The Dangers of Removing the Confederate Flag, and not Institutional Racism

The Dangers of Removing the Confederate Flag, and not Institutional Racism

A white terrorist murdered nine Black people, and the media immediately set the agenda to removing the confederate flag. By the confederate flag coming down, it won't change institutional racism. It won't stop racist pigs from murdering us in the streets. It won’t dismantle the 13th amendment, which allows for slavery if one commits a crime. It won't bridge the gap between educational inequalities by race. It won't stop voting ID laws from restricting the Black vote. And it won't stop white terrorists from executing terrorist attacks on Black people praying.

If anything, it might make America appear as if it is "post racial". I already imagine someone saying, "but the confederate flag is down, racism is over, all lives matter now!” This is the danger of removing a symbol for racism, but not eradicating the structural causes of institutional racism. Structural racism kills us everyday, not symbolic.

Why did the first piece of legislation passed by lawmakers in South Carolina address taking down the confederate flag from state grounds? This does nothing to address the white terrorism that happened at the AME church in South Carolina. Nor does nothing to protect the nine Black churches that since have been burnt down post the Charleston shooting. And guess what? The removal of the Confederate flag will not stop the cops or white terroists from killing us.

Once again, this is the danger of the media and the power they have to set the agenda on what’s important. It is important to focus the narrative on the systems of structural racism that affects Black lives each and every day. Let us focus on dismantling institutional racism, but hey, it’s healing to burn a confederate flag every now and then too.

In struggle and love,

-Blake Simons