In Mississippi, one penstroke ends 125 years of condoning slavery.
Written by Timothy Schoonover on 30 June 2020 in San Ramon, California.
JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI – As I am writing this, 9:34 PM PST, 30 June 2020, the U.S. State of Mississippi has no state flag. Today, Mississippi's Republican Governor Tate Reeves signed a bill removing the State's flag, which displayed the Confederate War Flag in the Canton.
For more than a century, this flag sent a message to the Black community of Mississippi, a message of alienation and exclusion from their government and state.
Just before signing, Governor Reeves' said, "There is a difference between monuments and flags. A monument acknowledges and honors our past, a flag is a symbol of our present, of our people, and of our future. For those reasons, we need a new symbol."
It is my hope that these words become a message of solidarity with the Black community of Mississipi and a catalyst for change in the South. When teachers in the future teach about racism, it is my hope that 30 July 2020 will be the day when the last blatant symbol of systemic racism is extinguished, and hopefully when racism is removed from the United States.
This move is another reminder that popular, united action causes change, a conclusion that has unfortunately been hard to accept recently.