Op-Ed

Published on July 1st, 2015 | by David Keil

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Mobilizing to Take Down a Flag That Incites and Threatens

The politicians may now have a consensus that the Confederate flag is too embarrassing to fly on public property. This will not assure its removal! White racists everywhere, organized by Rush Limbaugh and worse, are clamoring to keep the flag of hate.

Mobilization of anti-racist sentiment is needed to assure complete removal of that symbol and to push back racism in other ways. The People’s Organization for Progress has called a mobilization July 25. Black Lives Matters groups have been active. Mass actions, coordinated and unified nationally, are possible today.

Black Americans have pointed out that a public safety issue still exists. Hate groups operate with knowledge of police departments and their members are part of the problem of racist brutality by police. The flag of the slave-owners’ rebellion, the KKK, and segregation incites and protects those crimes.

The Bill of Rights protects expression of ideas, but not words used to organize crimes, execute crimes, incite crimes, or threaten violence. For 155 years, that battle flag has incited violence and has played a role in organized violence. It played a role in the crime June 17.

The victory of the proposal by the Governor of South Carolina to remove that flag will help give momentum to activists. But the need to mobilize, rather than to rely on politicians, is shown by the burning of an African American churches June 25 in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Macon, Georgia, and the efforts by Rush Limbaugh to stir white backlash.

As the SPUSA Platform states, “The Socialist Party recognizes the intimate link between racism and capitalism and demands the elimination of all forms of discrimination in housing, jobs, education, health care, etc.  We are committed to the creation of a pluralistic society that defends and promotes a multicultural/multiethnic presence in both the public and private spheres. The Socialist Party rejects the social construction of race and we commit ourselves to the eradication of racism.”

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About the Author

is a member of the Editorial Board of "The Socialist" and of the Boston Area local of the Socialist Party.



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