Column: Symbols of hate should be removed

Chris Picazo, Staff Reporter

Tragedy struck Charleston, S.C. when a shooting took place that left nine people dead Wednesday evening in Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.

The act of terror came out of nowhere from the shooter who allegedly spent an hour praying with victims before he attacked.

The suspect, Dylann Roof, is said to be a white supremacist who belonged to racist organizations and hate groups, and his car was described as having a Confederate flag as his license plate.

The Confederate flag has been one of the subjects covered after this tragic event, and it has become an issue in the state of South Carolina.

In Columbia, S.C., the Confederate flag hangs outside the capitol building.

To some the flag may represent southern heritage, but to others the flag has darker connotations.

The flag can be seen by some as a symbol of racial oppression, white supremacy and slavery.

Many individuals believe that flag should be taken down from the capitol building in Columbia, S.C. because of the meaning it gives.

I also believe it should be taken down from the capitol building.

The Confederate flag may represent heritage, but how can it not be seen as a symbol of racial oppression?

The flag represented the Confederate States of America or the Confederacy, which was originally formed by seven slave states that seceded from the U.S. from 1861 – 1865.

The flag represented states who were against anti-slavery policies and laws.

It is hard not to associate hate and racism with the flag with the history it has in the U.S.

Alexander H. Stephens, vice president of the Confederacy during the Civil War, spoke of the foundations of the newly founded country.

In short, he said African Americans are not equal to white men, and slavery and subjection to white men is a normal and natural condition.

The heritage of white supremacy that comes with the flag shows direct meanings of hatred and racism.

Roof believed in this meaning that came with white supremacy and shouted racist, hateful remarks to his victims as he attacked.

It is hard to convince someone that the flag has positive meanings when tragic events like this happen and events in history have explained the meaning.

The Confederate flag may represent heritage, but it represents a hateful one.

The meaning of the flag and Confederacy was spoken by Stephens, and he spoke of racist foundations that the country was built on.

Nine innocent people were killed in a church on Wednesday because of a racist individual.

The individual used the flag to represent his beliefs, and it is the same flag that still hangs atop of the Columbia state capitol.

A petition to remove the Confederate flag on has already received 388,390 online signatures as of Saturday night.

Columbia, S.C. is far away from the small town of Charleston, Ill., but these are issues that are affecting our country, and it shows that racism still exists.


Chris Picazo is a senior journalism major. He can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].