H.K. Edgerton, a Southern heritage activist and former president of the Asheville, N.C. branch of the NAACP, was the principle speaker last Sunday on the square in Murfreesboro, for a press conference. Edgerton was invited by Todd Gober, president of the local chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. He was flanked by MTSU students Matt Hurtt and Emily McDonald who are circulating a petition for students, faculty and staff of MTSU who would like for the 69th Congress of Student Government to reverse any decision to remove "Forrest Hall" from the ROTC building.
Edgerton stated that he was very proud of Matt, Emily and other students for standing up against Southern cultural genocide. General Forrest has been criticized for being a member of the Ku Klux Klan and being a slave trader. According to Edgerton, Forrest helped many black families by keeping them together, and had 42 black soldiers under his command.
In 2002, Edgerton marched over 1,300 miles through the South carrying a Confederate flag and "I was well received by blacks. Any black man in America who wants to pick up this flag should know it is his as much as any white man’s."
Emily McDonald said "White students are taught to be ashamed of Southern history," and she described the history of America as some good, some bad, and some ugly, but it should not be altered to suit a voiceful minority."
In a recent email, H.K. Edgerton wrote "As for the Honorable General Robert E. Lee, General Nathan Bedford Forrest, General Patrick Ronayne Cleburne and the Honorable General Stonewall Jackson, these four men, considered some of the greatest fighting men and human beings, totally stood by the African people, and fought hard for their comforts. Yet here in the 21st century, the descendants of those very same Africans are being asked to turn their backs on them and accept as truths the much maligned history of a nation of people whose independence they fought so nobly for. Before we become traitors of our Southland, both past and present, there are things that we should contemplate about these men, for if we do, we will learn much about the Southern people that we come to call family in lieu of the economic institution of slavery." "General Nathan Bedford Forrest was emphatically the black man’s friend," added Edgerton.
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