The ongoing Confederate flag controversy has made its way to the courts of Mississippi, where Attorney Carlos Moore has filed a federal lawsuit against Governor Phil Bryant to strip the Mississippi flag of the Confederate symbol.
The suit claims the flag promotes hostility and acts of violence against people of color and therefore violates the “Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses” of the 14th Amendment.
Pastor Jamal Bryant, Moore, and other leaders were scheduled to hold a rally on the steps of the State Capitol to add pressure on Gov. Bryant and the state of Mississippi to take the flag down.
Attorney Moore joined guest host Dr. Wilmer Leon on NewsOne Now to discuss his lawsuit and the ongoing fight to remove Confederate symbolism from the viewpoint of our nation’s citizens.
Moore told Dr. Leon he is championing this fight for his daughter: “It’s time to make a change in Mississippi.”
“We want to see that flag come down and we have filed a lawsuit in the federal courts because we believe historically the federal courts have been the only place that we can get relief in Mississippi in the area of civil rights,” Moore said.
When asked about the pushback he has received after filing the federal lawsuit against Gov. Bryant, Moore said, “The governor thinks this is a frivolous lawsuit.” Despite this, Moore said he has received a “groundswell of support from a cross-section of the community and Mississippi.”
“We have the African-Americans and progressive Whites that are on my side and we expect to see that today at the rally,” said Moore.
Dr. Wilmer Leon expressed shock that Mississippi would “dig their heels in and put up such opposition, because obviously they’re on the losing side of history — they’re on the losing side of the argument.”
Attorney Moore was also surprised, saying, “I cannot fathom a reasonable explanation why Mississippi takes the stance that it does. The sad situation in South Carolina in June did not even warrant the governor to issue an executive order to fly the flags at half-staff.”
To make what would seem to be baffling logic even more difficult to comprehend, Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant declared April Confederate Heritage Month while in the midst of Black History Month.
This move prompted Moore to file his lawsuit after the polarizing declaration. Moore said Gov. Bryant “did it as insult to the African-American people in Mississippi, and that was the last straw that broke the camel’s back. I immediately filed the lawsuit against him to take that flag down.”
“We’re not playing in Mississippi, that flag must come down,” said Moore.
Republican Strategist Andrew Lee told Dr. Leon, “I grew up in the South, everyone who is Black in the South knows what the Confederate flag means — it’s a battle emblem, it’s a symbol of hate and division. It has no place on top of our state grounds.”
Lee continued, “To defend it, I think, is unconscionable.”
Carmen Berkley, Civil, Human & Women’s Right Director for the AFL-CIO, reminded viewers the only reason why South Carolina took down the Confederate flag was “because nine people were murdered inside of Mother Emanuel Church.”
She added, “As a community, at some point in time we have to say enough is enough.”
Anecdotally, Berkley said, “I can’t even wear my Black Lives Matter pin to the airport without people looking at me like I have fourteen heads.”
She then asked, “Why is it OK for our nation to still be flying a flag that has a symbol of hate all across it?”
Watch guest host Dr. Wilmer Leon, Attorney Carlos Moore, Carmen Berkley, Andrew Lee, and Dr. Avis Jones-DeWeever discuss the federal lawsuit filed against Gov. Phil Bryant to force the state to take down the Mississippi state flag in the video clip above.
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