On Wednesday night, demonstrators on the streets of Oklahoma City waved Confederate flags as President Obama’s motorcade arrived, a stark scene captured by a New York Times photographer.
The scene as President Obama’s motorcade arrived at his hotel in Oklahoma City tonight. Photo by @dougmillsnyt pic.twitter.com/L7e9TCrOPQ
— The New York Times (@nytimes) July 16, 2015
The incident comes in the midst of a renewed national push to remove the battle flag from government sites after the massacre inside a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina, last month. Similar counter rallies embracing the slogan “Confederate Lives Matter” were scheduled in Oklahoma City ahead of the president’s visit.
Following the attack in Charleston, Obama delivered an impassioned eulogy for Rev. Clementa Pinckney, a South Carolina state senator and one of the nine people murdered, in which the president called the flag’s enduring presence in the South a “reminder of systemic oppression and racial subjugation.”
While South Carolina finally lowered the flag on state capitol grounds last week after more than 50 years, this latest scene encountered by the country’s first black president is a reminder that the path to a more perfect union is still very much a work in progress.