally remove it. South Carolina State Rep. Bakari Sellers toldmsnbc's Thomas RobertsFridaythat one the first things the legislature can do in response to the tragedy would be "to take the Confederate flag down a symbol of so much despair." An NBC News online survey releasedFridaymorningfound that 57% of white Americans view the Confederate flag as a symbol of southern pride, while 81% of black Americans understand it as a symbol of racism. The survey, conducted by Survey Monkey, was carried out from June 3 to June 5, before the Charleston attack. RELATED:South Carolina Confederate flag not lowered to half staff after massacre The success of this re branding is not based in any actual ambiguity about what the flag was created to represent. Rather, it reflects a nation's unwillingness to take ownership of its white supremacist past. Those who believe the Battle Flag of the Confederacy is not a symbol of racial hatred lean on one of two arguments. The first is that the cause it represented wasn't launched to maintain the enslavement of black people, but the freedom of the states. The second is that regardless of what it was initially intended to represent, it is now a symbol of a region's heritage, and the sacrifice of those who were made to defend it. The men who created the Confederate flag were quite explicit about the nature of the cause it was made to represent. The phrase "state's rights" appears nowhere in South Carolina'sdeclaration of secession. The word "slave" appears 18 times. The document uses the phrase "slaveholding States" as a synonym for the states of the Confederacy, and justifies secession on the grounds that white southerners' constitutional right to hold dark skinned human beings as property would be threatened by remaining in the union. Once the appeal to a noble cause is surrendered, supporters of the Confederate flag are pandora bracelets on sale left to defend it as a commemoration of history, and of the common soldier, who did not have any control over the war's inception, but merely defended his pandora jewelry rings place of birth. That was the line taken by former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell when he declared April"Confederate History Month"in 2010. Among the justifications for the month offered in itsestablishing proclamationwas the following: "It is important for all Virginians to reflect upon our Commonwealth shared history, to understand the sacrifices of the Confederate leaders, soldiers and citizens during the period of the Civil War."On the surface, this appeal to commemorating sacrifice doesn't require taking a distorted view of the Confederacy's founding purpose. But such an appeal is only palatable if its actual founding purpose is obscured. Germany doesn't fly the Nazi flag in front of its capital to honor all those Nazi soldiers who weren't personally anti Semitic, but courageously carried out the orders they were given. They don't do pandora prices for bracelets this because, as a society, they have accepted that Nazism was a great evil. And having accepted this, they recognize that sacrificing one's life to defend your homeland's evil order is not an honorable pursuit; it is a tragic one. If the southern states wished to remember their Confederate history rather than to revise it, they wouldn't display their former flag on license plates or statehouse lawns, but in an exhibit at a museum for the victims of American white supremacy. The morning after the nightmare in Charleston, President Obama recalled the memory of four of those victims. Coates argues that Dylann Storm Roof, who opened fireWednesdaynight inside the Charleston church, understood the true make your own pandora bracelet nature of the Confederacy better than his kin and that he "honored his flag in exactly the manner it always demanded with human sacrifice." The good people of South Carolina are not broken in the way that Roof is.
They are revolted by his crime, and when they look at the stars and bars they do not see the flag that he saw. But they must. Because until they do, they will concern themselves merely with Dylann Roof, and not the system, way of life, and philosophy that produced him.
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