Final reads from Friday
"Take down the flag. Take it down now. Move forward. Abandon this charlatanism. Move forward. Do it now," urges The Atlantic's Ta-Nehisi Coates in his post arguing the Confederate flag Dylann Roof embraced also endorses the violence he committed (an argument that deserves every one of its 137,000+ shares so far). The hashtag #takeitdown has also taken off on Twitter, signaling just how many people stand behind this (not even new!) idea. "Put it in a museum. Inscribe beneath it the years 1861-2015," Coates further suggests. The case could be made its end date might have been even earlier--the end of the Civil War, for instance. "Just shut up and read @tanehisicoates," advises Ishaan Tharoor with the Washington Post. "Ta-Nehisi Coates is 100% right about the Confederate flag, of course. CSA was an evil empire," harmonizes Bloomberg View contributor Noah Smith. "Stop being proud of the Confederate flag and start being ashamed of it," Atlantic colleague Rebecca Rosen picks up the cry. "Imagine if Germany still flew the flag of the Reich. A change is in order," concludes freelance journalist Jesse Emspak. And yet, the battle flag remains at full staff at the Statehouse in Columbia. "The S.C. state legislature decides how the Confederate flag is flown. Their colleague slain & it stays at full sail?" wonders journalist Chris King.
The Economist proverbially throws its hands up over another American mass killing. Here's Charles Pierce for Esquire on what we really need to be talking about. Also, David Remnick connects Charleston and the age of Obama. Even Jon Stewart dropped the comedy act to get emotional over Charleston. Meanwhile, BuzzFeed refocuses the conversation on what really matters: the legacy and names of the victims. The Washington Post, too, remembers the slain. "The 9 who died. They included choir singers, a librarian, a retired pastor, a mother and a barber 'w/ a big ol’ smile,'" details PostLive's Meena Ganesan. And then there were the hero florists who tailed the suspect until police could take him into custody.
On that note, the news cycle inevitably has entered into its stage of obsession with the perpetrator, with too many takes to count: ABC News takes a closer look at how "big into segregation" he was; WaPo calls his "a life that had quietly drifted off track;" the New York Times reports he wore symbols of white supremacy; and NBC News alleges he "almost didn't go through" with the act. "Dylann Roof almost backed out of his murderous plot because people in the church were so nice to him," shares Daily Beast's Nico Hines. "A friend of Charleston shoot had been worried enuf abt him that he took his gun away several wks ago but returned it," reveals NYT's Michael Luo. And then there was this from Jason Horowitz, reporting on the story for the NY Times: "'He killed 9 [explative] people, he needs to die man.' Roof's uncle, Carson Cowles, before kicking me off doorstep."