Fulfilling my obligations as Dangerous Minds’ Senior Southern Affairs correspondent, I wrote last week about the deadly church shooting in Charleston which took the lives of Cynthia Marie Graham Hurd, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lee Lance, Depayne Middleton-Doctor, Clementa C. Pinckney, Tywanza Sanders, Daniel Simmons, Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, and Myra Thompson. That article examined the whirlwind of events that took place in the week following the murders, most notably Governor Nikki Haley and several flip-flopping Republican lawmakers calling for the removal of the Confederate battle flag from the SC statehouse grounds.
In the few days since, there have been several newsworthy events related to the shooting, the white-supremacist ideology behind it, and the Confederate flag issue. Friday saw President Obama give a moving eulogy for slain South Carolina State Senator Clementa Pinckney, which included a pitchy, but truly tear-jerking rendition of “Amazing Grace” sung by the POTUS himself. On Saturday, activist and fearless badass, Bree Newsome, in an inspiring display of civil disobedience, shimmied the 30 foot SC statehouse flagpole and removed the Confederate flag before being arrested by State Troopers. Also, in the past week a string of nighttime fires have hit at least six predominantly black churches in Southern states.
Saturday morning, June 27, just a few hours after Bree Newsome’s act of civil disobedience, a rally was held at the SC statehouse, organized by supporters of the Confederate flag, expressing their desire to keep the antiquated banner flying in front of the seat of South Carolina government. In contrast to a rally held last week calling for the removal of the Confederate flag from the statehouse grounds which attracted nearly 2000 people, Saturday’s pro-flag rally attracted approximately 50 self-professed “history scholars.”
June 27th South Carolina statehouse flag rally. All photos by Bickel.
A Facebook post listed the rally as taking place between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm. I snapped photos between 10:30 and 11:00 am. There was relatively little media covering the “event.” The flag supporters dispersed later in the day when both a rainstorm and about 50 members of the “Better Consciousness Foundation,” a group comprised of leaders from the Bloods, Folk Nation (G.D.N), and the Crips, organized for social justice, arrived on the scene.
Here are my photos from the “Save the Flag” rally. Click on the thumbnail to see a larger version. The turnout was so adorably pathetic, you almost feel sorry for them. As we say in South Carolina, “bless their hearts.”
Fittingly lonesome visual statement on the “keep the flag” camp. Click on image for larger version.
A man, identified by onlookers as “maybe Katt Williams’ cousin” displays his Southern pride.
The protesters went to great lengths to frame themselves as non-racists. This lady yelled to reporters at the scene, “I bet y’all won’t report this: I had dinner with a black man last night!” She then said, I shit you not, “some of my best friends are black people.” A man to her right chimed in that he was willing to bet it was a great dinner because “black people know how to cook.”
In all probability, you is.
Continues after the jump…