An Open Letter & Open Report / Alachua County Board of Commissioners Meeting / Old Joe

From: HK Edgerton []
Date: Fri, Jan 27, 2017
Subject: An Open Letter & Open Report / Alachua County Board of Commissioners Meeting / Old Joe
To: siegels1 []

Dear Ms. Lunelle,

The opening remarks by Commissioner Robert Hutchinson would dictate the changing of my three minute remarks to the Commissioners.

Hutchinson began his remarks about the Confederate monument by attacking the words on the monument by saying that he believed that Black folks in the community might have been opposed to the verbiage had they not been in fear or intimidated with fear of violent retribution in expressing that opposition.

And he went on to say that there needs to be an additional plaque on the monument describing the contributions of Blacks. Total poppycock, in my estimation! What this man fails to understand is this is not a Union monument. The Confederate military was an all encompassing integrated military, and any mention or commemorating of a Confederate soldier denotes all.

And Hutchinson’s rhetoric, and desire to impose his will against the monument, turned more disgusting as he interjected lynching into the discussion. A typical ploy by poverty pimps, Yankees, carpetbaggers, scalawags and traitors used to pit Southern Blacks against Southern Whites.

Never mind that their County Museum said no to accepting the monument; never mind that the Veterans organizations that the Board polled voted that the monument remain in place; never mind that most of the Black folks who were targeted as the ones who would lead the charge to move the monument would proclaim that they didn’t even know it was there.

Hutchinson would use all of his influences by securing a vote to again ask the museum to take the monument, have some supposed expert historians write a plaque statement placed on the spot of the monument, and one denoting lynching alongside it as well.

Hutchinson, in my estimation, is no friend to the Black constituents he is supposed to serve. Another hate monger whose smiling face tells lies. And I forewarned Southerners about him.

Rep. John F. Harris, former slave, Republican Member, Mississippi House of Representatives, representing Washington County Vote on Bill to appropriate $10,000 to complete the Confederate Monument on the grounds of the State Capitol. The Clarion Ledger, February 23, 1890

“Mr. Speaker! I have arisen here in my place to offer a few words on the Bill. I have come from a sick bed, and was forced to struggle up here leaning on the arm of a friend. I stand here in considerable pain. Perhaps it was not prudent for me to come. But, Sir, I could not rest quietly in my room, sick though I am, and allow this discussion to pass without contributing to it a few remarks of my own.

“I was sorry to hear the speech of the young gentleman from Marshall County. I am sorry that any son of a soldier should go on record as opposed to the erection of a monument in honor of the brave dead.

“And, Sir, I am convinced that had he seen what I saw at Seven Pines, and in the seven days fighting around Richmond, the battle fields covered with the mangled forms of those who fought for their country and their country’s honor, he would not have made that speech. When the news came that the South was to be invaded, those men went forth to fight for what they believed, and made no request for monuments to commemorate their brave deeds, and holy sacrifices. But, they died, and their virtues should be remembered.

“Sir, I went with them. I, too, wore the gray, the same color that my master wore. We stayed four long years, and if that sad war had gone until now, I would have been there yet. I know what it all meant, and I understand the meaning of my words when I say that I would have been with my country men still had the war continued until this day.

“I want to honor those brave men who died for their convictions. When my mother died, I was a boy who, sir, then acted the part of a mother to the orphaned slave boy, but my old Missus? Were she living now, or could speak to me from those high realms where are gathered the sainted dead, she would tell me to vote for this Bill. And sir, I shall vote for it.

“I want it known to all the world that my vote is given in favor of the Bill to erect a monument in Honor of the brave Confederate dead!”

With time running out, I would try to read the published letter written in the Macon Telegraph and Messenger on December 13, 1874, that various Black organizations denounced those civil and political organizations who had duped the African people against their Southern White family, and their vows to cultivate and maintain permanent peace with the White people of the South, their true friends. God bless you!

Your brother


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