- - Monday, July 27, 2015

The Confederate flag simply should not fly again, neither should the Confederacy be cherished nor celebrated as a matter of official policy. The Confederate States of America was formed as a succession government in February of 1861 and consisted of the 11 Southern states that formally seceded from the union in 1860-1861. These 11 states – Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, Arkansas, North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia – wanted to preserve the institution of slavery and constitutional freedoms and political liberty for whites only.

To say that the Confederate Flag represents Southern history that we should recognize and celebrate requires us to take a closer look at this history. The history of the Confederacy is solidification and continuation of the Holocaust of African-Americans. The history of these 11 states is a history of chattel slavery and the persistent manifestation of inhumane treatment and death of blacks. Of course, white women were also viewed as property during this period. Although the holocaust of African-Americans began in 1619 when the first African slaves were brought to Jamestown, Virginia, it was the solidification of the belief systems within these 11 states that slavery was a divine right for the southern way of life that gave this holocaust institutional status. These times were in reality, completely different than as portrayed in the movies. White women were treated as property with no rights to their body. Black men and women were beaten, hung and castrated and separated from their family. Black woman were also repeatedly raped.

From 1619 until the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, more than 100 million black lives were lost from America’s slave trade, chattel slavery and the repressive Jim Crow laws. This includes the loss of life from the slave ships as they traveled from Africa to the Americas; the 246 years of chattel slavery (1619-1865); the parse 12 years of Reconstruction (1865-1877); and the 87 years of Jim Crow legislation (1877-1964) where Southern trees continued to hang the strange fruit of black men and women.

The flag represented the South’s desire to secede from the Union and the preservation of slavery and political liberty for whites at the expense of millions African-Americans, Native Americans and white women. This is not a history that we should celebrate as a nation. We should rise up and pay homage to those who fought against slavery and for equality blacks and women during the 19th century like Fredrick Douglas, W.E.B DuBois, Harriet Tubman, Susan B. Anthony and Sojourner Truth.

The Confederate flag, which later became a symbol of the South’s massive resistance to desegregation in the 1960s, does not deserve any glorification. We should hold it the same disdain and disgust that we reserve for the Nazi swastika. The flag represents a dark period in America’s history when whites hated blacks. This flag belongs in the dustbin of history, along with other symbols of man’s unspeakable evil to his fellow man.

Ben Crump is a named partner of Parks Crump LLC. In 2012, he received worldwide acclaim leading the fight for justice as the lead attorney for the family of Trayvon Martin, who was killed by a neighborhood watch volunteer, George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida while walking home with a bag of Skittles and a can of tced tea.


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