As the debate continues to rage over the Confederate flag in the aftermath of the Charleston massacre, one CNN guest claimed that efforts to remove the controversial symbol are predicated on “cultural genocide” against people from the south.
During a discussion on Don Lemon’s show last night, Pat Hines, the chairman of the South Carolina League of the South, told the host that the flag was a “memorial to our ancestors who fought to stop an invasion of South Carolina by the United States.”
South Carolina State Senator Marlon Kimpson responded by saying that the flag should be in a museum, while CNN legal analyst Sunny Hostin said the image “represents terror and intimidation of African-Americans in that state.”
Hines shot back by accusing the State Senator of engaging in “cultural genocide on the Southern men and women,” a claim Hostin labeled “absurd.”
State Senator Kimpson refused to respond to the comment, while vowing to continue legislative efforts to have the flag removed.
Innumerable different people are calling for the flag to be removed from state house grounds, including former Governor Mitt Romney, who tweeted that the flag should be taken down as a mark of respect to the Charleston victims and because it represents “racial hatred.”
Television personality Whoopi Goldberg went further, comparing the flag to the Nazi swastika.
Perhaps the most prominent voice calling for the removal of the flag was South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who said that the measure would prevent the country from moving towards a “race war.”
“My hope is that by removing a symbol that divides us, we can move our state forward in harmony, and we can honor the nine blessed souls who are now in heaven,” said Haley.
World’s largest retailer Walmart also announced yesterday that it would stop selling all products that featured the Confederate flag in order to not “offend” its customers. Sears subsequently announced that it would follow suit.
Polls show that the majority of Americans oppose flying the Confederate flag at government buildings.