Huckabee And The Confederate Flag

Jarrett

Reader donations, many as small as just $1, have kept In These Times publishing for 45 years. Once you've finished reading, please consider making a tax-deductible donation to support this work.

Mike Huckabee: rabidly homophobic, hopelessly naive, connected to some of the most extreme Christian Right leaders in America, believes God personally intervenes to help his political fortunes…and he's a racist to boot. But you wouldn't know it to read the mainstream press. Here's Christopher Hitchens over at Slate. on Huckabee's recent Confederate flag comments in SC:In this country, it seems that you can always get an argument going about "race" as long as it is guaranteed to be phony, but never when it is real. Almost every day brings news of full-dress media-oriented spats about Don Imus, Bob Grant, or the recent nonstory about how some golf show had managed to mention Tiger Woods and the word lynch in the same news cycle. The preceding week had involved some trivial but intense parsing of an exchange between Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama about Dr. Martin Luther King. But just let the real thing occur, with a full-blooded and full-throated bellow of old-fashioned authentic racism, and you can see the entire press refusing to cover it for fear of having to confront the real and unvarnished thing (and perhaps for reasons having to do with other "sensitivities" as well).Gov. Mike Huckabee made the following unambiguously racist and demagogic appeal in Myrtle Beach, S.C., last week:You don't like people from outside the state coming in and telling you what to do with your flag. In fact, if somebody came to Arkansas and told us what to do with our flag, we'd tell 'em what to do with the pole; that's what we'd do.This is a straightforward racist appeal for the following reasons:1) The South Carolina flag is a perfectly nice flag, featuring the palmetto plant, about which no "outsider" has ever offered any free advice.2) The Confederate battle flag, to which Gov. Huckabee was alluding, was first flown over the South Carolina state capitol in 1962, as a deliberately belligerent riposte to the civil rights movement, and is not now, and never has been, the flag of that great state.3) By a vote of both South Carolina houses in the year 2000, the Confederate battle flag ceased to be flown over the state capitol and now only waves (as quite possibly it should) over the memorial to fallen Confederate soldiers.Thus, as well as crassly behaving exactly like someone "from outside the state coming in and telling you what to do with your flag," former Gov. Huckabee of Arkansas deliberately aligned himself with the rancorous minority who are still not reconciled to the idea that South Carolina may not officially consecrate racism and slavery and secession. "Your flag"? What an insult, not just to the descendants of slavery but to the many, many other loyalists and Unionists who fought and died to bring their state back into the Union.I've written it in a previous post, but I'll write it again: man Huck reminds me of President Lindbergh in Philip Roth's The Plot Against America.Read the rest here.

Your donation makes In These Times possible

When you contribute, you're not just giving a gift—you're helping publish the next In These Times story. Will you join your fellow readers, and help fund this work by making a tax-deductible donation today?

Subscribe and Save 66%

Less than $1.67 an issue