Just over a year ago, in a column about the Confederate Flag controversy in South Carolina, I wrote the following sentences: "… the blunt truth is that racial slavery existed for a far longer time under the American flag than under the brief four years of the Confederacy. If the NAACP denounces the Confederate flag today for its symbolization of slavery, it can far more easily denounce Old Glory tomorrow for the same reason. Don't bet your battle flag they won't do it either, or that the political and business elites that cave in to them on the Confederate banner will stand firm on the American flag."[Enemies, Not Friends, Of Confederate Flag Want War, May 5, 2000]
A year afterward, I wish to inform you that if you did bet your battle flag against my prediction, you just lost it. Just in time for the first observance of Independence Day in the new century, a black legislator in Tennessee is refusing to recite the pledge of allegiance to the American flag. Her reason: "This flag represents the former colonies that enslaved our ancestors."
The legislator is Rep. Henri Brooks of Memphis, and while her position is so far rather unique, even among black radicals, she is the former chairman of the NAACP's Political Action Committee. The NAACP itself, though it has not yet endorsed her position, "did not respond to requests for comments" on it, as The Washington Times reported last week. [Black leaders refuse to pledge allegiance to flag, June 22, 2001] Let that digest a while: The major black "civil rights" organization in the country refuses to tell us whether it does or does not approve denouncing the American flag as a symbol of slavery.
One who does tell us is columnist Julianne Malveaux, well known for her outspoken black racial radicalism and anti-white sentiments. Miss Malveaux says that it's "ridiculous" for blacks to recite the Pledge of Allegiance because its words are "nothing but a lie, just a lie." Not quite on board with the anti-American crowd is District of Columbia "civil rights activist" Lawrence Guyot, who told the Times that Miss Brooks "could not have taken a better point to make that argument, even though I do not agree with her conclusion." Mr. Guyot is of the view that "I am historically aware of how ingrained slavery was in America. There's just no question about the nexus between the development of America and slavery." If he doesn't agree entirely with Miss Brooks, he's well on the path to concurrence.
The Times assures us that "other black leaders are more emphatic in their disagreement with Miss Brooks," though the only one they cite is the relatively obscure Niger Innis, the rightish-leaning son of rightish-leaning "civil rights activist" Roy Innis and currently the spokesman for the Congress on Racial Equality. Mr. Innis says Miss Brooks' views are "terribly unpatriotic."
And so they are, but they do substantiate one important point that I have tried to make time and time again: The attacks on the Confederate flag and similar Confederate symbols are not aimed at the Confederacy or even at slavery and its legacy but at America itself and even more broadly at the white race. Since the attacks on the Confederacy began, we have also seen similar attacks on the Declaration of Independence (it didn't "include blacks") and Abraham Lincoln (a "racist" whose efforts for emancipation were too little too late), as well as others. The view of America that incites such attacks is precisely that voiced by Mr. Guyot: that slavery is "ingrained" in American history, and since slavery is a dog that cannot be allowed to sleep undisturbed, any and every symbol of America must be stripped away.
Given the characteristic supineness of most whites and especially most white political, cultural, and business leadership today before the concerted racial onslaught against their race, nation, and heritage, it's only a matter of time before we have business groups renouncing the American flag and demanding that it be removed as a national symbol. But before we get to that, there is yet one more point that the new war against Old Glory confirms.
Increasingly, black Americans or at least their leaders reject the symbols and icons of American national identity. As racial consciousness among blacks replaces national consciousness, that rejection is undoubtedly logical and probably inevitable. In short, more and more blacks are ceasing to think of themselves as Americans or as part of the American nation and beginning to think of themselves in purely racial terms. And if that trend continues, sooner or later, they, as well as an increasing number of American whites, will have to ask themselves: If blacks are not Americans and reject every symbol of American national identity, why do they remain in this country at all, and why should Americans who are not black want them to remain?
July 2, 2001