We Are In The Eleventh Hour
Yesterday I read an accounting by Mr… Gary Houchens titled :” Blacks hate the Confederate Flag.” Mr… Houchens, no matter how much tact intended has surely succumbed to believing the perpetual Reconstruction mandate forged in the curriculum of studies in the established Public School System by design to divide and separate Southern White and Southern Black folks ; while using every means necessary to force young White children to remember their ancestors in shame. I beg to differ Mr..Houchens statement that Blacks will always look at the Confederate Flag with hate. It was White folks who led the charge on the attacks of this glorious flag from the very moment that the Honorable General Robert E. Lee signed the surrender of the Army at Appomattox Courthouse in 1865 ; it was a planned tactic to use unsuspecting Blacks against White folks. Nothing has changed.I have walked down the same highways as some of the most revered Black Civil Rights Leaders trod, all the while carrying the Christian Cross dressed in the uniform of the Southern Soldier. A group of young Black men stood waiting patiently as I finished giving a press interview on the Capitol steps of Montgomery on the March Across Dixie, across the street from Ebenezer Baptist. As I finished , the eldest of the lot extended his hand and spoke. Mr.. Edgerton , that flag that you carry don’t bother us. Most Southern Black folks from around here had family that fought for it. It’s our flag too. What bothers us; here we are today standing around on these corners looking for day work to feed our families. They say we won’t work. Lies, we will work, but not for $10.00 a day. The so called Minority Business Program don’t mean anything ; these folks have their new slaves, and they got all the contracts; they don’ buy our goods, our services, and they sure don’t hire us.Here we are forced to learn a new language from the enemies of the very same White man who was joined by our grandpas to fight , because they were friend and family, and the irony is that we have been all this time telling our children, learn to speak good English. Too many times uppity Black folks come here from the North , he went on to say , and look down at Southern Black folks like we are stupid because we have many friendly and down right brotherly relations with White folks. The truth about that flag that you carry is that its people not only knew and understood the Christian principles that it symbolized , but also believed strongly in the Constitutional Republic that had been forged under the very banner of the Stars and Stripes that they reluctantly relinquished ownership in ; and together Freedmen and Slave alike banned together as family around here to fight a man who robbed the South to advance his own regional interest . That flag he remarked, pointing at the Star and Stripes represents a lot of broken promises . You go back and tell that, and we pray that you make it to Texas safely.Right down the Civil Rights highway from Montgomery my little brother Terry Lee and I continued, heading in the opposite direction taken by Dr.King and his entourage ; and the essence of what we had heard in Montgomery resonated from the many Black voices all along the way. Hollywood had stifled the memories of real brotherhood by it’s complicity with those who had won this tragic war to never tell the truth of the love that developed between a people who had no real desire of their own to be pitted together, one as slave, one as Master, and a community that had to suffer and prosper by the lot ; all the while their Christian principles eating at them. Never would all those Black heroes men, women and their children who earned a place of honor and dignity under this glorious banner , I thought , as I cross the Edmund Pettis Bridge alongside Terry Lee, and Butch Godwin, a White man , and proud Son of a Confederate Veteran ; headed into the arms of the many Black and White ladies waiting with open arms to greet us on the other side of the bridge that bore a plaque of Joseph Lowery, while a baffled Press watched an unsuspecting story unfold.Mr.. Houchens, don’t believe everything that you read by those who hate all things Southern. While many generations of not only Black folks , but White and Reds folks have had inculcated in their thinking and learning processes to only remember our ancestors in shame ; had we been left alone on the path of social vertical mobility with the Christian ethic and Constitutional principles forged by the Founding Fathers ; we and the rest of the nation would have been just fine. The White folks of the South knew very well about emancipation . They had been in the business of emancipating as long as they had been in the slave trade. They knew that to set a man free; he had to have some property, some money, a trade to sustain him and his family, and in all likelihood , some slaves of his own. They had already begun to address the total emancipation issues of the day. With the advent of the Industrial Revolution upon them, the inevitable was sure.Slavery was coming to a much wanted end. Mr.. Houchens, please don’t presume to assume that what some may say, because there is a very substantial number of Southern Blacks who know that the Confederate Battle Flag or any Flag of the Confederacy that existed around here, is their ownership in what it means to be Southern, and by the way the intended fear that the original KKK intended to establish, was to save us all who were Southern from the tyranny , and terror of the Union League and the Northern military rule that was designed to divide and rob us. History I have been told repeats itself.