Legions of people clapped, cheered and cried as South Carolina lowered the Confederate battle flag. But the euphoria of a moment that was more than a decade in the making quickly began to shift to a hard question to answer: What exactly had been accomplished for race relations in the United States? Was it more symbolic than substantive?
No. No. No. This was obviously a Huge Major Important Thing. Those that supported the use of that flag were enemies of freedom and relics of the past and they and their flag had to be wiped from America. Mission accomplished. The world is much better now. Bask in the victory.
A flag is gone. But discrimination, poverty and inequality still exist around the country, with some wondering if the time and energy spent on the Confederate battle flag might have been better used tackling other racial issues facing Americans.
Whoa. What? Murdoc though this was All Important. Wasn’t progress against racism at a standstill as long as this flag flew? Didn’t this need to happen because, well, Murdoc was actually never really sure why it had to happen because he never really heard anyone give an convincing argument about why it really mattered all that much. But so many people were so adamant about it, calling defenders of the flag because those who defended the flag were name-callers or something.
Elsie Lee, a retired South Carolina state employee, thought about what her parents went through in the South as the Confederate flag, which has been adopted by segregationists and supremacists over the years, slowly came down from a flagpole in front of the state capitol.
“This is the most important thing happening in this country,” said Lee, who lived through the civil rights struggles of the 1960s. [emphasis added because damn, it’s the most important thing happening in this country]
Got that America? This is the most important thing happening in this country. That flag. More important than anything else.