It was only a matter of time before the media-driven kerfuffle over the Confederate flag led to violence, and now that time has come. In South Bend, Indiana, a 28-year-old man was shot Thursday when he got into a confrontation at a local convenience store. According to the South Bend Tribune, the incident took place around 6:30 in a predominantly black section of town. Witnesses say the man pulled into the store driving his white SUV which displayed the controversial flag. There, he got into a shouting match with a group of black men in the parking lot.
“I’ve never known him to use any racial slurs,” said one of the victim’s friends, Cally Baker. “Unless someone provoked him, I can’t imagine him just blurting out the N-word.”
Witnesses say he was provoked, however, leading to racial slurs on both sides of the encounter. At some point in the confrontation, one of the black men pulled a gun and shot him twice. The victim was found later a block east of the scene, bleeding but alive. He is currently resting at home and is expected to make a full recovery.
“The whole situation is kind of crazy,” said Baker. “I just don’t want it to become a huge racial thing.”
Well, it’s a white man shot by blacks, so there’s little danger of that. If the races had been reversed, this story would be on the front page of every newspaper in the country. Protestors would be back out on the streets. If a white man had shot a black man waving a Black Panthers flag, every pundit in America would have something to say about it. Hell, even with the story the way it is, it won’t take long for enterprising liberals to blame white racism for the violence.
Alas, this is what happens when the media ignites a firestorm over symbols that mean something dear to millions of Americans. They have done everything in their power to equate the Confederate flag with the Nazi swastika, and a great many people are buying into it hook, line, and sinker. They don’t understand that to southerners – and even a fair share of northerners – that flag represents something much bigger than slavery or racism or whatever else the elitists think. It represents freedom, solidarity, culture, and heroism. And the people who stand behind those concepts are not about to let the New York City establishment tell them that they are bad people.
So where does that leave us? It leaves us with a country divided ever further. This may be the first shooting in direct connection to the Confederate flag, but it probably won’t be the last. Racial tensions are higher than they’ve been in years, and eventually that anger is going to boil over.