Tags: Confederate Flag | Jeb Bush | Confederate | Flag | Swastika | Charleston

Confederate Flag Same as Swastika

Monday, 29 June 2015 09:56 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Now that the victims of the tragic Charleston church massacre have been laid to rest, it is time to reflect on the political implications of the aftermath.

As a black American, I consider the Confederate battle flag just as offensive as most Jews would a flag bearing a Swastika — the symbol of the Nazi holocaust.

The Confederate flag was born, bred, and revered by Southern Democrats as a symbol of what the old Confederacy stood for: slavery, as exemplified by Charleston’s historic “Old Slave Mart” museum; lynchings; and the “Jim Crow” segregationist South.

Therefore, I was extremely proud of Gov. Nikki Haley, R-S.C., for her exhibition of political leadership and courage when she struck a blow for racial harmony and healing after the horrific race-based murders by calling for the removal of the flag from the state Capitol grounds.

Just as I was proud of Haley for her leadership, I was disappointed at the responses of most of the GOP presidential candidates who decided to take a walk rather than step up to the leadership plate.

With the exception of Jeb Bush who immediately stated that he had the flag removed from Florida’s Capitol when he became governor and implicitly encouraged South Carolina to do the same, most punted by passing the buck to South Carolina.

While Bush’s actions were unilateral and proactive, the other candidates seemed to be more concerned about not offending white voters in next year’s South Carolina primary than they were in standing up for the principle that symbols of hate and oppression have no place on public grounds.

In doing so, unlike Haley, they are on the wrong side of history. They misjudged and underestimated public and political sentiment among South Carolina white voters who elected Haley, an Indian-American female, and Tim Scott, the first black elected statewide since Reconstruction — Republicans both. That speaks volumes for South Carolina voters.

Following Haley’s lead, South Carolina lawmakers overwhelmingly approved a measure enabling a debate on the issue; the Republican governor of Alabama ordered the removal of the flag from the state capitol grounds; and, Walmart, Amazon, and other retailers are removing Confederate memorabilia. Like Haley, they are being decisive.

If the GOP candidates were worried about the reaction of white evangelicals to supporting removal of the flag, they were not listening to Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, the nation’s largest Protestant denomination who said, in part:

“The Confederate battle flag was the emblem of Jim Crow defiance to the civil rights movement, of the Dixiecrat opposition to integration, and of the domestic terrorism of the Ku Klux Klan and the White Citizens’ Councils of our all too recent, all too awful history.”

When it comes to racial tolerance, actions speak louder than words. Haley’s actions let most of the GOP presidential candidates off the hook — for now.

She called the bluff of those on the left who had hoped to make political hay out of the flag issue to validate their view that America is a racist country thinking that she would not act. She fooled them. Even President Obama had to admit at the Rev. Clementa Pinckney’s funeral that her “eloquence on the subject is worthy of praise — as we all have to acknowledge.”

But, Republicans can’t continue to run from race.

Hillary and her race-baiting allies have already begun using it to rally their black base, realizing that it is the GOP’s political “third rail.” In fact, Obama injected it into his eulogy referring to “laws to make it harder for some of our fellow citizens to vote.”

The flag aside, there is much hypocrisy in this debate. Many of those calling for removal of the flag as a symbol of racism and intolerance and praising the Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage, are some of most intolerant and vicious when it comes to disrespecting those who have viewpoints that are not “politically correct.”

Just look at how the liberal left has treated Sen. Tim Scott, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, R-La., Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Congresswoman Mia Love, R-Utah — with disrespect and demeaning racial and ethnic-based insults. Or, at how many are calling those who disagree with the court’s marriage decision “bigots.” What is the left’s response? Silence.

Let’s see how long it will take them to join Obama and commend Haley for her leadership?

South Carolina state Sen. Paul Thurmond (R), son of the late former segregationist governor and United States Sen. Strom Thurmond, summed it up well when he said:

“I am proud to be on the right side of history regarding the removal of this symbol of racism and bigotry from the Statehouse . . . We must take down the Confederate flag and we must take it down now.”

Were his comments highlighted in mainstream media? Was he commended by the left? Of course not. That would not fit the left’s fraudulent narrative that “South Carolina and America are awash in racism!

Clarence V. McKee is president of McKee Communications, Inc., a government, political, and media relations consulting firm in Florida. He held several positions in the Reagan administration as well as in the Reagan presidential campaigns and has appeared on many national and local media outlets. Read more reports from Clarence V. McKee — Click Here Now.

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GOP candidates are on the wrong side of history in the Confederate flag dispute.
Confederate, Flag, Swastika, Charleston
Monday, 29 June 2015 09:56 AM
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