By Tom Ignudo
Since Dylan Roof killed nine churchgoers at Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C, June 17, there have been 287 pro- Confederate battle flag rallies, according to The Southern Poverty Law Center.
There have been 11 Confederate battle flag rallies in South Carolina and 26 in Florida alone.
Following the shooting, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley signed a law to remove the Confederate battle flag from South Carolina’s State House grounds July 9.
But the flag’s removal drew attention
from two different Americas – one looking to progress forward and one claiming their “heritage.”
Despite the flag being removed, the issue made its way into the (always- interesting) comments of GOP nominees running for president.
Unfortunately, some of the GOP members’ views, and the support they’ve gotten, reflect racial problems we still haven’t resolved 152 years after Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.
Donald Trump, the outspoken nominee, who leads the National GOP primary at 27.2 percent, said the flag should come down and be hung in a museum.
But some of his fellow GOP running mates have different views on the Confederate battle flag.
Ben Carson, who ranks second overall behind Trump at 21.3 percent, believes, regardless of the number of Confederate flags you get rid of, it’s not going to make a difference.
Carson also added we have to change the way people think, which I understand. However, his view contradicts itself and gives unnecessary power to groups, such as the Klu Klux Klan who protested the flag’s removal at the South Carolina Capitol Building.
GOP candidates Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, and Marco Rubio didn’t take a stance on the flag, according to ABC News, and these three candidates are in the top six of the National GOP nominations.
In fact, they occupy three of the top six spots in South Carolina and Florida
When politicians say, “I don’t think that’s my choice to make,” it’s doublespeak, which translates to, “Who cares about this issue?”
Trump and Jeb Bush, who have both said the Confederate battle flag belongs in a museum, also rank in the top six.
And though I don’t agree with Trump or Bush on many political issues, they’re right about the flag.
The flag should hang in a Civil War Museum, but the flag should not hang from buildings representing the government from which Confederates wished to secede.
Although many claim the flag supports their “heritage,” I’m curious if their interpretation of U.S. history is out of the same McGraw-Hill textbook that white-washed the Atlantic Slave Trade.
Earlier in October, a McGraw-Hill history textbook described the Atlantic Slave trade as bringing millions of “workers” from Africa to the southern United States to work on agricultural plantations.
McGraw-Hill later addressed the book’s content on their Facebook page and said they’ll make the necessary changes to clearly convey the history.
Anyway, it’s no secret one of the Confederacy’s inhumane “heritages” is slavery.
In fact, in The Declaration of Causes Seceding States are statements from Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia explaining their secession from the Union, every state mentions slavery and its importance to its sucession.
Mississippi’s immediate cause states: “Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery – the greatest material interest of the world.”
So I ask the supporters of the Confederate flag: Still proud of your “heritage?”
What’s worse, the Confederate battle flag draws parallels to the Nazi flag.
Both share archaic ideologies, which promote a belief that some are superior over particular groups of people.
Based on this premise, Confederates treated blacks horribly, while the Nazis did the same to Jews.
In Adolf Hitler’s chapter “Nation & Race” from his book “Mein Kampf,” he exemplifies the same kind of hatred towards a group as the Confederacy.
Both were also very obsessive in their practice of human breeding.
The Confederates, who comprised the planter class, inhumanely forced slaves to procreate by establishing breeding farms on plantations throughout the south.
A report by the National Humanities Center, titled “On Slaveholders’ Sexual Abuse of Slaves,” highlights the gruesome atrocities committed by plantations owners.
One narrative from the reports states: “If their master thought that a certain man and woman might have strong, healthy offspring, he forced them to have sexual relation, even though they were married to other slaves.”
The report also states how women, typically younger ones, were worth more than other slaves because they could bear more children. In addition, it says the women were treated like “cattle” and if they refused the orders of their master they were often executed.
In the same way, Nazis attempted to breed “The Master Race” at their facility Lebensborn, where paired men and women who were “racially pure” were bred to produce an “Aryan Nation,” according to the American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise.
But at least Germany eventually acknowledged the hate sewn into the swastika and banned the flag under the Stratgesetzbuch section 86a.
In the United States of America, ignorance flows through every river of this stolen land, especially in Mississippi.
Recently, voters decided to not change Mississippi’sstateflag,whichcontainsthe rebel flag in the top left corner.
Like Carson, Attorney Greg Stewart, who is the administrator of Beauvoir, the last home of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, said the flag should stay because “it’s just a piece of cloth that flies on a stick,” according to ABC News.
As we’ve recently seen in the McGraw- Hill textbooks, remarks like these downplay the history that should be told about the United States.
So I ask this question of rebel flag supporters: If you tell African-Americans to “move on” from slavery, why do you get to continue waving the flag that promotes archaic and racist beliefs?