It is fitting, if late, that South Carolina’s political leaders seem ready to evict the Confederate flag from the grounds of their state Capitol in response to the vile shooting that left nine African-Americans dead in Charleston’s Emanuel AME Church last week. In a Monday news conference while flanked by Democrats and fellow Republicans, Gov. Nikki Haley noted that many in the Palmetto State see the Confederate flag as a tribute to their Southern roots but said, “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.” She urged state lawmakers to act next week.
Haley is also right about another way to demonstrate her state’s outrage. She told NBC’s “Today” show, “We will absolutely … want him to have the death penalty.”
Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr., opposes the death penalty. Still, he noted, “If you are going to have a death penalty, then certainly this case would merit it.”
This slaughter was an act of racial terrorism — meant to deprive defenseless churchgoers of their precious lives while instilling fear and dread among all black Americans. The accused killer — I shall not reward his delusions of grandeur by repeating his name — wanted to start a race war. He wrote: “We have no skinheads, no real KKK, no one doing anything but talking on the internet. Well someone has to have the bravery to take it to the real world, and I guess that has to be me.”