In his eulogy for Rev. Clementa Pinckney on Friday, President Obama made a strong and stirring case for why now is the time to remove the Confederate flag from our public spaces:
“It’s true a flag did not cause these murders,” Obama added. “But as people from all walks of life now acknowledge…the flag has always represented more than just ancestral pride. For many, black and white, that flag was a reminder of systemic oppression and racial subjugation. We see that now. Removing the flag from this state’s capitol would not be an act of political correctness. It would not be an insult to the valor of Confederate soldiers. It would simply be an acknowledgment that the cause for which they fought—the cause of slavery—was wrong.”
In response to the horrific act of terrorism at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston last week, calls have been rising up across the country for the state of South Carolina to remove the Confederate flag from government grounds. Hundreds of thousands of people have signed online petitions from our allies at MoveOn and others calling for action, and even high profile Republicans like Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush have said that it is time for the flag to go.
Taking the Confederate flag down in South Carolina is a difficult process -- 2/3 of the legislature must vote in favor of taking action before the issue can be addressed.
The South Carolina legislature will begin debate on whether or not to remove the flag as soon as next week. It's up to us to keep the pressure on in order to make sure they do the right thing.
Tell the South Carolina legislature to respect the families of the victims: Stay in session, take down the Confederate flag and put it back in the museum where it belongs.