Last week I blogged about a young black male named Byron Thomas who spoke about his love for the Confederate flag. Well today I read about another black Confederate flag lover. Her name is Karen Cooper.
The Washington Post has an article about Karen Cooper and her love for the Confederate flag. Where does the Washington Post find these people?
Karen Cooper was born in New York but now lives in Virginia. She’s also a former Nation of Islam member. Karen is a Tea Party supporter who’s a member of a group called the Virginia Flaggers.
For many Americans, the Confederate battle flag is an unmistakable symbol of slavery and oppression.
But for Karen Cooper, a black woman who was born in New York but later settled in Virginia, the flag embodies something else entirely.
“I actually think that it represents freedom,” the ardent tea party supporter says in a video interview that’s been making the rounds online. “It represents a people who stood up to tyranny.”
Cooper is a member of the Virginia Flaggers, an activist group that rejects the idea that the Confederate flag is a symbol of racism and hate.
The group was formed in response to a decision to remove Confederate flags from public view in several locations, including a Confederate memorial chapel on the grounds of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond and city light poles in Lexington, The Washington Post’s Susan Svrluga reported last year.
Like the rest of the Flaggers’ 40 or so members, Cooper feels pride and reverence each time she displays the flag in public.
If the flag was a racist symbol, Cooper argues in the video, she wouldn’t be an accepted member of a group composed primarily of white Southerners.
I had to watch the video several times cause I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I gave girlfriend the side eye when she said this:
Besides, she adds, slavery is “a choice.”
“I say that because of what Patrick Henry said: ‘Give me liberty or give me death.’ To me, if we had went back to that kind of slavery, no I couldn’t do it. Give me death.”
Since when was slavery a choice? Has Karen Cooper read any black history books lately? And how does one go from NOI to a Confederate flag waving Virginia Flagger?
In one week we’ve gone from the courageous Bree Newsome:
To the Confederate flag waving Karen Cooper:
It would be interesting if Bree and Karen met to discuss the Confederate flag. Bree would be like this:
Also mentioned in the article is a video that Karen is featured in called Battle Flag. It’s a documentary about the place and meaning of the Confederate Battle Flag 150 years after the Civil War. I must really be out of the loop. Since when did Kanye West start wearing a Confederate flag?
Karen isn’t the only person mentioned in the Washington Post article. African American Alabama native Courtney Daniels wrote a column in AL.com defending the Confederate flag. You can read his column here.