Monday, March 24, 2014

In honor of Glenn McConnell, let's make tomorrow Confederate Flag Appreciation Day

Fly Johnny Reb, Fly

Posted by Chris Haire on Mon, Mar 24, 2014 at 8:22 AM

I'll be brief: If you truly believe that Glenn McConnell's support of the Confederate flag is not an issue — that it's not an embarrassment for the head of a liberal arts university — then I encourage you to join with all the other pro-McConnell masses, the Lost Causers, and the Johnny Rebs and fly a Confederate flag in your front yard tomorrow, Tues. March 25. 

And you don't need to stop there. I encourage you to put a flag on your car, your cubical, your briefcase, your gym bag, your yoga pants. (Oooh ... yoga pants. Slobber.)

We can call it Confederate Flag Appreciation Day, and when it's done, we'll all know once and for all if the Confederate flag is a problem. And then, and only then, will we understand if all of this hubbub over CofC's decision to hire Glenn McConnell has been, you know, blown all out of proportion by a few angry libs — me included — and those racist glory hounds at the NAACP.

On a slightly different note, I must say that I've been shocked by the reaction to McConnell's appointment from the Democratic Party in South Carolina. By and large, white Democratic politicians (like Leon Stavrinakis and former state legislator Boyd Brown) and Democratic political operatives (see Charleston's Tyler Jones) publicly cheered McConnell's selection while black Democrats remained largely silent after the announcement (Truth be told: Some black Democrats spoke in favor of McConnell prior to the selection. See, House Minority Leader Todd Rutherford and Sen. Darrell Jackson). The question, of course, is why.

I mean, we live in incredible partisan times, perhaps the worst. And yet, these Dems are going to cheer McConnell's presidency, despite the fact that he is a proud supporter of the Confederate Battle Flag (which, mind you, was not the flag of the Confederate States of America, but was a lesser flag co-opted by segregationists in the '60s).

I understand that McConnell is well-respected by his one-time Statehouse peers and is less a Heritage Not Hate radical than a Confederate cosplay fanboy, but why would white Democrats support a man who so clearly loves such a divisive symbol, especially considering how offensive that symbol is to the significant portion of the Democratic Party (i.e. black voters). Even worse, how could they support a man who made living off of selling that symbol to the masses (See, McConnell's Confederate memorabilia shop, CSA Galleries).

Just as importantly, why would black Democrats, as a whole, remain silent about this? Where's the outrage? Do you honestly think that everybody on the other side of the aisle has a love jones for Glenn McConnell and they think his Battle Flag infatuation is all super cool and way totally awesome? Or are they just so disenfranchised that they don't even feel as if what they say matters — because, you know, it never really seems to? Honestly, I just don't know.

And then I remember where we live. It's a state where Katon Dawson, a member of a white's only country club, has been appointed to the board of S.C. State University, a historically black college. It's a state where a state senator can call a gubernatorial candidate a "raghead" and get away with it. It's a state where the media and the powers that be hid the fact for decades that a one-time Dixiecrat — and one of the South's most virulent segregationists — had fathered an illegitimate black daughter. It's a state where we applaud the removal of the Confederate Battle Flag from atop the Statehouse dome to a place of even greater prominence on the Statehouse grounds as a civil rights victory. 

And then I remembered that we live in a nation where a 2012 Republican presidential candidate owns a home in Texas called Niggerhead Ranch, while another GOP candidate — and current CNN host — referred to President Barack Obama as a "Kenyan anti-colonialist" and a "food stamp president." Yeah. Makes sense now.

In South Carolina, the good old boy system is alive and well. And the white Democrats are just as guilty as their white Republican counterparts, while the black Democrats in the state are too afraid to speak up. Cowards, the lot of them.


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