This blog is called “The Musings of T” and one thing I muse about on a daily basis is my place in American society. As a young Black woman I constantly find myself asking “What exactly is my place in a society that suffers from racism, even when it is rarely admitted that racism is still an issue?” While I don’t feel any less American, I do acknowledge that America has its issues. Do I still love my country? HELL YES! Do I like those issues and choose to ignore them? HELL NO!
The massacre of nine Black people in a historically African Methodist Episcopal Church last week was devastating to me. I saw comments by many other Black American expats in the Facebook groups say that they cried, felt extremely sad, and had heavy hearts over this massacre. This massacre is beyond scary for us. When the dead look like yourself and your family, you will feel very different about this sort of situation.
The young man who perpetrated this atrocity admitted that he is very much racist and that his attack on and massacre of these nine people was racially motivated has been caught and will eventually face his day in court.
While I am pleased with the swift capture of the criminal and racist who did this, I am NOT happy with the narratives surrounding this tragic massacre in Charleston. I have been closely following the media coverage and the politician speeches surrounding this tragedy. President Obama called for better gun control, but said nothing about the systematic, historical and present racism that still plagues America. Other politicians, such as Nikki Haley Governor of South Carolina, have focused all of their efforts in taking down the Confederate flag.
While the confederate flag is an extremely racist and hateful symbol in America, simply taking down the flag at the South Carolina State House (and the halt in selling the flag on Amazon.com or at Wal-Mart) does not bring back the nine people who were killed last week and it does not solve the hateful ideas that linger in American society that allowed for this tragedy, and many, many tragedies just like it throughout American history, to happen in the first place.
The disease in America is called racism- the confederate flag is a symptom of that long plaguing disease!
To simply center the conversation of police brutality and the massacre in South Carolina around the flying of a racist flag, is to keep deflecting from a serious conversation about race in America.
-This is to say that YES, the confederate flag should not be seen, and common sense tells us this because of its history. However, the flag is not the BIG problem- what it stands for (RACISM) is the problem! If our politicians cannot stand to have a serious conversations about racism in our country and how it has continued to covertly linger in American society, then maybe we should be asking why. Why can’t we tackle this issue so that we never have to experience another tragic massacre like the one that took place in South Carolina? What are we so afraid of? What good will come from continuously ignore racism in our country?
The families of these nine victims will continuously stay in my prayers. May these nine victims rest in peace.