In the aftermath of the mass shooting at a historically black church that resulted in the death of nine people, former presidential candidate Mitt Romney joined the choir of voices calling for the removal of the Confederate flag, which is flying full mast above the South Carolina statehouse in Charleston.
This weekend, Dylann Roof’s manifesto appeared online. In it, he supports segregation and white supremacy, and is featured in pictures wearing a coat with the flag of Rhodesia, burning the American flag, and waving the Confederate flag. Before he was arrested, he drove a car with a Confederate flag on the license plate. While the shooting is being investigated as a hate crime and the Department of Justice launched its own terrorism investigation, it’s becoming harder for those averse to calling it racism to continue doing so.
The Confederate flag has long been associated with slavery and white supremacy, leading to thousands to sign a petition to remove the Confederate flag from all government buildings. Among those supporting the call is Romney.
No longer restricted to tread carefully with the issue on party lines like many of the candidates vying for the 2016 Republican nomination, Romney is free to speak his mind about the Confederate flag. President Obama caught wind of Romney’s tweet, and in a change from the 2012 election, the former rivals agreed with each other.
Good point, Mitt. https://t.co/Ryusfp8Xbh— President Obama (@POTUS44) June 21, 2015
State Rep. Norman “Doug” Brannon (R-S.C.), who lost colleague Sen. Clementa Pinckney in the shooting, vowed to introduce legislation to remove the Confederate flag, which is protected under the 2000 South Carolina Heritage Act, from the state capital.
Photo via PBS NewsHour/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)