In the wake of controversy surrounding the Confederate flag, one black woman told reporters she believes the banner “represents freedom.”
Karen Cooper is a member of an organization known as The Virginia Flaggers. The group believes it should revere the Confederate flag and that its enemies are “those who worship, ignorance, historical revisionism and Political Correctness.”
She told reporters in an interview that although she was raised in the northern part of the U.S. and as a follower of the Nation of Islam, she “felt more welcome in the South.” Cooper believes the South was where “the races are more together.”
She allegedly discovered the group after her friends introduced her to the movement on Facebook. Her friends were a part of the tea party political organization.
“Most of the people in the tea party had Confederate ancestors,” she said. “I know what people think about when they see the battle flag — the KKK, racism, bringing slavery back — so I knew it would be something for people to see a black woman with the battle flag.”
“I’m not advocating slavery or think that it was right,” she continued. “It wasn’t … it was just something that happened in the South. It happened worldwide.”
She noted that she decided to join the tea party to fight against government restrictions on her life, saying she feels like a “slave of the federal government.”
“I can’t smoke what I want, I can’t drink what I want,” she said. “If I want to put something into my body, it’s my body — not theirs. That’s tyranny.”
“I actually think it represents freedom,” she continued. “It represents the people who stood up to tyranny. By me being out there, I hope you will see this is not racist.”
“How can it be racist if I’m out there with them?” she added.
Photo Credit: Screenshot via Salon