The Republican Governor of Alabama, Robert Bentley, ordered the Confederate flag taken down from the grounds of the state capitol on Wednesday, and from the reaction on social media, you would have thought he had said the entire city of Montgomery will be burned to the ground.
After issuing the order to remove the flag, Bentley commented:
?This is the right thing to do.?We are facing some major issues in this state regarding the budget and other matters that we need to deal with. This had the potential to become a major distraction as we go forward. I have taxes to raise, we have work to do. And it was my decision that the flag needed to come down.?
In a state as connected to the Deep South legacy of slavery and hatred as Alabama, Bentley’s act was indeed a brave one. But on social media he was immediately excoriated and vilified. Here’s a sampling of the reaction on Twitter:
“Don’t understand why people are hating on the Confederate Flag so much. It’s a sign of the South, and Southern Pride. It’s not all racism.”
“This is just the beginning of censorship.”?#KeepTheFlagUp
“Never once was I taught hatred or anything bad under Dixie. Dixie was the flag of my southern heritage of hard work and love for freedom…”
“I am not prejudice. I have friends of all races and life styles. But I value my Southern Heritage.”
“Alabama Governor orders removal of Confederate Flag. Spineless coward! I hate to see cream puffs who crater to PC BS.”
“It wasn’t the flag itself that stood for racism, it was the slave owners that did. The flag stands for states’ rights.”#KeepTheFlagUp
As you can see from these ignorant bigots who lurk on the Internet, we still have a long way to go in this country before we truly overcome the ugly stain of slavery and hatred that still pollutes our nation. These people can claim “state’s rights” and “heritage” all they want, but those of us who were born and live in the South know the truth: The Confederate flag is a flag of defiance, a way for some states to issue a great big “fu*k you” to the federal government and anyone who doesn’t accept their vision of a land where all are not equal.
But their time is passing, and the time of true tolerance, equality, and love is just beginning.
h/t Raw Story