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Dylann Roof, the Confederate Flag, and the Logic of the Left

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

The Dylann Roof/Charleston massacre supplies much food for thought.

(1)Predictably, the agents of the Racism-Industrial-Complex (RIC) wasted no time in exploiting this horror for their own political and ideological purposes. From Fox News to “conservative” talk radio to the “conservative” media generally, every organization and institution that they could in any way associate with the Republican Party RIC agents have labored tirelessly to condemn for the murderous actions of Dylann Roof.


That the usual suspects have made this move should shock no one. As Rahm Emmanuel infamously remarked, political apparatchiks on a quest to fundamentally transform American society must “never let a good crisis go to waste.” Honesty and good faith must give way to whatever will advance the cause.

Fortunately, we needn’t for the left to trade in honesty, good faith, or any other virtues to see their reasoning for what it is. We need only to push their own logic as far as it can go for their argument to collapse under its own weight.

In his “Manifesto,” Roof identified the “root cause” of his rage. He realized that while the media—the “mainstream,” leftist media—incessantly besieged the public with a narrative of White Racism and Black Suffering, it just as incessantly concealed the brute, ugly, but near pandemic phenomenon of black criminality and violence.

The demonization of whites as “racists,” astronomical rates of interracial violence committed by blacks against non-blacks, and the suppression of this fact by RIC agents in the media are the three sources of motivation to which Roof alludes. Why, then, are those who are so interested in having that “honest” conversation on race, and who are searching intently now to “understand” Roof’s motivations, not taking the man at his own word? Roof has told us what’s been bothering him.


Shouldn’t those in the media, if they really want to do whatever is possible to prevent this sort of bloodbath from occurring in the future, turn their attention to these claims of Roof’s?

(2)Roof doesn’t appear to have any religious affiliation at all. The contrast between the conduct of Roof, on the one hand, and that of the devout Christians whose congregation he victimized can’t be more glaring. Yet for quite a long time, and ever more frequently, those in the media who are now searching out (politically-convenient) explanations for Roof’s crime have lionized atheism and secularism while bashing, ridiculing, and vilifying Christians. In fact, this campaign against traditional Christianity has picked up pace more recently as the issues of homosexual marriage and trans-genderism have assumed the center stage of our national political life.

Should this be a conversation to embark upon?

(3)The Confederate Flag is now the locus of this controversy. Critics indict the Stars and Bars for the Charleston massacre and, as they’ve been doing for a generation, decry it as a symbol of “racism” and oppression.

The logic on display here is especially rich: There is absolutely no non-arbitrary limit to prevent it from running itself right off of the cliff. Let’s work through this—even if the agents of RIC are incapable of or unwilling to do so.


If the Confederate Flag, which “flew over slavery” for a mere four years, is a symbol of racial oppression, then how much more potent a symbol of racial oppression must the American Flag be for having flown over slavery for 88 years.

If the Confederate Flag needs to go, then so too must we dispense with the American Flag.

But we can’t stop there.

The very name of America must go the way of the Confederate Flag. America is, after all, named after Amerigo Vespucci, an Italian—a white, European—explorer. How can the name “America” not serve as a painful reminder to the indigenous peoples of this continent of the land of which they were divested by the European invaders, and of the massacres that they suffered at the hands of the latter? How can the name “America” not constantly cause blacks, Hispanics, and other non-whites to think of themselves as aliens living in a country founded by whites, for whites?

If the Confederate Flag is a symbol of slavery and “hate,” then is not the dollar bill the same? George Washington, after all, was not only a slave owner; he was a huge slave owner. Nine out of ten men who fought for the Confederacy did not own slaves. Even such Confederate heroes as Lee and “Stonewall” Jackson didn’t own remotely as many slaves as did Washington.


And yet Washington remains an American hero.

If the Confederate Flag must go the way of the dinosaur, then the dollar bill, Mount Rushmore (or at least Washington’s depiction there), the name of Washington D.C., Washington state, the Washington Monument, etc. must follow.

Ditto, obviously, with Thomas Jefferson. By the standards of even his fellow slave-holders, Jefferson owned lots of slaves. Everything associated with Jefferson, then—including the Declaration of Independence—should be erased from the national consciousness given that, for many people of color, Jefferson stands as an agonizing reminder of racist oppression.

James Madison was the Father of the U.S. Constitution. But he was also a slave-holder. Ergo, monuments, cities, sites that commemorate Madison, as well as his achievements—like the Constitution—must be done away with, for they are all indelibly poisoned by Madison’s sinful past.

By the logic of the Confederate Flag burners, the very presence of white people—any and all white people—should signify to blacks the history of racial oppression that they’ve been made to endure in America. And, by this logic, then, white people should, one way or the other, remove themselves from the presence of blacks.

Of course (though I don’t expect for RIC agents to acknowledge this), since there never would have been a Trans-Atlantic slave trade had black Africans not furiously peddled their wares—other black Africans—to the Europeans with whom they traded, the sight of themselves in the mirror everyday should be an awful reminder to American blacks of why they’re in the New World, and of why they’ve endured what they have. Maybe all mirrors must go the way of the Confederate Flag.


Leftist logic on this issue, like leftist logic on every issue, is self-devouring.

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