Another spotlight is focusing its glare on the Confederate flag debate in South Carolina.
The issue, which reached a boiling point in 2015, is the focus of a program on the Viceland network called “Hate Thy Neighbor.”
“Hate Thy Neighbor” is a documentary series featuring English comedian Jamali Maddix. He looks to confront racism head-on by embedding himself in controversial issues as travels around the world.
His travels bring him to South Carolina in the latest episode, which will be broadcast Tuesday at 10 p.m.
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A clip from the episode has been posted on Twitter. Maddix is in Charleston, next to Emanuel AME Church. That’s where Dylann Roof, a self-avowed white supremacist, killed nine black parishioners in June 2015 during a bible study session.
Roof’s racist viewpoints were discovered after the shooting, and the Confederate flag was prominent in so many of Roof’s self-posted photos.
Although South Carolina lawmakers voted to remove the Confederate flag from the State House grounds before Roof pleaded to nine counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder, the Confederate flag remains a divisive issue.
Maddix discusses it with KJ Kearney, a columnist for the Charleston City Paper.
“What was it about the Dylann Roof shooting that made the Confederate flag so important?” Maddix asks Kearney in the clip.
“It’s because he made it important. It would have been a tragedy without the flag. When he made his manifesto and he was in pictures with this flag, it just took it to another completely different level,” said Kearney.
Kearney questions whether people who claim the Confederate flag as part of their heritage truly understand all it represents.
In the same episode, Maddix interviews Andrew Duncomb, a black Oklahoman who is part of the right-wing Black Rebels. They proudly wave and support the Confederate flag.
This isn’t the program’s first foray into South Carolina, or its coverage of the Confederate flag issue. In its opening credits, it shows footage of a Confederate flag rally outside of the S.C. State House in Columbia.
In another episode, Maddix travels to South Carolina to meet kids about to enter a “correctional weekend” that simulates the experience of being in prison.