I believe this effort shows a heightened sensitivity to the dregs of racism still remaining in our country as well as a desire for unity and social harmony among us all.
But on the other hand, bringing down the Confederate flag, while it's the morally right thing to do, is unlikely to save any black lives in the future; nine people were killed last week in Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church not because the Confederate flag was flying over the South Carolina State House, but because a mentally derailed youngster with a racist warp and a police record was able to walk into a store and buy a semi-automatic hand gun* .
Perhaps 100 years ago when racial discrimination was backed up by the law throughout the South and the Ku Klux Klan was about to enter a Golden Age, the Confederate flag had the power to inflame and unite groups of people in socially acceptable acts of racial hatred and violence.
But now, in the second decade of the 21st century, the flying of the Confederate flag is merely grossly insulting and disrespectful to African Americans. And racism in this country has devolved since the Civil Rights era into something more subtle and complex that tends to present as economic injustice rather overt harassment, lynchings and other organized acts of physical harm.
These days members the epithet-spouting white supremacy groups that still rally 'round the Confederate flag are considered by and large part of the socially undesirable fringe. They lack any strong social underpinnings.
But sadly in our country today what a person lacks in power or influence or mental stability they can make up for in guns.
If Dylan Roof, strung out and facing a felony charge, hadn't been able to walk into a gun store and come out with a .45-caliber Glock he'd have remained just a weird racist misfit living in the twisted universe in his head, nine good people would still be going about their lives and the Confederate flag would still be flying offensively over the South Carolina statehouse.
Our nation came together to take care of the flag problem.
Is there any chance that our government leaders will now find the backbone to do something about the gun problem?
*In my post from 6/19/2015 I stated that Dylan Roof received his gun as a birthday gift. More recent investigation by the FBI points to the gun having been purchased by Roof with money given to him by his family.