Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton is joining a growing number of lawmakers who have spoken out against the Confederate flag flying in southern states.
During a speech at an African-American church near Ferguson, Missouri, Clinton called for the flag to come down anywhere in the nation that it currently flies, CNN reports.
“It shouldn’t fly there. It shouldn’t fly anywhere,” she said of South Carolina, where last week’s murder by Dylann Roof, a white supremacist, of nine African Americans at a church in Charleston sparked a national debate over the controversial flag.
“That night, word of the killings struck like a blow to the soul,” the former Secretary of State said. “How do we make sense of such an evil act — an act of racist terrorism perpetrated in a house of God?”
Clinton’s speech came just a day after Republican Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina called for the removal of the flag from the State House grounds in Columbia. Haley called the Confederate flag a “deeply offensive symbol of a brutally oppressive past.”
“I appreciate the actions begun yesterday by the governor and other leaders of South Carolina to remove the Confederate battle flag from the State House, recognizing it as a symbol of our nation's racist past that has no place in our present or our future,” Clinton said.
Clinton also commended the growing number of retailers who’ve banned the sale of Confederate flag-related merchandise, and called on “all sellers to do the very same.”
“We can't hide from hard truths about race and justice, we have to name them, and own them, and change them,” she said.
She added that removing the flag from stores and statehouses is "just the beginning of what we have to do."
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