The Washington Post’s Sally Jenkins glibly asserts that “the Confederate battle flag is an American swastika, the relic of traitors and totalitarians, symbol of a brutal regime, not a republic.”
If it were left to me, I’d take the flag down. But this kind of cheap moral preening is galling. Is it really too much for people to muster the moral imagination that the issue isn’t nearly as simple as that?
A November poll of South Carolinians found that 61 percent of blacks wanted it down. That means nearly four in 10 blacks felt differently. Are they the moral equivalent of self-loathing Jews, happy to live under a swastika?
It’s a sure bet that some of the white South Carolinians marching across that bridge and attending services at Emanuel AME Church also support keeping the flag. That doesn’t mean they’re right, but they surely aren’t the American SS of Jenkins’ imagination, either.
Blogger Glenn Reynolds noted that when the South was solidly Democratic, we got “Gone With the Wind” nostalgia. Now that it’s profoundly less racist, but also less useful to Democrats, it’s the enemy of all that is decent and good.
If we’re going to offer ridiculous flag comparisons, a better one would be the Japanese imperial flag. After World War II, the United States banned it until 1949.
Douglas MacArthur then opted to let a defeated, once-authoritarian society keep a few symbols of its past in order to build a better future.
Can anyone argue that the South hasn’t done likewise? White Northern liberals explain how the South is an irredeemable cesspool of hate, while ignoring the fact that blacks are abandoning the Northern blue states in huge numbers to move to the South.
Demographer Joel Kotkin found that 13 of the 15 best cities in the country for African-Americans to live in are now in the South. Over the last decade, millions of African-Americans have been reversing the Great Migration of a century ago to live in Dixie.