Heritage or Hate?

Recently, there has been a lot of debate about the Confederate flag. My Facebook page is full of individuals posting their arguments about the flag. Some are saying it's about hate, some say it's about heritage and I said it was a flag stepped in a heritage of hate. One of my friends posted an interesting response about the history and meaning of the Confederate flag. When you get to the end of the message, you will see what inspired one of last week's blog post.

Commuter thought of the day: I am going to say some controversial things and then I am going to say regular stuff, I am going to make a joke and be out! The Confederate Flag is a symbol of the Confederacy and those who fought on that side in the American Civil War. Most people, because they don't read as extensively as I do think that it was primarily about slavery; that was part of it but it was also about states' rights, the uneven economic structure of the US at that time and other details. Slavery is just the polarizing topic, however, you really believe that a poor shop worker who couldn't afford the $300 to get out of serving in the war, was concerned about slavery? Really? I hate to do this to you but please don't believe the hype. I hope you don't think that the Union soldiers who were running through the south like a hot knife through butter were leaving the blacks in peace. In fact, that "40 acres and a mule" that some of y'all are waiting on is a trick that was used by carpetbaggers to trick freedmen (because they were uneducated and gullible) into voting the way that they wanted to. The US government never promised that.

Now, for those of you who are upset because of "the war on the Confederate flag", I want you to consider this, that is your heritage, understood, maybe for you it symbolizes your great-great granddaddy who fought "for the cause", you have every right to respect that heritage, just as I have the right to respect mine. So wouldn't you want to distance yourself or condemn, some (thinking a very mean term) who would spit on the honor of those ancestors by using it as his banner to justify killing innocent people in a church. He shames everyone who fought under that banner and if you are truly proud of your heritage, then you should shun the use of that flag as a symbol of hatred.

Now, some folk won't like me saying this because it is an alternative view of things, I am proud of my heritage, where I came from who I descend from, but the most important thing I ever learned was how to see things from the other side. When I see the Confederate Flag, I think of how for almost four years, Americans turned against each other, the American Civil War split families right down the middle. More people died fighting that war than in almost every other major American War, 620,000. I see it and I see a terrible waste, I see the men who died at Andersonville Prison camp, that lead to the celebration of Memorial Day. I see waste, destruction, people starving, war atrocities and all the horror that comes with war. I see the consequences of not being able to come to terms with people without being violent and I have had my bellyful of that. We have got to learn to live together, we have got to make this world a better place, if not for ourselves, then our children.

By the way, when some of you are talking about me later, remember, it was Sambo who betrayed everyone, not Uncle Tom. Read a book!

You just got a glimpse into one one of the most beautiful minds in the world and I couldn't have provided a better platform to engage others into have an honest conversation about the issues of race in this country. Why is this flag still dividing a nation 150 years after the death of President Abraham Lincoln? The matter is divisive but it shouldn't be. The removal of the flag will not change a person's heart. We must search our hearts and find out why we want a piece of material to continue to show our state as a bunch of rednecks that are forever chained to the past, not willing to grow. This is not about who owned the first slave. this is not about the 13 Southern states. It's about what you hold in your heart. Removing the flag will not change that.

This past weekend, Bree Newsome was arrested for removing the Confederate flag in South Carolina. Many hailed her a brave but I just felt her actions was an attempt to esurp the law; taking a shortcut on the road to justice. Whenever I see the #BlackLivesMatter rallies, I wonder if they're encouraging voter registration. We can rally until Jesus returns but change comes when votes are cast. Too many fought for that right for it to be considered an inconvenience. Years ago, millions were spent on a referendum about the Mississippi flag and there were not enough votes to change the flag. If you want the flag changed, you're going to have to vote for representatives that share your views. We can't continue to elect people that are going to mimic what they're directed to say by their party leaders. We need representatives that will serve as a voice for their community. Bree Newsome removed the flag. What did it accomplish other than a night in jail and another hashtag on social media? Voting is important and until your vote is cast in every election, effectual change will remain elusive. Let the City of Lumberton serve as a reminder of what happens when the right people are not elected. Look to the North (Hattiesburg), to the South (Poplarville), to the East (Wiggins) and to the West (Columbia). Every one of those cities are thriving but Lumberton remains stagnet because of ineffectual leadership and unintelligent people getting elected because of friendship and church affiliation. If you're planning on voting in this year's election, you need to get regisyered by July 4, 2015.

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