President Obama was greeted by people waving Confederate flags when he arrived in Oklahoma City on Wednesday night.
Several dozen people stood on the sidewalk as the presidential motorcade arrived at hotel where Obama was staying. About 10 people were waving Confederate battle flags.
Obama is in Oklahoma to visit a federal prison as part of his push to overhaul the criminal justice system. The greeters also included Obama supporters, and one person held a sign expressing love for him.
The protest was organized by Andrew Duncomb, who goes by the nickname “the Black Rebel,” according to local TV news station KFOR.
“We don’t believe it’s a symbol of racism,” Andrew Duncomb said.
“They’re blaming the racist problems on the flag and not on the real problems of America,” added Duncomb, who is African-American.
The Confederate flag has come under fire since a mass shooting last month at a historic African-American church in South Carolina.
The alleged shooter, Dylann Storm Roof, posted photos of himself online with Confederate flag memorabilia and claimed he wanted to start a race war.
The flag was taken down outside South Carolina’s state capitol building last week.
Obama and political leaders in both parties have called the flag a symbol of hate and called for it to be taken off government grounds across the South.
“For many, black and white, that flag was a reminder of systemic oppression and racial subjugation,” Obama recently said at the eulogy for one of the victims of the shooting. “We see that now.”
People waving Confederate flags also showed up when Obama visited Tennessee earlier this month.
by Jordan Fabian
Categories: US Government