Hye protests proposal for Confederate flag exhibit
Pat Gibson-Hye held a press conference on Jan. 6 at the S.C. Department of Revenue office to protest the state paying to house the Confederate flag in the South Carolina Confederate Relic Room. The S.C. Senate voted 37 to 3 and on July 10, 2015 S.C. Governor Nikki Haley signed a bill into law ordering the removal of the South Carolina Confederate Battle Flag from the Statehouse grounds, she reminded.
While slavery was not the only cause for which the Civil War was fought, slavery was the focal point to the motivation for secession and war, she continued. The Confederate Battle Flag has been used by persons who are inclined to racial superiority which causes this flag to be especially offensive to most African-Americans. “The confederate flag is divisive and is almost always viewed as a reminder of the hangings, beatings and senseless killings of our African-American people,” she stressed.
On June 17, 2015, Dylann Roof performed the ultimate massacre which instigated the removal of the confederate flag from the South Carolina Statehouse grounds when he murdered nine individuals during a Bible Study at Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, where the late S.C. State Senator, the Rev. Clementa C. Pinckney served as pastor.
Roof was soon apprehended and charged with the racially motivated murder of nine individuals. An image of Roof was shown brandishing the confederate flag and he later stated, “Niggers are stupid and violent.” This blatant act of racism is what finally triggered the immediate removal of the confederate flag from the South Carolina Statehouse grounds, Hye continued.
Since the time of the confederate flag’s removal, it has been proposed that it be housed in the South Carolina Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum, she continued “The Board of Commissioners of the Relic Room quoted our South Carolina lawmakers a ridiculously, whopping price tag to house this confederate flag at $3.6 million dollars, which is down $1.7 million dollars from the original cost of $5.3 million.
“This plan is most insulting due to the fact that they want to burden us, the taxpayers of South Carolina to foot the bill for this confederate flag to be housed,” Hye said. “They want some of the same people who were enslaved by the racist perpetration of this confederate flag to pay millions of dollars to give it a new home. “I, among others, vehemently oppose this plan.
If the South Carolina confederate flag is housed in the Confederate Relic Room, because of its dire importance, historical value to some and its strong support group, it should be paid for through sponsors and donors, not with money of the South Carolina taxpayers. “African-American people especially do not support or want any of our tax dollars used to fund housing a confederate symbol that has been used as a racist relic against us for so many years,” she continued.
“There are many other matters of importance that require attention and need funding; such as education K-12, infrastructure, mental health, Medicaid and others; but, housing the confederate flag is not one of them. “I call on the citizens of South Carolina to unite, stand together, censure, protest and demand that taxpayer dollars of South Carolina not again foot the bill for another slap in the face with housing this divisive relic. It’s time to mobilize and stand together to keep the confederate flag out of our pocketbooks,” she concluded.