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Meet Byron Thomas, a Confederate flag waving student at the University of South Carolina. Thomas is making headlines after he appeared on CNN this week defending the flag.

Thomas says that during the Civil War, his ancestor was a cook for one of the Southern regimens and he’s proud of that. The public relations student didn’t seem too bothered with the fact that the regimen in question was fighting to make sure his ancestor(s), and other Black folks, remained slaves.  “I refuse to my turn my back to what he did for the South,” the young man said.

Thomas also penned an op-ed for the Washington Post this week explaining his adoration for an item that symbolizes one of America’s darkest chapters. There have been calls to have the Confederate flag removed from the South Carolina Statehouse after White terrorist Dylann Roof entered a Black church and shot and killed nine people.

“Regardless of what happens at the statehouse, I will continue to hang the Confederate flag in my apartment. Because of that decision, I’ve been called ‘an Uncle Tom’ and ‘a sellout,’ and accused of despising my race. Let me be clear: I love the skin that I am in. God gave me my skin color, but he also gave me freedom to think for myself and the right to stand by my beliefs. My skin color should not determine how I think, what I believe and what flags I hang in my home. This process should teach us all to respect the beliefs of others. I hope those who view the Confederate flag as a symbol of hate  will keep open minds to those who view it as a symbol of Southern heritage and history, regardless of their race.”

Wow. We thought maybe he was trolling us at first, but we guess not.

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