Show me a guy who rides around with a swastika on his bumper, and I'll show you someone who hates Jews. I'll point out a sicko who still worships Adolf Hitler's notions of ''Aryan supremacy'' and his vow to exterminate the Jewish people.
Show me a guy who rides around with Confederate flags flying on his front fenders, and I'll show you someone who thinks the Civil War still goes on. I'll give you a racist who thinks that it is only a matter of time before this nation makes white supremacy its official policy and returns to slavery, with black people the God-designated hewers of wood and drawers of water.
Show me a governor who insists on flying the Confederate flag over his state capitol, and I'll show you a social-intellectual Neanderthal, a person who is dangerously insensitive to the feelings of black Americans both inside his state and across America.
Alabama's Gov. Guy Hunt is one of those utterly insensitive politicians. He is worse than former Alabama governor George Wallace, because Wallace was standing in schoolhouse doors and crying ''segregation forever'' in an era when Alabamians were not racially enlightened.
But in this day of a ''new'' Alabama, when even Wallace has assailed racism, Hunt has draped himself in the flag of the Confederacy and told black leaders that however much it may offend them, the banner of the slave masters will continue to fly above the capitol in Montgomery.
Hunt rejected the pleas of State Rep. Thomas Reed, president of the state chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and many other black leaders. This provoked Reed and other blacks to try to scale an eight-foot fence and rip down the Confederate flag.
Gov. Hunt had Reed and 11 other blacks arrested. In doing so, he has invited a repetition of the ugliness and the violence of Birmingham, Selma and all the other places of shame of the 1960s civil rights revolution.
Hunt, who is Alabama's first Republican governor since the Reconstruction era, says the Confederate flag is merely ''historic.'' He believes the white Alabamians who say that the Confederate flag connotes ''heritage, honor, pride.''
Pride in what? A slave system in which one man declared himself the master of another merely on the basis of skin color? Honor about what? Fighting an immoral war -- and losing it?
Who are you kidding, Gov. Hunt? You know that flags are among the most emotional symbols known to man. Americans become violent at football games when they see someone refusing to salute the flag during the playing of the national anthem. No sane person would walk the streets of Montgomery or most other American cities waving the hammer and sickle of the Soviet Union. Scorn was heaped upon black Olympians who simply raised their fists as the flag of black power.
The Confederate flag gets an official embrace of sorts in Alabama, South Carolina, Georgia and Mississippi. It is time that governors and legislators of those states found the guts to say to the people: ''Really, we lost the Civil War. Slavery is over. Black Americans are valued citizens. We will stop waving this flag of bitter and gratuitous insult.''
Could Hunt and the other politicians of these four states be so steeped in the mindless hatreds of more than two centuries that they dare not haul down their symbols of an ugly, racist past? Could they?