Additional Thoughts on the Confederate Flag Debate

SC Confederate Flag

When we Southerners do something, we do it big and loud. That includes scandal, drama, and controversy. As I’ve watched the ongoing Confederate flag debate since my last post, here are some additional thoughts that have come to mind, in no particular order.

1. This was a cultivated controversy.

There wasn’t any talk about the Confederate flag, initially. The focus was on what actually happened and the outpouring of support for Charleston, AME Church, and the victims’ families. The media and Democrats are the ones who skillfully brought the flag into focus. Why? Because Charleston isn’t Ferguson, or Baltimore. We meet hatred and racism with love in South Carolina. They couldn’t have that, so they created a controversy with the potential to tear us apart as surely as the riots in Ferguson did. Guess what? It’s working.

2. This is no longer about the Charleston victims.

They have faded from the public eye as the Confederate flag takes center stage. Suddenly, it’s no longer about the unity of Charleston and the forgiveness of the families. This terrible tragedy has been exploited to fuel a political debate. The victims’ families weren’t blaming the flag. They were spreading the love and forgiveness of Christ. That is the true solution for racism and where our focus as a state should be. Instead, we’ve lost sight of all of that as we go on a Confederate flag witch hunt.

3. Freedom of speech is in great danger now.

There’s a difference between what is displayed on state property and what a citizen displays on his own property. However, what with the Confederate flag now being equated with racism and killing, we are not far at all from the point where people won’t be allowed to disrespectfully disagree on the flag. As I said in my last post, the flag truly does mean different things to different people, and that’s okay. You are not an evil person if you display the flag, but we are starting to forget that.

4. The Confederacy itself was a Democrat movement.

The Democrat party was unequivocally pro-slavery and led the secession movement when the newly-minted Republican party (composed of abolitionists) took the White House. They were the ones who flew the flag, and they were the ones who embraced white supremacy. After the war, the KKK went around terrorizing white Republicans as well as blacks, seeking to keep the Democrats in power. So….are House Minority Leader Todd Rutherford and the rest of his henchmen going to renounce the party that was behind all of this racism? And if they insist that the Democrat party stands for different things now, couldn’t that be true of the flag as well?

5. Nikki Haley doesn’t deserve a VP nod just because she called for the flag to come down.

With the eyes of the nation on SC, she had to say something, and she certainly wasn’t going to take what was shaping up to be a very unpopular stand. Lay off on the VP talk already.

6. If the SC General Assembly truly wants to prevent this from happening again…

…one good place to start is to expand the rights of citizens to defend themselves from crazy killers. All these mass shootings have one thing in common: they happen in gun-free zones. Coincidence? Nope. If one person with a gun had been in that church, he could have stopped Dylann Roof. I am pretty sure Roof didn’t care whether the Confederate flag was flying or not on Statehouse grounds. But would it have made a difference if he knew there was a good possibility one of those church members was carrying? Most likely. The guy wasn’t crazy, unfortunately.

7. There is a place for revisiting the flag.

I have very strong opinions on it myself. But discussing the flag right now politicizes the Charleston tragedy, and that is the worst form of disrespect we could be guilty of.

8. You don’t pass legislation to make statements.

You pass legislation to take care of state business. Our legislative session is over and we have yet to pass a budget. All of that has been shoved to the backburner as the General Assembly argues about the Confederate flag. How is that responsible? It isn’t.


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