It’s hard to get excited about the removal of the Confederate flag from the Capitol in South Carolina.
The legislatures made the right decision. That’s not debatable. But it’s a token. While the flag is removed the long history of South Carolina’s oppression and hatred of people of color cannot be removed so easily.
It was in this great state that the Civil War began when the Confederates bombarded Union soldiers at Fort Sumter.
It was South Carolina that executed the 14 year old black boy George Stinney after a monkey trial.
While I’m glad to see that the symbol of hatred has been removed from the Capitol, I am well aware that the hatred, bias, and racial discrimination have not been removed from the hearts of the people. We know this to be true because black people are still more likely to be stopped, ticketed, arrested and more recently killed during traffic stops.
Removing a flag is not going to stop that. A black person is more likely to stand trial and receive a harsher sentence for any crime in the United States than their white counterparts. A white person is more likely to be hired or receive a promotion than their black co-workers even if they have the same qualifications. Removing that flag is going to do nothing to bring back those nine lives who were lost because of the color their skin at the Mother Emmanuel Church.
So we lost the symbol of oppression but didn’t lose the oppression. We lost the token but what did we actually gain instead? Even the lawmakers and citizens were divided. They wanted to hold onto their token, their symbol. They saw absolutely nothing wrong with keeping their symbol of oppression and hatred of a group of their citizens. By 10:00 a.m. on July 10, 2015 by the order of the governor, the flag will be removed from the Capitol grounds. The symbol of slavery and segregation will be removed.
There will be no parades or parties of celebration because of most of us know that just because this outward sign is gone, blacks still will not get better housing, jobs, or education.
The people who fought to keep the flag will have to now come up with more ingenious methods of hiding their discrimination and hatred of black people. They’ll have to find ways to do so without being so obvious so as to not to appear to break the law. They’ll have to say things like, “my best friend is black.”
So maybe we don’t use the “N” word anymore, at least not in public. We’ve taken down the Confederate flag. But oppression of any kind is still oppression. We are not free at last. This fight still continues. Visit me, Ladia Jones at www.ladiajones.com