Dylann Roof, is a horrible person. That much we can all agree upon. He is a sick, twisted individual who murdered 9 people for no other reason than the hate he harbored in his own heart. Is he mentally ill…I would argue that people who aren’t mentally disturbed don’t do things like go on mass killing sprees. That doesn’t mean that he gets a pass because he is “mentally challenged” or some such bull, he can differentiate right from wrong and he chose to honor, revel in, and celebrate his hate by hurting as many people as he could. We can all agree that if he had been killed while the police were bringing him in no one would have complained too much over it. But just like with that fruit loop James Holmes in Aurora, he was taken alive and will be given a trial in the hopes that the victims and the American people can get some answers out of him before we drop him into a dark hole that he will only emerge from to be executed by the state of South Carolina.
The problem now is that everyone has stopped focusing on the problems with this 21 year-old man and have focused on his love of the white supremacy movement. They have particularly zeroed in on one thing…the Confederate Battle Flag. You know the one, a blue St. Andrew’s cross with stars on a red background. The same flag that the Army of Northern Virginia and the Army of Tennessee would carry into battle during the Civil War. The left immediately after attempting to exploit the deaths of those in the church as the work of a conservative monster, lit into his use of the Confederate Battle Flag as a prop in his own expressions of hate. He also represented the
Apartheid flag of South Africa and the Rhodesian Flag (now Zimbabwe), but more of the focus is going to the Battle Flag, precisely because it is an American flag at its deepest roots.
Now everyone wants it removed from all facets of life no matter where and when it appears. The Confederate Battle Flag, was just that…when the Civil War ended in 1865 it became another forgotten piece of history. It wasn’t until the 1940’s that the flag would make a large reappearance. The Dixiecrat party, formed in 1948 largely to fight against the Civil Rights movement, adopted the flag as their emblem, then the following year the Democrat run KKK adopted the flag for their use too. In other words, two hate groups purloined an image from the past, once a symbol of honor denoting an Army, for use in their campaign of hate. Now the KKK also uses the Bible to spread their message of hate, but Christians have repeatedly denounced their twisting of the Bible for their own means and the public has accepted that just because someone used the Bible to spread hate, the Bible isn’t full of hate. But a flag is just a symbol of something, it contains no words of love, hope, honor, etc. So when southerners say, don’t trust the KKKs use of our flag of honor and heritage to spread their message of hate, how can people judge that the flag doesn’t indeed stand for hate. I mean the KKK waves the American Flag too, but any service member can tell you just because a racist waves an American flag and says horrible things doesn’t mean that Americans should instantly accept all these things as true.
The Confederate Battle flag has no history of hate, it was kidnapped into racist causes and touted as their banner. If the KKK started waving rainbow flags (GBLTQ) tomorrow and preaching the message of Westboro Baptist Church and started identifying a rainbow flag as the God Hates Gays Flag, would Americans instantly start tearing down all rainbow flags as they now stood for hate? No, because it is silly. But, if they did it for 50 years someone, some a$$hat activist, or brainless politician, neither of whom was versed even in the slightest amount of actual American History, would get all up in arms about how this horrible rainbow flag was helping to spread a message of hate. Down the flag would come.
See, the flag isn’t the problem. The message that some people attach to the flag is the problem, and people have to learn how to separate the two. Hate mongers will use whatever imagery they can to spread their message and get it to stick in the minds of those they are engaging, whether it be a Bible, Koran, Flag, Banner, Slogan, stuffed animal, whatever. The object isn’t the thing of distaste that you feel in the back of your throat when you see the object. You are experiencing a rejection of the message.
Don’t let the messages of the few monsters of the world poison the well of true American History. The Confederate Battle Flag is just a flag. It represents the young men of 150 years ago who went into battle against a superior foe because they felt they needed to to protect their sovereignty. They were scared and brave, under fed, under clothed, lacked weapons, medicine, and supplies in many cases, but they entered battle for their states, for their country, not to keep slaves forever or spread hate, but in the sincere belief that they had to protect their homes. We’ve let the KKK, the Dixiecrats, and now Dylann Roof steal and corrupt that heritage with their evil. But we don’t have to.