Part 2 / The 10th Wonder of the World / Reflections
On July 01-08, Fox News in Tampa, Florida as well as many other National news organizations, a story would air about the raising of the largest Confederate Battle Flag over the interstate in Tampa. In the Fox report, an African American woman, Ms. Michelle Williams was touted as a local activist. I quote her as saying in that interview that the flag represents slavery, racism, bigotry and a state of division. She went on to say that for every Black Confederate that the Sons could produce before her with proof, she would pay $100.00 for a Memorial Plaque in their honor. I don’t know if the revelation that she would need to hit the Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee Mega lotteries to pay the bill she racked up with her statement caused her to change her tune, but when I arrived in Tampa with my list of Black Confederates, I was told by the Honorable Marion Lambert that Ms. Williams had backed up on her Northern produced rhetoric to the point that she was now an ally in support of the flag flying and of the dialogue that it now produced in the world and local community. I was told that she was quoted as saying that she would even stand to help raise it up the pole. My, my, what a difference a day makes when Southern people come to know and understand the truth about who we truly are.
One Black caller to the FM radio station on Sunday morning had proclaimed that after listening to the comments of Mr. Lambert and I that he was confused. Mr. Lambert and I completely understood that confusion. On this day we had produced not only the progenitors of folks who looked like him, but also the record of their honorable stand alongside that man he called Master, Family and Friend, and even more importantly, his glorious contribution to the defense of his homeland that had been invaded and an understanding of the events that the invader masterminded to separate him from his Southern family, to include his ownership in the glorious flag that now flew over Interstate 4 & 75.
I cannot forget the other debater on that Sunday morning at the radio station; the so called authority on the Sons of Confederate Veterans being a hate organization. All he could produce was the title of some books produced by Southern authors, probably members of the Sons. I would simply tell those who listened that they should read with an open mind the books that he mentioned, and any and every time that they can find out that there is a Sons of Confederate Veteran meeting being held, please attend. Certainly, the color of one’s skin doesn’t warrant the entrance to their meetings, and you will learn a history about this nation of ours that the so called victor in the epoch of the War Between the States and the events that led up to it, which the so called victor is afraid to shed with the public, and one that is not taught in the public school system that he developed in the South in 1865 and taught by the Northern school teachers that he sent to tell our children.
I have come to learn why those who come from the North are afraid of the Southern Cross. To understand where one has come from goes a very long way to the understanding to where one is going. It is no doubt in my mind that the events of the day have a great parallel to those that led an honorable people to separate from its brother. Hanging the mantle of slavery out is only a feeble attempt to dupe those Blacks and arguably Whites as well of this nation that have not dug hard enough to find the real underlying truths about who we are that makes us family in the South, the place of honor and dignity that Blacks earned under the Southern Cross and the reasons why so many of us did not follow the path taken by Marcus Garvey to leave our new found homeland and return to the brutality of Africa and the corrupt and dangerous men who led it as one caller would describe that we do. His thoughts on picking up the Garvey Flag and posting it over the Interstate as our Flag; speaking in terms to Southern Blacks has about as much merit as the 40 acres and a mule theory. It was the NAACP that would undermine the efforts of Garvey and the Klan who would give him support in money and principle.
There should be a Flag in every Southern city like the one flown in Tampa and the dialogue that it is producing of the honorable people both Red, Yellow, Black and White who served under it.