So we're agreed that the Confederate battle flag is an outrage and no small contributor to...what happened again?
Oh, yes, the monstrous act of domestic terrorism that resulted in nine martyrs at one of the nation's most historic, and consequential, African-American churches.
Sorry to offend, but from my Twitter and Facebook feeds, heavily populated by liberals ("progressives"), I might think the chief problem is the Confederate battle flag. The reality is more troubling.
The two elections of Barack Obama to the White House brought out something momentously ugly in parts of America. The radical right has proved more dangerous than jihadists, but the Southern Poverty Law Center focused on the "lone wolf" phenomenon of both in a prescient April report.
Beyond the assassins are the effective racist dog whistles that have sounded for the past six years, especially on talk radio and Fox "News." As recently as this year, a poll showed 34 percent of Republicans think it is "likely" Mr. Obama is not a U.S. citizen. This polarization has also been paid for by the wealthy oligarchs and corporate "persons."
I hesitate to say that the GOP and the tea party have the blood of Charleston on their hands. But even in the aftermath of the attack, Republican officials couldn't state the obvious: This was a deliberate attack on black people by a white racist.