Posted Jan. 4, 2008- Black leaders in South Carolina say the Confederate flag has got to go.
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It’s not as if the NAACP, Black clergy and others haven’t targeted the symbol of America’s painful past before.
"America is a mean country and South Carolina is a meaner state," said Lonnie Randolph, president of the state chapter of the NAACP. "For the government of this state to continue to endorse bigotry, racism and White supremacy, we are going to continue to raise our voice and speak out against it."
Randolph and others believe that with the Democratic candidates about to descend upon the state, now is the time to reignite the campaign to remove the rebel flag from its official stature.
On Jan. 21 Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) will attend the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday march and rally. A few days later, Democrats will cast their votes in one of the nation’s earliest primaries.
The NAACP says that arguments that the bars and stars is really just a symbol of southern pride ignores the hurt that it inflicts on African Americans.
Not only is it the symbol of those who opposed freeing the slaves, they note, but it has been adopted as a modern-day emblem of hate by such White supremacy groups as the Ku Klux Klan and Aryan Nation.
Seven years ago, the flag was removed from atop the Capitol dome and put in front of the State House at a Confederate monument.
The NAACP wants it removed altogether, even calling for potential conventioneers to boycott the state until the flag is gone.
Is the flag a symbol of "southern pride" or racism? Click 'Discuss Now' to talk about it!