In this clip, a Georgetown professor obliterates the argument against keeping the Confederate flag and the idea that it represents some portion of our noble portion of our history, instead of the reality that the stars and bars represent a heritage of treason and racism. In response to a caller on the Diane Rehm radio show, Professor Paul Butler had this to say: “I have no respect to your ancestors. As far as your ancestors are concerned, I shouldn’t be a law professor at Georgetown. I should be a slave. That’s why they fought that war. I don’t understand of what it means to be proud of a legacy of terrorism and violence.”
MSNBC’s Chris Hayes brings Butler on his show to discuss those comments and the debate surrounding the Confederate flag, asking him if he felt it was accelerating too quickly. “It’s a necessary conversation, Chris, but it’s kind of surreal that it’s necessary. I really was expected to provide a list of reasons why I don’t respect people who thought my ancestors were property” slams Butler. “That’s bizarre. And it’s bizarre that there has to be a special legislative session in South Carolina over whether or not to take down a racist flag. The fact that we have to have that debate is evidence that black lives really don’t matter that much.”
The debate then turns to white privilege and how the call for black Americans to “forgive” white supremacists represses social change and derails the progress of social justice. It’s a powerful and nuanced discussion of the debate surrounding the Confederate flag that everyone needs to see.
Watch it here:
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.