Obama: ‘By Taking Down [Confederate Flag], We Expressed God’s Grace’

Taking down the flag ‘would be one step in an honest accounting of American history’

“For too long, we were blind to the pain that the Confederate flag stirred in too many of our citizens.  (Applause) It’s true, a flag did not cause these murders. But as people from all walks of life, Republicans and Democrats, now acknowledge -- including Governor Haley, whose recent eloquence on the subject is worthy of praise -- (applause) -- as we all have to acknowledge, the flag has always represented more than just ancestral pride. (Applause) For many, black and white, that flag was a reminder of systemic oppression and racial subjugation. We see that now. 

Removing the flag from this state’s capitol would not be an act of political correctness; it would not be an insult to the valor of Confederate soldiers. It would simply be an acknowledgment that the cause for which they fought -- the cause of slavery -- was wrong -- (applause) -- the imposition of Jim Crow after the Civil War, the resistance to civil rights for all people was wrong. (Applause) It would be one step in an honest accounting of America’s history; a modest but meaningful balm for so many unhealed wounds. It would be an expression of the amazing changes that have transformed this state and this country for the better, because of the work of so many people of goodwill, people of all races striving to form a more perfect union. By taking down that flag, we express God’s grace.” (Applause)  

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