Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton on Tuesday urged all businesses to stop selling products with Confederate flag images, and praised Wal-Mart Stores Inc and other retailers for pulling flag-related items.
The businesses stopped selling the products after last week’s racially motivated attack on black worshippers at a church in Charleston. Leaders in South Carolina, including Governor Nikki Haley, have called for a Confederate battle flag to be removed from the State House grounds.
The flag is “a symbol of our nation’s racist past that has no place in our present or our future. It shouldn’t fly there. It shouldn’t fly anywhere,” Clinton said in Florissant, a St. Louis suburb near Ferguson, the site of violent protests last year after a young black man was killed by a white policeman.
She commended Wal-Mart for removing products with images of the Confederate flag from its shelves. Clinton served on Wal-Mart’s board of directors from 1986 to 1992. “Today, Amazon, eBay and Sears followed suit, and I urge all sellers to do the very same,” she said.
“You know and I know that’s just the beginning of what we have to do,” Clinton said during an appearance at a Florissant church. “Equality, opportunity, civil rights in America are still far from where they need to be.”
The Missouri speech was the third time Clinton has made public remarks on last week’s shooting at a historically black church in Charleston. A 21-year-old white man, Dylann Roof, has been arrested and charged with murder, and the shootings are being investigated as a hate crime.
“America’s long struggle with race is far from finished,” she said, repeating earlier calls for new laws to make it easier to vote and policies to reduce unemployment and high dropout rates among minority youth.