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Don’t Let The Confederate Flag Be a Distraction
Don’t get me wrong. The Confederate flag is a powerful symbol of racism that should be done away with. Kudos to Walmart et al for stopping its sale.
I started this post titled “The Confederate Flag belongs only on the roof of the General Lee,” but even that is not true.
However, I don’t want its removal (hopefully from South Carolina as well) to distract from the two equally valid and important problems the shootings expose: Racism and guns. I don’t want us to fool ourselves into thinking we’ve “fixed” the issues of the SC church shootings simply by taking care of the flag problem.
The Confederate flag is a symptom of racism. Flying the flag of a nation born of slavery above a state capitol is the equivalent of flying the swastika. But barring its use does not mean the underlying issues have been resolved. And SC gave us yet another mass shooting, which seem to crop up now every few months.
Racism still exists. Largely unregulated gun access still exists. These are the important issues we still struggle with. I am proud we’re slowly getting rid of the Confederate flag, but this is a bullet point under the bold heading of racism. Minority incarceration, racial bias and income inequality in an environment already plagued with income inequality are much bigger issues that are harder, but much more important, to fix.
And guns? I’m sick of hearing about another mass shooting every few months, gun suicides, travesties of justice and the NRA’s morally bankrupt excuses. We need serious gun regulation, as the much-misconstrued second amendment itself states.
Walmart, Amazon and others get kudos for dropping the Confederate flag from their stores. But when they stop selling guns, then I’ll stand up and cheer.