Learning history awakens, enlightens and forces introspection. But when historical items become icons, the facts take a back seat to dogma. South Carolina finally has taken down the symbol that when I was young I did not fully understand. It's now time for the rest of us to understand the hate such a symbol represents.
The question answered by the South Carolina House of Representatives today is whether their state government, as a political and democratic institution representing constituents of all races, should maintain on its capitol grounds the very flag it placed there 50 years ago to protest the civil rights movement.
As South Carolina's Capitol grounds and other jurisdictions decide the fate of their most prominent emblems of past oppression and contemporary reaction, Stone Mountain guarantees that at least one Confederate icon will loom over the South's largest city for as long into the future as mankind can foresee.
Reasonable people know that we are all in this race quagmire together and togetherness is how we will get ourselves out. There will be no fantasies of a "white" Northwest bordering west at Idaho, Utah and Arizona. Ain't gonna happen. There will not be a "New Africa" for "blacks with Atlanta as the capital. Just ain't gonna happen. Give it up.