It took the deaths of nine people in a church by a white supremacist to wake people, organizations, businesses, state and local governments that the Confederate battle flag is a symbol of treason and racism. In South Carolina, where the shooting occurred, the state legislature is slow to move on taking the flag down from the state capital grounds where it flies padlocked to the top of the pole. They are debating to debate. One person decided that not to wait for the defenders of treason and hate. So with a little help from her friends, Bree Newsome, a 30 year old black film maker song writer, did what no one else had the courage, or decency, to do, she climbed the pole and took the flag down.
Ms. Newsome and her friend, James Tyson, was arrested and released on bail. They could face up to three yers in jail and a $5000 fine, She and Mr, Tyson, spoke with Democracy Now!‘s Amy Goodman about the reasons they took this action.
Their action came 10 days after Dylann Roof, who embraced the Confederate flag, allegedly massacred nine African-American churchgoers at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina.
From atop the flagpole, Bree Newsome said, “You come against me with hatred and oppression and violence. I come against you in the name of God. This flag comes down today!” Newsome explained her choice of words. “In one of those nights where I was pondering, ‘Have I completely lost my mind in doing this?’ I read the story of David and Goliath, and David says to Goliath, ‘You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, and I come against you in the name of the Lord,’ and that, for me as a black woman in America, that’s what that moment felt like, because I come from a historically completely disempowered place,” Newsome said. “And so I think that’s why it was so powerful to a lot of people, especially to black women, to see me up there holding that flag in that way.”
Transcript can be read here