Representative Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) declared that “the ghosts of the Confederacy invaded the Republican conference” and wondered whether the Confederate battle flag represents “slavery, rape, kidnap, genocide, treason, or all of the above” at a press conference on Thursday.
Jeffries, while discussing amendments he put forward “to prohibit the use of federal funds connected with the purchase, sale, or display of the Confederate battle flag on National Park Service grounds,” said, “At first, it appeared that House Republicans were prepared to do the right thing, and help to banish this symbol of racial hatred and oppression. But then apparently the ghosts of the Confederacy invaded the Republican conference. And, as a result, less than 24 hours later, in a dramatic turnaround, in the dead of night, under cover of darkness, House Republicans reversed course and set forth to legislatively legitimize the display and the sale of the Confederate flag.”
He added, “I’m perplexed. The members of the Republican conference who support the Confederate battle flag apparently argue that this is about heritage and tradition. What exactly is the tradition the Confederate battle flag is meant to represent? Is it slavery, rape, kidnap, genocide, treason, or all of the above? The Confederate battle flag is a divisive symbol of racial hatred and oppression. It stood for the defense of the institution of slavery. And in all of its forms, it’s time to banish it to the dust bin of history, which is where it belongs.”
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