The Arizona Capitol Times (subscription required) reports that Legislative District 10 Republican Rep. Todd Clodfelter is proud to fly his Confederate battle flag on his personal computer at the state legislature, and is proud of his Southern ancestry.
The Confederate battle flag, which became popular as a symbol of opposition to the civil rights movement of the 20th century, is a symbol of defending slavery, state sanctioned segregation, white supremacy and institutional violence against African-Americans. If Rep. Clodfelter does not understand this history and is insensitive to how offensive this symbol is to African-Americans, he is an idiot. Pair of lawmakers at odds over display of confederate flag on laptop:
After saying he would not remove the Confederate flag image displayed on his laptop in the Arizona House, Rep. Todd Clodfelter, R-Tucson, said he’ll leave the computer at home instead [with Confederate flag intact].
The Tucson Republican’s 180-degree turn came one day after Rep. Geraldine Peten, D-Goodyear, expressed concerns that she could clearly see the flag from her desk, located one row behind Clodfelter’s seat, during a mandatory harassment and ethics training session at the House of Representatives Jan. 9.
“To me it’s intimidating,” she told her colleagues. “It creates a hostile work environment.”
Rep. Geraldine Peten is correct. Under the new guidelines being adopted by the legislature to come into compliance with the Arizona Civil Rights Act to deal with complaints filed against members of the legislature — arising out of the sexual harassment claims against Rep. Don Shooter — Rep. Peten would be within her rights to file a complaint for a racially hostile work environment over this incident. It would appear that this “mandatory harassment and ethics training” needs some work.