South Carolina Senate Takes Major First Step Towards Removing Confederate Flag

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In a historic and overwhelmingly favored step, the South Carolina Senate voted 37-3 for the removal of the Confederate flag from the State House earlier today (July 6). The Republican-controlled state senate took up the vote after the June 17 slaughter of nine African-Americans at a historical Black church placed the notion of white supremacy and the shooter’s affinity for the Confederate flag under a microscope. For many an emblem of the pro-slavery South, the flag is a vestige of dark days past and while supporters argue the flag is a symbol for Southern pride and nothing more, the current atmosphere of racial unrest in this country has urged many to support the efforts of the flag’s removal.

As reported by the New York Times, the vote must pass the House of Representatives in South Carolina, which is also controlled by the Republican party. However, as Democratic Senator Vincent A. Sheheen shared with the newspaper, “I do think that it sends a very loud and clear message to the House of Representatives that there is support, momentum, consensus, and I think it helps us clear the hurdles that we need to in the House of Representatives.” In fact, the paper reports, Sheheen was surprised by the amount of support the bill raised amongst Republicans. The vote was not, however, free of tension, as supporters of the flag protested outside the State House. Far from over, the battle for racial harmony in this country has taken a prominent place in the foreground of American politics, and as Reverend Jesse Jackson told the Times, “beyond the flag coming down, the Confederate agenda must come down.” Read the full story here.

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