I feel like ranting. So here it goes …
This whole Confederate flag thing is fucking driving me crazy. As we speak, I’m sitting in a diner listening to two dingbats on CNN (your No. 1 landing spot for dingbats) debate whether the flag should last. One guy, “refuses to turn my back on my ancestors.” The other guy is, “terribly offended.” Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah and blah.
Here’s what I think: This asshole 21-year-old entered a church and shot nine innocent people. He was a racist dickhead likely raised by racist dickheads. I don’t believe in the death penalty, because it’s flawed and it’s expensive and it doesn’t work. But I do understand why people think he should die. It’s reasonable. I prefer he rot in a cell for the next 70 years, hopefully with a trio of African-American roommates with a taste for KKK-idolizing meat. I hope, as he comes to grips with what he did, he spends hours every day thinking about the snuffing of existences. Of Christmases missed. Of children never born. Of an illogical, misguided hatred that led him toward the church steps on one of the darkest days in South Carolina history.
I don’t blame the flag, but I also don’t like the flag. To far too many people it symbolizes racism, slavery, Jim Crow. To me, even if it doesn’t personally symbolize those things (although it does), that should be enough to say, “Fuck it—put it away.” I mean, what’s so hard to understand? Yeah, your great granddaddy might have been a wonderful guy who served the Confederacy with (what you perceive to be) honor. But see that black man over there? His granddaddy was tied up and whipped for not picking enough cotton to please master. He sees the flag and thinks only of that; of hatred; of bigotry; of enslavement.
That should be enough for you, Mr. South Carolina White Dude. That should be plenty.
But as much as I abhor the flag, I’m not euphoric that Nikki Haley spoke out. Why? Because it’s all friggin’ nonsense. It really is. First, Haley—who has done almost nothing to help ease the burdens on poor blacks in her state—addressed the flag issue four years into her term. Four. Years. Was the Confederate flag somehow less offensive 2 1/2 years ago? How about three years ago? Did you need a deranged 21-year-old with a bowl haircut to show you it’s a bullshit symbol that (duh) shouldn’t have been blowing in the wind before your capitol? It’s ludicrous. Haley spoke out because she’s a politician, and this is what our politicians do. They stick a finger in the wind, think, “What will most help my future?”—then act. Nikki Haley is not long for South Carolina. We’ve all known that. She’s either the Republican vice presidential candidate in 2016 or a Republican presidential contender in 2020. She doesn’t choose to do this. She had to do this.
And now, enter the clowns. Suddenly, every Southern Republican has come to realize the Confederate flag=awfulness. It’s as if they decided to open my daughter’s sixth grade social studies text and randomly land on the Civil War chapter. Mississippi’s in! Tennessee, too! Can I get an amen from Alabama? Alabama anyone? And you know who mindlessly follows along? The local black clergy. There they stand, at so-and-so senator and so-and-so congressman’s press conference, nodding along, clapping, smiling from ear to ear for every click of every camera and iPhone. So what if so-and-so senator and so-and-so congressman support voter ID laws and refuse to take any remote action on gun violence and never budge on a minimum wage hike? The possibility of refusing an invitation to the podium never enters one’s mind. God bless America.
Now, Wal-Mart and Amazon stop selling Confederate flags—for reasons I really can’t fathom (outside of PR). The Carolina Mudcats have rescinded their (ridiculous) invitation to John Rocker to throw out the first pitch later this week—because, somehow, his words matter now that a flag is hot topic. Every talking head has a take. The so-called “experts” froth at the mouth, waiting by the phone to be invited to X network to offer an opinion. Bring in Dr. Oz, Dr. Phil, Tavis Smiley, Vanilla Ice, the new chick from The View. You’re on in 5 … 4 … 3 …
Meanwhile, here in California, we’re running out of water with nary a solution in sight. Meanwhile, Florida is experiencing the driest, hottest month in state history. Meanwhile, the NRA head honchos are giddy as can be, because every bobo talking about the flag is a bobo not talking about the 21-year-old kid with an arrest record who somehow legally purchased the gun that killed nine people.
Where’s Kim Kardashian when we need her?