Lecture at Asheville Buncombe Community College / An Open Report
On Tuesday, January 26, 2010, at the invitation of the Honorable Dr. Mary Motley, a history professor at Asheville Buncombe Community College, I would be asked to lecture to her class about the War Between the States and my work as President of Southern Heritage 411. However, it was obvious in her and her students critique that I must have failed miserably in that task.
One of their concerns was that they felt that I should filter my presentation by talking less about the Civil War (even though I told them that I did not refer to the War as a Civil War) as Yankee vs. Southland. For me that is a foregone conclusion, both then and now, as I explained to them that the NAACP’s unholy resolution against the Southern Cross came from the rhetoric of northern White men who supposed that the black folks of the South would aid in this attack if you just said slavery loud and long enough, simply because Southern Blacks had no real knowledge of the real causes of the War Between the States. And I suppose they looked past my references of Lincoln’s support of the Corwin Amendment, the Morrill Tax, his suspension of the writ of habeas corpus, his support of total warfare against a defenseless civilian population, the Battle of the Crater, and other atrocities committed against Black Union soldiers who fought for the North.
After fielding several questions from a young white female, I asked of her, dear where are you from? At first she refused to answer, and expressed agitation from being called dear. When I told her that I was from North Carolina and was not ashamed of it, she replied she was from Connecticut. When I smiled about it, she replied, see I knew you would react like that. I knew that she was a Yankee by her questions and reaction to my answers, and certainly being offended by me calling her dear.
In continuation of the critique, it was said that I needed to take my message to the black community. I find that a preposterous summation, since they claimed to have visited my website, www.southernheritage411.com, and heard my characterization of the Historic March Across Dixie, especially traveling down the supposed Civil Rights Highway (Highway 81 from Montgomery to Selma), the same highway that Dr. Martin Luther King took going in the opposite direction. I even told them about a young man by the name of Lorenzo White, whose family had put Dr. King and his entourage up for the night on his trek to Montgomery. And his statement on how proud not only Dr. King would have been about the journey that my brother and I were on, but his very own father as well, and the basket of food and money he gave us, and more importantly a long list of names of other black folks who would come to our aid if we needed it, and that one day he would run for the office of President.
Donned in the uniform of the southern soldier and carrying his glorious banner, I have carried my message of the place of honor and dignity earned by both free and indentured southern Blacks, beside a man he not only called master, but family and friend, deep into the communities of the South, be they Red, Yellow, Black or White, and far into the communities of the North from Missouri to Gettysburg.
In conclusion to so many things of this critique, I shall respond to one last. It was said that I should have responded to why the flag is so controversial to black people. My answer is that it was not until we faced the coercion of the NAACP to make it so. I told this class that the Honorable Andrew Young had come to the City of Asheville to give the keynote speech for the 100 year anniversary of Asheville School, and that I would ask of him, would Dr. King have attacked the Confederate Flag? And his answer was: Dr. King had been asked by one of his lower lieutenants, Jesse Jackson, and Rev. Abernathy to attack the flag, and he told them to leave it along. Let’s do something about the things we can do something about; social vertical mobility for women in the job place, housing, education, the babies standing on the corners selling dope, unable to vote with no hope. I guess I was speaking too fast. I told them that all roads lead to Appomattox. After the Honorable General Robert E. Lee signed that treaty there, a process of dividing the Southern white man and the Southern black man began in earnest. The Confederate Flag is as much the southern black mans flag as any Southern white mans, and no effort to make it less can change that fact. We have been tricked long enough by those who come to our homeland with their lying rhetoric and smiling faces about how they came here to save us from the economic institution of slavery, and the bad old Southern white man, the only man in America who has shown us the love of Jesus Christ, and the one we are now suppose to show treachery as traitors to his glorious cause of defending our homeland from those who had invaded it.