How many times must America win this war?
Written by John M Disque
The debate over the removal of the Confederate flag from state property, and everything it stands for, is anything but new. It's been going on for over 150 years and there have always been those opposed to it being flown and promoted on state, taxpayer property. But the debate never picked up much steam as legislators always insisting it was nothing more than a symbol of southern heritage. Those opposed were always outnumbered and would return home in defeat.
The final Straw
On June 17, 2015 a young white male walked into a historic black church in Charleston, SC and opened fire.
When the smoke cleared - nine people lay dead including state senator and pastor Clementa C. Pinckney.
As a two-state manhunt for Dylann Roof pursued, the horrendous act was quickly labeled a major federal hate crime with racism being the main motive in the killings.
As Roof was in the act of killing, he repeatedly said, “I have to do it. You rape our women and you’re taking over our country. And you have to go.”
While the killer was on the run, amateur internet sleuths from around the world lent their hand to the investigation and it didn't take long for them to put the pieces together. A day after Roof was captured and arrested some in the media uncovered a little-known website with a picture-journal brightly exposing exactly who Roof is and what he stands for.
The debate over what the Confederate flag stands-for with each individual person has been going on for nearly two centuries and can go on forever. It's not the point.
It's a fact to a large-enough-percentage, on both sides of the debate, that it represents hate, racism, divide, judgment, suppression, death, torture and a horrible war within our own people.
What's worse: when the flag is celebrated and promoted via state property, it's a message to the black community that the state does not support or care about them.... "They're on their own and the state actually condones their suffrage."
Enough is enough
States to take action on the outlawing of the Confederate Flag on tax-payer state, county & city property...
Retailers already banning sales: Walmart, Amazon, Sears & eBay
Manufacturers and other companies supporting the ban: Apple, Nascar, Boeing, BMW, Valley Forge Flag and Michelin.
The entertainment industry is chiming in on social media with many famous actors and musicians calling for change.
More states are expected to get in and debate with all eyes on Georgia, Florida, Texas, Louisiana and West Virginia.
While the state of Arkansas does not fly the flag on Capital building grounds, the state flag does feature a blue star that's meant to commemorate the confederacy.
Shortly after Dylann Roof's history with the confederate flag was released by the media... some AR state legislators began questioning their own changes and that has grown to very heated debates with residents of AK chiming in from both sides of the issue on social media.
AR Governor Asa Hutchinson says, "It's part of history but, you know, it should not be utilized as a symbol for current events, it is history."
Some property owners and renters in Indiana have sparked their own heated debates. While more and more southern states began to take positive action, some residents of Indiana thought it was a good time to stand their ground and proudly display their flags bigger and brighter than ever. This resulted in counter protests with police being called to some of the scenes.
These protests are capturing the attention of Indiana legislators but so far they are staying quiet.
Governor Matt Bevin of Kentucky has taken the debate to a whole new level. Bevin has been publically supporting the actions of South Carolina and is now calling for removal of Jefferson Davis statue from Kentucky capitol.
Jefferson Davis was a soldier and politician greatly opposed to the union and fought for the Confederate States in the Civil War.
While born in Kentucky, he was the operator of a large cotton plantation in Mississippi with over 100 slaves.
Those siding with Bevin agree that Davis was a racist whose entire motive for fighting the war was based on his business of slavery, but Bevin's GOP base is outraged at the mere suggestion. Naturally the two opposite views are coming together for more heated debate.
In Mississippi... GOP House Speaker Philip Gunn spurred changes when he said it's time to redesign the state
"We must always remember our past, but that does not mean we must let it define us," Gunn said Monday night in a Facebook post.
Gunn has gained support from both of MS's US Senators: Roger Wicker and Thad Cochran.
The state flag is the most blatant display of all the state flags and is basically a replica of the confederate flag with no intentions to hide what the state represents or stands for.
This debate is anything but new in Mississippi and, at certain points the state promised to make changes but the protestors always took them at their word, the debate would fizzle out and no changes were ever made.
This time lawmakers and residents realize it's not going away and, because of the history of debates, they seem more prepared for change and less shocked than the other states.
North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory has suggested that the DMV stop issuing specialty license plates bearing confederate flag.
McCrory pointed out the recent mass shooting in Charleston and said the time was right.
Senate President Phil Berger said McCrory doesn't need legislative approval to stop production of the license plates but the governor didn't want to bust in the doors demanding change so he gave the DMV the opportunity to do the right thing.
Because the recent tragedy was in South Carolina, Governor Nikki Haley was the first to act. Standing as one of the most respected governors in the US... Haley called for the removal the Confederate battle flag from the state’s Capitol building.
“The flag will always be a part of the soil of South Carolina,” the governor said during a press conference. “For those who wish to show their respect for the flag on their private property, no one will stand in your way. But the statehouse is different… Today we are here in a moment of unity in our state, without ill will, to say it’s time to move the flag from the capitol grounds.”
Many surmised that Haley would stand alone as some SC residents went on a verbal attack via social media but she was quickly supported by SC/US Senator Lindsey Graham who has been recieving his own negative backlash.
For most of his time in office Graham supported the flag and enforced the ancient argument of it being a symbol of southern heritage. All of it changed with the recently released pictures of Dyann Roof using the flag to represent his racist beliefs.
At that point it was proven to Graham that this was far-from the first incident and, since its birth... the flag has been used and flown by some of the country's most notorious racists.
Tennessee's Governor Bill Haslam supports removing the Confederate Flag from TN license plates and removing the flag from all state-owned property.
"I feel like the Confederate battle flag is something that I think people are ready to see move to museums" Haslam told the Tennessean.
TN Sen. Lamar Alexander and TN Sen. Bob Corker agree with Haslam - "It's time for change."
Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe made a public appearance on June 23, 2015 and called for the removal of the confederate flag from license plates.
“As Governor Haley said yesterday, her state can ill afford to let this symbol continue to divide the people of South Carolina. I believe the same is true here in Virginia. Although the battle flag is not flown here on Capitol Square, it has been the subject of considerable controversy, and it divides many of our people. Even its display on state issued license tags is, in my view, unnecessarily divisive and hurtful to too many of our people," McAuliffe told a live audience.
The governor went on to say he requested the state's attorney general and transportation secretary take the necessary steps to remove the flag from all state-issued license plates.
Walk in their shoes
When residents and visitors of Southern States see the confederate Flag proudly displayed on tax-payer state property; including parks, license plates, capital buildings and courthouses...... what is the message?
The answer to that question comes down to how the person sees the flag and what it represents to them; to some it's simply a flag of southern heritage. To more than some - it's a flag representing anti-America views, the fight for slavery, the continuation of racism, violence and hypocrisy.
What’s important is that those who've long seen it as the flag of heritage must begin to consider how others see it and the fact is: it's offensive to too many.
That's one issue within itself but the core issue is: many who do support the confederate flag also see it as a flag of racism and hate, and are met with the message: my state condones racism and hate and my legislators are on my side: therefore I have license to act on that racism and hate.
THIS is why the top legislators in America are calling for its removal.
It's imperative for people to know that you can still own the flag and you can still display it proudly on your property, furniture, vehicles, clothes or anything that's your own private property. It is not illegal.
State property is paid for and owned by all the taxpayers of your state, so anything displayed on the property is supposed to represent all residents of the state. Quite obviously, this flag does not.
The Confederate Flag debate continues to grow and rage on social media but, this time it won't go away and those in-control understand this.
The most surprising aspect of this issue is: the call for removal is coming from the most notorious Republicans in the country and now it's progressing from "state debates" to "federal debates" with our US Congress considering national legislation to outlaw the flag on all government property in all 50 states with one sweeping bill.
Editor's note and conclusion
I want to take the time to applaud the governors and state legislators for taking action and refusing to continue supporting racism and hate, but I also want to ask what took them so long?
No one fools himself or herself into thinking this will make racism go away but it's a step forward.
Still - many previous tragedies could've been avoided had people known "they don't live in a culture that nurtures and promotes racial divide and hate."
Before you go away and celebrate your victories while claiming that you're Jesus and you fixed everything.......... I want you to know and live with the fact that there are thousands of innocent dead people in this country and their blood remains on your hands.