I Am Disappointed in South Carolina’s Government

To call the June 2015 mass murder that took place in a church in South Carolina a travesty does not do the situation justice.  This was an absolutely awful act, and if I were in the government of that state, you can bet I would be working to find a way to prevent such an act from happening again in the future.  I would investigate the mental health system to make sure that there could not have been a method in place to identify the murderer before he acted.  I would make sure to double check the procedures around gun sales to see if there is any possible way those laws could be tightened up to close a loop hole.  I would re-assess the education system to see if there is enough being done to demonstrate to the youth a good example of how people of all colors can work together. With all of these options for tackling the issue at hand, what does the leadership of South Carolina’s government decide is the number one priority? Why, removing the Confederate flag from the State House, of course.

It infuriates me when politicians use misdirection like this to avoid tackling difficult decisions. They know that it would cost a lot of money to invest in the mental health system or education, but if they can convince the voters that moving a flag will have the most impact on preventing this type of occurrence in the future, then they do not have to spend a dime or exhaust one brain cell.

Perhaps, nothing could have been done at the government level to prevent this murder. Human nature compels some individuals to shift attitudes as quickly as the wind, rendering some human acts plain unavoidable, but I guarantee you of one thing.  Whether that flag goes or stays from the Capital grounds, it is not going to prevent one single murder.  Personally, I am not vested one way or the other in whether or not it stays, but this just feels like another instance of government officials avoiding the real problem, because it would actually cost resources to solve, and instead, are diverting the public’s attention elsewhere, because it is easier. Ultimately, I hope this decision is decided by the people of South Carolina, not a national opinion poll, and I hope that if these politicians are ignoring their constituents to play it up for the national crowd, then I hope the local voters remember that in November.


One thought on “I Am Disappointed in South Carolina’s Government

  1. I think you may have lost track of the human side of the story. The SC politicians were friends and colleagues of Rev. Pinckney, a legislator since 1997. His murder made clear to some of them the awful irony that he had to pass beneath that flag each work day. It actually changed their perception of what the battle flag stands for. They know their friend and the other innocent people were killed because of their skin color, and they want to do something to honor their lives of service.

    Of course it is only a very small first step. All the ways you listed are more important, substantial ways to change things. But a reassessment of history is also a step toward confronting the deep, invidious racist programming that exists at all levels of our culture. The battle flag, like the swastika, connects to gun culture, supremacists, domestic terrorism and every other part of the problem.


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