Now we have moved into the phase where denial is over and the True Believers will defend their right to fly a hate symbol on state property to the death.
Behold, Cooter Jones, aka former Representative Ben Jones, Southern Democrat and Proud Defender of the Confederate Flag. He's also the head of the Sons of Confederate Veterans heritage operation. And he wasn't going to take any guff from the likes of Ashleigh Banfield, either.
Jones told Banfield that while he understands that the flag offends some people, he believes it simply represents his ancestry. He noted that the South has made progress when it comes to race, and claimed that people "project" the history of slavery in America onto the South and the symbol of the Confederate flag.
"Through all of that, through all of those resentments, through all of that segregation, and white supremacy and all that nonsense, we’ve come through that," Jones said after noting that the South was destroyed by the Civil War. "We’re not here to offend anybody."
Banfield then jumped in to say, "White supremacy is not nonsense. It just, not even a week ago, led to the mortal combat murders of nine innocent churchgoers."
As she tried to end the segment, Jones cut in to defend the flag again and distance himself from the suspect in the Charleston shooting.
"It’s not a Southern sin. White supremacy is a sin. Racism is a sickness that goes on all over the world. This man doesn’t represent us," he said. "No one thinks it was not a terrible, horrible thing."
Jones said that we should not be "making major historic decisions" now.
"Well, maybe these are the times," Banfield responded.
"Y’all can’t define us by the act of a demented hater. It doesn’t connect," Jones hit back.
In another life and marriage, I spent some time as the spouse of a Civil War re-enactor who was staunch in his defense of the confederacy. I understand the fervor they have for these symbols. I also believe in their heart of hearts, they understand exactly what those symbols represent. They've got a nice set of talking points to deflect from the obvious -- states rights, remembering valor, yada yada -- but they all know what it represents.