Nikki Haley Did Her One Good Thing, Back To Being Coward Now
While people are so busy clap-clapping for South Carolina's Republican governor, who finally and quite reluctantly called for the removal of the Confederate flag from the state capitol, they might want to take a brief intermission to note just how reluctant Nikki Haley is to see the flag removed:
The Confederate battle flag will continue to fly on the Statehouse grounds today, despite efforts to remove it temporarily.
Gov. Nikki Haley said she still wants to see the flag removed permanently, but doesn’t want to break the law by claiming it’s down for repairs, said Haley’s spokeswoman Chaney Adams.
“Based on the 2000 law, (Haley) does not have the authority to remove the flag herself, today or any day, and rather than violate that law, she will continue to work to change it,” Adams said.
Here's the thing. No one is encouraging Gov. Haley to break the law, but she could easily take the flag down to have it steam-cleaned or bleached or have the padlock that holds it in place polished, or whatever other "maintenance" or "repairs" might conveniently be in order at this time, to ensure the damned thing does not continue to fly over a state in mourning after a massacre committed by a Confederate flag fetishist. And certainly not while state Sen. Clementa Pinckney -- one of nine African American victims murdered in the name of white supremacy -- lies in state on those very same capitol grounds.
Is Haley that heartless? Or just plain stupid? We'll go with "yes." She defended the flag when she ran for re-election in 2014, and said her governorship was evidence that South Carolina has sufficiently dealt with its racism. During her press conference on Monday, while she conceded that "150 years after the Civil War, the time has come" to remove the Confederate flag, she also insisted that for many, it "stands for traditions that are noble." Sure, because those who embrace the flag consider the Confederacy's war against the United States, and the "traditions" of white supremacy, a noble cause. THAT DOES NOT MAKE IT OK. Haley even dismissed Dylann Roof as an anomaly with "a sick and twisted view of the flag," not representative of the decent folk of South Carolina who want the flag to remain in place because they think enemies of the United States who fought to preserve slavery died for a "noble" cause.
Whether the legislature will vote to remove the flag is still uncertain, even as other states act quickly to remove their Confederate symbols. Haley also isn't condemning those who insist the flag should remain in place because there's nothing wrong or "racial" about it. Nor does she have much to say to members of her own party, like South Carolina state Rep. William Chumley, who opposes removing the flag and has said the state is "focusing on the wrong thing here," when the legislature should instead be seeking to ensure every man, woman, and poodle is armed:
These people sat in there, and waited their turn to be shot. That’s sad. But somebody in there with the means of self defense could have stopped this. And we’d have had less funerals than we’re having.
It's quite possible, though, that Haley agrees. After all, in addition to defending the Confederate flag, she has also defended the state's lenient guns for everyone!!! policies, including for those convicted of domestic violence because she's "always believed in the Second Amendment," and thinks the real solution is to teach victims how to effectively run and hide from their abusers and "to educate people on how they can have a better life." She did ultimately sign a bill banning guns for people who beat the bejusus out of their victims, but people who use some light tender love taps are still permitted to carry, so hooray for the Second Amendment. Who knows what Haley really thinks, other than the political advisers who obviously told her she had no choice but to call for the flag's removal -- ever so gently, though, so as not to offend anyone's "heritage." (Except for African Americans' heritage of slavery and Jim Crow under the Confederate flag. A few words to them, and they'll be fine.)
In her remarks on Monday, the governor also said that “the flag will always be a part of the soil of South Carolina.” That is certainly true as long as the state's leaders refuse to admit what that flag represents, and why it must be removed, from the capitol grounds and state-issued license plates, and, mostly importantly, the hearts of South Carolinians who call the flag and its history "noble." Until then, we take it back, no medals for you, Gov. Haley. Not even a teeny tiny one.
[Post and Courier / TPM]