Angi Stalnaker: No flag can erase all of the hate and racism and violence in the world

I wish that we could erase all of the hate and racism and violence in the world by eliminating the Confederate Flag. Oh how I wish it was that easy. If taking down displays of that flag would turn our world into a place where racism no longer existed and where hate crimes never again happened, I would tear the flags off of the Confederate Memorial myself. I would make it my life’s mission to eradicate the Confederate Flag from this planet. The fact is, though, that flag didn’t cause the tragic events in Charleston. Those who are using the deaths of 9 innocent churchgoers as an opportunity to focus on a flag are doing a disservice to the memories of those Christian men and women who died last week at the hands of a hate filled mad man and they are doing an even bigger disservice to our society as a whole.Some people are inherently evil. Some people are raised to hate.

Some people are insane.

Unfortunately, those are the facts of the real world.

No flag can change those facts.

The tragedy that occurred last Wednesday in a small town in South Carolina is tragic and horrible. Those 9 men and women died at the hands of evil. Their deaths are an opportunity to have a real discussion about what happened and how it could have been prevented. We should discuss why the shooter’s friends are telling news reporters that their “friend” told them he wanted to shoot up a University and told them last Wednesday would be the day he went on that shooting spree, yet none of these friends went to authorities or warned anyone that they knew someone who was planning a mass shooting.

We should discuss how certain medications like suboxone have terrible side effects that seem to push certain people to commit unspeakable acts of violence. We should discuss how the mental health community responds to the needs of individuals who clearly need help.

We should discuss why racism still exists. We should talk about how children of all races play nicely with each other but as they grow up, some of those innocent children begin to view race in a different way.

We should have a lot of candid discussions after the Charleston church massacre but if we focus on a flag, we are missing a real opportunity to have meaningful conversations about hate and evil and violence. Abolishing the Confederate flag won’t change the hearts or minds of a single violent, mentally disturbed racist but why should would be focus on the real problems when we can argue about a square piece of fabric instead. Sure, that makes sense.

Angi Stalnaker is Alabama native and political consultant who has worked on numerous statewide, legislative and constitutional amendment races for conservative causes and candidates. She is the founder of Virtus Solutions, a full service government relations and communications firm.


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