Goldman Sachs employees are calling on senior executives to cancel an interview with Nikki Haley after she made controversial comments about the Confederate flag, according to Bloomberg.
Bank staff – including some members of the firm’s Black Network – asked Goldman’s president, John Waldron, and other managers to scrap the event at the bank’s New York offices, Bloomberg reported. The firm responded that the former South Carolina governor and United Nations ambassador will face tough questions.
“We are committed to using the Talks at GS platform to directly explore the views of our guests, particularly on difficult topics,” Goldman wrote in an email to the concerned employees, Bloomberg reported. “John Waldron will ask Ambassador Haley to address her recent comments on the Confederate flag and will share the sentiments of you and others in our community.”
Haley told Glenn Beck, a conservative radio host, that the flag represented “service, sacrifice, and heritage” to some residents of her state. She added that it was “hijacked” by Dylann Roof, the white supremacist who gunned down nine people in a predominantly black church in 2015.
In a Washington Post editorial on Wednesday, Haley bemoaned today’s “outrage culture” and “media hysteria” requiring one side to be declared right and the other to be denounced as wrong.
She pointed to her speech calling for the Confederate flag’s removal from the South Carolina statehouse grounds in 2015, in which she acknowledged that some South Carolinians see it as a “deeply offensive symbol of a brutally offensive past” while others “respect and, in many ways, revere it.” She argued that the flag was taken down partly because she didn’t declare a winner and a loser.
Haley added that “everyone knows the flag has always been a symbol of slavery, discrimination, and hate for many people.” However, “others do not see the Confederate battle flag in racial terms,” she continued.
“While I don’t agree with their view of the flag, I respect them,” Haley said. “I know too many good people in South Carolina who think differently about the flag but who are not the least bit racist.”
The flag, which was flown by the Confederacy during the Civil War, has been criticized as a symbol of slavery and white supremacy.
“The Confederate flag can legitimately be seen as an alternate version of the Nazi emblem,” Brett Staples, who won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing this year, wrote in a New York Times editorial in 2017.
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