Sunday, June 21, 2015

Huckabee's copout

Huckabee: Confederate Flag Controversy Is Not a Presidential Election Issue - NBC News

During the American Revolution, South Carolinians were under-represented in the Continental Army because so many adult males had to stay at home to keep slaves in order. Before the Civil War, South Carolina forbade postmasters to let abolitionist literature pass through the mails, and abolitionists were hounded out of the state in fear of their lives. South Carolina fired the first shots of the Civil War, in the bombardment of Ft. Sumter. Forty years after the war, when Teddy Roosevelt had Booker T. Washington as his dinner guest in the White House, a South Carolina newspaper editorialized that Roosevelt had turned the White House into a "coon café" and said it would be necessary to "kill ten-thousand n____s to put them in their place once more."

In 1968, South Carolina was the site of the Orangeburg Massacre, in which police fired into a crowd of 150 blacks protesting segregation at a local bowling alley, wounding 28, mostly in the back as they ran away, and killing 3. As recently as 2012, South Carolinians cheered as Rick Perry told them in a campaign speech that "South Carolina is at war with the Federal government." In April of this year, Walter Scott, a black man, was shot to death from behind as he ran from a police officer following a traffic stop from a non-functioning brake light.

No, Mike Huckabee, the continued presence of the Confederate flag over South Carolina's state capitol is not a "little issue," as you glibly described it to Chuck Todd this morning. It symbolically flies in the face of some of the most important decisions made by our national leadership, including the Emancipation Proclamation, Brown v. Board of Ed., and the Voting Rights Act, and if you can't see that it is an essential affront to the promise of American life for all and a matter of concern for any presidential candidate, you are a fool, a moral coward, or both.

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