Speaking to a gathering of religious conservatives here Saturday night, Gov. Scott Walker spoke for several minutes about the shooting in Charleston, S.C., calling it a "racist" and "evil" act and asking for a moment of prayer for the "nine brothers and sisters in Christ who were taken on Wednesday."It's bad enough that Walker can't even bring himself to condemn the culture of racism, but then uses the victims of this racism as an excuse for his reluctance is simply deplorable.
But in talking to reporters afterward, Walker steered cleared of the debate over the Confederate flag in South Carolina that is playing out in the aftermath of the shootings.
Walker said he didn't think it was appropriate to debate that issue until the family members of victims have had a chance to bury and mourn the dead.
The GOP's 2012 nominee, Mitt Romney, said on Twitter Saturday that South Carolina should remove the Confederate flag flying above its state Capitol grounds, calling it a "symbol of racial hatred" to many. Several of Walker's potential GOP rivals have also commented on the issue in the wake of the shootings.
"I think they're going to have a good healthy debate and should have that debate in South Carolina amongst officials at the state level," Walker told reporters after his dinner speech at the "Road to Majority" conference.
"I just think before I or anyone else weighs in on anything to do with policy, whether it's this or any other policy decisions, we should honor the dead and the families by allowing them to bury their loved ones. And then you could perfectly ask me that question at some point in the next week or two when that's done."
Walker also deferred when asked by a reporter if he viewed the Confederate flag as a symbol of racism.
And even I'm at a loss for words at his refusal to even acknowledge that the Confederate flag is a symbol for the all too prevalent racism. I'm used to Walker putting his political aspirations before people but this is a new low for even him.
Even when Walker showed a modicum of respectability by calling the mass murder as racist, he has to soften condemnation by carefully couching it by calling the victims as "nine brothers and sisters in Christ" instead of people killed for no reason other than the color of their skin.
Of course, we shouldn't really expect anything different from Walker. He needs to maintain his agenda of subliminal racism if his presidential bid is even to make it to the fall. If there was ever any doubt to Walker's mastery of subliminal racism, this should erase any trace of it.