An Open Report / The Re-Union Begins
As I stood taking pictures for the local newspaper ( the Asheville Citizen Times ) alongside those who had come to see me off on Saturday morning, October 20, 2007 , for the commencement of the Re-Union March of the Historic March Across Dixie March ; I could not help but to reflect on the time I had spent on WHKP 1450 AM Talk Radio with the Chairman of the Board and Dean of Talk Radio in the Western North Carolina Mountains ; Bill Fishburne , and just days later with Heir Apparent in the Bat Cave with Matt Mittan on his Take A Stand program on WWNC 570 AM News Radio. I knew as I stood here at the base of the Zebulon Vance Monument , and those Monuments marking testimony to General Lee and a Confederate Army Captain ; I would have to answer the same kinds of questions all the way to Texas, that I had heard from the listening audience of these two men : What do you think about George Washington, he owned slaves ? Would you support Obama, a Black man from the North who proclaims to walk in the shadow of Lincoln ? What is that Checkered Confederate Flag that you are carrying ? What about Vance, wasn’t he a White supremacist ? Then there would be those like Hank Morris who had come out this morning after hearing the programs with his wife, just as had his brother Ben Morris of Cumming, Georgia had done and his brother Frank Morris of Opelika, Alabama had on the original March to tell me the stories of their families and their accounting of events and especially those relationships between Black and White folks that tell a much different tale than that told by the likes of Harriet Beecher Stowe .
As I made my way towards Biltmore Village , I knew that before my journey’s end in Austin, Texas, there would be many who would drive great distances just to join me for a brief moment , just as Ms. Nancy Hitt who had driven all the way from Lexington , Kentucky, with her dog now had done. She said to me that she wanted to see for herself , and just to be part of a history where a Black man from the South would make a stand for her and others like her whose honorable ancestors had gone off to war because their homeland had been invaded and their leaders called. She proclaimed me to be a very brave man. However , I beg to differ. When I look into the eyes of the likes of Candice of Latta, South Carolina , make a stand with Emily at East Middle Tennessee State University, watch Aimee Robinson of Blount County Tennessee win the hearts of all those Confederate Flag nay Sayers on the courthouse grounds , walk a mile with Anna and Joseph Warnke, stand on the corner in the Great state of Missouri with Byrce Archambo, his family and friends Confederate flags in hand , know the heart of Amanda Harkey of South Carolina, make a stand with T.K.Owens, a young Black man denied of his families Confederate ancestry by a Yankee History Professor at East Tennessee State University , stood with the DuPont Seven in Richmond who put up their fame and limited personal fortunes to fight the evils of the DuPont Company whose vast recourses spelled the difference in determining the fortunes against these honorable men just as it had against General Lee, or heard the stories of Katelyn of Eutis , Florida or the many Southern men and women who put their lives on the line everyday for this nation, yet have to brave the unjust retribution, and threats of from their military superiors if they display the Confederate Flag or membership insignia from organizations like the Sons of Confederate Veterans or the United daughters of the Confederacy ; no these are the brave, not I.
Our day would end as the men of Camp 70 , the Walter Bryson / George Mills (Mills being the name sake of a Black Confederate hero from Hendersonville, N. C. )Michael Arrowood, Joe , and young Joshua , a eight grade student and I would march right up to the steps of the Old Courthouse in downtown . We would be treated as royalty as we took pictures for the folks already in a festive mood , and none of those pictures taken would be more satisfying than those we took with the beautiful Miss Hendersonville and her court.
The day would end for us in conversation with a man from Boston and his wife. He said that he was grateful to learn from us another side of the second greatest story ever told : The War Between The States . He had always known from the resolve of Southern people that there had been one. I look forward to Monday morning when I shall with the key to the room in hand ( the Confederate Flag , and the Christian Bible ) where the table of brotherhood awaits those who are ready for A Step To Peace !