Leave it to the KKK to drive a point home.
A hate group, known as the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, reportedly intends to hold a rally in front of the South Carolina statehouse. Thanks to the 1st Amendment, their right to gather and the rights of similar hate-filled groups like them are protected. That, even though the KKK is a name that has long been associated with domestic terrorism.
So why would the KKK rally around the Confederate flag at a time when many non-racist Americans are trying to get away from it? Why, as confirmation. The KKK is the proof bubbling to the surface of convenient ignorance where the flag is concerned. There are people who insist that the flag only represents southern pride and heritage.
— The Post and Courier (@postandcourier) June 29, 2015
The problem is that these people never took the time to wrestle their “proud heritage” away from the KKK, neo-Nazis, and related organizations — organizations that have chosen the Confederate flag as a symbol of hate. In the minds of such groups, the Confederacy hearkens back to a time when things were right with the world — Black Americans were still property, women couldn’t vote, and white male supremacy was an unquestioned way of life. In other words, their heritage, as associated with the Confederate flag, is “white power.”
That is what those delusional hate groups like the KKK see when they rally around the Confederate Flag. That, and it no doubt pleases them that certain symbols are upsetting to people of color. That is why you’ll often see the Nazi flag or swastika flown beside the Confederate flag by hate groups or blatantly racist individuals.
Speaking of imagery, I want you to observe this image.
It was taken in Ukraine. That’s right, the so-called “symbol of American Southern heritage” was being flown in protest by a white power supporter in another country. In fact, the flag is reportedly the darling of white power organizations and supporters in Europe, as reported by the Business Insider.
“In Germany, the Confederate flag is not void of political context. European skinheads and neo-Nazi groups have adopted the Confederate flag and variations of it because of its historical context as a symbol of racism and white supremacy.
In addition, the Atlantic reports that American Civil War reenactments have become popular in Germany, with many Germans choosing to side with the Confederacy.
Wolfgang Hochbruck, a professor of American Studies at the University of Freiburg, told the Atlantic this is because ‘some of the Confederate reenactors in Germany are acting out Nazi fantasies of racial superiority.’ ” [emphasis ours]
The time to try to disassociate the Confederate flag with white power movements and hatred of people of color has long passed. The KKK proudly stands beside the Confederate flag, letting the world know what it means to them. The historical symbolism has waned in the eyes of the global audience and will further shrink, as we see images and video of the Klan rally in Charleston, South Carolina, proudly waving the Confederate flag.
There is no longer a way for a white American, no matter what part of the country they hail from, to stand beside that flag and not be considered a supporter of racism and bigotry.
— Bipartisan Report (@Bipartisanism) June 24, 2015
The Confederate flag needs to be abandoned to the history books. Hopefully, this predictable and tasteless rally by the KKK will help seal that sentiment into minds of Americans everywhere.
[Image Credit: Spencer Platt / Getty Images]