The Monday Morning Teaser

Of course the event that overshadows everything else this week is the Charleston shooting. The events of the shooting are fairly straightforward and well known by now: We know who did it and how and why. He’s been caught.

There’s a deeper investigative report that needs to be done, but it’s a little beyond my powers: How many potentially violent white supremacists are out there? What’s the government doing to protect us from them? How do they recruit? What are the signs your teen-ager is being drawn in? And so forth. I suspect the Southern Poverty Law Center has such a report, but I haven’t searched it out yet. If you’ve seen something similar somewhere, leave a comment.

So this week I cover two intermediate-depth aspects of the shooting: (1) The amazing inability of conservative media and politicians to see and admit the obvious: that this was racially motivated terrorism. Many of them maintained (long after clear evidence to the contrary was available) that since this was a church shooting, it must be anti-Christian violence rather than racial violence. The rest just professed to have no idea why it happened. (2) The controversy that erupted after the shooting about the Confederate flag, which still flies in front of the South Carolina capitol.

The featured post “Please Take Down Your Confederate Flag” is my reaction to seeing a pick-up truck Friday — about 36 hours after the shooting — going down Main Street in my New England town, trailing a full-size Confederate flag behind the cab. That article is just about done and should be out by 7 or so.

However, the most popular post last week — and I suspect again in the week to come — is from last August: “Not a Tea Party, a Confederate Party“. The shooting made it topical again, and has given it another 18K hits so far. It was still picking up momentum yesterday.

The weekly summary covers the bizarre conservative reactions to the Charleston massacre, and then discusses (a little; more next week) the Pope’s climate encyclical, the entry of still more presidential candidates into the race, and Rachel Dolezal (whose story I punted on last week), before closing with the kind of non-disturbing video we need about now: two bear cubs playing together. Expect the summary between 10 and 11.

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  • Roger Green  On June 22, 2015 at 6:36 am

    Last summer, I saw this massive Confederate flag hanging from a truck in Troy, NY. It terrified me.

    • weeklysift  On June 22, 2015 at 7:34 am

      It is unnerving, isn’t it?

      • Will Fields  On June 22, 2015 at 10:31 am

        Very much so. The display is the worst form of nationalism imaginable; the melancholy for yearning of a once again divided nation.

        Troubling to me as well, or nearly so, is the display of the American flag on pick-up trucks generally accompanied with the phrase, “Proud to be American”. A wonderful sentiment no doubt but it has been a very long time since I could feel comfortable saying it myself.

        Were I was not so fond of my teeth I would ask those yahoos what they are most proud of America today. I certainly cannot come up with much of a shortlist at this time perhaps because I tend to focus on all that can be improved and which does not seem to be very much in progress.

        I also feel the American flag should be displayed on federal building only. The flag as a symbol seems to promote nationalism which is the antithesis of the patriotism the banner wavers believe they are expressing.

  • Lance A. Brown  On June 23, 2015 at 12:46 pm

    I’ve seen the Confederate battle flag flying in front of houses in Pennsylvania.

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