If you live on the planet earth in the Western Hemisphere on the North American continent and are a living, breathing, reasonably conscious, and own a TV or computer, it is likely that you know that the confederate flag has come down off the state house grounds in South Carolina. A few years ago Governor Haley implemented a policy whereby all state agencies must answer their phones by saying “it’s a great day in South Carolina.”
The day of the Charleston Massacre was not a great day in South Carolina. Having lived here my whole life, I can honestly say that some of the nicest, sweetest, most caring people on the planet live here. I would not trade any of my life experiences for the world; these experiences make me who I am. But it is not always a great day in South Carolina. While we will heal from the wounds of hatred and malice reflected by the actions of the killer, these wounds were simply heaped on top of injuries that are centuries old. Injuries we have yet to heal.
The flag has come down and the Charleston 9 deserve at least that. But what will remain is a culture of hatred and oppression.
If you drove past the state house in the last month you saw the “homosexuality is an abomination” van. The same van that hung several confederate flags and condemned abortion. Maybe you noticed the retaliation confederate flags that have begun popping up everywhere. Perhaps these things don’t bother you. But they bother me.
While I believe people can do whatever they want with their property, if the confederate flag was so important to you, why do you only all of a sudden feel the need to fly it from the back of your pick up truck? Why is it accompanied by racist epithets? Why is it that in defense of the flag, violence ensues?
How did a conversation about the flag become a rant about the “abomination colors”?
It could be a great day in South Carolina. I believe that day is coming. But first, let’s make sexual orientation and gender identity protected classes. We do a poor job of addressing the problem of homelessness in South Carolina. Why should people be denied housing solely because you don’t like who they love? Let’s look at the prison system. Let’s deal with education so that our students end up with jobs instead of in jails. Let’s take a progressive look at curriculum so that our students are getting a high quality, well-rounded education. Let’s make college affordable so that everyone has a right to succeed. Let’s do our part to make it a great day in South Carolina for all South Carolinians, not just the right ones.