In the wake of the Charleston, South Carolina Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church shootings on June 18, 2015, Governor Nikki Haley called for the removal of the Confederate Battle Flag from the State capital’s flagpole. Regrettably, even if her call for action is successful, it would do no more to change the reasons behind the hatred that drives one human to kill others than legislation to ban the “N” word would go towards closing the inaccurately named “racial” divide.
Many people look at the behavior of the rioters in Ferguson, Missouri in August, 2014 and in Baltimore, Maryland in April, 2015 and make excuses for them such as, “They are angry and have no other way of expressing their anger.” But, the same people look at the illicit behavior of white supremacists and say, “They are bigots and they have no excuse.”
In their sentiments towards the white supremacists, they are absolutely correct, but they need to apply the same standard equally to people of every skin color. Bad behavior is bad behavior no matter who does it or for what reason it is done.
Despite the unequal application of a standard, there is another relevant point one can extract from these observations. When people are unjustly treated and when they have no viable means to address their grievances, they often turn to hatred and violence as an outlet.
The United States has much to atone for in its history and two of the most divisive matters in need of atonement are the treatment of African Americans in our nation, especially after the institution of slavery ended, and Lincoln’s War against the South which is commonly and inaccurately known as the “Civil War”. These two breaches of justice are closely related, but not as most people in America today believe they are.
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