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Former United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaks during a security council meeting about the escalating tensions between Ukraine and Russia at United Nations headquarters in Nov. 2018. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)
Published 12/06/2019 | Reading Time 1 min 29 sec
By Nehemiah D. Frank, founder, director, and executive director
It’s a problematical day in America when the former United States ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, sugar coats and romanticizes the most eminent symbol of White Supremacy — the Confederate flag.
And when she did so, I highly doubt that Haley was thinking of her Black South Carolina neighbors, or any Black Americans, when she told conservative political commentator Glen Beck that “people saw it [the Confederate flag] as service, and sacrifice, and heritage.”
Whose heritage, Haley? White southerners — many who are the direct descendants of slave owners?
And whose sacrifice, the White southern soldiers who were fighting to keep Black people enslaved?
In her interview with Beck, Haley blamed Dylann Roof — the mass shooter who killed nine Black Americans at the Emanuel African Methodist Church in South Carolina in 2015 — for seemingly hijacking and changing the American perception of the Confederate flag.
Later in the interview, Haley doubled down on the blame game and directed her criticisms toward the media, stating, “The national media came in droves, they wanted to define what happened, they wanted to make it about racism, they wanted to make it about gun control, they wanted to make it about the death penalty, and I really pushed off the national media and said, ‘there will be a time and place to talk about this, but it is not now,'”.
Former ambassador Haley, it was about racism. And the facts remain that a sociopathic White supremacist intentionally entered a Black church to murder Black people.
Roof was hunting Black people, Haley!
That damn flag was racist before Roof was born.
The Confederates wanted to continue slavery, that was the state right that southerners just couldn’t give up. So, please, stop using your influence to spread lies and propaganda to the masses.
The only service during the horrific reign of the Confederate States of America was forcibly done by enslaved Black people who never received compensation.
The only sacrificing that was taking place was Black enslaved people’s desire to live and protect their family members when everything in their imprisoned minds was calling for them to commit suicide so the humiliation and dehumanization would end.
The heritage was the White privileged southerners, both rich and poor, who got to control it and benefit from it.
There is nothing romantic about American history for Black people; it was a traumatic experience that Black Americans are still recovering from today.
If Haley ever wants to serve and represent all Americans, she’s going to have to choose a side and be more culturally sensitive to how Black Americans feel about America’s history and the Confederacy.
Hence, she can continue walking the tightrope and pander to far-right Confederate sympathizers by going soft on racist symbols over conservative radio shows, or she can demonstrate true leadership by attempting to understand the histories and plights of Black Americans and other marginalized groups in this country.
Nikki Haley says the Confederate flag was about "service, and sacrifice, and heritage" until Dylan Roof "hijacked" it pic.twitter.com/pqdhKIezRl
— Jason Campbell (@JasonSCampbell) December 6, 2019
Nehemiah D. Frank is the founder, executive editor, and director of The Black Wall Street Times, a digital news media company that believes access is the new civil right. He graduated with a general studies degree from Harold Washington College in Chicago, IL, and a political science degree from Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma, and was a member and chapter president of the Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society. Today, he is a blogger for Education Post, based in Chicago, IL, and a board member for the Tulsa World, Tulsa Press Club, and Tulsa’s Table. He is also a public school educator at a local community-led charter school and is a member of Superintendent Joy Hofmeister’s Education Task Force for Equity and Inclusion. In 2017, Frank became a Terence Crutcher Foundation honoree, a recipient of the 2017 METCares Foundation Community Impact Award, a 2018 Black Educators Fellow and gave a TED Talk at the University of Tulsa.