James Ridgeway: Joe Wilson: Confederate Heritage Is "Honorable"





[James Ridgeway is a Senior Correspondent for Mother Jones. In 1965, James helped launch the modern muckraking era by revealing that General Motors had hired private eyes to spy on an obscure consumer advocate named Ralph Nader. He has written 16 books, including The 5 Unanswered Questions About 9/11, and he codirected Blood in the Face, a film about the far right.]

Rep. Joe Wilson, the congressman who accused the President of lying last night during his address on health care to a joint session of Congress, isn’t just some mean-spirited buffoon. As a South Carolina legislator, he was one of only 7 state senators who fought to keep the confederate battle flag flying over the state capital. South Carolina, of course, was the first state to leave the Union after Lincoln was elected. Flying the confederate battle flag was a big deal in the south, which was once—and in some cases is still—inhabited by the KuKluxKlan and its successors...

... The decision to fly the Confederate battle flag was made by an all-white legislature in 1962 as the civil rights movement was picking up steam. The bill passed in 2000 didn't even remove the flag entirely—it called for a different version of flag to be flown in front of the state house instead of on top of it.

The continued presence of a Confederate flag at the state house has caused the controversy to continue. In July 2009, the Atlantic Coast Conference—after discussions with the NAACP—decided to move three future college baseball tournaments out of South Carolina.

comments powered by Disqus
History News Network