While our country tries to make sense of the Charleston church massacre, politicians, activist groups and concerned citizens have called for the removal of the Confederate battle flag from the S.C. State Capitol grounds. The Governor of S.C tried to comply along with other states because of a reactionary outcry from enraged media and the mass's.
Just as many are passionate about removing the flag due to the negative racial connotations it holds, others are passionate because the flag represents thousands of Confederate soldiers who lost their lives in our nation’s most violent war. Making generalizations about those who hold opposing viewpoints is ignorant and counterproductive to the debate. Not all flag proponents are racists, and not all flag opponents hate the South.
As companies like eBay, Walmart and Amazon initiate bans of the selling of the Confederate flag, one might hope that racism and hatred would dissipate but this is simply a pipe dream – the removal of a cultural icon won’t stop race-initiated violence.
In the wake of a tragedy like this, shifting our focus to a flag ignores the deeper issues that plague America like ingrained prejudice and discrimination. Instead, we should look at the hearts and actions of human beings and not the flag they choose to fly, because symbols represent different things to different people. It's time to look at other issues such as mental health and heroin addiction/drug abuse etc as well as socio economic issues. Don't take the easy way out.
That is the long and the short of it.