An Open Letter to Ms. Lunelle / What do I tell the Babies at Chickamauga?
Dear Ms. Lunelle,
Here I go again! This coming week I shall find myself in a little tent somewhere on the battle field of the 145th re-enactment of the historical Battle of Chickamauga. Thousands of school children and their parents and teachers will parade through my tent. Many of these babies will have already purchased little Confederate flags and all sorts of historical paraphernalia depicting our Southern Cross, and of course there will be some of Northern persuasion who will have purchased Union paraphernalia for the many Sutlers present. They will in all likelihood have listened to the opening remarks of Vice President Dick Cheney. There will be horses, cannons, ladies in pretty period costumes of all sorts, soldiers in their dress and much to do about camp life during this epoch. Most will be in a festive mood that will carry over to their school rooms the next week. Some will wear one of the shirts or carry one of the little Southern flags to their class rooms; because after all they saw and heard at Chickamauga, how could they not be proud to do so?
However, when I look into their bright shiny faces, I shall remember my babies like Justin Michael Williams and Bryce Archembo, of Missouri, Amiee Robinson of Blount County, Tennessee, Amanda Horkey of Greenville, South Carolina, Anna Warnkey of Cummings, Georgia, Jacqueline Duty of Kentucky, Tommy Defoe of Tennessee, Emily Dickinson of Tennessee, and not to ever forget the tenacious Candice Hardwick of Latta, South Carolina, or a host of my Black babies like LA Deidra D. Dukes of Alabama, T.K. Owens now running for State political office now in Tennessee, little Diamone Mays of Asheville, North Carolina and the heroic stands that they have had to make because they too were in festive moods about their Southern Heritage and found no shame or dishonor in the display or wearing of the symbols of their Southern ancestors.
Ms. Lunell, do I tell these babies that those who claimed victory after General Lee could bear no longer looking at his starving, ragged and out gunned men or of hearing the accounts of the total war policy adopted by the North against innocent men, women and children; had signed a treaty at Appomattox Courthouse, and those who claimed victory had come to our Southland, built the schools that they now attend, placed themselves in a place of historical prominence, while depicting the honorable men and women of the South as traitors and rebels against the Union together they had forged and had every right to leave. Do I tell these babies that this same school that they now attend has erased from their school books the accounts of the men and women who look like me, who from 1861 to 1865 loyally served and supported the Confederate Cause as they served as teamster, cooks, blacksmiths, farriers, laborers, servants and in many cases as the close friend of the White man he accompanied. Do I tell them of the bond of love and affection between Black and White that transcended the institution of Slavery. Do I tell them that even though the Southern armies had surrendered, the North had not finished their conquest. They began a deliberate policy of poisoning the minds of the former slaves against their former Masters and spread anarchy and hatred through their secret Black societies called the Loyal or Union Leagues and that furthermore today this same Northern modus operandi of divide and separate continues in force with a hostile judiciary and public school system with the aid of the NAACP acting as an agent like the Union League who are fully aware of how their people have been duped, bribed and pandered to the benefit of a powerful few, and will be waiting for them at the schoolhouse door should they bring any symbol or tale of Southern pride. Ms. Lunelle, what do I tell the children?