Andrew Young’s take on the Confederate battle flag controversy was unexpected, to say the least. As the nation’s first black ambassador to the United Nations and former member of Martin Luther King’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), you might expect Young to condemn the flag in the harshest terms. Instead, he urged his fellow blacks to get some perspective on the symbol and to turn their attention to more pressing matters.
“I would never trade the [Confederate] flag for a single job,” said Young to a local television reporter. “The problems we face don’t have anything to do with the flag. The fact is that 93% of black people killed are killed by other black people. So black lives matter. Let us start believing that we matter.”
It’s become something of a cliché on the Right, in the wake of the many black deaths involving police, to point out that far more black people are killed each year by other black people than by cops of any color or by racist terrorists like Dylann Roof. It’s a valid point, and one that I think most blacks understand, even if they’d prefer not to hear it from conservative white people. That’s unfortunate because the arcane rules of who’s allowed to say what are truly counterproductive, not to mention racist. Truth is truth, regardless of the speaker.
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