Newsome released the following statement exclusively to Blue Nation Review:
Now is the time for true courage.
I realized that now is the time for true courage the morning after the Charleston Massacre shook me to the core of my being. I couldn’t sleep. I sat awake in the dead of night. All the ghosts of the past seemed to be rising.
Not long ago, I had watched the beginning of Selma, the reenactment of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing and had shuddered at the horrors of history.
But this was neither a scene from a movie nor was it the past. A white man had just entered a black church and massacred people as they prayed. He had assassinated a civil rights leader. This was not a page in a textbook I was reading nor an inscription on a monument I was visiting.
This was now.
This was real.
This was—this is—still happening.
Who is Bree Newsome? Why the woman who took down the Confederate flag became an activist. by Jessice Contrera, Washington Post
While Bree Newsome sat in jail, the world learned her name. And gave her some new ones: “Hero.” “Badass.” “An Inspiration.”
After the hate-fueled killing of nine black churchgoers and a week of debate about the Confederate flag’s presence at the South Carolina statehouse grounds, this 30-year-old woman took matters into her own hands. She woke up before dawn, strapped on climbing equipment and scaled a 30-foot flagpole. By the time the flag was in her hands, she knew she would be arrested.
“We removed the flag today because we can’t wait any longer. We can’t continue like this another day,” Newsome said in an e-mail statement written before her arrest.
Watch a NC Educator Risk Jail Time by Tearing Down the Statehouse’s Confederate Flag by Tom McKay, Policy.Mic
An activist has been arrested in South Carolina after scaling the flagpole at the Statehouse in Columbia, removing the Confederate battle flag flying there before being captured by Capitol police.
Rashad Robinson, executive director of activist group ColorOfChange.org, told the Root that the activist was a North Carolina educator named Bree Newsome and added, “This flag sends a horrible message about what our country was and a reminder of what we can still be. The flag is down now, we should keep it down, and any charges against these activists should be dropped immediately.”