By a vote of 37-3, South Carolina state senators voted this afternoon to remove the Confederate battle flag from the grounds of the state house. The measure moves next to the state House of Representatives, where it must also pass by a two-thirds majority before Republican Gov. Nikki Haley can follow through on her promise to take the flag down.
Despite the lopsided vote, there were still some interesting moments from the Senate debate, courtesy of Sen. Lee Bright. While others have pointed out how the good state senator used the opportunity to launch into an anti-gay marriage rant, another of his remarks caught my attention.
Bright argued that calls for the removal of the flag were being driven by an emotional reaction to the misuse of the flag by accused white supremacist terrorist Dylann Roof, who had posted online photos of himself wrapped in the Stars and Bars before slaughtering nine black churchgoers in Charleston last month. Said Bright:
I’m more against talking it down in this environment than any other time just because I believe we’re placing the blame of what one deranged lunatic did on the people that hold their Southern heritage high.
I wonder if the senator is just as careful not to blame an entire people for the acts of a few when the terrorism is carried out by those who claim to be Muslim. Somehow I doubt it.