With that understanding, the cotton in conjunction with the confederate flag passes the line of free speech. It is a violent threat, based on a long and bloody history of brutalization, subjugation, and murder. If American University specifically, and the United States more broadly, is to deal with these threats to Black individuals on our campus, we must recognize the history and reality of these symbols. We cannot dismiss them out of hand. We cannot designate them as abnormal to our history. We (White people) must acknowledge our complicity, however subtle, in structures of white supremacy that operate today to sanitize slavery and curtail the Confederacy. Then, we must stand in solidarity with Black people and work with them to confront and dismantle this violent ideology, wherever it surfaces.