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H. K.’s Letter to Bush

November 5, 2004

The President
The White House
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

Earlier this week the South, voting as a solid bloc for the first
time in decades, helped you achieve a second term in office. Now
I am writing to request a meeting with you to discuss ways of achieving
cultural justice for millions of these same Southerners, who find
themselves the victims of the only prejudice and discrimination
still allowed in America.

Mr. President, I am a black man, the descendent of slaves. I am
a former NAACP officer. Yet I am also Chairman of the Board of Advisors
of the Southern Legal Resource Center, an organization that advocates
for Southerners’ civil rights. And in 2002 I carried a Confederate
flag and marched 1,606 miles from Pack Square in Asheville, North
Carolina, to the Texas Supreme Court Building in Austin, where I
stood to demand the replacement of two Confederate plaques that
had been removed. (I believe you may recall the case.) All along
my march to Austin I was greeted by an astounding outpouring of
love and support from blacks and whites alike, ordinary Southerners
who share a common heritage.

These people, my Southern family, hunger and thirst after righteousness.
They have been fired from their jobs, had their reputations ruined
and their lives disrupted, been ridiculed, libeled, slandered, injured
and even killed for trying to express their pride in who they are
and for trying to tell the truth in the face of the tyranny known
as “political correctness.” Most deplorably, my people
see their children force-fed politically correct lies in the public
schools, where they are bullied and intimidated if they wear clothing
depicting a flag that former President Carter called “a legitimate
American icon”. Dr. Eugene Genovese, a northern-born, Harvard-educated
scholar, has said, “We are witnessing a cultural and political
atrocity – an increasingly successful campaign by the media
and an academic elite to strip young white southerners, and arguably
black southerners as well, of their heritage, and, therefore, their
identity. They are being taught to forget their forebears or to
remember them with shame.”

In short, there are a lot of Americans here in the South who are
having some very un-American things done to them. This deeply offends
the American sense of justice and freedom that was instilled in
me from birth. I have carried my flag – the cross of the apostle
Andrew – down enough American roads to know that nearly all
Americans, as individual children of God, instinctively respect
and honor each other’s history and heritage. The cultural
holocaust that is ruining the American South is driven by self-serving
special interest groups, media and politicians. That is why I am
appealing to you; you are, after all, the duly elected leader of
all Americans.

Mr. President, your second administration can either mark the completion
of the destruction of my people’s culture or the beginning
of its rescue. The implications of this matter reach into the furthest
corners of your domestic policy. Will you sit down with me to explore
ways to begin righting this pervasive and poisonous wrong?
Thank you for your attention, sir. I hope to have the honor of hearing
from you soon.

Yours faithfully,

H. K. Edgerton