Internet Outrage Over Haley’s Answer To Confederate Flag Question … Here’s The WHOLE Story

Written by Wes Walker on December 6, 2019

Was what she said deeply offensive, or is everyone reacting to the buzz instead of the story itself?

In our hyper-connected world, it’s easy to get caught up in the ready-fire-aim responses to real-time unfolding of whatever it is we agree to get wound up about on any given day.

One tweet, one video clip. One dumb statement or embarrassing gaffe and everyone knows about it and has voiced an opinion about it in mere minutes.

Pretty remarkable, if they react in less time than it takes to watch the quote in its proper context. You might even think the quote doesn’t actually matter as much to those people as what they are TOLD they should think about how to react to it.

But does the outrage REALLY match the hype?

This looks like another case of the ‘very fine people hoax‘ phenomenon. Two groups approach the same data set with very different assumptions and come away with absolutely contradictory interpretations.

In short we’re dealing with a case of:

But the facts don’t really care what you WANT to believe. They’re just facts. What do we know?

We know that human nature is sufficiently complicated that it is entirely possible for different groups of people to see the same symbol and come away with very different understandings of their meaning.

Even the Swastika, for all the horrors we would associate it with today, has another, entirely benign meaning. You can’t always assume that the meaning YOU assign to a symbol is the same one someone ELSE will. This is the point from which the conflict springs.

If you’re a traveller from the west who has been to Asia, there’s a high chance that you’ve noticed the swastika symbol dotted around and felt a little uncomfortable. Perhaps you’ve even felt a bit outraged. It’s painted on the entrances and doorways of homes and temples, marked on financial statements and is often constructed as a mandala for rituals such as weddings or welcoming a newborn. The swastika holds much reverence within the major religions of the east- Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism – and is conducive to well-being, prosperity and luck. Because of that, it’s found everywhere.
Source: CultureTrip

Nikki Haley was Governor of South Carolina. As such, she is probably more familiar with the local culture and beliefs there than someone who gets their panties in a bunch two or three timezones away.

She is well aware of the checkered history of the Confederate flag, and how different people associate different meanings with it.

For some, all they can see is the embodiment of a racist message that divides white and black, the preferred flag of the KKK. (But if the flag should forever be stained by that taint, why not the Democrat party that spawned the movement, as well?)

For others, it represents their forefathers, their communities, regional pride, history and a whole lot more. For them, the fact that miserable bigots waved that same flag didn’t stain the value of it any more than a coward flying Old Glory would demean our American institutions.

Nikki Haley is doing a book tour and the associated interviews. She was asked about her time as Governor, and the crisis that arose in response to Dylan Roof’s racially motivated murder.

You can even watch the 1:22 for yourself, and actually KNOW what she said… and be ahead of most of the commenters on the internet.

Here’s a cross-section of reaction to one guy baiting the public with a carefully-chosen tweet about her interview… starting with the ones that didn’t think she was out of line in what she said or how she said it, before moving on to those who are (supposedly) absolutely incensed by it.

A middle-of-the-road reaction disagreeing with her idea, but granting her an honest intent:

Aaaaaaaand cue the outrage:

Switching gears from accusatory to condescending…

We’ll wrap up with a fierce tweet in defense of Nikki Haley and her record after she had been called all these miserable things.

The moral of the story, for all of us, is simple: the next time you find yourself tempted to be outraged over something you see on the internet. Take the minute and twenty two seconds (or however long) to make sure you’re not about to make an ass of yourself.

Like these folks just did.