Take down the flag!

Like all of you I am sure, I was appalled, disgusted, shocked, saddened, all those adjectives and more, when I heard about the shooting at the “Mother Emanuel” Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina.  A 21-year-old unemployed white racist sat in on a bible study class for about an hour and then started shooting the black churchgoers who accepted him into their assembly.

Once again, we debate guns and racism, etc.  And I can say a lot about that, and also about why reportedly, a father would give his troubled, problematic son – the young killer had an arrest record and it was known he had issues – a .45-caliber gun for his 21st birthday.  (If true, the dad should be thrown in jail as well.)  But I want to inject my thoughts into this South Carolina Confederate flag controversy.

For years, I have wanted any semblance of Confederate flags removed from anything related to any government building agency or property here in the US.  Honestly, I don’t want to see it flying anywhere.  And I remember very well the controversy in South Carolina fifteen years ago about that flag.  I remember the arguments pro and con, the arguments about “heritage,” the arguments about hate, and the compromise solution.

Some mistakenly think the Confederate flag is South Carolina’s state flag; it is not.  In any event, because of the compromise decision in 2000, the flag now flies over the grounds of the South Carolina Capitol and no longer over the Capitol dome along with the official state flag. As an aside, that controversial flag was also one of the Confederacy’s battle flags, and was not just a governmental flag.

Now I don’t think the flag was why some deranged bigot murdered innocent people.  He was simply an evil, hateful killer.  It does not matter.  Even if one thinks the flag does not represent racial hatred in some way, and I think it does or in the very least is being used to do so, it represents those who wanted to separate from the United States, be it for “States’ Rights” or to defend slavery.

South Carolina is nearly thirty percent African American, and that symbol is an affront to blacks.  Were I black and living in the Palmetto State, not only would I be sure to never look skyward in the vicinity of that flag, but if, as I passed it by I heard it snap in the wind, I would feel as if it was slapping me in the face.  It needs to come down.  Period.  By the way, some of the victims’ family members have forgiven the killer.  Were I in their shoes, I could not forgive.  I would not forgive.

Mississippi is the only remaining state that includes the Confederate flag within its state flag.  With that state’s history?  Are you kidding me?  Mississippi was where three civil rights activists (two of them Jewish), a part of the Freedom Riders movement, were murdered by Ku Klux Klan members in 1964.  I just don’t get it.  Mississippi, get rid of that flag already.  Crazy.

Leaving aside Mississippi, Georgia was the last state of the Confederacy to include a Confederate battle flag within its state banner.  In 2003 it changed the flag’s design to look very similar to the first governmental flag of the Confederacy.  It was nice to get rid of the one flag but not nice to incorporate the other.  Georgia, you could do better.

Is it that hard for some US southern states to move past their separatist histories?  Heritage or not, to understand the pain the Confederate flag causes?  It bothers me as well, being a Jew.  Racist is racist, and if the Jews are not first on the list of the haters, they are in that list.  I am not advocating the closure of Confederate museums or the removal of statues.  But flags have so much symbolism.  They mean something.  They even live within us emotionally.

South Carolina, enough already.  You were the first state to leave the Union and join the Confederacy.  During the Transatlantic Slave Trade, about 40 percent of African slaves brought into the US passed through your Charleston harbor.  Those stains and the stain of slavery stay with you.  This stain, this divisive Confederate symbol, can be washed away.  Take down that damned flag!

***

I thought I would use some space in this piece to show that the above-mentioned killer not only hated blacks but others as well.  Here is his take on Jews in his purported, rambling manifesto:

… Europe is the homeland of White people, and in many ways the situation is even worse there.  From here I found out about the Jewish problem and other issues facing our race, and I can say today that I am completely racially aware…

Black people view everything through a racial lense…  This is part of the reason they get offended so easily, and think that some thing are intended to be racist towards them, even when a White person wouldnt be thinking about race.  The other reason is the Jewish agitation of the black race…

Unlike many White naitonalists, I am of the opinion that the majority of American and European jews are White.  In my opinion the issues with jews is not their blood, but their identity.  I think that if we could somehow destroy the Jewish identity, then they wouldnt cause much of a problem. The problem is that Jews look White, and in many cases are White, yet they see themselves as minorities.  Just like n*****s, most Jews are always thinking about the fact that they are Jewish. The other issue is that they network.  If we could somehow turn every Jew blue for 24 hours, I think there would be a mass awakening, because people would be able to see plainly what is going on.

I don’t pretend to understand why Jews do what they do.  They are enigma…

How about we protect the White race and stop fighting for the Jews.

Well, well, we Jews puzzle the poor racist.  But at least he wishes we could be blue for 24 hours so as to be easily identified, and not be forced to wear yellow stars.

About the Author
Shia Altman who hails from Baltimore, MD, now lives in Los Angeles. His Jewish studies, aerospace, and business and marketing background includes a BA from the University of Maryland and an MBA from the University of Baltimore. When not dabbling in Internet Marketing, Shia tutors Bar and Bat Mitzvah, and Judaic and Biblical Studies to both young and old.
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