50 Cent vs. the Confederate Flag

These two clips are so surreal as to defy explanation. Imagine someone explaining to your kids that Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda were the good guys, and you'll have some sense of what it's like to hear a woman lionizing the Red Shirts to a descendant of black South Carolina. 


Some history on the Red Shirts here. I think the basic problem is that, when your lineage is all you have, when kinship is the only thing that defines you, how do you say, "My grandparents were not cheated. They were not righteous. They were terrorists and sore losers, who deserved to lose." And how do you say that knowing that, at the same time, they may have been loving mothers and fathers. That they were not monsters. 

I don't know. But that's how it happens.

Presented by

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A Miniature 1950s Utopia

A reclusive artist built this idealized suburb to grapple with his painful childhood memories.

Video

Why Principals Matter

Nadia Lopez didn't think anybody cared about her school. Then the Internet heard her story.

Video

A History of Contraception

In the 16th century, men used linen condoms laced shut with ribbons.

Video

'A Music That Has No End'

In Spain, a flamenco guitarist hustles to make a modest living.

More in National

From This Author

Just In