Still, it was a mixed day. With Walmart and Sears ceasing to sell Confederate merchandise, Mr. Rich said his store had around a 2,000 percent increase in sales in the last 24 hours. Told that eBay had also announced a ban, he let out a whoop. [New York Times]
THE GRAPHIC above is a quote from Hillary Clinton talking in the town where I grew up, Florissant, Missouri, and which I’ve talked about often during the furor over the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, the next town over. Clinton’s message mirrors sentiment across the country, even in places where the deep rooted racism of the last centuries have been allowed breathing room.
Senator Mitch McConnell suggests that the statue of Jefferson Davis inside Statuary Hall in the Capitol should be moved. Kentucky GOP gubernatorial hopeful Matt Bevin agrees.
After last week’s deadly shooting at a historically black church in Charleston, South Carolina, images emerged of the suspected gunman’s affinity for the Confederate flag, spurring debate over whether the Confederate symbol should be represented on state property. According to reporters at the news conference, McConnell said that a “more appropriate” location for the Davis statue would be a state museum. This week, McConnell expressed support for South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley’s call to remove the Confederate flag from the statehouse grounds in Columbia. [National Journal]
Senator Rand Paul didn’t trip up this time, as he did with Rachel Maddow talking about race.
“I think the flag is inescapably a symbol of human bondage and slavery — and particularly when people use it obviously for murder and to justify hatred so vicious that you would kill somebody — I think that that symbolism needs to end, and I think South Carolina is doing the right thing,” Paul told radio station WKRO. [MSNBC]
Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced license plates in Virginia would no longer cater to Confederate sympathy. Wonder when Jefferson Davis Highway will be renamed? It’s a very long stretch of road winding through Alexandria, Virginia where I lived for several years.
Georgia’s Republican Governor Deal isn’t quite measuring up to others.
The Republican stopped short of calling for the Sons of Confederate Veterans tags to be phased out or eliminated entirely, as the leaders in North Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee announced Tuesday. He said the redesign, though, would seek to eliminate the bigger visage of the flag that covers the background of the entire tag. The change, he added, wouldn’t require legislative action.
The Washington Post ran a weird story speculating about Clinton-Gore campaign buttons, which offered no proof that they were sanctioned or used by the campaign. The story was circulated anyway.
As for South Carolina where Confederate sympathy became the tipping point, Democratic Governor Fritz Hollings presided over the raising of the Confederate flag there in 1961, a wholly different time. What does this mean today? Not a whole lot, but Fox News Channel sure thinks it’s important and so do conservatives trying to scramble to distance themselves from what’s been a foundational part of their party in the south from the day Democrats dropped their segregationist ways and entered the new era of modern Democratic politics that followed Lyndon B. Johnson’s lead on civil rights.
What people seem to conveniently forget, which we’re witnessing today, is that politicians really do take their cues from people and always have. It’s why the Confederate sympathy has lasted so long in the south, but also why the era of stars and bars is over. Politicians are moved by people, but only when the public speaks out.
Today another partner in pushing issues of the part into the future is corporate interests and money.
In 1987, Governor Bill Clinton signed a law adding a blue star to the Arkansas flag, showing Confederate sympathy in the age of Ronald Reagan, who used race to win the south.
Seven years ago Mike Huckabee told people that the Arkansas flag was no one’s business but Arkansans.
Governor Robert Bentley of Alabama ordered this morning that the Confederate flag is to be removed from state Capitol grounds.
Huckabee and several other Republicans say it’s not an issue for 2016. Good luck with that.