In the wake of the Charleston tragedy, politicians across the country are calling for the removal of the Confederate flag from places like the State Capitol (South Carolina) and on their own state flag (Mississippi). Wal-Mart and Sears are taking it off their shelves.
Good. It is racist.
People who tell you it is not racist, and simply a matter of state’s rights, are silly gooses. You are not representing state’s rights. You are using abstract political jargon to mask the ideology of the institution that the flag stands for. This is called the ‘Southern Strategy.’ Lee Atwater, probably the most House of Cards type political operative who ever lived and a South Carolinian himself, described how the ‘Southern Strategy’ works: use abstract rhetoric to win voters in states where racism is abundant.
(If you are not familiar with Lee Atwater, go watch the documentary “Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story.” It is awesome, and last time I checked it was on Netflix)
So, for every college student with the flag hanging in their dorm room, which for whatever reason has become common at southern universities, that says they are representing southern tradition or state’s rights, I don’t believe you. I believe you are probably a little racist, or you are trying to look “cool.” In both scenarios, you are being a tool. These are the kind of people who wear Mike Vick jerseys but swear they love dogs.
I suspect, and hope, we are seeing the end to a flag that represents a group of people who fought for the right to oppress and enslave other people.