The son of the most diehard of the hardcore Dixiecrat white supremacists? Basically repudiating his family heritage?

“I am aware of my heritage,” Thurmond said of his family’s place in S.C. history, and specifically the Civil War. Referring to slavery and the War’s role in preserving it, Thurmond said, “I am not proud of this heritage. These practices were inhumane and wrong, wrong, wrong.”

“I am proud to take a stand and no longer be silent,” Thurmond said from the well on Tuesday. “We must take down the Confederate flag and we must take it down now. But if we stop there, we have cheated ourselves out of an opportunity to start a different conversation about healing in our state,” he said. “I am ready.”

These are interesting times we’re living in. Terrible that it took a massacre of innocents to bring it about. Terrible that it took this long. But interesting.