South Carolina Republican Gov. Nikki Haley said she has no intention of removing the Confederate flag that flies beside the Statehouse, despite the head of the NAACP calling it a "contradiction" for Haley, an ethnic minority, to allow the flag to fly.
NAACP President Benjamin Jealous called on Haley to remove the flag during an NAACP conference in Los Angeles on Monday, comparing African American slavery and segregation to the oppression Haley's ancestors in India faced under British colonialism.
"Perhaps one of the most perplexing examples of the contradictions in this moment in history is that Nikki Haley, South Carolina's first governor of color, continues to fly the Confederate flag in front of her state's Capitol," Jealous said. "Given the similarities between our struggles to end slavery and segregation, and her ancestors' struggle to end British colonialism and oppression in India, my question to Governor Haley is one that Dr. King often asked himself: What would Gandhi do?"
Haley's spokesman, Rob Godfrey, said the governor has no intention of renewing the flag debate, which has come under fire before from the NAACP and others who say the flag represents slavery and white supremacy.
"More than a decade ago, under the leadership of a Democratic governor, South Carolinians — Republican and Democrat, black and white — came to a compromise position on the Confederate flag," Godfrey said. "Many people were uncomfortable with that compromise, but it addressed a sensitive subject in a way that South Carolina as a whole could accept. We don't expect people from outside the state to understand that dynamic, but revisiting that issue is not part of the governor's agenda.
According to South Carolina newspaper the State, the flag has flown on the north end of the Statehouse near a monument to Confederate soldiers since 2000. It was placed there as part of a legislative compromise to remove it from the Statehouse dome.