Recent tragic events demonstrate one thing about the flag above all else: it inflames racial resentments. While the flag is still regarded by some as a legitimate symbol of cultural heritage, it is seen by many others as a symbol of hate. Regardless of its historical origins, the fact remains that the flag has been co-opted by bigots. They wrap themselves in the flag’s colors in order to promote racial violence and even racial genocide.
The flag should have no place in any public space in the year 2015.
I am therefore calling on Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to support the immediate and permanent removal of the Black Nationalist flag that currently flies on the campus of Malcolm X College. This flag often appears at rallies held by black supremacists such as the New Black Panthers. The Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate groups, describes the New Black Panther Party as a “virulently racist and anti-Semitic organization whose leaders have encouraged violence against whites, Jews and law enforcement officers.”
When I visited Chicago last year and took the “L” to the South Side, I made my way to Malcolm X College. There I saw, alongside the flags of the United States and the City of Chicago, the Black Panther flag.
This blood-stained flag of black militancy has no place on the grounds of an institution that is supported by taxpayer dollars. The flag must come down.
I urge the president of Malcolm X College, Anthony E. Munroe, to do the right thing. Take down the flag.
If the leadership of Malcolm X won’t take it down, then Chicago’s mayor must end his silent endorsement of this racially divisive symbol in his city’s midst. Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner, and Chicago’s own in the Oval Office, Barack Obama, each have an opportunity and an obligation to speak up on this issue – and help our nation rise above.
We will take a major step toward rising above the racial violence of our past when Chicago’s still-flying flag of racial hostility finally falls.