Republicans and Democrats are starting to agree on the Confederate flag. It's about time.

Hey, look! Congress did something kind of bipartisan for a change.

Photo by Mandel Ngan/Getty Images.


Perhaps even more surprisingly, Congress did something positive.

Under a newly passed amendment to a larger bill, the Confederate flag will no longer be welcome at many veterans' cemeteries.

A Confederate veterans' cemetery. If the law takes effect, the ban would only apply to cemeteries administered by the V.A. Photo by John Moore/Getty Images.

The outcome of the vote was reported by The Associated Press:

"The House voted Thursday to ban the display of the Confederate flag on flagpoles at Veterans Administration cemeteries.

The 265-159 vote would block descendants and others seeking to commemorate veterans of the Confederate States of America from flying the Confederate Battle Flag over mass graves, even on days that flag displays are permitted."

This kind of vote might not have been possible just a few years ago.

For decades, the Confederate flag, a symbol of slavery and Jim Crow, flew on public property all over the South.

As late as 2000, the flag was still flying over the South Carolina state capitol. A highly contentious debate that year ended with the flag's removal from the building itself, but lawmakers — in an attempt to accommodate (mostly) white Southerners who claimed the flag was simply a marker of their regional identity and heritage — allowed it to remain on public grounds near the statehouse.

Last year's tragic shooting in Charleston, South Carolina, in which nine black men and women were murdered in their own church, finally got lawmakers on both sides of the aisle rethinking the place the flag has in public life.

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images.

After an investigation into shooter Dylann Roof revealed dozens of images detailing his worship of the Confederate flag, its place as a racist symbol became impossible to ignore.

Lawmakers in South Carolina voted to finally and completely remove the flag from the area in front of the statehouse (even before lawmakers acted, courageous activist Bree Newsome took it down on her own).

It's regrettable that it took a tragedy of such terrible magnitude to force this much-needed change.

The Confederate flag is lowered at the South Carolina statehouse. Photo by John Moore/Getty Images.

Thankfully, that change is finally coming to Washington — and, with this vote, becoming the rare issue where Democrats and at least some Republicans, are coming closer to agreement rather than drifting farther apart.

For now, at least, the Confederate flag debate is finally moving in the right direction.

A South Carolina police officer puts away the Confederate flag that had been flying at the statehouse. Photo by John Moore/Getty Images.

Down, instead of up.

More
Photo by Hunters Race on Unsplash

If you're a woman and you want to be a CEO, you should probably think about changing your name to "Jeffrey" or "Michael." Or possibly even "Michael Jeffreys" or "Jeffrey Michaels."

According to Fortune, last year, more men named Jeffrey and Michael became CEOs of America's top companies than women. A whopping total of one woman became a CEO, while two men named Jeffrey took the title, and two men named Michael moved into the C-suite as well.

The "New CEO Report" for 2018, which looks at new CEOS for the 250 largest S&P 500 companies, found that 23 people were appointed to the position of CEO. Only one of those 23 people was a woman. Michelle Gass, the new CEO of Kohl's, was the lone female on the list.

Keep Reading Show less
popular

Netflix

How much of what we do is influenced by what we see on TV? When it comes to risky behavior, Netflix isn't taking any chances.

After receiving a lot of heat, the streaming platform is finally removing a controversial scenedepicting teen suicide in season one of "13 Reasons Why. The decision comes two years after the show's release after statistics reveal an uptick in teen suicide.

"As we prepare to launch season three later this summer, we've been mindful about the ongoing debate around the show. So on the advice of medical experts, including Dr. Christine Moutier, Chief Medical Officer at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, we've decided with creator Brian Yorkey and the producers to edit the scene in which Hannah takes her own life from season one," Netflix said in a statement, per The Hollywood Reporter.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture

At Trump's 'Social Media Summit' on Thursday, he bizarrely claimed Arnold Schwarzenegger had 'died' and he had witnessed said death. Wait, what?!


He didn't mean it literally - thank God. You can't be too sure! After all, he seemed to think that Frederick Douglass was still alive in February. More recently, he described a world in which the 1770s included airports. His laissez-faire approach to chronology is confusing, to say the least.

Keep Reading Show less
Democracy

Words matter. And they especially matter when we are talking about the safety and well-being of children.

While the #MeToo movement has shed light on sexual assault allegations that have long been swept under the rug, it has also brought to the forefront the language we use when discussing such cases. As a writer, I appreciate the importance of using varied wording, but it's vital we try to remain as accurate as possible in how we describe things.

There can be gray area in some topics, but some phrases being published by the media regarding sexual predation are not gray and need to be nixed completely—not only because they dilute the severity of the crime, but because they are simply inaccurate by definition.

One such phrase is "non-consensual sex with a minor." First of all, non-consensual sex is "rape" no matter who is involved. Second of all, most minors legally cannot consent to sex (the age of consent in the U.S. ranges by state from 16 to 18), so sex with a minor is almost always non-consensual by definition. Call it what it is—child rape or statutory rape, depending on circumstances—not "non-consensual sex."

Keep Reading Show less
Culture