Of course, we knew we were learning to report the news and events of the day in a factual and objective fashion. But last week, we saw what can happen when people of all backgrounds and philosophies listen to their better instincts and decide to do the right thing. This is because most journalists use the AP Style Book or some variant of it.
It kind of makes sense. Freedom of speech or expression, thankfully, protects even offensive and controversial opinions. If there’s no free speech, a government can control the messaging and thereby manipulate the people it’s there to serve.
The debate arose after awhite male killed nine black churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina, on June 17, in a massacre described by police as a hate crime. It was just one small moment in this nation’s troubled history of dealing with race, a history that goes back to well before our founding as a nation.
What began Tuesday afternoon as a gesture of protest by Gov. Kenneth Mapp against the public display of the Confederate flag turned into a scramble to clarify the governor’s action and his intent. But this is yet another example of the insanity of our time, how the tragic incident in South Carolina has created such a backlash against – what else – this flag. “I’m thinking of those nine people today”, Haley said.
My reasons for this last statement are twofold. Millions of their countrymen fought and died for it. Just as the South lost the Civil War, Germany lost World War II.
The flag had been on display at the Capitol, in one manner or another, since 1961.
In a new essay written for Rolling Stone, the Free Fallin’ rocker confesses his use of the Confederate flag to market his song Rebels was “downright stupid” and he halted a show to tell fans he spotted wearing flag bandannas and other clothing items they had missed the theme of his song. Maybe, on occasion, it is appropriate to run up the home flag of a visiting governor or diplomat. For them, the Confederate flag has always been a security blanket, a place of balm and comfort, vaguely associated with traditional religion, family values, gender roles, and more. He didn’t say anything because he hoped I hadn’t noticed.
No, I’m not a racist. So I wasnt born yesterday. It shows that more and more of us recognize the pain and anguish caused by and contained in that banner. They say they are born again but are nothing but paid-off snake oil salesmen who want to help only the people who gave them money to get elected. It was followed immediately by other messages from friends near and far who wanted to check in and see what I had to say about the end of the Confederate flag debate and – let us hope – the end of an era. It’s their property. “Maybe people will change their hearts”. This campaign was to take 60,000 soldiers split into two groups 30 miles apart and go from Atlanta to the Confederate seaport of Savannah, Ga. As we’ve demonstrated with remarkable clarity in the past month, South Carolinians have become perfectly capable of coming together across racial and party and other artificial lines to work for the good of our state.
Most have argued it was never the actual flag of the Confederacy, which it was not, as if that is supposed to somehow instantly change everybody’s mind about its level of distaste in American culture. It did. Now that he was, the shop would stop selling the flag.