“It’s not that Southerners don’t get racial issues. We just don’t get them right.”
In recent years, debates over the appropriateness of public monuments celebrating Confederate figures have become increasingly common. Along with exposing deep racial divides, these debates have brought to light historical attitudes and structures built on enduring notions of white supremacy. While generally taking place in local contexts, they have ramifications that concern all Americans.
South Carolina did it. It removed a “permanently” raised Confederate flag from the statehouse grounds. Now the leaders of the National Cathedral have a decision to make: Will the Jackson-Lee windows—windows extolling the Christian faith and virtue of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, and featuring images of the Confederate flag—stay or go?
Amid the chorus of Facebook likes and rainbow images, it was easy to overlook a third critical SCOTUS ruling.