Dylann Roof Has The Right "View" About The Confederate Flag

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Governor Haley's comment that Roof has a "twisted" view is pure spin

Recall what South Carolina's governor Niki Haley said recently following the murder of the nine worshippers in Charleston:

"On matters of race, South Carolina has a tough history. We all know that. Many of us have seen it in our own lives -- in the lives of our parents and our grandparents. We don’t need reminders. In spite of last week’s tragedy, we have come a long ways since those days and have much to be proud of, but there’s more we can do.

That brings me to the subject of the Confederate flag that flies on the State house grounds. For many people in our state, the flag stands for traditions that are noble. Traditions of history, of heritage, and of ancestry.

The hate filled murderer who massacred our brothers and sisters in Charleston has a sick and twisted view of the flag. In no way does he reflect the people in our state who respect and, in many ways, revere it. Those South Carolinians view the flag as a symbol of respect, integrity, and duty. They also see it as a memorial, a way to honor ancestors who came to the service of their state during time of conflict. That is not hate, nor is it racism.

At the same time, for many others in South Carolina, the flag is a deeply offensive symbol of a brutally oppressive past. As a state we can survive, as we have done, while still being home to both of those viewpoints. We do not need to declare a winner and a loser here. We respect freedom of expression, and that for those who wish to show their respect for the flag on their private property, no one will stand in your way.

But the statehouse is different and the events of this past week call upon us to look at this in a different way. Fifteen years ago, after much contentious debate, South Carolina came together in a bipartisan way to move the flag from atop the Capitol dome. Today, we are here in a moment of unity in our state without ill will, to say it’s time to move the flag from the Capitol grounds."

According to law enforcement officials, Dylann Roof has admitted to the heinous murder of the nine people during Bible study at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.  He sat with them for over one hour, prayed with them and then preyed upon them.

Roof is reported to have said he wanted to "shoot black people" and “start a race war”. A cousin of one of the victims stated that Roof said, "You rape our women and you're taking over our country. And you have to go."

Roof was parroting some very dangerous hateful and bigoted rhetoric.  “You rape our women” is Klan rhetoric as displayed in the film “Birth of a Nation”. 

“You’re taking over our country” or "This is our country--Let's take it back” is Tom Tancredo Tea-Party rhetoric.  Wanting to start a race war is Skin Head and Neo-Nazi rhetoric.

As a result of this latest act of domestic terror there is a renewed call for the Confederate battle flag to be removed from the grounds of the State House in South Carolina and other places in the country.  There are a few problems with this effort, primarily as people such as Niki Haley attempt to promote revisionist history even when calling for the removal of the flag. She said, “The hate filled murderer who massacred our brothers and sisters in Charleston has a sick and twisted view of the flag.”

No, I think Dylann Roof’s “view” is spot on.

That flag stood for and continues to stand for hatred, bigotry, subjugation, White privilege and racism. Its creator William T. Thompson called it the “White Man’s Flag”. In 1863 he is quoted as having said, “As a people we are fighting to maintain the Heaven-ordained supremacy of the White man over the inferior or Colored race; a white flag would thus be emblematical of our cause.”

During the Civil War “States Rights” stood for the rights of Southern States to enslave Africans in America.  During the Civil Rights Movement it stood for the rights of Southern States to defy the National Government and impose and maintain segregation.

Governor Haley, referring to the flag, stated that South Carolinians, "see it as a memorial, a way to honor ancestors who came to the service of their state during time of conflict. That is not hate, nor is it racism.”  It must be clearly stated and always understood that the “ancestors came to the service of their state” were traitors. They betrayed their country by attempting to kill the sovereign and overthrow the government.

There is nothing noble in attempting to secede from the Union in order to maintain chattel slavery.  They were hate-filled racists.

By continuing to romanticize the Lost Cause, portraying the Confederacy as noble and its leaders as exemplars of old-fashioned chivalry, people such as Niki Haley provide tacit support for the domestic terrorists who have burned six churches in five Southern States in the past few weeks. The KKK is also stepping up its game. According to RawStory.com, residents in Mississippi, California, Florida, Alabama, Kansas, and Georgia received bags of candy laced with recruitment messages on their lawns and porches.

Haley’s comments reinforce the sense of entitlement and White privilege that motivated Shelby, North Carolina, police officers to buy Dylann Roof dinner at Burger King after he was apprehended. It also reinforces the mindset that motivated Charleston County Magistrate James B. Gosnell to begin Roof’s bond hearing for mass-murderer by declaring that his family members are victims as well.

This is the same judge who according to The Daily Beast is on record as having said from the bench in another trial, “There are four kinds of people in this world—Black people, White people, red necks, and niggers”.

It was not the Confederate battle flag that motivated four known Ku Klux Klansmen and segregationists: Thomas Edwin Blanton, Jr.; Herman Frank Cash; Robert Edward Chambliss; and Bobby Frank Cherry, to bomb the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama on Sunday, September 15, 1963 killing Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson and Carol Denise McNair.  It was the hatred, bigotry, and the sense of White privilege that motivated them.

The Confederate battle flag had nothing to do with the Tulsa, OK race riot of 1921 where a group of Whites attacked the African American community of Greenwood, also known as “Black Wall Street” leaving an estimated 10,000 African American’s homeless and burning 35 city blocks composed of 1,256 residences to the ground. The official count of the dead by the Oklahoma Department of Vital Statistics was 39, but other estimates of African American fatalities vary from 55 to about 300.   It was the sentiments of racism and hatred that motivated the White mob.

The Confederate battle flag had nothing to do with the race riots of the Red Summer of 1919 where Whites attacked African Americans in more than thirty-six cities across the United States in response to social tensions created by African Americans veterans from WWI competing with Whites for better jobs and housing.

Dylann Roof is a domestic terrorist in a long history of terrorism that has been directed owards the African American community since the first African’s disembarked onto the shores of Port Comfort, VA (near Hampton, VA) on August 20, 1619.

For Governor Niki Haley to call for the removal of the flag in one breath and celebrate and romanticize its history in another is double-speak.  For President Obama to praise her by saying, “But as people from all walks of life, Republicans and Democrats, now acknowledge -- including Governor Haley, whose recent eloquence on the subject is worthy of praise…” allows this reality to be overlooked.  For him to talk about the “valor of Confederate soldiers” continues to cloud the issue. There is no valor or heroic courage in treason.

Yes, the Confederate battle flag needs to come down but when it does that celebration should be short lived.  It’s not the symbol of these terrorists that matters; it’s their sentiment and actions.  The African American community is going to have to protect itself because this is only going to get worse before it gets better.

Dr. Wilmer Leon is the Producer/ Host of the Sirius/XM Satellite radio channel 126 call-in talk radio program “Inside the Issues with Wilmer Leon” Go to www.wilmerleon.com or email:wjl3us@yahoo.com. www.twitter.com/drwleon and Dr. Leon’s Prescription at Facebook.com  (c) 2015 InfoWave Communications, LLC 

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