S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley: It’s Time To Remove Confederate Flag From Statehouse Grounds (VIDEO)

It is a truly historic day in South Carolina. Rarely does the state I call home do what is right when it comes to social issues, and to matters of race in particular. However, in the wake of the horrific act of terrorism that took nine lives in the historically black Emanuel AME Church, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley has called for the removal of the Confederate battle flag from the statehouse grounds. The governor said to applause:

“Today we are here in a moment of unity in our state, without ill will, to say it’s time to move the flag from the Capitol grounds.

….

My hope is that by removing a symbol that divides us, we can move forward in harmony and honor the nine blessed souls that are now in heaven.”

Haley not only gave an impassioned speech that addressed the very difficult and painful past and present of racism in this state, but she also acknowledged the racist nature of things like the killing of unarmed black man Walter Scott at the hands of white police officer Michael Slager (who, by the way, had a defense fund set up by racists), and of course made her way back around to the tragic events at Mother Emanuel Church in Charleston. Haley was joined by many other lawmakers and various public servants, among them South Carolina Senator and 2016 presidential hopeful Lindsey Graham.

Haley acknowledged that many people respect, and even revere the Confederate flag as a symbol of history (though most such people do tend to be racists), and made a point to put a wall between those and the right-wing terrorist, Dylann Roof, who is responsible for the act of racist terror that caused the deaths of those nine innocent people who welcomed him into their church. She called Roof a “hate-filled murderer” who has a “sick and twisted” view of the flag, thus distancing him from those who would never murder in the name of the flag.

Gov. Haley’s words here perfectly sum up just why that flag must come down:

“While some say it represents different things to different people, there is no denying that it also represents serious divisions that must be mended in our society. For South Carolina, taking down this Confederate flag is a step in mending those divisions. Our future must be better than our past. We are not meant to be a country divided by racial tensions; we are meant to be a country that stands united.”

Well said, Governor Haley, well said. Hopefully, this action goes a long way toward healing the deep racial divisions among South Carolinians, and among Americans.

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Watch the historic speech below, courtesy of NOW with Alex Wagner on MSNBC:

Featured image via video screen capture from MSNBC