Goodyear cancels politician’s visit to avoid flag protest
A politician has been ‘uninvited’ from visiting a Goodyear factory in the USA in order to prevent possible protests. Tim Kaine, senator for the state of Virginia, was scheduled to visit Goodyear Tire & Rubber’s Danville plant as part of a five-day tour of the state. However the senator, who advocates removing the Confederate flag from number plates issued in Virginia, was told it was best if he didn’t show up. Protesters, including those from the group ‘Southern Virginians for the Flag’, were waiting for him outside the Danville facility.
According to local television station WSET, Kaine wanted to discuss a number of issues with Goodyear during this job creation and economic development-themed visit. The senator recently testified at Goodyear’s request on the impact that subsidised Chinese tyre imports have on tyre factories such as Danville.
The idea of protesting over a flag may sound ridiculous to UK readers, however attempts to discourage public display of the Confederate flag – an emblem perhaps best known by a generation of British youngsters as the General Lee’s rooftop decoration – polarises public opinion in the USA. One person’s symbol of Southern pride is another’s racist banner.