A weary South Carolina House voted early Thursday to remove the Confederate battle flag from Statehouse grounds after a day and night of passionate debate that at times drew tears, anger and calls for grace and unity from lawmakers.I suspect the 10am Friday timeslot is so that the Governor and legislature can make a huge pomp and circumstance about this, as if to suggest they would have done otherwise had 9 people not been gunned down by a domestic terrorist. Call me a hater, but there's not much courageous about doing the right thing when public sentiment tells you to do so. Courage would have been to take this abomination down decades ago, but whatever. Nikki Haley undoubtedly wants to have some semblance of a career in front of her, and she really didn't have an alternative, although she played this one to perfection. Had the state legislature voted to keep the flag, Haley could have simply said that democracy worked as it should, and she tried. Again, not courageous, but certainly well played.
The bill, which needed a two-thirds vote in each chamber, is now on GOP Gov. Nikki Haley's desk, and she said she will sign it at 4 p.m. ET. Under terms of the bill, the flag must be taken down within 24 hours of Haley's signature, and one of Haley's deputy chiefs of staff said on his personal Twitter account that would happen at 10 a.m. Friday.
House legislators spent more than 15 hours on the controversial issue sorting through about 60 amendments, finally getting to the bill itself at almost 1 a.m. Lawmakers gave the bill second reading by a vote of 93-27, then adjourned for a few minutes to start a new day's session and returned to finish their work.
They then voted 94-20 for final approval. The House has 77 Republicans and 46 Democrats.
It'll be a bit nauseating watching people pat themselves on the back tomorrow for doing the right thing 50 years after the fact, but whatever. #Merica!
Question: Will removing the flag improve the fortunes of black people in SC, or is this purely a symbolic gesture, no matter how oppressive it might be.