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South Carolina to Remove Confederate Flag

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By Harriet McLeod, Reuters

 

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley signed legislation on Thursday to permanently remove the Confederate battle flag from the state capitol grounds, following an emotional debate spurred by the massacre of nine Black churchgoers last month.

 

 

Haley signed the bill into law in the State House Rotunda before an audience of legislators and dignitaries shortly after 4 p.m. EDT (2000 GMT), and her office said the flag would be taken down at 10 a.m. (1400 GMT) on Friday.

 

The rebel banner will go to the “relic room” of South Carolina’s military museum in Columbia, the state capital.

 

“The Confederate flag is coming off the grounds of the South Carolina State House,” Haley said to cheers and applause. “We will bring it down with dignity and we will make sure it is put in its rightful place.”

 

The flag, carried by Confederate troops on the losing side in the 1861-1865 Civil War, is seen as a symbol of racism and slavery by many. But others proudly hail it as an emblem of Southern heritage.

 

The flag has flown for 54 years at the capitol of the first state to secede from the United States, and the state where the Confederacy fired the first shots of the Civil War, in Charleston.

 

South Carolina plans to keep Friday’s flag relocation “as low-key as the national media will let us,” said Haley spokeswoman Chaney Adams.

 

Among those attending the signing were relatives of “the Charleston 9,” the Black men and women gunned down on June 17 at a landmark church in an apparently racially motivated slaughter.

 

Haley paid special tribute to the victims’ families’ forgiveness of the white man charged in the killings, Dylann Roof, 21. She said their inspirational actions played a major role in the law’s passage, and said a pen from the signing would go to each of the families.

 

Also joining Haley, a Republican of Indian descent who is South Carolina’s first non-white chief executive, were predecessors who supported the measure.

 

The governor signed the bill after the state House of Representatives gave it final approval in the wee hours of Thursday after 13 hours of emotional debate.

 

Before Thursday’s signing, a small crowd gathered on the State House lawn waving “Take Down the Flag” signs as drivers honked their horns.

 

Others snapped photos on the last full day the banner will fly from its pole at a memorial to Confederate war dead.

 

“I love this,” said Hammie Johnson. “It’s about time people came to the realization of what that flag represents to us as African-Americans, and that’s slavery.”

 

He and his wife, Esther, watched the House debate the bill on television. “We watched all of it, every last bit,” he said.

 

Jim Felder, 76, one of the first blacks to be elected to the state House, said he never thought he would live to see the flag come down.

 

“I’m so proud today…I thought maybe my grandchildren would get it down,” he said.

 

He and others credited Haley with lobbying Republican state representatives on Wednesday to pass the bill. “She was just trying to hold them together, like herding cats,” he said, adding that he had new respect for the governor.

 

The House overwhelmingly approved the legislation after 1 a.m. EDT (0500 GMT) on Thursday. The Senate passed it earlier in the week, also by a huge margin. Both chambers are Republican-controlled.

 

The flag controversy has extended across the U.S. South as the Charleston killings spurred a wave of repudiation by politicians and businesses.

 

In Washington, Republican leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives Thursday abruptly canceled a vote on a measure that would allow the flag to be flown in cemeteries operated by the National Park Service, after an outcry by opponents.

 

White House spokesman Josh Earnest described the bipartisan flag vote as a sign of “progress.”

 

He added, “Republicans in Congress, however, seem to have values and priorities that lie elsewhere,” a reference to the park service bill.

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Oakland Native Serves in Navy’s ‘Silent Service’ of Submarine Technology

A major component of that maritime security is homeported at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Ga., where Zeigler is stationed.

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Justin Ziegler

An Oakland native is serving aboard USS Florida, one of the world’s most advanced nuclear-powered submarines.

Fireman Justin Zeigler, a 2008 Life Academy High School graduate and 2017 University of California, Los Angeles graduate, joined the Navy one year ago.

“I joined the Navy to be a part of something new and completely outside of what I had been exposed to,” said Zeigler. “I really wanted to challenge myself. and I feel the core values of the Navy represent what I strive for.”

Today, Zeigler serves as a machinist’s mate whose responsibilities include working on nuclear propulsion machinery.
According to Zeigler, the values required to succeed in the military are similar to those found in Oakland.

“I learned resilience from my hometown,” said Zeigler. “I think that’s been a part of my life and childhood. It’s what’s keeping me going while serving in the Navy.”

Known as America’s “Silent Service,” the Navy’s submarine force operates a large fleet of technically advanced vessels. These submarines are capable of conducting rapid defensive and offensive operations around the world, in furtherance of U.S. national security.

There are three basic types of submarines: fast-attack submarines (SSN), ballistic-missile submarines (SSBN) and guided-missile submarines (SSGN).

As a member of the submarine force, Zeigler is part of a rich 121-year history of the U.S. Navy’s most versatile weapons platform, capable of taking the fight to the enemy in the defense of America and its allies.
Serving in the Navy means Zeigler is part of a team that is taking on new importance in America’s focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances and reforming business practices in support of the National Defense Strategy.

“The submarine force is always out there ready to strike,” said Zeigler.

With more than 90% of all trade traveling by sea, and 95% of the world’s international phone and internet traffic carried through underwater fiber optic, Navy officials continue to emphasize that the prosperity and security of the United States is directly linked to a strong and ready Navy.

A major component of that maritime security is homeported at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Ga., where Zeigler is stationed.

As Zeigler and other sailors continue to train and perform the missions they are tasked with, they take pride in serving their country in the United States Navy.

“Serving in the Navy means being a part of something more than myself,” added Zeigler. “I’m committing to my team, always striving to be better and bringing more to the table.”

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East Bay Area Section of NCNW: 70th Anniversary

Knowledge is Power

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East Bay Area Section of NCNW: 70th Anniversary Flyer

The Oakland Post’s coverage of local news in Alameda County is supported by the Ethnic Media Sustainability Initiative, a program created by California Black Media and Ethnic Media Services to support community newspapers across California.

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Ella Baker Center Turns 25

Community members will have the opportunity to join the celebration virtually or in person at Restore Oakland at 1419 34th Ave, Oakland, CA 94601.

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Michelle Alexander/Photo via pbs.org

Alicia Garza

Co-founder of Black Lives Matter (BLM) Alicia Garza and Michelle Alexander, acclaimed author of “The New Jim Crow,” will join youth justice leader Xochtil Larios to discuss a collective vision for liberation at the Ella Baker Center’s 25th Anniversary Celebration, 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 27.

After 25 years of working to empower Black and Brown communities and fighting for a world without prisons and policing, the event will seek to inspire organizers, community members and changemakers to reflect on past victories in the movement for social justice and imagine how to continue moving toward a world based on justice.

The event will include entertainment by musicians, poets as well as comments by founders of the Ella Baker Center, Dianna Frappier and Van Jones. Community members will have the opportunity to join the celebration virtually or in person at Restore Oakland at 1419 34th Ave, Oakland, CA 94601.

The in-person event will be held outdoors and available to vaccinated guests only. 

To RSVP for the virtual event, please email ashley@ellabakercenter.org by Oct. 14 

The Oakland Post’s coverage of local news in Alameda County is supported by the Ethnic Media Sustainability Initiative, a program created by California Black Media and Ethnic Media Services to support community newspapers across California.

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