Fearing potential violence from extremist pro-Confederacy groups, two towns in North Carolina have canceled their Christmas festivities this year.
There will be no Christmas parade in the towns of Wake Forest or Garner, all because of the social media response to a parade float — including a Confederate flag — sponsored by a group called Sons of Confederate Veterans. The racist commentary online led officials to believe “the event could be targeted for violence,” The News Observer reports. When officials learned that “extremist” groups (by which they mean racists and people opposing racism, I guess) were planning on attending the parade in person, they decided to shut down the event rather than create an environment for another Charlottesville.
“All you have to do is turn on the news and see, in our area, our state and across the nation, how quickly things can turn bad, how quickly people can be injured,” Crabtree said in a telephone interview. “When things go bad, there is a threat to public safety and that was something that we just couldn’t risk.”
While some people will inevitably complain about Christmas being “cancelled,” this decision has everything to do with safety and nothing to do with religion. It’s ironic, really, that right-wingers hell-bent on celebrating a past that included slavery forced two towns to do away with a public Christmas celebration. They only have themselves to blame.
That said, let’s keep in mind that this parade — Confederate flag and all — would’ve gone on if not for the fear of violence. Apparently the predominant symbol of Southern slavery was just fine before this year. To hell with that. If it takes ending the Christmas parade to make sure that flag doesn’t get a public celebration, good riddance.
(Image via Shutterstock)