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Vanity Fair / An Open Letter
I was asked to pose holding a Vanity flag that bore the picture of President-elect Obama and emblazoned beside it was the Confederate Battle flag. My first inclination was to say no because it might offend many people within the black community. However the more I thought about the message of hope that this man contends to aspire to, and the rhetoric he espouses about Lincoln, the more I looked at that flag and wondered if that message of hope included those of us in the South who look for a President who has the guts to give our people the hope that we wish for in the telling of truth about the epic that led to the separation of this nation, about the hope that our people can honor our ancestors and their symbols without bearing an unwarranted shame placed upon us by revisionist historians, hope that he would have read the letter that I addressed to him to allow a Confederate Honor Guard at his Inauguration and an Ambassador to the South who would lead an effort to end the sectional hostilities that continue as our Northern brothers continue the modus operandi aimed at breaking the spirit of their Brothers with their attacks upon our Flag and our noble ancestors who fought under it , hope that since he so claims to admire Lincoln, that he would provide the South with the Marshall Plan that Lincoln promised that never transpired.
I have seen many, many vanity flags, yet I wonder just why so many would read into this one the things that they have. I am not pleased with the one sold on the Eastern Band Cherokee Reservation that bears the image of the Cherokee Indian on it because I don’t believe they have stepped forward like their ancestors did in the defense of our Southland, and I certainly am not happy with the Eastern band who have turned their backs on the Blacks they enslaved, married, sired and have now banned their ancestors from participating in their gaming revenues. I don’t find them worthy of the honor of a vanity flag that bears the Southern Cross.
I didn’t create the flag, nor did I intend or perceive any disrespect in its interpreted meaning. However, I do appreciate the opportunity of dialogue that it has generated. I have no intentions of letting the new President or the old one who now prepares to leave office to forget the injustices that the people of my homeland, the Southland of America, continue to suffer as they are not granted the same opportunity to express their 1st Amendment Rights as other citizens of this nation as they are forced to remember their ancestors in shame and the honorable symbols they carried in the defense of their homeland that had been invaded. Nor do I intend to stand idle as the same kind of bigots who lumped the loyal Blacks in with those who would taint that honor earned as done in the period of so called Reconstruction. Hollywood won’t tell the story, nor will the Federal public school system about the place of honor, dignity, and heroism displayed by so many. And I have come too far to let those who continue to feel and practice the symptoms of hatred toward me and my black family rule the day.
I would caution any censorship of vanity flags, shirts or material that are not vulgar. However, if the picture of me standing holding the one that has inspired so much negative dialogue warrants a disciplinary action from the Sons of Confederate Veterans and it’s Commander in Chief of whom I love and respect, then I am man enough to accept it.