In regards to racial matters, South Carolina has had a storied tumultuous history. Many African-Americans have either personally witnessed the alluded to troubles or at least seen it in the furrowed brow of our parents or grandparents. There is no need for reminders.
South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley has been forced to step into the blinding spotlight of South Carolina racial politics; a position that has become even more controversial in light of the contentious battle regarding the ‘Confederate flag’. Governor Haley remarked, “We are not going to allow this symbol to divide us any longer. The fact that it causes so much pain is enough to move it from the capitol grounds. It is, after all, a capitol that belongs to all of us.
Supporters of the flag being removed consider Haley’s position extremely timely in the wake of the racially motivated annihilation of worshipers at Charleston’s Mother Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal church.
There are those who oppose the permanent removal of the Confederate flag from the capitol grounds, citing the fact that the flag symbolizes both Southern and South Carolina tradition and heritage. Although that position holds more than a modicum of merit, there is a larger looming issue of that ‘tradition and heritage’ resting upon unmistakable principles of prejudice, discrimination, and racism.
The historical record dictates that South Carolinians who fought under the Confederate banner were in favor of segregation and the permanent enslavement, oppression, and denigration of African-Americans. From the African-American perspective, the flag serves as a painful reminder of a time when our ancestors were branded and sold at auctions like cattle, beaten, humiliated, and castrated for being literate all the while being forced to work on vast plantations that financially enriched whites in an uncommonly manner.
It is my contention that the principal reason the Confederate flag should no longer fly on South Carolina’s Capitol grounds is quite simple. The Confederacy lost the U.S. Civil War. Consequently, the loser’s flag should never fly on the grounds of the victorious country. Additionally, the members of the former Confederacy committed the unforgivable crime of treason against the United States. The treasonous action should not be celebrated in any shape form or fashion. The fact that for nearly two centuries, the Confederacy’s attempt to destroy the “Great American Experiment” with their flagrant display of disloyalty has been celebrated with high reverence and valor is in a word, despicable. By permitting the Confederate flag to fly over the Capitol grounds in any state is in every way celebrating this nation’s betrayal.
In the end, the removal of the Confederate flag is long overdue. If the flag remains over any statehouse grounds, it would be an egregiously disrespectful gesture to the African American residents of South Carolina. In addition it would also honor a band of traitors who took action to tear the United States apart. The flying of a flag that represents the detestable principles of segregation, white supremacy, treason and the bondage of African Americans prevents South Carolina from healing the awful racial wounds from its ugly past; an action that is most certainly long overdue for not only South Carolina, but also the entire United States of America.
©Manhood, Race and Culture