As I was preparing for my monthly blog, I could not ignore the current situation that is continuing to grow and plague America. Instead of coming together, and putting our attention on the threats from around the world from places such as North Korea, we are still killing and wounding one another over the perceived supremacy of one ethnicity over another. As you know, I do not believe in the color terms “White” and “Black” for use of categorizing people—I use them in this blog only as a part of the reports of what is happening in America and current verbiage. Today’s events are absurd and disappointing. To see Americans fighting Americans because of the views that one group is superior over the other is ridiculous—it reminds of the egregious hatred that dominated America for 200 years between different ethnic groups. In Charlottesville, VA, White Supremacist Nationalists collided with anti-White Supremacist groups this weekend over the planned/approved removal of a statue of the Confederate leader of the Southern Army, General Robert E. Lee from Lee Park. Violence and hatred broke out with hundreds fighting each other, leaving at least 1 person dead and up to 34 injured. This was a clear act of domestic terrorism on Americans as a “White Supremacist” allegedly plowed into the anti-White Supremacist protesters with a car. The following is an excerpt from the “Courage to Stand: A New America” that is projected to be published in the next 30 days and very appropriate for today.
Most will not recall or know that the Confederate flag only truly resurfaced as those of African descent began to fight for their freedom in the mid twentieth century around 1948. Each step along the way the flag would be raised along with national outcries advocating for segregation and Jim Crow laws to continue in the United States. For thirty-nine years, from 1961 to 2000, the Confederate Flag flew atop of the state capitol building in South Carolina before being moved to the flagpole next to the capital. Most who hold on to the Confederate flag and lobby for its continued use don’t even realize that it was not the original flag as there were three official flags of different designs during the four-year Civil War.Very shortly after the Civil War, the flag was easily identified as a divisive symbol. In my opinion, no matter where or how it is displayed, the Confederate flag elicits a reminder of a time in our history that was particularly shameful. I submit to America to let the Confederate flag go. Removing the Confederate flag would serve as a great sign of hope in America and that we are moving to a new era in our nation. Thousands across America from all ethnicities have come out to support removing the flag from all federal buildings and many states have banned the flag from their license plates. Former governor and former presidential candidate Jeb Bush, has called for the Confederate flag to be removed along with South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and many high profile Republicans, including former presidential candidate Lindsey Graham. It is time for change in America. On July 10, 2015, the Confederate flag was officially removed from South Carolina state grounds as a result of state legislative action that overwhelmingly supported the change. As one might imagine, not all would agree, but it is time for change in America. Indeed it is time to come together as a nation. As a side note, there is a photo that went viral across America because it shows a “Black” police officer, Leroy Smith, coming to the aid of a distressed “White supremacist” who was overcome by the extreme heat during a KKK rally of the Loyal White Knights to maintain the Confederate flag on the state capital in South Carolina. According to reports, the officer provided first aid and ensured the individual’s safety. The photo went viral, and the officer is to be commended for moving beyond the racial divide. This is what America can become when we find the courage to stand. Humanity and love for one another knows not color of skin and compassion is not limited by ethnicity.
For all of the confusion today over the removal of the statue of General Robert E. Lee perhaps we should heed the words of the General himself. Even General Robert E. Lee declined to be a part of any ceremony representing the flag. When invited by the Gettysburg Battlefield Memorial Association to an event in which the Confederate flag would be displayed he is quoted as stating, “I think it wiser moreover not to keep open the sores of war.”