Dear Dr. McNeel,

The War for Southern Independence was fought because the South did not have fair representation in the Federal government. In 1860, 75% of the federal revenue was being paid by the South, who comprised only 30% of the population. (More true history at "http://www.dixieoutfitters.com/version2/history.html") During the War for Southern Independence, over one quarter million (260,000) Southern men, women and children gave their lives upholding the principles espoused by the founding fathers of the United States. The Confederate battle flag is a symbol of their sacrifice. It is a symbol of our Southern heritage.

To deny our Southern children their right to display symbols of their heritage is not only a violation of freedom of expression as guaranteed by the First Amendment but is also a "mind crime" which strikes at self esteem of each child who loves his family, his ancestors and his Southern home. Censorship of this sort severely damages the self image of a child and can have long lasting repercussions in that child’s life.

Schools and individuals who embrace the popular liberal propaganda that the Confederate Battle flag as a symbol of racism do not know the true history of the flag or the War for Southern Independence. They are ignorant followers of organizations and individuals who use "racism" as a tool to raise money and divide our Southern black and white people.

The war against all things Southern began in earnest when Kewesi Mfume took the reins of the NAACP. Mfume’s real name is Frizzell Gray. Frizzell was born and raised in the city neighborhood of Baltimore, Maryland. He is the father of five illegitimate children by three different women. He is a former gang member who had been arrested for theft on two occasions. In 1996, he outlined a five point plan to restore the integrity and effectiveness of the NAACP.

Mfume was well aware that stirring up racial animosity and strife would benefit the coffers of the NAACP. He began in earnest to urge his members to charge the South and all things Confederate with racism and slavery. In a letter dated Jan. 12, 2000 he states: "as such, our principle objection and litigate efforts until now have been directed to the Confederate flag use as an official symbol. However, we feel we are at a great crossroads and feel that a compromise would not be beneficial to anyone. In the near future, efforts will be aimed at the removal of racist names, mascots, monuments and ending the glorification of the Confederate soldier through what is termed reenacting. We also feel that there could be better use of State and Federal resources by the closing of museums and battlefields which are dedicated to the preservation of slavery."

Writing almost 100 years ago, Booker T. Washington knew Mfume’s false tune. "There are a certain class of race problem solvers who don’t want the patient to get well because as long as the disease holds out they have not only an easy means of making a living but also an easy medium through which to make themselves prominate before the public."

Frizzell Gray knows nothing about our Southern culture. He obviously knows nothing or doesn’t care about the real truth concerning the War for Southern Independence. Frizzell Gray does not represent the majority of black people. Frizzell Gray is an opportunist, a bigot, a liar, a thief, a philanderer, and a racist.

Frizzell Gray is severely harming the very people that he professes to help and some school administrators are aiding him in his ignoble cause.

Frizzell Gray is telling you school administrators (via his NAACP followers) what the Confederate Battle Flag means to the Southern people and some of you believe him!

The truth is the Confederate Battle Flag represents all Southern and even Northern Confederates regardless of race or religion and is the symbol of less government, less taxes, and the right of the people to govern themselves. It is flown in memory and honor of our Confederate ancestors and veterans who willingly shed their blood for Southern Independence. To many Southerners, the Confederate Battle Flag is THE symbol of their culture and homeland.

This symbol of our Southern heritage has never caused a disruption. It is people who cause disruptions.

Public schools should encourage respect for the culture and heritage of all of their students, including Southerners. Students who do not respect individual freedom and the diversity of cultures in the United States should be disciplined on a case by case basis. Punish those who cause disruptions, but do not punish those who are innocent and whose only crime is that they are proud of their family, their culture and their home. I urge our public school administrators to not foster ignorance, hate and resentment among the innocent Southern students who only want to be proud of who they are.

I urge you to give your students the freedoms that are enjoyed by all United States citizens, including the freedom of expression as set forth in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It is the mandate of our schools to educate its students, not censor them.

Dewey W. Barber
Owner, Dixie Outfitters