Marines ban Confederate flag — 155 years after end of Civil War

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Published in The New York Post on June 6, 2020

The US Marine Corps has finally banned the Confederate flag from public and workspaces at its military bases — 155 years after the Confederate States of America surrendered to Union forces.

“The Confederate battle flag has all too often been co-opted by violent extremist and racist groups whose divisive beliefs have no place in our Corps,” the military branch said in a tweeted statement.

“Our history as a nation, and events like the violence in Charlottesville in 2017, highlight the divisiveness the use of the Confederate battle flag has had on our society.”

The directive includes banning depictions of the flag on vehicle bumper stickers, clothing and coffee mugs.

Marine Gen. David Berger had already announced the ban on the flag in April, reported at the time.

Berger also ordered leaders to move women into combat jobs in his April memo — and to review the possibility of yearlong maternity leave for female Marines, and of extending parental leave policies to same-sex partners, the outlet reported.

(Photo by Gage Skidmore used via Creative Commons)

Texas Gov. calls for resignation of GOP official over George Floyd conspiracy theory

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Published in The New York Post on June 4, 2020

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has called for the resignation of a county GOP chair who posted a conspiracy theory that the death of George Floyd was staged.

Nueces County GOP Chair Jim Kaelin, a former sheriff in the county, shared the conspiracy theory — which said the death was staged to harm Trump with Black voters — to Facebook, freelance reporter James M. Russell reported.

“Interesting perspective: Staged Event? These officers were involved with something, I’m not sure exactly what, but something is just not adding up,” the post begins.

“I think there is at the very least the ‘possibility’, that this was a filmed public execution of a black man by a white cop, with the purpose of creating racial tensions and driving a wedge in the growing group of anti deep state sentiment from common people.”

Abbott’s office told the Corpus Christi Caller-Times that Floyd’s death was a “crime and an act of police brutality.”

“Spreading conspiracy theories that the murder was staged simply defies reality; it is irresponsible, and unbecoming of anyone who holds a position in the GOP,” a spokesman for the governor told the Caller-Times.

Kaelin’s post comes after Abbott and other Republicans in the state called for the resignation of Bexar County GOP chair Cynthia Brehm — who refused to resign for posting the same comments, the Texas Tribune reported.

Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick slammed the comments as racist on Twitter.

“Cynthia Brehm must resign now, today. There is no excuse for this outrageous, ignorant racist message made worse by using her position as a local party leader to spread it.”

Republican U.S. Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn have also called for her resignation, the outlet reported.

Brehm has since deleted her post but Kaelin’s remains up on Facebook, reports said.