Back in 2015 when Dylan Roof shot those black folks in their church in Charleston, South Carolina no one was quicker to denounce the Confederate flag than the governor of South Carolina, Nimrata Haley.

Almost instantaneously she had the Confederate Battle Flag removed from the capital grounds in Columbia, and she said: “I think the more important part is it should never have been there. These grounds are a place that everybody should feel a part of. What I realized now more than ever is people were driving by and felt hurt and pain . No one should feel pain.” Sounded nice and sentimental back in 2015. No one should feel pain. What about those people who had ancestors that fought under that flag, not for slavery, but for the rights of their states? It would seem as thought it’s okay if they feel pain. Their pain did not matter. It still doesn’t.

Ms. Haley’s actions in Columbia started a mad binge of anti-Southern and anti-Confederate bigotry and hatred that has continued until this very day. How many Confederate flags, monuments, and plaques have been taken down in the past four years, all under the noble-sounding euphemism of “fighting racism” when all this has really accomplished is fostering the birth of a virulent new racism–only this new birth of racism is all okay–because it is anti-Confederate. And that makes all the difference in the world. You see, racism is perfectly permissible as long as it is anti-Confederate racism.

The fact that Confederate monuments and plaques had nothing whatever to do with racism is just lost in the shuffle. What the far left prays for (if they ever pray for anything) is that you never discover that fact.

None of this makes any difference to Ms. Haley. Her ancestry is East Indian Sikh, so Confederate history and heritage are meaningless for her. None of it makes any difference to her and, hence, she probably can’t understand why it makes any difference to the rest of us.

We had a governor here in Louisiana, Bobby Jindal, who also had East Indian ancestry. He was a decent governor, but he never seemed to grasp the idea that Southern history and heritage meant something to us here in Louisiana. He was never willing to issue a proclamation noting Confederate heritage month here, no doubt because such heritage was meaningless to him. It was not part of his heritage so it didn’t affect him.

Anyway, for all the damage to our history and heritage Ms. Haley caused, now, four years later, she seems to be back peddling a bit where the Confederate Flag is concerned.

In an article that appeared on The Hill, written by Marty Johnson, on December 6th, it was noted:: “Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley says that Dylan Roof,  who shot and killed nine black Americans in a Charleston church in 2015, ‘hijacked’ the meaning of the Confederate flag…People saw it as service and sacrifice and heritage, but once he did that, there was no way to overcome it.” Well, Ms. Haley, that’s a little bit too late. The damage was done. Too bad you didn’t have a little more foresight back then, you might have avoided some of the misery your actions have put us all through in the last four years as we have seen our heritage and history thoroughly trashed not only by the far left but by lots of other folks who should have known better.

But at that point, you were not overly concerned. You were pursuing a political spot higher in the Republican Establishment pecking order and trashing our Southern heritage was an easy price to pay for that, wasn’t it? Didn’t cost you a thing! The only ones it cost were those who had Confederate ancestors–who your actions branded as automatically racist. No skin off your nose!

And now, here you are, back four years later with a bit of literary legerdemain, telling us now that Roof only “hijacked” the Confederate flag instead of it representing him and what he did. Why the sudden burst of generosity toward our flag on your part now?

It couldn’t be, perchance, that you now have a new book out that you are seeking publicity for, could it? And it couldn’t be that you are hoping for some healthy book sales for your new book here in the South that you so thoroughly trashed four years ago could it? I’m just guessing, mind you, but it seems like a pretty fair country guess.

Us poor rubes here in the rural South are supposed to have forgotten what you did to our heritage four years ago and we are all supposed to now run out and buy your new book because you have backed off just a bit on your thoughts about our flags and heritage–just a bit–but not enough!!!

After what you started with your actions regarding our flag and our heritage, I have to be honest with you. I would not spend a thin dime for your book and I don’t think a lot of Southern folks will either. Your pious commentary about not wanting people to be hurt does not seem to extend to those who love and cherish their Southern heritage and the memory of their Confederate ancestors, the vast majority of which never owned a slave or supported slavery. It’s obvious to us that, to you, we don’t really count–and that being the case–you should not count on the dollars we won’t spend for your new book.

This piece was originally published at Revised History.

Al Benson

Al Benson, M.D., is the co-author of Lincoln's Marxists with Donnie Kennedy.


  • Vivian Turnage Leese says:

    Dear Dr. Benson,
    You have literally taken my thoughts and put them on paper. I was overjoyed to read my own Southern sentiments on Ms. Namrata Haley and her sin of the disposing of our Confederate flag. It is like you were in my living room, talking with my brother and me, about the War, of brother is a long-time fan.
    It is with great sadness that I see a photograph of our State House, without the Flag aloft, which my G-G-G Grandfather marched under for General Lee. He was made to walk home, from Point Lookout, Illinois, all the way back to South Carolina. He would not swear allegiance to the union.
    Thank you for expressing, in not as many words, that Haley, indeed, does not know her place. No native Indian would, even after having read an exhausting history of the South. Those people do not have a Southern soul. My question is why she would think that she has to right to invade our Southern-ness, making such an intimate, an important and an historical decision for the citizens of South Carolina; some of us who still live in the 1860s?

  • Spencer Hendron says:

    SCV member here, based on remote cousin who perished at Camp Douglas. Name is on monument. Hopefully, Haley’s political career is over.

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