No, Nikki Haley Didn't Defend the Confederate Flag as a Symbol of Heritage
For every internet gem like the Eric Swalwell #fartgate, there's at least ten thousand dumb takes that make you wish Al Gore had never pulled the lever on the internet. Such a take is this one, where Jason Campbell of Media Matters (there's your first clue) declared Nikki Haley defended the Confederate Flag, saying it symbolized "service, sacrifice, and heritage." She did no such thing. Do what few on Twitter and media, in general, are willing to do: watch the video before reacting to a headline/tweet.
Nikki Haley says the Confederate flag was about "service, and sacrifice, and heritage" until Dylan Roof "hijacked"… https://t.co/q1htzpiKFn— Jason Campbell (@Jason Campbell)1575653200.0
I've watched the video three to four times. Nikki Haley doesn't say she believed the flag to represent service and heritage, but "people" believed it. Other people in South Carolina. Not her. Check out the transcript:
"South Carolina fell to her knees when this happened. This is one of the oldest African American churches. These 12 people were amazing people. They loved their church, they loved their family, they loved their community, and here is this guy and he comes out with his manifesto, holding the Confederate Flag, and he just hijacked everything that people thought of --- We don't have hateful people in South Carolina. There's always the small minority that's always going to be there. But people saw it as service, and sacrifice and heritage and... but once he [Dylan Roof] did that there was no way to overcome it. And the national media came in in droves and they wanted to define it, they wanted to make this about racism, they wanted to make it about gun control, they wanted to make it about the death penalty. And I really pushed off the national media and said there will be a time and place where we talk about this but it is not now..."
Still, Twitter morons ran with how they decided to see the video, that Nikki Haley somehow loves the Confederate Flag. Except, even if you interpreted the video the same way as the Media Matters lackey, we always have some historical context. Nikki Haley had the Confederate Flag removed from the South Carolina statehouse in 2015. From CNN:
Shortly after the removal of the Confederate flag from the South Carolina statehouse grounds, Gov. Nikki Haley told CNN's Don Lemon that placing the flag in 2000 was a poor decision.
"I think the more important part is it should have never been there," she said. "These grounds are a place that everybody should feel a part of. What I realized now more than ever is people were driving by and felt hurt and pain. No one should feel pain."
On that CNN page is also a video where Haley talks to CNN's Don Lemon about how the flag, to some people (not her), is a symbol of Southern heritage. Which reaffirms what she told Glenn Beck. Still, Haley ordered the flag removed from the South Carolina Statehouse, saying the flag has a place in history but not for all South Carolinians today.
That didn't matter to Media Matters. What matters now is taking down what could be a presidential contender in 2020 by painting her as a racist. The same woman who, in the CNN interview linked above, talks about her Indian father wearing a turban, her mother wearing a sari. What a racist she must be.
Tell me I'm crazy.