The NY Times Headline says, Dylann Roof, Suspect in Charleston Shooting, Flew the Flags of White Power. As if this is news. Tut, tut. Where could he have learned that?
Well, here’s the picture of the State Capitol of South Carolina:
As all other flags in the state were flown at half-staff, the Confederate Flag, the Stars & Bars, remains flying at full-staff as required by South Carolina state law.
Make no mistake, this flag is about nothing but the armed defense of states’ rights: that is as long as you know what states’ right they were defending was the states’ right to allow its citizens to buy, sell and own other human beings. The right — nay, the legal obligation — to capture those other humans and return them to the status of livestock, should they flee. As long as those other human beings have dark-enough skin, of course.
But for almost a hundred years after the Civil War was settled, no law in South Carolina existed to mandate the flying of this odious, racist symbol. The law requiring this was passed in 1962, once their former property was starting to get so uppity as to expect the same rights as a citizen: voting, access to public education, being served in restaurants, and so on.
The measure to change the uniform of the state and local police departments to flowing white robes with matching hoods only failed by two votes. Deficit hawks who were concerned about the cleaning bills, I guess. While they were at it, I wonder if they considered another law, mandating the flying of this flag in all counties with at least one synagogue.
So. We ask ourselves as if we did not know, as if we cared: wherever did Dylann Roof get the idea to fly the flags of white power?