Dear Ms. Lunelle,
It was my intent when I don the uniform of the Southern soldier on a day in America when millions would give thanks for many things that have made them happy for their time on earth to post the Southern Cross in the public square at the Cenotaph of the Honorable Governor, Zebulon Baird Vance.
However, upon arriving at a place that was always synonymous to cheer and laughter on most all occasions and, more often than not, children at play from all over the world as their parents photographed not only the crown jewel of the city and county, but from the parts of the world they hail from, to return and brag about the photographs taken at the Cenotaph of one of the world’s most admired men, the most decorated citizen of the state, and his lecturer, the “Scattered Nation” that netted him to be befriended by the Jewish people.
However, not today. It was a depressing environment surrounding the Cenotaph; torn and ragged plastic blew off the boards tacked to the Cenotaph in anticipation of the illegal removal affirmed by the city council and county commission in violation of state law.
Even as I stood there surveying this deplorable scene, the sounds of Happy Thanksgiving, or thank you, HK, was not enough to lift my spirits.
So I furled my flag and headed to the overpass of Interstate 240 West / 26 East.
What happened about and after I had posted the Southern Cross on the bridge overpass can be surmised as synonymous to a parade…cars in the four lanes below the overpass (going into and leaving the city), cars on the overpass bridge were blowing their car horns, people shouting from their windows, “God bless you, Mr. HK. Happy Thanksgiving. We love you.” Nothing unusual. However, it went on and on without a break for almost an hour. My arm would tire from waving in so many directions and for so long.
And just when thoughts of furling my flag came upon me, a young black man and his son I would learn would come to where I stood.
Mr. Edgerton, my name is Donald, and this is my son Donald Jr., but he likes to be called DJ. And I warn you, Mr. Edgerton, even though he is only ten, he is a history buff because of you.
The baby boy would show a big grin and give me a hug.
“Mr. HK when I was a baby, my dad told me that you were courageous, and unlike a silent majority will defend the integrity of the Southern white man. And, that it is part of what you are doing today. Can you tell me why you would do this when so many white and black people see the Southern white man as evil because of the enslavement of the African people?
“Ten, you say,” I asked the father, ”Now I know where DJ got that grin!”
“Well, DJ, via slavery”… I said. “What is via Mr. HK?” he asked. “Via means by way of, or through slavery, the Southern white man gave the African people the bearing (behavior, meaning point) to make their lives important regardless of their standing in the caste system as a slave. The slave called it so many times; ‘the Christian white folk charity’”.
“And, DJ, this bifurcation (division into two branches) of races in the South led a man called master, and one called a slave, to a closeness of each other, and to the message of love that Christ presented; the Southern white man had basically no fear of the African, and many times trusted them more than they would a family member.
I am not trying to defend the worldwide economic institution of slavery. However, from that body politic, the Southern white man was family and friend, and his ancestors deserved from the Southern African his trust and loyalty that those not of the Southern soil, or those who have had inculcated into their thinking process otherwise cannot understand.”
“Mr. HK would you… “ But before he could finish, his dad would interrupt, “DJ, let’s not hog up all of Mr. HK’s time.” “No, dad,” would come my response. “Let him ask”, as the two elderly white couple who had joined us and were standing by listening to every word the whole time, nodded in affirmation.
Mr. HK, I read about you praising President Davis and his family’s glowing treatment of the African people, to include Jim Limber. I have studied a lot of presidents in these regards, and I would rank President Davis #1, President Trump #2, and President Carter #3. Do you have any disagreement to that is my question?
All eyes were upon me, and before I could answer, the elderly white lady had already put little DJ in her arms with no objection from his dad. And my reply was ….“none at all”!
One hour later, I would find myself at the bottom of exit 85 in the town of Sylva, North Carolina, at the red light going (right) into downtown Sylva, going (left) to Western Carolina College. The only thing that I would find different from my time at the overpass was that I would have to turn down at least 20 offers for a Thanksgiving meal.
However, one white lady would come with her best friend who just happened to be black, and inquired if she could pray for me? “Yes” was my reply! “Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Please put a veil of protection around Mr. Edgerton as he toils so very hard to shine a light on truth as those who come to divide us with lies. And who work so hard to darken the memory of and the stand our ancestors made against a great evil and the disregard of Constitutional law. On this day that we give thanks to you for your many blessings and grace, thank you for sending Mr. Edgerton. In your name, for Christ’s sake, Amen!
“Dear lady,” I would reply after her wonderful prayer, “it is I who am thankful for the Almighty God sending you and your friend to me for an affirmation of love and understanding. It is truly Southern! God bless you!”
Chairman, Board of Advisors Emeritus, Southern Legal Resource Center
Member, Save Southern Heritage Florida
Honorary Life Member, Zebulon Vance Camp 15, Sons of Confederate Veterans
Honorary Scot of Austin
Recipient, United Daughters of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis Medal
Recipient, National Sons of Confederate Veterans, H.L. Hunley Award
Honorary Life Member, Bradford Rose Camp 1638, Sons of Confederate Veterans
Honorary Life Member, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia Orders of the Confederate Rose
President, Southern Heritage 411