"Blacks still see flag as banner of racism"
Dear Mr. Sheinin,
I read your on-line article entitled "Blacks still see flag as banner of racism", and noted the chart accompanying your article which shows that 50% of those polled believe the Confederate battleflag is a symbol of racism, while another 20% believe it is both a symbol of racism and Southern heritage.
As the Heritage Defense Chairman for my Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp, I have followed a great number of polls that have been done on this same subject, and the figures shown in the poll accompanying your article are absolutely the most skewed results I have ever read!
Even a poll by Mason-Dixon some 5 or so years ago showed that some 65% of Southern blacks do not consider the Confederate flag to be a symbol of "slavery and racism" (the words used in that poll). The results of that poll showed that while Southern blacks generally have no particular affinity for the flag, considering it rather to be "a white thing", they also are not particularly offended by its display either.
The results of the poll which The State decided to use to accompany your article is certainly indicative of the omnipresent anti-Southern heritage slant of the newspaper, and must have been taken at an NAACP rally, or something. I doubt that any true South Carolinian, or any true Southerner for that matter, finds these numbers at all credible.
One thing you failed to mention in your article was that the NAACP at its national convention in 1991 passed the following resolution:
VII. INTERNAL AFFAIRS
1. Resolution abhorring the Confederate Battle Flag on State Flags Approved WHEREAS, the tyrannical evil symbolized in the Confederate Battle Flag is an abhorrence to all Americans and decent people of this country, and indeed the world and is an odious blight upon the universe; and, WHEREAS, African-Americans, had no voice, no consultation, no concurrence, no commonality, not in fact nor in philosophy, in the vile conception of the Confederate Battle Flag or State Flags containing the ugly symbol of idiotic white supremacy, racism and denigration; and, WHEREAS, we adamantly reject the notion that African-Americans should accept this flag for any stretch of the imagination or approve its presence on State Flags; NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the national office of the NAACP and all units commit their legal resources to the removal of the Confederate Flag from all public properties.
Obviously, this is a nothing more than a lot of hyperbole, but it seems to have been a misconception that was continually fed by the Left, and race-baiters who make a living by fomenting interracial strife, to American blacks lest they consider for themselves the vast improvement in opportunities available to them in the last 40+ years. Those American blacks who still suffer from poverty, poor education, widespread illegitimacy, broken homes, crime-ridden neighborhoods, drug abuse, etc. do not suffer these destructive problems because of the Confederate flag, they suffer these problems because of societal problems that need to be corrected by blacks themselves. Even the black communities of the early Twentieth Century were not faced with these myriad problems, even though they were certainly confronted with widespread racial discrimination and the Jim Crow Laws, which, by the way, were upheld as constitutional by the United States Supreme Court, and had nothing whatsoever to do with the Confederacy.
In my opinion, The State spends much too much time and effort attempting to prolong this ridiculous notion that Southern history, Southern heritage, and Southern symbols are somehow invariably racist and somehow are responsible for many of the ills facing the black community. If The State honestly believes that South Carolina blacks have been kept down all these years by Southern symbolism, then it is giving the black community very little credit for being able "pull themselves up by the bootstraps" without depending on white liberals to do the "heavy lifting" for them. I can assure you that many successful blacks such as Dr. Walter Williams, Dr. Thomas Sowell, Dr. Bill Cosby and many others I could name would consider that opinion to be based upon racism and the idea of perceived black inferiority.
D. A. Anthony