Charleston and the Confederate Flag Battle
The Left exploits yet another tragedy for political gain.
With every murderous rampage committed by a sociopath, the Left exploits the tragedy to push its statist agenda suppress Liberty. In recent years, that’s generally meant two things: gun control or racial grievance. The horrific murders of nine black Christians in Charleston by a sociopathic white supremacist provided an opportunity to bring the two issues together.
Barack Obama, as usual, weighed in on both. He called for more gun control, and then he denounced the Confederate flag flying on the grounds of the South Carolina capitol as a racist symbol. It’s the latter that’s become a rallying point for leftists as well as Republicans eager to shed the racist label.
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, a Republican, said Monday, “It’s time to move the flag from the Capitol grounds.” Sen. Lindsey Graham, a GOP presidential candidate, and Tim Scott, the first black Republican senator elected in the South since Reconstruction, likewise called for its removal. That provides political cover for state Republicans to vote to take it down.
Of course, given the prominence of South Carolina in the presidential primary season, the Leftmedia gleefully makes the Confederate flag an issue for Republicans every presidential cycle.
But that’s awfully odd since Democrats are the ones who raised it at the South Carolina capitol in 1962. Democrats are the party of Jim Crow and segregation — the ones in KKK robes who sullied the banner of Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia with racial overtones. Democrats Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter campaigned with the flag before it was uncool to do so. Democrats push for an ever-higher minimum wage, which all too often leaves blacks unemployed and enslaved on the Left’s deliberately institutionalized urban poverty plantations.
Yet somehow the Confederate flag is a Republican problem.
Speaking of racism, know what else is racist? Gun control. It was originally conceived in the South to prevent blacks from owning firearms. Even now, proponents of gun control rarely lament the countless lives lost due to inner city fratricide among blacks – apparently on the Democrat’s urban poverty plantations, black lives don’t matter as much.
As for the flag itself, Leland Summers, head of the state’s chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, dismissed the Left’s complaint: “Do not associate the cowardly actions of a racist to our Confederate Banner. There is absolutely no link between The Charleston Massacre and The Confederate Memorial Banner. Don’t try to create one.”
He’s right in part, though it’s not that simple. It’s undeniable that the Confederate States propagated slavery — an institution Gen. Lee called “a great political and moral evil” — and that the Confederate flag in whatever form brings that to mind in some circles. The Union was hardly innocent in this regard, however. Abraham Lincoln harbored his own racism and favored solving slavery by sending blacks back to Africa.
Democrats made the Confederate banner a symbol of racism at KKK rallies, and now they have successfully turned a large portion of the populace against it. When a racist murderer used the Confederate battle flag as a background for his pictures, it only reinforced the link. Democrats fully intend to use the issue to rally blacks around Hillary Clinton, hoping “racist” Republicans would squirm to avoid calling for the flag’s removal. If South Carolina Republicans do remove it, the issue will be somewhat diffused — though nothing will ever be enough for the Left.
“I think compromising with the left on this issue is not worth it because the left is only politicizing this issue to advance their agenda,” wrote Red State’s Erick Erickson. “Once the flag is gone, the left will advance to the next issue then the next issue, etc. They won’t compromise. There is no compromise. There is only conversion or censorship with the left.”
Indeed, the American flag flew over states that allowed slavery long before there was a Confederate battle flag. Is it next on their list. How about monuments to those who held slaves — should the Washington Monument and Jefferson Memorial be reduced to rubble?
For all but a few Americans who display Lee’s banner today, it is intend to honor the history and heritage of what was called then the “second war for independence,” a far more complex contest than the grossly oversimplified notion that the so-called “Civil War” was about the continuation of slavery. Certainly those of us at The Patriot Post with long family history in the South view it that way. The vast majority of Southerners did not own slaves and their descendants reject the idea that they (read: we) are to blame for that horrific institution. Yet the modern Left is intent on blaming all Southerners — especially Republicans — for slavery and all racism, which has in part served to make the flag a symbol of defiance akin to the Gadsden flag of the Tea Party.
That said, it’s perhaps too much to ask of our public-school educated population to think of history with such nuance and understanding.
And a footnote: Pastor Clementa Pinckney, who was among those murdered in the Charleston attack, was also a South Carolina state senator. In 2000, he voted in favor of the compromise that kept the flag on capitol grounds.