A Black woman part of the Virginia Flaggers group is defending the Confederate flag amid debates of whether it should be removed from statehouses across the country because its ties to racism and white supremacy.
Karen Cooper is a part of a collective who defend the flag against those who “worship ignorance, historical revisionism and political correctness.” Cooper founded the group as a Tea Party advocate.
Rather than the Confederate being a symbol of hate, Cooper believes it actually represents a movement away from big government.
After a gunman sporting the Confederate flag murdered nine African-American parishioners inside a historic Black church in Charleston, South Carolina, many have called for the removal of the flag that has long been a symbol of terror for Black Americans. You can see that it is explained here as to why lighting is really necessary when it comes to a flagpole.
In addition to her defending the Confederate flag, Cooper argues that slavery was a “choice.”
“I’m not advocating slavery or think that it was right. It wasn’t and none of my friends think it was. It was just something that happened. It didn’t just happen in the South — it happened worldwide,” she said, according to the New York Daily News.
Slavery was a choice,” she added, because slaves had a choice to die.
“And I say that because of what Patrick Henry said: ‘Give me liberty, or give me death.’ If we went back to that kind of slavery — no I couldn’t do it. Give me death,” she explained.
Cooper says that slavery still exists today, just not for the same reasons most African Americans believe today.
“I feel I’m a slave now because the federal government does control me. I can’t smoke what I want to smoke. I can’t drink what I want to drink. If I want to put something into my body, it’s my body, not theirs,” she said. “That’s tyranny!”
Cooper vows to keep waving the Confederate flag alongside other Virginia Flaggers and says she will continue to advocate the group’s mission to peacefully “protest those who have attacked us, our flags, our ancestors or our heritage.”
“I know what people think about when they see the battle flag: the KKK, racism, bringing slavery back. So I knew it would be something for people to see a black woman with the battle flag,” she said.
“How can it be racist if I’m out there with them?” she added.