No one is diverting discussion of mental illness. We realize the mental pathology in some humans especially in a nation that includes a culture of gun worship and a proliferation of drugs. We understand DNA errors that naturally occur to create that pathology. That does not take away from the cultural emblem of what the Confederate flag means and the message is sends.
Just what were the Confederate soldiers fighting for that is so culturally worthy to so many today who want to keep the Confederate flag as a symbol of their heritage? Confederate soldiers were fighting to keep in place an economic system for the growth of cotton when cotton was economic king, grown best in the South, through a system of free labor. It was a boon to those whites -- ones of money and position few though they were -- who owned plantations and could afford slaves. Slaves were expensive to buy and expensive to maintain. If one could afford it then one had a lot to lose by President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation. Follow the money!
The slave system was an institutional economic one that captured Africans by slave traders working for corporations like the East India Company. The white lower classes here were enlisted as well but did not have plantations and could not have afforded slaves. As low class as many whites were they were in a higher position than the black man whom they, too, could control with force if necessary and slave owners employed them to do just that.
Justifications were used for the obvious brutality, cruelty, and inhumanity of slavery to keep it in place while keeping the black man oppressed. The system is justified by God Himself through their interpretation of God’s Biblical edicts contained in a 5000 year old text. 5000 years of Biblical mandates and a plethora of Biblically condoned law that commands man do what is seemingly ridiculous to do in our time. Slavery, the subjugation of women and even animal sacrifice are examples extraordinaire of Biblical anachronism. Religion can justify an odious anything if one looks to justify it hard enough in the Bible. All manner of cruelty can be explained away to soothe the consciences of those who perpetrate that cruelty. It is how those of wealth and class control the masses and even themselves to feel complacent even good about the heinous things they do to other men. It is as old as man himself.
The Confederate flag symbolically justified that cruelty and it kept an entire social order in place to do so. There is NOTHING -- I repeat NOTHING -- that is humane and good about the symbol of the Confederate flag. There is NOTHING for anyone to be proud about States’ Rights, a cerebral euphemism, giving a permission slip to a state to do anything inhuman and uncivilized it wants while providing the coverlet of law protecting it to do so.
TAKE DOWN THE CONFEDERATE FLAG NEAR THE SOUTH CAROLINA STATE HOUSE STEPS AND STAND FOR SOMETHING MORALLY GOOD AND HUMANE FOR ONCE INSTEAD OF OPPRESSIVE, MEAN AND CRUSHING AS JUSTIFICATION TO LORD OVER ONE POWERLESS GROUP OR ANOTHER.
Then turn the tables on the Party of White, the Republican Party and defeat them by kicking them out of office everywhere. Oh, yes, while you are doing that elect Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton sending the first woman to the Oval Office!