Nikki Haley Shows The GOP How To Handle Race
In Nikki Haley’s speech at the South Carolina statehouse calling for the removal of the Confederate flag, we saw the birth of a GOP Presidential contender for 2020. Young, female, and a minority (in spite of previous proclamations). There’s a big difference between a flag and a monument. The first is a brazen symbol of defiance, the latter is a memorial to the fallen.
This is an opportunity for every elected Republican in South Carolina to support the removal of the Confederate flag while establishing political and racial bona fides. They should point out this symbol of unlawful rebellion and oppression should be removed now that South Carolina is governed by Republicans at every level. After all, the GOP is still proud to call itself “the party of Lincoln,” and Republicans were responsible for ending the Confederacy. It would be fitting that they should retire the flag as an official display for the final act of Reconstruction; 150 years after Appomattox. Republicans have never been wedded to the Confederate flag while Democrats have been desperately trying to distance themselves from it for decades. Republicans will retire this stain on our nation’s history officially. The sooner we can memorialize it properly, the sooner we can begin to erase the traces of racism that continue to both linger and encircle our culture.
It’s both the First Amendment right for representatives of the people to not fly symbols on public grounds which offends certain citizens as much as it is for them to choose to. Government has the obligation to reflect the will of the people they serve, and those citizens have First Amendment rights as well. Nikki Haley, along with Senators Tim Scott and Lindsey Graham are doing what their constituents are asking. It’s long past time to take the flag, raised in 1963 by segregationists, down. Nothing wrong with these elected officials respecting the sensibilities of all of their constituents and doing the right, civil and just thing by the people of their state.
Charleston Shooting and Presidential Politics
It is irrational to remove the Confederate flag because of this lone terrorist incident, but it is logical to remove it because it was put up in the 1950s and 1960s by a bunch of white segregationists. It never was the party of neo-Confederates, and they don’t belong in the GOP now no matter how much they donate.
The Confederate Battle Flag is not an issue the GOP needs dragging it down. It’s best to get it taken care of and out of the way. For those who insist on fighting this battle, have they asked themselves if the GOP will gain lose votes in the backdrop of a Presidential race supporting this flag?
Tim Scott is the GOP’s sole black Senator. He supports removing the Confederate flag as an official symbol. Politically, there shouldn’t be any Republicans who will dare to say no. The optics of opposing him on that with a Presidential election campaign coming up would be catastrophic.
If the flag is part of a memorial, then bronze it. A real flag gives the perception of life because it moves. A still flag commemorates a moment.