The Confederate flag has long been known as a symbol of hatred and racism in the United States. Defenders of the historically prejudice mindset that the flag represents consistently try to write it off as nothing more than a showing of “Southern pride,” but people of all races and backgrounds have protested against the flying of the flag for decades.
In the wake of the horrific Emmanuel AME church shooting massacre in which self-proclaimed racist murderer Dylan Roof intentionally took the lives of 9 innocent African-American church members during a weekly bible study meeting in Charleston, South Carolina, the masses are yet again speaking out against the Confederate flag still being allowed to fly in the state.
Republican Governor Nikki Haley has repeatedly attempted to defend the continued presence of the flag in South Carolina government buildings over the last few years. Following an abundance of public requests to remove the flag in light of the shootings, she has responded by making various generalized statements in which she seems to refuse to acknowledge racism as the driving factor behind murderer Dylan Roof’s actions. When confronted with the topic of removing the flag from all government buildings in South Carolina during a gubernatorial debate back in October of 2014, she responded with this:
“What I can tell you is over the last three and a half years, I spent a lot of my days on the phones with CEOs and recruiting jobs to this state. I can honestly say I have not had one conversation with a single CEO about the Confederate flag.
But we really kind of fixed all that when you elected the first Indian-American female governor. When we appointed the first African-American U.S. senator, that sent a huge message.”
As the Confederate flag continues to fly high in South Carolina in the wake of the recent shooting, Governor Haley told CBS on Friday that now is not the time to have a political debate over the removal.
“What we hope is that we do the things South Carolinians do, which is have the conversation, allow some thoughtful words to be exchanged, be kind about it, come together on what we’re trying to achieve and how we’re trying to do it. I think the state will start talking about that again, and we’ll see where it goes.
To start having policy conversations with the people of South Carolina, I understand that’s what y’all want. My job is to heal the people of this state.”
Whether not not Governor Nikki Haley or any other government official wants to admit it, there’s no question that the Confederate flag has and always will represent racism, hatred and prejudice. Multiple petitions have been established to urge Nikki Haley and her counterparts to have the flag removed immediately, with one petition even garnering over 300,000 signatures so far.
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