Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Removing Confederate flag a positive start -- but it shouldn't be the final reaction to the tragedy in Charleston

More changes related to attitudes on race and gun ownership are needed in the wake of recent societal violence

The removal of the Confederate Flag from various sites, businesses and state grounds is a huge milestone for our nation. A symbol that has sustained a long history of being associated with hate and racism is finally being removed, and the importance of its departure should not be overlooked.

But let’s be honest with ourselves -- the Confederate Flag was but a small part of what drove a man to kill nine people in a house of worship this month.

Racism will continue to exist, and violence towards minorities will only escalate, unless we challenge ourselves to open our minds and our attitudes towards others. We cannot continue down the path we’re going.

When we find that our nation has a sizable number of its citizens who are flagrantly against a sitting president based on the color of his skin, or when racial divides separate our understanding of a racially motivated action against an innocent black person, we have a serious problem on our hands that needed to be addressed decades ago.

At the beginning of President Barack Obama’s term several commentators suggested we were entering a “post-partisan,” and what’s more a “post-racial” time in our society.

I felt like that was ambitious thinking (to put it mildly). Surely we are better off now than when we were during the era of Jim Crow. But that doesn’t mean we are perfect -- and while perfection may never be achieved, striving towards the goal of racial harmony ought to be a continuous goal we are forever chasing.

Our society also needs to take a hard look at itself when it comes to gun culture. We have guarantees to owning weaponry, and those guarantees needn’t be taken away. But regulation of some kind is needed, limiting who can purchase or transfer weapons.

The improper allowance of the transfer of weaponry in this country is astonishing, and needs to be remedied soon before more incidents like what happened in Charleston happen again.

We have it in our power to make changes that move our society in positive directions. The movement to take the Confederate Flag down from statehouses across the country ought to continue, and is a good start. But it is wrong to believe it is the final step or reaction to have in the wake of this tragedy.

No comments:

Post a Comment