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John Oliver knows what to do with South Carolina's Confederate flag.

The Civil War was fought in 10,000 places and killed 620,000 Americans. Is it true that this flag is a "heritage" and a "tradition"?

John Oliver knows what to do with South Carolina's Confederate flag.

A debate on removing the Confederate flag from South Carolina's Capitol grounds has begun.

Here's one view on this from the great John Oliver. He also mentions a simple idea on what to do with that flag once it's finally taken down, at 4:36. Sounds like a good idea to me.

Is it really about "heritage"?

After the terrorist attack at the Charleston Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, I've seen a lot of comments from folks saying the flag is about “heritage" and “tradition." Some say that for those who grew up in the South, the Confederate flag is a source of pride.


Image by Chris Hondros/Getty Images.

It's all about the context.

There's a reason nobody flies a Nazi flag without sustaining major flak from everybody who sees it. In most of the U.S., the same goes for the Confederate, or "Rebel," flag — it's a symbol of slavery and secession.

So should the flag be taken down? Yes. Here's why.

Even the declared reasons for South Carolina seceding from the union are about slavery.

The Confederate flag represents the largest reason why the South rebelled against the North during the Civil War: slavery. South Carolina in particular — the first state to secede — was quite clear about that.

Here are a few paragraphs from the "Declaration of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify the Secession of South Carolina from the Federal Union" of 1860.

We affirm that these ends for which this Government was instituted have been defeated, and the Government itself hasbeen made destructive of them by the action of the non-slaveholding States. Those States have assume the right ofdeciding upon the propriety of our domestic institutions; and have denied the rights of property established in fifteen ofthe States and recognized by the Constitution; they have denounced as sinful the institution of slavery; they havepermitted open establishment among them of societies, whose avowed object is to disturb the peace and to eloign theproperty of the citizens of other States. They have encouraged and assisted thousands of our slaves to leave their homes;and those who remain, have been incited by emissaries, books and pictures to servile insurrection.

For twenty-five years this agitation has been steadily increasing, until it has now secured to its aid the power of thecommon Government. Observing the forms of the Constitution, a sectional party has found within that Article establishingthe Executive Department, the means of subverting the Constitution itself. A geographical line has been drawn across theUnion, and all the States north of that line have united in the election of a man to the high office of President of the UnitedStates, whose opinions and purposes are hostile to slavery. He is to be entrusted with the administration of the commonGovernment, because he has declared that that "Government cannot endure permanently half slave, half free," and that thepublic mind must rest in the belief that slavery is in the course of ultimate extinction.
...
We, therefore, the People of South Carolina ... have solemnly declared that the Union heretofore existing between thisState and the other States of North America, is dissolved, and that the State of South Carolina has resumed her positionamong the nations of the world, as a separate and independent State; with full power to levy war, conclude peace, contractalliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent States may of right do.
Adopted December 24, 1860




What happened in Charleston is one of countless painful wounds on top of scars for generations of people. The flag represents that history.

Yes, it was a terrorist attack. Yes, it was for racist reasons. And yes, flying the Confederate flag at South Carolina's state capitol building is offensive — even more so now. It always was, but it's especially blatant and poignant after this gut-punch to the American experience.

(Update: South Carolina's governor is calling for removal of the flag, joining a chorus of others. It still takes a two-thirds majority of each chamber of the state's legislature for it to happen, but the stakes are higher now.)

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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via Jimivr / Flickr and Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Actress Billie Lourd paid tribute to her late mother Carrie Fisher on Tuesday by sharing a photo of her son Kingston watching Fisher as Princess Leia in 1977's "Star Wars: A New Hope."

Kingston was born last September to Lourd and her fiancé, actor Austen Rydell. The infant is pictured wearing a knitted hat with buns on its side and a Leia-themed onesie.

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Courtesy of CeraVe
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"I love being a nurse because I have the honor of connecting with my patients during some of their best and some of their worst days and making a difference in their lives is among the most rewarding things that I can do in my own life" - Tenesia Richards, RN

From ushering new life into the world to holding the hand of a patient as they take their last breath, nurses are everyday heroes that deserve our respect and appreciation.

To give back to this community that is always giving so selflessly to others, CeraVe® put out a call to nurses to share their stories for a chance to be featured in Heroes Behind the Masks, a digital content series shining a light on nurses who go above and beyond to provide safe and quality care to patients and their communities.

First up: Tenesia Richards, a labor and delivery nurse working in New York City who, in addition to her regular job, started a community outreach program in a homeless shelter that houses expectant mothers for up to one year postpartum.

Tenesia | Heroes Behind the Masks presented by CeraVe www.youtube.com

Upon learning at a conference that black mothers in the U.S. die at three to four times the rate of white mothers, one of the widest of all racial disparities in women's health, Richards decided to take further action to help her community. She, along with a handful of fellow nurses, volunteered to provide antepartum, childbirth and postpartum education to the women living at the shelter. Additionally, they looked for other ways to boost the spirits of the residents, like throwing baby showers and bringing in guest speakers. When COVID-19 hit and in-person gatherings were no longer possible, Richards and her team found creative workarounds and created holiday care packages for the mothers instead.

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