Allen West has no end of things to say about the lowering of the Confederate battle flag. In a post about it on his website yesterday, he said that the lowering of that flag from the South Carolina statehouse represents something far graver than simply removing a symbol of alleged Southern “heritage.” It represents the loss of states’ rights.
After talking about something The New York Times printed about how many see bringing the Confederate battle flag down as “closing a chapter on a symbol of the Deep South and its history of racial animus,” West said this:
However — chillingly — others see today’s lowering of the flag as closing a chapter on something most fundamental and dear to our great nation: states’ rights, as enumerated in the 10th Amendment of our Constitution. And, more chillingly, they may be onto something.
The South Carolina government voted to do that, the federal government didn’t force them to. While West does acknowledge that, it’s hard to understand why he would continue on with how lowering that flag represents a loss of states’ rights when South Carolina made that decision on their own. Granted, it was under public pressure, but not under government pressure from Washington.
West’s logic comes from one of President Obama’s former advisors with the Department of Homeland Security, Mohamed Elibiary. Republican members of Congress viciously accused and targeted Elibiary for having ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. Those accusations were unfounded, but he was let go in 2014 for various reasons, including possible improper access and misuse of classified documents. He was also a controversial figure, tweeting about the return of the Muslim caliphate, which some right-wing sites have speculated may have also played a role in his getting let go.
West came across some tweets from Elibiary via the right-wing site Weasel Zippers, which talked about how states’ rights were dead, and had been dead since the Civil War. Elibiary, according to those tweets, believes in federalism and individual rights, but not states’ rights. In West’s mind, Elibiary still has a grip on America, even though he’s no longer with DHS.
Weasel Zippers says that we should not mistake what the controversy over the Confederate battle flag is really about – destroying states’ rights. That’s typical of what we can expect from the far right, though; the federal government absolutely terrifies them, so even when a state chooses to do something, on its own, that they don’t like, it’s really about federal control. And Weasel Zippers had to dig up tweets from a former DHS advisor to prove that.
Even though West knows that it was South Carolina’s decision to remove the Confederate battle flag from the statehouse, it still somehow symbolizes Obama’s desire to take over America and take away all states’ rights. Right.