NAACP Chief on Confederate Flag: ‘The Flag Needs To Come Down’
BLITZER: "Cornell William brooks is still with us, he's the president and CEO of the naacp. What do you make of what you hear from those like senator Lindsey graham and others who say it's part of the American history, that confederate flag, and a lot of families, especially in the south and South Carolina they have great grandparents who were part of that history, why not let it fly?"
BROOKS: "Well, here's what I would say. Let me note that flying the confederate flag at half mast is a full blown contradiction. The flag needs to come down. Like the senator, I grew up in South Carolina. I'm from here and that flag represents bias, bigotry and a long tradition of exclusion. There are a great many people who trace their lineage to the civil war, to the confederacy. That's a matter of the family album. It's not a matter of a flag flying in our state capital that represents exclusion. So to companies all across the country who want to locate in a state that's welcoming, that flag does not suggest will come. There's another flag that flies atop the dome of the capital, the American flag, the red, white, and blue flag, that's the flag we should be waving. That's the flag we should be celebrating. Not a flag that represents exclusion.
BLITZER: "So you don't even want the confederate flag on the state grounds to be flying at half-staff right now?"
BROOKS: "Not at all. Not at all. The confederate flag is alienating and exclusionary and hateful for not only people in the state of South Carolina but all across the country. It should not be flying whatsoever. Our South Carolina state conference of the naacp for years, for years has been pressing for businesses to boycott the state, for tourists to boycott the state. So we're at a point now where people on the left side of the aisle, right side of the aisle, Democrats, Republicans, really have to ask themselves, when we have a shooter who has the flag of rhodesia and the emblem of the confederate flag as symbols of his mind-set and this shooter walks into our churches, assassinates nine people as they study god's scripture, is that the flag we need to be waving? Is that the flag that's representative and emblematic and illustrative of our values? I think not."