CHARLESTON, S.C. — In the continuing aftermath of the bloodbath perpetrated by Dylann Roof against churchgoers at Emmanuel AME Church, which killed nine people including state Sen. Clemente Pinckney, the South Carolina governor is demanding state legislators vote to remove the Confederate Flag from the statehouse grounds.
Roof often flossed the Confederate Flag in Facebook and other social media posts where he proclaimed his hatred of minorities and his pledged to kill many African Americans in order to incite a race war.
His heinous and dastardly crime notwithstanding, many whites have joined blacks in marches and memorials for the murdered members of the church and to rebuke Roof wholeheartedly. Additionally, Democrats and Republicans joined Gov. Nikki Haley at the podium on Monday afternoon to call for the removal of the flag from the state house grounds.
Despite Gov. Haley’s proclamation to campaign to have the flag removed, 73 percent of whites in the state want the Confederate Flag, while 61 percent of black South Carolinians want the flag removed.
Bolstering Haley’s point is the fact that the Confederate Flag was put up on top of the state house dome in 1962, which many believed was in direct response to, and in retaliation of, the successful Civil Rights Movement. In 2000, the legislature and electorate came to a compromise and took the flag from atop the state house but kept it on the state house grounds.
Today, the calls for the flag’s complete removal is now vociferous and deafening.
It remains to be seen if the governor has enough support within the state legislator to pull off this campaign that has traditionally divided black and white Americans, particularly those in South Carolina.