The false charade that has been blowing in the wind atop flagpoles across the south has finally worn threadbare allowing the light of the ugly truth to be seen. Looking back, I am chilled and astounded over how long the lies have been allowed, how easily the masses have been duped and how systematically history was altered, bleached, sanitized, and pressed smooth.
It was back in 1964 that President Lyndon Baines Johnson predicted Democrats would lose the south after his visionary and correct civil rights legislation became law. Despite the electoral and political consequences for Democrats, LBJ wrestled and arm-twisted his magnanimous legislative agenda into the fabric of American Constitutional Law. He saw it as the right thing to do at the right moment. He was undeterred. Immediately following this official legal end to the century old Civil War oppressive, racist and illegal way of life, the Confederate Flag was hoisted back into prominence, and symbolically waved in sulking defiance across the south.
This is a fact and this is why and when America witnessed the second coming of the Confederacy. White supremacist folks have cleverly been wolves in sheepskin providing cover for their real agenda, until the inevitability happened. A Dylann Roof, one of their own homegrown kids filtered the hate paranoid narrative thru his unhinged angst with action. It was the perfect storm bred in a culture of racial hate armed with guns proudly stalking in shadows created under the honor of a flag.
With the recent despicable tragic slaughter in the Charleston, South Carolina church hopefully comes a "check-mate" moment that can lift the white sheet called "proud traditions" to reveal the stained ugly truth of racism. Myths that get socialized and ingrained in the social psyche are tenacious, but they are not invincible.
Perhaps now another myth can be overturned. There is little capital worth fighting over to keep the Confederate Flag flying above the Capitol of South Carolina. Now is the moment folks at the Capitol can accept there is no capital in capital punishment. While all eyes are focused, and the nation's outrage has coalesced around sweeping aside the symbols of the treasonous rebel south, this other tradition against humanity and the modern state clings thru myth. Seeking the death penalty for Dylann Roof would not be utilitarian, noble, nor serve society. South carolina's institution of capital punishment, along with other southern states, is an old tradition much of the country abandoned. Capital punishment was a facade built and sustained as fresh paint on clean wood while riddled with dry rot. Capital punishment is shamed with the same institutional racism. There is no capital left in capital punishment. The timing could not be better to throw out the baby and the bath water. The message from the violated congregation that survives the Dylann Roof massacre is one of forgiveness, love and inspiration for a more humane future.
Let's put an end to violence and killing, including sponsorship of terror, whether it comes in the form of an official state seal that legalizes killing, or as way of promoting ideological hate which gives cover to the unstable, unhinged and disenfranchised to kill.