Whether our country will have a true dialog about race, and the legacy of the Civil War as a result of this horrific act, or if it will just be a lot of empty talk and then business as usual, remains to be seen. But the war that has been simmering under our surface is now more public than ever. At least surface changes are made. Perhaps the changes are symbolic, or won't hit upon the tough issues, but the fact is - people are thinking.
I am not blogging today to express my opinions. Rather, I want to show you pictures of some of the sites that have been in the news. It's hard to explain this to my readers in Great Britain and India, but I will try. Even a month ago, in my wildest dreams, I would never have imagined the events of the past almost two weeks.
Where do I even begin?
|March, 2015, taken by AM|
The above President of the College of Charleston? His views on that question.
Many Southerners will have to ponder how best to celebrate their heritage.
|Mt. Pleasant Fishing Pier at Ravenel Bridge at Sunset, March 2015|
The Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge, which connects Charleston, South Carolina with Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, is a favorite destination for walkers and bikers. I've walked on it a number of times (and completed the entire walk in both directions once). A week ago today, thousands of people (perhaps 40,000) marched on this bridge. Some joined hands in a "unity chain" to show support for the people of the City of Charleston. But the elderly man the bridge is named after - now 88 years old- is, himself, controversial. There was an effort to rename the bridge earlier this year, which failed.
|Taken March, 2015, by AM, before the defacement|
This Civil War Confederate Monument in Charleston was defaced several days ago. (I totally reject this kind of activity, be it a Union or Confederate monument.) Debate now is taking place about whether these monuments should be taken down.
This specialty plate, it appears, will no longer be permitted.
Some former Confederate states had incorporated Confederate flag designs in their state flags. They are now rethinking it. Could this be because the shooter was photographed burning an American flag, and holding Confederate flags? But, although the Confederate flag is publically debated, it must also be noted that there are thousands of streets, parks, and other public places named after Confederate figures - one, in particular, stirring controversy, due to what he did after the war.
The families of those murdered, the people of Charleston, and people of the South, have some hard days coming as they must work out the direction their future will take.