Davis: Confederate Flag Removal ‘Also a Feminist Act’

Cultural critic and writer Michaela Angela Davis argued that the removal of the Confederate flag on South Carolina’s statehouse by protester Bree Newsome was “very American” and “also a feminist act” on Friday’s “CNN Newsroom.”

Davis said Newsome’s actions were “very American. She’s a patriot. That’s a freedom fighter act. She was a flag slayer in this great patriotic tradition. We have always gone against laws that we thought were against humanity. Walking across the bridge in Selma, Alabama was breaking the law. We do this.”

Davis continued, “it was also a feminist act, we have to remember that three black women were going to be buried on that day. So, there’s something also as a human being, do we honor them by them being buried under that flag today? So, the urgency in which — because now the governor says ‘We have to make a date to talk about talking about taking it down.’ But, on that day when that community is in so much pain, that flag is a constant reminder. And again, three women were buried on that day. And one women went up and got that flag down.”

“We don’t know the history. I think that this [a CNN poll showing 57% see the Confederate flag as a symbol of Southern pride] is a real reflection on our education, right, like if we knew that the reason why the Confederacy fought was because of slavery, point blank.”

Davis added that the racial divide in perceptions in the flag shown in the poll was an example of “Disconnect, and people whose lives weren’t threatened with that as a symbol. Of, course people white people who don’t know the history don’t have that same experience. But we also have to look at our human history, when Loving v. the State of Virginia — when that interracial — 76% of the country was against interracial marriage. That’s shocking. Today, if you would ask someone ‘Are you against interracial [marriage]?’ You would say, ‘No.’ So, sometimes, our humanity is leading our intelligence.” And “if you, Poppy have never been terrorized, it’s hard for you to really understand what that symbol means. And we have to communicate with each other to share our experiences, so you can see that our destinies are linked. And I think that’s — that Confederate flag represents our divide, not that we are — our destinies are linked together as Americans. And so, I think that’s where we have to get together. But I think these little devices, the social media and the way that we’re able to share, communicate, and report on each other is making history move faster. Like marriage equality…the president, in his own first term wasn’t completely on board. And now the White House was a rainbow.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett