Tags: Newsmax Prime | Armstrong Williams | Charleston | massacre | cousin | hate | symbol

Armstrong Williams: 'Flags Don't Hate, People Hate'

By    |   Monday, 22 Jun 2015 08:13 PM

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley's call for the Confederate flag to be removed from the state capitol in the wake of last week's race-hate massacre in Charleston is "not a principled position" but rather reflects "political pressure," black conservative commentator Armstrong Williams tells Newsmax TV.

In a raw and emotional interview with Newsmax Prime host J.D. Hayworth Monday, Armstrong says his cousin, the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, pastor of Emanuel AME Church and a state lawmaker, was the first of nine victims of racist shooter Dylann Roof last Wednesday, "taken for no reason at all."

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Yet in the aftermath of the bloodshed, the call to remove the Confederate flag at state buildings in Columbia, S.C., is a "Pyrrhic victory," Armstrong said.

"Nikki Haley and now [Sen.] Lindsey Graham and … Sen. Tim Scott [are] calling for its removal where they defended it … before," he said. "It just shows you the tides that are changing with what happened in South Carolina at the church in Charleston and they're giving in to political pressure."

"I'm not going to say they're wrong," he added. "But I will say this, it's not a principled position because [by] taking the flag down, will all these issues just dissipate and no longer exist? They answer is resoundingly no."

Armstrong argued symbols didn't cause, nor will they solve, deeper problems plaguing the nation.

"Flags don't hate, guns don't hate, symbols don't hate. People hate," he said. "We're often using symbolism to make us feel as though that we've solved the spiritual illness that ails us, and yet we haven't even scratched the surface," he said.

Armstrong confessed he is struggling with the death of his revered cousin, and the eight other innocents – and can't yet forgive Roof.

"You cannot heal, you cannot let go of your anger, your bitterness, you will have sorrow unless you forgive," Armstrong said, "That's the way that Christ taught us. For me, it's a very difficult thing in this situation because I certainly have not forgiven. But hopefully I'll get there. … Because that means the terrorist was defeated, not the people in that church."

He added he's not even sure when that forgiveness will come.

"How can you forgive someone who has not asked for forgiveness?" he said. "He's never shown any remorse for his terrorist attack, he never said he was sorry. Have the Jews forgiven Hitler? No."

Roof said Roof represents a dark truth in America.

"No one at prayer service who welcomes someone in would think that they're there to take their lives and everybody else's there," he said. "[Roof] sat there beside my cousin. In fact, my cousin was the first to die. What kind of person, soulless, no conscience, what has happened to our young people? Is their spirituality dead? Does it not exist?"

"This young man is only representative of more young people in this country when we see their behavior," he added. "Where's this country going? How are we going to save it? We've got to turn back to God, we've got to turn back to spirituality, the right values, the right heart, the right understanding, that every life is irreplaceable, every life is valuable...."

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South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley's call for the Confederate flag to be removed from the state capitol in the wake of last week's race-hate massacre in Charleston is "not a principled position" but rather reflects "political pressure," black conservative...
Armstrong Williams, Charleston, massacre, cousin, hate, symbol, people, hate
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2015-13-22
Monday, 22 Jun 2015 08:13 PM
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