Man Suing Over Confederate Flag Removal Says It’s Not Racist, Immediately Proves It Is

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Look, the Confederate flag, battle flag, or whatever you want to call it is a symbol of racism. It belongs in a museum, not on proud display in government buildings. There’s a grand total of two reasons to argue in favor of flying the Confederate flag: you’re a white supremacist, or white supremacists’ efforts to obscure the truth about racist symbols has worked on you and turned you into their ally. It’s up to you whether you want to remain their ally after you’ve worked that out. (Hint: You don’t, unless you’re also a white supremacist.)

I’ll let you draw your own conclusions about which camp Russell Walker falls into. Walker filed a lawsuit in order to return Confederate flags to the York County, South Carolina courthouse that had been removed during renovations and never replaced. In the video above, you can see him arguing that he doesn’t believe it’s a symbol of racism right before he launches into a bizarre comparison between symbols representing the Confederate south and monuments to civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

But the truly telling part is when he instead slings the slur “Martin Luther Coon” first, before giving a knowing smile and revising his words. “I shouldn’t have said that,” he chuckles, which is the only true thing that comes out of his mouth. It bears repeating: This is the sentiment people are siding with in the defense of Confederate symbols and monuments. No, no one is necessarily responsible for the words, actions, or opinions of everyone they side with on a given issue, but this racism is the driving force behind the preservation of these symbols, not just a fringe group that can be ignored.

Even worse is the fact that the flag in the courthouse was the full Confederate flag, which has the familiar “southern cross” design in the top left corner of a white background. It’s a design intended to symbolize “the Heaven-ordained supremacy of the white man over the inferior or colored race; a white flag would thus be emblematical of our cause,” according to Savannah Morning News editor William T. Thompson, in his argument for its adoption in 1863. So once again, yes, it definitely symbolizes racism and white supremacy first and foremost. Thompson literally referred to it as “the white man’s flag.”

Luckily, Walker’s lawsuit was tossed out, but largely because he lives in North Carolina, not South Carolina, according to WSOCTV (apparent typo notwithstanding). Support for returning the flag doesn’t seem widespread (almost 100 whole people held a rally!), but the lawsuit’s argument was based on the South Carolina Heritage Act, which mandates that only the state legislature can move Confederate symbols in public buildings, so the fight isn’t necessarily over yet.

(via Yoojin Cho, featured image: Shutterstock)

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Dan Van Winkle
Dan Van Winkle (he) is an editor and manager who has been working in digital media since 2013, first at now-defunct Geekosystem (RIP), and then at The Mary Sue starting in 2014, specializing in gaming, science, and technology. Outside of his professional experience, he has been active in video game modding and development as a hobby for many years. He lives in North Carolina with Lisa Brown (his wife) and Liz Lemon (their dog), both of whom are the best, and you will regret challenging him at Smash Bros.