While the debate over the Confederate battle flag is reaching its peak, one Virginia woman doesn’t seem to have any problem with it at all.
In an interview for the documentary Battle Flag, New York native Karen Cooper described the difference between growing up as a member of the Nation of Islam and living in Virginia. “The Nation of Islam thinks you know the races should be separate, you know black and white,” Cooper said. “And then I came down here, and we were more together, and I just realized ‘Well that can’t be right because there’s a lot of nice white folks.’”
I mean, people waved to me that I’ve never known. The north, they claim that they like black people and they care about black people but it is so segregated, It’s not funny. I’ve felt more welcomed in the south.
Cooper said she joined the Tea Party because she believes in small government principles, that the federal government “should not be controlling every aspect of our life.” She is aware that many Americans link the flag to racism, slavery, and the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), but takes a different view:
Actually, most people don’t even stop to talk to me because I think they’re in such shock to see me out there with the battle flag, they don’t even have the nerve to ask why I’m out there. I’m not advocating slavery or think that it was right. It wasn’t and none of my friends think it was. It was just something that happened. It just didn’t just happen in the South — it happened worldwide.
“I think slavery was a choice,” Cooper continued, acknowledging she could be criticized for her opinion. “And I say that because of what Patrick Henry said: ‘Give me liberty, or give me death.’ If we went back to that kind of slavery — no I couldn’t do it. Give me death.”
I feel I’m a slave now because the federal government does control me. I can’t smoke what I want to smoke. I can’t drink what I want to drink. If I want to put something into my body, it’s my body, not theirs. That’s tyranny.
Cooper believes the flag doesn’t stand for tyranny but “represents freedom.” “It represents a people who stood up to tyranny. By me being out there, I hope you would see that this is not racist,” Cooper said. “How can it be racist if I’m out there with them?”
h/t: Opposing Views
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