In the wake of the shooting at Mother Emanuel AME Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina at the hands of a white supremacist which left 9 people dead, one of the flashpoints of discussion has been the Confederate flag which flies over the state legislature in Columbia.
There have been renewed calls for the removal of the Confederate flag from the state capitol by liberal publications such as The Atlantic and Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush have joined the call. If the people of the Palmetto state want to address this matter whether through the state legislature or by popular referendum and decide they want to remove the flag then fine by me.
Yet it should be remembered that the presence of the Confederate flag in the state capitol did not prevent the people of South Carolina from electing Tim Scott to both the House of Representatives and later the Senate. I might add that during the GOP primary for the House seat, Scott bested Paul Thurmond, the son of the late Strom Thurmond. I’m sure that the election of an African-American Republican could not have pleased Dylann Roof.
But the electoral success of Tim Scott doesn’t merit consideration by liberal elites precisely because Scott is a conservative Republican and that isn’t good enough for liberal elites. It never is.
Let me put it this way. Would Dylann Roof have killed nine people if the Confederate flag hadn’t been flying over the state capitol? Last I checked New York, Baltimore and Cleveland are north of the Mason-Dixon line. You would be hard pressed to find a Confederate flag in these cities. Yet when African-Americans die at the hand of the police in these jurisdictions, The Left immediately calls racism the culprit even when African-American police officers are involved as was the case in Baltimore. While one could certainly argue that police have overstepped their authority in these instances it must also be said that abuse of power and racism aren’t mutually exclusive.
There is no doubt that Dylann Roof committed his act of evil because he subscribed to the racist ideology of white supremacism. It is also true that Roof posed with the Confederate flag in a picture. Yet it would be a mistake to blame the Confederate flag for what happened on Wednesday night. Dylann Roof is solely responsible for causing the deaths of 9 African-Americans. Confederate flag or no Confederate flag, the people of South Carolina do not deserve to be blamed for what happened at Mother Emanuel.
UPDATE: Well, it looks like this is going to happen. S.C. Governor Nikki Haley as well as Senators Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott are calling for the removal of the Confederate flag. If that’s what the people of South Carolina want then fine. I still don’t think it changes a thing. Dylann Roof would have wrought havoc even if the Confederate flag had been removed years ago.
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