“They tried to kill my child to shut her up. Well, guess what? You just magnified her!” – Heather Heyer’s mother
My wife and I ride our bicycles all over the country roads of our county and from the north to the south we see the Confederate Flag flying over homes, decals on the back of trucks and cars and have even seen it painted in the middle of the road. There is a faction that want us all to believe that the Confederate Flag is a symbol of “Heritage” not hate, that the statues of long dead Civil War “heroes” erected in public spaces are about our history not codes to remind African Americans of Jim Crow Laws.
The President of the United States has given hate and racism a face, a voice and a platform. Hate and racism never left our state, maybe it went underground in some areas, maybe it wasn’t openly spoken about or acted on but now there is a perceived “freedom” to do so. Say those words to yourself, a perceived “freedom”. A perceived “freedom” to hate, a perceived “freedom” to discriminate.
Alex Haley stated that “Racism is taught in our society, it is not automatic. It is learned behavior toward persons with dissimilar physical characteristics.” I know this to be true. There isn’t a racism gene.
How do we end racism and hate in our state? Take down the public symbols, remove the platforms, and quit relying on words and tweets. We, everyone, including and particularly the Republican party and its leadership need to demonstrate through actions and education that hate and racism won’t be tolerated.
The complacency of the Republican party is a large part of the problem. This is a hard fact the national and state leadership needs to face. But they don’t and they won’t because of votes and the President of the United States knows that and yesterday he acknowledge that fact, he empowered that fact, as the leader of YOUR party.
“I don’t understand why they are taking them down. It is history. They are not taking down Martin Luther King monuments.” – Republican Representative Dennis Moss who voted against removing the Confederate Flag from the Statehouse grounds and who opposes any effort to modify the state’s Heritage Act or remove Confederate memorials in South Carolina