Remove the Confederate flag from the S.C. capitol grounds, but realize the limits of what removal will accomplish

For the purposes of a specific point, I’ll draw a loose analogy between the Confederate flag and the Nazi flag.

Germany has long outlawed certain words and symbols — and even gestures.

But that hasn’t changed the reality of ongoing racially motivated violence in Germany, as Amnesty International noted last month.

Here in South Carolina, we should remove the flag from the state capitol grounds because it represents horrific oppression to part of our population, but we shouldn’t assume removing the flag will be a major fix to the problem of racism.

The murderer who killed nine innocent, good people in Charleston’s Emanuel A.M.E. Church last week seems to have been motivated by attitudes and beliefs, not merely by the presence of the Confederate flag on state capitol grounds.

At the same time, it’s worth noting the murderer appropriated the Confederate flag for himself. An image of the flag appeared on a plate on the front of his car, on which he posed for a self-portrait.


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