The Confederate flag came down from the South Carolina statehouse quickly after a crazed gunman used his interpretation of its message to justify a shooting spree into a black church in Charleston, killing nine.
But in North Carolina, we’re digging in.
State lawmakers rushed a bill through the House to make it more difficult for cities and counties to remove the stain of the Confederacy from their jurisdictions.
The law bans state agencies and local entities from removing monuments and markers commemorating “an event, a person, or military service” relevant to our history. But they’re not talking about World War I here — though the law could affect War Memorial Stadium in Greensboro. It’s all about the Confederacy.
Throughout the South in the wake of the Charleston massacre, states are taking long, hard looks at the lionization of the Confederacy, its “heroes” and iconography. Charleston pulled the flag from government buildings. New Orleans is reconsidering the iconic Lee Circle, where a statue of the losing general still faces north atop a lofty pillar. Throughout the South, outraged citizens are taking matters into their own hands by vandalizing monuments and markers that attempt to paint the Civil War as anything but a desperate attempt to maintain the slavery franchise that helped build so much wealth for the region.
In our state, Confederate monuments have been targeted in Raleigh and Charlotte. Denton, Texas and Oklahoma City have seen similar actions. The perpetrators have been described by media as “vandals,” when in reality they are activists looking to de-romanticize one of the darkest chapters in our country’s timeline.
There is nothing noble about bearing arms against your fellow countrymen in order to keep holding human beings as property. There is nothing righteous about this failed attempt to create a new nation based on fear, ignorance and greed. There is nothing glorious about a heritage that determined a human’s value based on the color of her skin.
It is despicable to attempt to save the relics of a hateful legacy when our state has a jobs crisis it should be tending to, a political party run amok and some of the worst school systems in the country, all of which have an inordinate affect on the ancestors of slaves.
Ironically, defenders of the Confederacy say that states’ rights was the issue of the war, that the federal government had no jurisdiction to dictate the ways of our principalities. And yet this law removes authority from cities and towns to determine their own take on the Confederacy.
Where is General Sherman when we need him?