Thursday, July 9, 2015
Confederate Flag going down in SC, Rep. Jenny Horne Helped Through Impassioned Speech
Today, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley signed bill to remove the Confederate Flag from the state house. The flag, long a symbol of the fight led by Southerners to keep blacks as slaves, had been co-opted again (if such was possible) by the KKK to represent their belief in white supremacy. Either way, the flag had long been seen by many, myself included, as a symbol of hate; and those who seemed attached to it tone-deaf and worse.
South Carolina's State Sentate moved swiftly to approve the bill to remove the flag, but then the bill lagged in the House of Representatives. Several representatives invoked 'heritage' as justification for retaining that symbol of hate and intolerance. Then Representative Jenny Anderson Horne got up to the dais to speak. There is an excerpt of her speech going around which only shows her crying and chastising/yelling. That is already pretty powerful.
But you have to watch her entire speech, which was just over four minutes long.
Rep. Horne is poised at the start, as she probably usually is when she addresses her peers. And then. She starts to cry, because she references her friends and colleagues by name who were devastated by the the massacre and the accompanying bullshit expressed by others that basically said they couldn't validate why others thought that flag was so bad. And despite the crying, she gets even more interesting and compelling to watch. She reminds everyone else she's from Charleston and the area she represents - Charleston - wants that flag gone.
Representative Horne almost won me over, and then I saw her position on immigration (she calls them 'illegals'). Nonetheless, today is still important because we saw how times were changing, and how the hatred and self-loathing of Dylan Roof wasn't necessarily a toxic rage of white supremacy uniformly shared by the people of South Carolina. Apparently even white descendants of Confederates were horrified too.