My heart is heavy.
On July 18th- both the Black Panthers AND the Ku Klux Klan will be "demonstrating" in Columbia, the state capitol of South Carolina.
Neither side is willing to change the date of their "Rally".
In case you didn't know- The Black Panthers promote "Anti-white" hate. The Klan promote "Anti- black" hate.
Now- A few years ago- this Confederate Battle flag issue came up and was VERY hotly debated. Various organizations got involved, but front and centre was the NAACP, I believe.
And so, after many weeks of arguing and debating and going back and forth, it was decided and AGREED UPON by everyone concerned that the Battle flag of the South would stay flying- and there was an African-American Monument built to honor that particular race of peoples. Martin Luther Kings Birthday was also made a honest bank holiday. And Lo- and behold- most people were happy with that lovely compromise.
Until recently. I rarely keep up with the news, I hate listening to the doom and gloom that's regularly spouted instead of uplifting stories, so I'm not exactly sure what the catalyst was- and lord someone PLEASE enlighten me if you have the time and inclination.....anyway.
Wait- it might have been that nut job Roof when he shot those poor people down in Charleston and his social media pages had all those photos of him holding the Battle flag and spouting about starting a race war. Looks like the little bastard is getting his wish. I feel so sorry for his family.
Anyway, next thing I know it's all over the news about Nikki Haley is speaking out in favor of removing the flag from the state house grounds.
Now we have the Black Panthers, The NAACP, the Klan, Lord knows who else coming to our state to stir the pot. As the good people of Charleston said just after the tragedy, "Stay away- we getting along just fine down here in South Carolina- we don't need your kind coming and stirring up trouble where they ain't none."
But no- the pot stirrers just can't let it go and leave us alone. They all gotta come down here(there, I mean- sometimes I forget I'm not living back home now- but it's still my home no matter what and I still get my say at the end of the day.)And get everyone all riled up and fightin' each other.
On the other hand- we have groups like Sons of Southern Pride. People of ALL races joining together who are going out and doing good by showing pride in themselves and their community and their flags. They plan visits to nursing homes and children's hospitals. They are holding car washes and bake sales for charities and to help out the less fortunate in their communities. They are good people just showing their support in any way they can. They are peaceful, and kind people who don't go out looking for trouble- they just want to be able to be proud of their heritage and fly the flag their ancestors fought under. They are the kind of people that stop to help an elderly person or a woman with kids in the car, or a man with a arm in a sling change a tire instead of riding past them. Yes- they are proud of their heritage and of their flags. And why shouldn't they be? Every Race and Nationality has pride in their history. And every Race and Nationality has a part of history they would rather forget.
And most of all remember this- Under the Battle Flag of the South- the races all fought together. The Whites, The Blacks, AND The Native Americans.
What's my take on this?
I have mixed feelings.
On the one hand, I think it's time the flag should be removed from the state capitol. Not because it's racist- and it's not-....But because it IS stirring up so many bad feelings among folks. I think we should all get together and make a new flag- one that symbolizes the love of the south and the people that live here now. Put ...oh I don't know- some pic up trucks, and some BBQ Pulled pork sammiches and a glass of sweet tea on it. Put The beach- and some banjos and a hammock on it. Put a whitetail buck on it and a big plate of Soul food like my Friend Miss Belle used to make on Sunday Afternoon. Put some biscuits and tater salad on it....and a skeeter- lawd we ALL battle them critters in the summertime and don't none of us like 'em.
On the other hand...... I saw where some folks was getting mighty upset about that flag coming down off the state grounds and was calling for that beautiful African American Monument Memorial to be taken down too. And I don't think that's right either. I don't think ANYONE should have to have anything taken down, destroyed, removed.
A flag....a monument or memorial....the kind of shoes we wear, piercings, tattoos, glasses, blue eyes, green eyes, brown eyes, smokers, non smokers, old, young, or the color skin we have doesn't matter. We are all human beings, and bleed red blood and we really need to stop this damn foolishness and get along.
So whats the solution? Does everyone have to get rid of all their
remembrances and memorials and flags- or does everyone get to keep them
and teach each other of the history of our ancestors so we can learn and not make the same mistakes again?