I, like Wile E. Coyote, am a genius.
No, scratch that: a super genius.
You’ll agree after this: The other day while I kicked back gnawing on the succulent bones of contentment – a pickled pig’s foot – the solution to one of the vexing problems facing the state and the governor came to me just like that.
You know the dispute that’s threatening to rend the state in two – a debate between people clamoring for the governor to govern and abolish those Sons of Confederate Veterans flag emblems on state license plates and those who want the emblems and other cherished Confederate monuments to stay?
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Check this out: why not let the people who want to honor their heritage, their hate, their hat or whatever it is by paying extra for the flag on their plate to do so?
The money raised by the extra fee for the plate would be donated to the NAACP.
Or the UNCF.
Gov. Pat McCrory, you don’t have to thank me for pulling your obelisks out of the fire. Just doing my duty as a citizen.
Many people contend that the flag and the monuments represent to them nothing but pride in their forefathers who fought under the flag in what they call “the war of Northern aggression.”
Sure, they’re heedless of the fact that the current stars and bars wasn’t adopted widely until 1961 as a response to what the South perceived as Northern meddling in its affairs.
Whatever. Why let facts interfere with fundraising? The governor could use their patriotic fervor to advance the cause of deserving organizations that would probably not otherwise be on the SCV Christmas shopping list.
Wouldn’t donating the money to organizations such as those stop them from purchasing the Confederate-honoring plates? you ask.
Not likely. Decades ago when the price of gas rose to over a buck and a half per gallon and people were buying smaller, more economical automobiles, my buddy Chap vowed that he would continue driving a Cadillac even if the price of a gallon reached $5.
Want to bet that there are people who are just as committed to the flag, who will continue to drive a flag-festooned auto even if the price for a commemorative plate reaches, say, $25?
Department of Transportation spokesman Steve Abbott told me last month that 2,064 Sons of Confederate Veterans plates had been issued since 1998, when they hit the market.
At $10 extra per license plate for manufacturing, even someone as bad at ciphering as I am can figure out that that’s $20,640 extra just for that emblem. Half of that goes for manufacturing costs, but the other half could help the Rev. William Barber II and the NAACP protest McCrory’s inaction on the flag.
After McCrory suggested the commemorative plates be discontinued because of the flag’s association with Charleston terrorist Dylann Roof, who in some pictures seems to have swathed himself in it, there was a run on the flag plates. Abbott’s office told me Tuesday that in the month since the governor suggested curtailing the sale of SCV plates, 433 have been issued.
Man oh man, think of all the extra cash that could mean for worthy causes. More deliciously, think of the irony. Rebel flag supporters could get to figuratively fly their flag as they zoom along the highway while simultaneously supporting the NAACP or students at historically black colleges and universities – two causes no doubt close to their hearts.
Can you say win-win?