Move S.C. into future: Furl the flag

On the surface the Atlantic Coast Conference’s decision to rescind the awarding of baseball tournaments to Myrtle Beach appears as yet another black eye for the state of South Carolina. I get the fact that the ACC was horribly unfair to Myrtle Beach. I also am fully aware that many do not like "outsiders" from the national NAACP telling us what to do in "our" state. No one likes to be coerced into doing anything.

Yet, what if we, the citizens of South Carolina, actually take this controversy as an opportunity to advance the Palmetto State into the future? To do this, we must all do some soul searching. I’m not an African-American, a member of the NAACP or a graduate of an ACC school, so I will refrain from searching the soul of anyone who fits into those categories.

I am, however, a white Republican and graduate of an SEC school. Here’s what I’ve concluded after searching my soul. I don’t need to wait for the NAACP to make me understand that the Confederate flag deeply offends a huge percentage of the population of South Carolina and thus needs to be removed from the State House grounds. A person’s celebration of culture, history and heritage need not needlessly offend many of our fellow citizens.

Removing the flag is the polite, right and most prudent course of action. To all my fellow white citizens I simply ask this: If you were an African-American, what would you really think about the symbolism of the Confederate flag? Is stubborn adherence to a symbol really worth the offense it causes and the money that is lost in this great state?

I, for one, propose we break the bonds of historical patterns and boldly make history! Instead of being known for racial tensions, let’s make sure South Carolina is known for racial unity. Instead of being the subject of economic boycotts, wouldn’t it be great if our state hosted not only ACC tournaments, but also SEC and NCAA tournaments.?

For all this to happen, it will mean the majority demographic in this state will need to show both courage and consideration. Let no one view this as caving in to some outside entity rather let us view this step of removing the Confederate flag from the State House grounds as voluntarily making a bold statement that all the citizens of South Carolina are first-class and created uniquely by our creator. History will record something about this generation of South Carolinians. What will the history books say about you?

JAY GLASGOW
Columbia