Danielle HayesIt has everything to do with colour. I lived in North Carolina for three years, in an area where the Klan is alive and well. In nearly every Confederate State's documentation withdrawing from the U.S. is language decrying the rights and humanity of people of colour, and stating that slavery is a God-given right since "the black race" is inferior and subservient. That flag should be to this country what the swastika is to Germany -- a symbol of organized and institutionalized bigotry, ignorance, and hatred that has no place in a country that does not need to be further divided.
It should not be removed from our history as a country. It is important that we be reminded that we have overcome a period when it was legal to exploit, use, and destroy fellow human beings for the sake of profit. It should, however, be removed from our present in the same way that Germany doesn't fly the swastika over its government buildings. It is part of the past that has no place in a present. Bigotry and intolerance and yes, racism have no place here, and neither does this flag.
I didn't let it go because I have friends in Charleston who were devastated by what happened in their hometown, in the city that they love.
I didn't let it go because some of my favorite people in this world are people of colour, people who would have been enslaved and exploited and harmed under that flag.
I didn't let it go because I have friends who have children who are people of colour, and who deserve a home country that doesn't fly a flag ANYWHERE that indicates that they are less than perfect and valid and wonderful and WORTHY.
I didn't let it go because when you have a voice, you need to use it to speak up. Because you need to stand up for others. Because you need to do what's right, right in that moment.
Because love is more important than hate, and needs to speak more loudly than hate.