interviewed Senator Lindsey Graham (R ) of South Carolina on the
propriety of continuing to fly the Confederate flag in front of the
state capitol. Many have called on the state to take down the flag as a
show of respect for the nine victims of alleged killer Dylann Storm Roof, the 22 year old killer with a clear affinity for the flag and other racist symbols. Graham's responses are telling. (Image: AK Rockefeller)
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN: Is it time to stop flying the Confederate flag?
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM: Well, at the end of the day, it's time for the people of South Carolina to revisit that decision, would be fine with me but this is part of who we are." CNN, June 20
What could Graham mean by "this is part of who we are"? Is he referring to the people of South Carolina. Blacks comprise 30% of the state's population. The Confederate flag is hardly who they are. Is he referring to the state's white majority? Do all white South Carolinians think of the flag as who they are?
Let's be clear about what the Confederate flag symbolizes: an organized resistance by the Confederate states to protect the institution of slavery. Some features of slavery included: murder, lynching, rape, whipping and other forms of torture. This is just a slice of the total abomination of the "lost cause" of the Confederacy. The flag embodies this and much more for anyone who cares to read some history.
Apparently Graham is ignorant of all this. He went on to say:
"The flag represents to some people a civil war, and that was the symbol of one side. To others it's a racist symbol, and it's been used by people, it's been used in a racist way." CNN, June 20
By this logic, some people see the flag as a "symbol of one side" without the racism while others see it as a racist symbol. Were there states or Confederate armies that opposed the racist institution of slavery? Embracing the flag as a symbol means embracing the substance that the symbol references, including all vile institution of slavery.
CNN's Camerota then asked Graham what would fix the problem regarding the flag.
SEN. GRAHAM: The compromise of South Carolina still works here.
CAMEROTA: Meaning the compromise of being able to still fly the Confederate flag because it's part of the proud tradition of some Carolinians"
SEN. GRAHAM: There's a Confederate war memorial out front and some African-American memorial.
CAMEROTA: " and that works for you?
SEN. GRAHAM: It works here, that's what the Statehouse agreed to do. You could probably visit other places in the country near some symbol that doesn't quite strike you right." CNN, June 20
Graham's idea of dealing with those who insist on a symbol of slavery and its horrors is "compromise." It's just fine with him to have the racist memorial along with "some African-American memorial." One has to wonder if Graham even knows what the "African-American memorial" is about. And, what is the senator talking about when he claims other state capitols have symbols that don't "quite strike you right." Is he tripping? Which state capitols? Which offensive symbols?
Graham has the utter gall to talk about the Confederate flag being "who we are" when he represents a state with a black population of 1.3 million people. He tries to justify this by stating that the flag is non-racist symbol for some because it represents "one side" of the conflict without acknowledging the protection of slavery to that "one side." Then, he fabricates other capitols with offensive symbols connected with the state capitol.
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