Charlottesville: Fox News Compares Confederate Flag to Rainbow Flag

Star Parker

Fox News guest Star Parker argued today that those decrying symbols like the Confederate battle flag are hypocrites because they defend the LGBTQ rainbow flag. This denouncement happened while offering a defense to Donald Trump’s two-day waiting period before reluctantly denouncing the Nazis and white supremacists that rioted in Chalottesville, Virginia and murdered one person.

“What do you think about Nancy Pelosi, who made this statement yesterday: ‘It shouldn’t take the president of the United States two days to summon the basic decency to condemn murder and violence by Nazis and white supremacists.'” Fox’s Steve Doocy asked during the segment.

“That is not what happened,” Star Parker responded before changing the subject to essentially compare  the LGBTQ civil rights struggle to the treasonous uprising during the Civil War and the racism-tinged battle flag that rose from that war’s ashes.

She continued:

Nancy Pelosi is exploiting an opportunity that they think will play to their side. On Saturday, there were two sides that were in an American city that were — then it was escalating very rapidly. No, the question became then, well, do you denounce the one part of it? But you know what’s really interesting and really incredible irony here is the same people that are demanding that the Confederate flag comes down are the same people that are insisting that the rainbow flag goes up. These two flags represent the exact same thing. That certain people groups are not welcome here. So if Nancy Pelosi wants to say that we’re going to start shutting down First Amendment rights of a certain group of people, then what happens the next time that the homosexuals want to walk through an American city and protest and counter protesters come out?

Parroting Trump’s “many sides” statements, Parker placed the predominantly peaceful anti-Nazi protesters on the same level with literal Nazis and white supremacists who arrived at the scene with weapons and torches. Never mind that the right-wing terrorists are the ones who murdered a woman in cold blood and injured countless others; the false balance narrative is the most preferred way of defending Nazis in conservative America in 2017.

But that’s not even the most egregious portion of her response.

When making her argument, Parker conflated the Confederate battle flag with the LGBTQ rainbow flag. She literally argued the “two flags represent the exact same thing.”

This is the dangerous whitewashing of history that allowed for the resurgence in Nazism and white supremacy in the first place.

No, the rainbow flag does not stand for racism or violence. It was not born out of a treasonous uprising against the United States. it was not co-opted during the Reconstruction era as a symbol of white supremacy, discrimination and hatred. Rather, it was designed to unite LGBTQ people in their peaceful struggle to secure equal rights under the law.

Moreover, no one is arguing rainbow flags should replace confederate flags on the government properties where those treasonous flags are being removed. The statement is as laughable as it is fictitious.

But that’s how the right operates now. They offer bald-faced lies as truth when defending abhorrent behavior committed by people who share their common partisan ideology.

Instead of calling out literal Nazis walking with torches and weapons through an American city who murdered an innocent person, conservatives like Star Parker are defending Nazis by demonizing LGBTQ people.

Yes, Nazis have every right to peacefully assemble just as LGBTQ people do. That’s not the point being made across the nation, though, and Parker knows that. That’s why she made the ridiculous argument that a flag known for its white supremacist roots is the same as a flag explicitly crafted as a symbol of unity and equality.

That’s possibly the only way people like Parker can sleep at night after they go on television and defend murderers whose ideology includes mass murder and genocide.

Finally, it’s painful that this needs to be said, but violence and incitement to violence are not protected speech. Those were explicitly carved out of the First Amendment a long time ago. The very core of Nazism is the concept of ethnic cleansing and violent mass murder. That’s why the U.S. went to war in the 1940’s and tried to wipe that ideology off the face of the planet.

That violence-based ideology explains why hundreds of Nazis showed up to a “rally” brandishing weapons and torches. It was never meant to be peaceful; rather, they planned a violent rally and attacked peaceful anti-Nazi protesters. Outside of the footage of the murder of Heather Heyer, photos have begun emerging of groups of Nazis and white supremacists coordinating attacks on local Charlottesville citizens and non-white counter protesters.

These actions are in no way, shape, or form the same as people marching in a pride celebration in remembrance of the beginning of LGBTQ equality movement in 1969.

To compare the two is not only disingenuous, it’s downright sad.

Be better, Star Parker.

Here’s video of the segment courtesy of Media Matters:

Tim Peacock is the Managing Editor and founder of Peacock Panache and has worked as a civil rights advocate for over twenty years. During that time he’s worn several hats including leading on campus LGBT advocacy in the University of Missouri campus system, interning with the Colorado Civil Rights Division, and volunteering at advocacy organizations. You can learn more about him at his personal website.

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