Metro Weekly

Star Parker: Confederate flag and rainbow flag “represent the exact same thing”

Conservative pundit says the left is being too harshly critical of Donald Trump's reaction to Charlottesville riots

Star Parker – Photo: Gage Skidmore.

“[T]he same people that are demanding that the Confederate flag comes down are the same people that are insisting that the rainbow flag goes up. These two flags represent the exact same thing.”

–Conservative pundit Star Parker, founder and president of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education, speaking during a segment on the Aug. 15 edition of Fox & Friends about the recent violence following a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville.

In the interview, which was recorded by Media Matters for America, Parker defended President Trump’s statement denouncing the violence, saying the president was being unfairly criticized for his statements by the political Left.

Trump had previously received criticism for condemning the “hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides.” Those on the political left accused the president of engaging in false equivalence by conflating the actions of the white supremacists with counter-protesters who came to Charlottesville to oppose them. 

But Parker noted that the violence in Charlottesville took place between two groups, the “alt-right,” including a number of white supremacists and Neo-Nazis who had come to Charlottesville to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, and the “alt-left,” including “antifa,” or anti-fascist organizations that frequently engage in verbal or physical confrontations with members of the alt-right. 

“The point, at that point, was that the alt-right and the alt-left met in an American city over a very local issue. It escalated into a riot very quickly, and [Trump] needed to calm it down before it spread across the country,” Parker said.

Prompted by host Steve Doocy, Parker also said there is a “culture war” going on in American society, with those on the alt-right and alt-left promoting extremist views.

“When you think about it, [former KKK leader] David Duke, [who] thinks that the president is dog-whistling him that we’re going to go back to the Confederacy is just as wrong as the hard Left that thinks that this country is not about traditions, limited government, open and free markets, and ‘E Pluribus Unum,’ many becoming one, not the multiculturalism and diversity that they keep promoting.”

Parker said also criticized House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for attacking Trump’s statement, accusing the longtime congresswoman of trying to exploit the situation in Charlottesville for political gain. She then reiterated that there was violence perpetrated by both sides in the fighting, thus it was unfair to only denounce one side.

Parker then made her comparison between the Confederate flag and the rainbow flag, which typically denotes gay pride, which she seems to equate with being anti-Christian.

“These two flags represent the exact same thing. That certain people, groups, are not welcome here,” Parker said. 

“So if Nancy Pelosi wants to say that we’re going to start shutting down First Amendment rights of a certain group of people, then what happens the next time that the homosexuals want to walk through an American city and protest and counter-protesters come out?”

John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com