The Emanuel AME Church shooting in Charleston that claimed the lives of nine African-Americans should force our nation to confront our views about the Confederacy, the Confederate flag, and public policy.
According to Roland Martin, host of NewsOne Now, the history that we have been taught is a whitewashed version of the events that took place in this country’s past.
As a result of the horrific events that transpired last week in Charleston, Martin said, “We have to confront … the true nature of who we are as a nation.”
Marc Morial, President and CEO of the National Urban League, spoke with Martin via Skype, and said, “This is a watershed moment and removal of the [Confederate] flag is one gesture to remove a symbol of hate.”
Morial said that removal of the flag and other symbols memorializing the Confederacy is a “symbolic gesture, but there are many more substantive” issues that we need to focus on. He reminded viewers that just two years ago, the Supreme Court “gutted” Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act and is “considering a case where they could cut the Fair Housing Act that was passed in 1968.”
Morial questioned if once the Confederate flag is pulled down, will people “claim victory and think they’ve solved the problem?”
He went on to say the Confederate flag is part of what he called the “hate infrastructure in America.” Morial explained there are seven to eight hundred groups operating in America that use the flag and other symbols to “apply the ideology of hate,” which we have to ferret out, fight back, and expose.
The National Urban League President/CEO said, “The larger public policy issues are not exciting, they don’t always make front-page news.”
“We’re working in Congress to try to make sure that a new elementary and secondary education act has accountability and teeth and equity in it — it’s not on the front-pages of the newspaper, but it’s going to effect the disparities that we work on every single day.”
“What we can’t do is be mesmerized by this moment in time, as important as it is, as significant as it is — let’s not understate its important and significance – but we are going to have to ensure that this conversation doesn’t end with the removal of the vestiges of the Confederacy and the vestiges of slavery.”
Watch Roland Martin, Marc Morial, Avis Jones-DeWeever of the Exceptional Leadership Institute for Women, GOP Political/Communication Strategist Paris Dennard, and Joia Jefferson Nuri, CEO/Founder, In The Public Eye Communications, discuss how we as a nation should confront America’s racist past and the attempt to whitewash the history of the Confederacy in the video clip above.
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