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Saturday, June 20, 2015

Dear Nikki Haley: It Is Time

Dear Governor Haley:

It is common knowledge for all Americans that the Confederate flag is a symbol for racist groups. As such, one would think that it would be an embarrassment for it to be displayed publicly at a government building. Please ask yourself what the difference is, historically and emotionally, between the Confederate flag and this swastika flag. Both flags have been adopted by countless racist hate groups because of their commonalities. If that does not make sense to you, I insist you should not be representing any state or its citizens. You raised the question of your capacity to lead when you  answered in debates that removing the flag was not important to the CEOs of corporations in South Carolina. Do their opinions still hold the same weight?

State Representative Doug Brannon means to propose a bill to have the Confederate flag come down in November. That really is too long to wait. The healing cannot begin until the flag is removed from your statehouse and November is many months away.

You had a massacre in your state. Members of your community were murdered while they were praying in their church. The objective, per the assailant, was to start a race war. The hatred and racism from the time of slavery has never been addressed properly and is still a very important issue for all Americans to contend with. You dismiss the lives lost this week when you allow the very symbol adopted by racists as their flag to fly over the state house.

The insult is so much more profound when you realize that not only was one of the people who was killed, the Reverend Clementa Pinckney, the pastor of that church who had just spent an hour praying with his killer, but he was a member of the House of Representatives for the state of South Carolina. He must have had every ounce of the grace attributed to him by so many to have entered that building every day and pass that flag which represented so much pain and hate to then offer the respect to all inside. Every person inside the state house that he paid respect to had the power to return the favor by taking the flag down. It is unimaginable that they will allow it to fly now.

When you dismiss all pleas for the flags removal you disassociate yourself from a profound opportunity to begin the healing that our country has been in such desperate need to find. If it remains after the slaughter of these human beings in an event that we know to have been only an issue of race, you are perpetuating the problem and condoning not only the actions, but the mentalities behind the racist actors in our society today. They want that flag to stay up. The good-hearted and loving among us what an empathetic, thoughtful reflection to offer revelation to those with the authority to declare it time to take the flag down and respect those who were lost.

At present, your town is full of monuments and reminders to those who led the battles in attempts to maintain the ownership of other human beings. Can you not allow this massacre to be the event that makes you understand what type of pain that causes? I hear interviews of those defending their ancestors who fought in the war who demand the flag is an important reminder of their sacrifices. Would it not be prudent, at this time specifically, to consider the sacrifices of the ancestors whose lives they were fighting to remain enslaved?

The black community, too, are your citizens. And you perpetuate their suffering when you tell them that the struggles of their family are irrelevant. You condone the hatred when you fly a flag that all know is a symbol of hate in America. It is time to take it down. Today.

Most Sincerely,

All Patriotic Americans

This number of signatures on this national petition will continue to grow. I urge you to keep an eye on it. It will help document how many people are beginning to associate racism with a Republican leader who refuses to understand the importance of their role in perpetuating racism.

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