For the past couple of days I’ve been ashamed and disappointed that RedState has decided to enter into the feeding frenzy over the Confederate flag (note: the flag in question is actually the battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia, but for sake of brevity I will refer to it as the Confederate flag) and have cooperated in tying that flag to the shootings in Charleston, SC. As humans we are, at the core, herd animals and we like to be liked. That is understandable and, from an evolutionary point of view, essential to survival. There is a line, however, between wanting to be liked and toadying. It it here that I fear we, as a site, have crossed the line and descended from the status of opinion leaders to catchfarts for all the worst impulses of the progressive left.
Were this an exercise in denouncing racism, I’d be on board. But it isn’t. I’m not saying racism doesn’t exist, it clearly does. The flags the Charleston shooter, Dylann Roof, posed with were those of Rhodesia and apartheid South Africa. It is difficult to draw any other conclusion about their meaning when worn by someone with no cultural connection with those symbols. But the racism of the Dylann Roof variety is not caused by governmental action or social acceptance. Far from it. Roof, by all accounts, was an outsider. South Carolina has a governor of Indian descent and one senator who is black. Yet despite there being no real evidence of state or community propagated racism or any evidence that South Carolinians are racist, a lot of people, mostly but not exclusively on the left, have used the tragedy to wage an attack on the display of the battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia. The motives on the part of some minuscule number of those persons could conceivably be motivated by some high-mindedness, some concern for the perceived feelings of others. This kind of annoying, sand-in-the-butt-crack hypersensitivity does exist. It is why college professors attach “trigger warnings” to course material and why the Supreme Court has allowed school districts to ban the American flag.
In essence this is an Alinskyite assault on a symbol. The purpose of that assault upon a symbol is simple. The Confederate flag is associated with a region of the nation that has, since 1968, voted fairly reliably for conservative and Republican candidates. By connecting the Charleston shooting to the Confederate flag and making that an issue they have effectively connected the South with the shooting. Inevitably, we will hear more about conservatives and the GOP being strongest is a region that guns down black people in churches and flies the Confederate flag.