An Open Letter & Open Report / The Veterans Day Attack In Columbia, South Carolina
From: HK Edgerton
Date: Sat, Nov 12, 2016
Subject: An Open Letter & Open Report / The Veterans Day Attack In Columbia, South Carolina
Dear Ms. Lunelle,
On Friday morning, November 11, 2016 (Veterans Day), I would don the uniform of the Southern soldier and make my way to Columbia, South Carolina, have breakfast at
the Lizard Thicket Restaurant, and afterwards post the Colors of the Southern soldier in the public easement outside the restaurant, as I awaited the arrival of the
Honorable Ralph Meetze, who would escort me to where I would join members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and others of the Confederate contingent in the Veterans
Day Parade in downtown Columbia.
The first to come to where I stood was a beautiful young Black lady who would tell me that the sight of a Black man don in a Confederate uniform brandishing a
Confederate Battle flag had compelled her to make a u-turn, and come to ask why?
I would tell her that it was Veterans Day, and that the Confederate soldier was an American Veteran, and that the Black Confederate soldier, just like his
White counterpart in the State of South Carolina where the fight for Southern Independence had begun in 1861, should not be forgotten on this day. And, just like last year
as I awaited my escort for the event, I would bide my time by posting the Colors.
She would tell me that she was impressed not only by my explanation, but by my bravery to do so, and championed my 1st Amendment rights to do it as well. And, that
I had given her a table full of food for thought. Just as she embraced me and was bidding me farewell, a young Black man would come up and engage me in his newspaper
and public school rhetoric about the War For Southern Independence, but would agree that the Emancipation Proclamation did not free a single slave in the South, and had
no intent or design to free Northern slaves.
The next to come was the three Black militants whose sole design was to shame me for being a coon and Uncle Tom, and a disgrace of the African Americans, and an
idiot nigger for the White folks who were passing as they blew their car horns and shouted out my name. Never mind the Black folks who, too, were doing the same; as they
put it, they were just as warped in the mind as I surely was.
They finally felt some solace from an elderly Black man who challenged my statement about Federal Law 425. Section 10, according to his smart phone was, according to
the New York Post, something that Donald Trump had made up to garner votes from Southern White people. “Nigger,” they exclaimed as the man now stormed away, “he just
proved you wrong!” I began to understand just how futile this endeavor to enlighten these three had become as they continued to ask me questions and allowed no answers
Then, another Black man, Mr. Al Poteet, whose name I confess that I may have misspelled, would join in the conversation taking my position about the many Africans,
both freed and indentured who had received State pensions for their service in the Confederate army, and the many others who just did not apply because of their distrust
of the government, opting out to go back to the plantations and home places of their former masters. And that there were free Blacks that owned slaves in the State. I
told them to go over to the State Museum and ask to see the published book about Blacks who received these pensions.
“No nigger,” would be their reply. “You keep telling us where to go and get answers; you already been proved wrong on that Trump Law.” I could only imagine these
three sitting in a classroom, and the teacher trying to explain that a square plus b square = c square.
“Who did you vote for Coon?” And before I could answer, would in unison answer, “You know that Tom voted for Donald Trump!” “And,” I would ask, “who did you vote
for?” “We didn’t vote,” would be their reply. “We’re joining up with the Muslims who are buying up land around here to form a country within a country, and we gonna vote
in that country.” “Good luck with that,” would be my reply. About that time, Mr. Meetze would arrive to escort me to the parade site downtown. The least intelligent of
the three would grab his male organs and voice his expletive, “F–k you, old fool,” as they walked away discussing what I had to say.
Arriving downtown, I would meet, greet, pose for pictures and hug the members of the Confederate contingent that I would later join in the parade. I decided to post
the Colors a stones throw from where they stood on the traffic island in the center of the street as we awaited the parade to start.
I had literally taken hundreds of pictures, and fielded as many hugs and warm greetings from the many participants and spectators when a Black man crossed in front of
me. I would greet him as I had done so many others. He suddenly grabbed my flag, and attempted to spit on it. The gourmet hole at the bottom of the flag would split, and
he turned to face me with his blood shot eyes glaring.
I would strike him across the face with my bamboo staff, and ram the pole into his chest and stomach. “Oh my God,” I thought, “did I kill him as he staggered away?
My answer would come as he recovered from the blows, and would take up some kind of fighting stance. I knew that I would have to hurt this man or be hurt by him.
A beautiful White lady that I had moments before stood posing for pictures with put herself in harms way as she jumped between myself and this criminal. “No,” she
shouted, “Don’t do this!” Suddenly, I found myself surrounded by a large contingent of people who formed a barrier around me. A plainclothes policeman would pull out
his badge, identifying himself as a policeman, and warn the man that he was about to be arrested. He would turn and flee.
A group of uniformed young ladies that I believe to be ROTC members who stood less than three feet from this altercation would clap and salute me when I returned
from getting a temporary repair to my flag.
I would join Mr. Meetze in the parade car as we fell in behind the Confederate contingent, and delight in all the shouts and applause that we would receive along
the Parade route. It had been some day in Dixie. God bless you!
Chairman of the Board of Advisors Emeritus, Southern Legal Resource Center