Having been raised in the North, I hold no special affinity for the confederate flag. But I am aware that it plays a very important role in the psyche of many, many Southerners. Far from representing racism, the confederate flag represents a vestige of pride that was injured greatly by the fortunate but vastly painful Civil War defeat of the Confederacy.
Those in the South rightly hold on to the fact that, despite eventual defeat, their soldiers fought bravely. They fought not just to maintain slavery. They fought for Southern pride and states rights. Maintaining the right of the states to display the Confederate Flag (in several forms) has been a not so minor tool in helping Southerners hold on to some of that pride. Consigning that symbol of dignity to a museum will have the unintended consequences of opening old wounds and increasing already growing divisiveness. This knee-jerk reaction to a horrific act will have a potentially devastating impact on the country.
Despite what race baiter like Obama, Sharpton, and Jackson tout, institutionalized racism is dead. Otherwise we would not have an African American President. Everything is not about race or about the African American “community”.
Of course some racist individuals and groups will continue to exist. The knee jerk removal of the flag won’t change that and, in fact, may only serve to increase their numbers.
Yes, probably at some point the majority of Southerners will be ready to put the Confederacy and its flag away in a museum. The PEOPLE of the South, and not politicians, will tell us when that time has come.