As black leaders continue the hype against southern Confederate symbols — for their own various reasons — it is refreshing to hear from someone who cuts through the nonsense. Here are excerpts from letters written by a black minister to his city’s Mayor and City Council. Rev. James Barnett of Charlotte, North Carolina, first expresses his anger at those black bureaucrats who prefer to divert their attention away from serious social problems, to the issue of the Confederate flag. He writes:
We have many more problems to concern ourselves with. The media has failed to report the fact that there is a sharp increase in the rate of murders in the black community. Drive-by shootings, drugs, car jackings, high school dropouts (and the list goes on) are of much more concern here in District 3. This year will end with the highest rate of murders in the black community in over five years. . . .
I write at this time to express my outrage at the fact that once again a black leader has overlooked the many problems in the black community while addressing the Confederate flag. Please be informed that I support those that wish to remember their loved ones with such a flag in a cemetery. I have yet to find one black person that is upset with the flag controversy.
It is a shame that one outside our district has brought such attention to this cause. It casts black people in a very bad light. While we face an increase in the rate of murder, car jackings, drive-by shootings, home invasions, drugs, and unemployment, the one thing that a black leader can bring to the table is a Confederate flag. By doing so it makes us look like a people that have our values all wrong. I am sick and tired of hearing black people crying in their soup. . . .
I made a special visit to the cemetery to see this flag. Here is what we have: a Confederate flag in a cemetery that is over 150 years old, in a part of the cemetery that has been set aside for Confederate veterans that is clearly marked off for such. The space even has a fence around it. Those that have laid their loved ones in such a place have a right to do so. What kind of people would we be to speak out against such a right? While we may not like the Confederate flag, I see nothing wrong with it being in a cemetery.
In the past, when whites did not like things that were black, some of them set out to destroy it and in some cases the black race. We as a people have a golden opportunity to show the white race what tolerance is all about. . . .
Let me make clear what my stand is: No people in their right mind would have a problem with a flag in a cemetery that stands over those that lived and died in their beliefs and in a part that is marked off for such; While we as blacks may have a problem with the Confederate flag, we must bear in mind that it is a part of the history of this country and every white person that flies it is not a racist. Those that are still crying in their soup while we face many greater problems need to get over it; To bring out the fact that black leaders do have the power to save us, but they wish to spend their time in the past calling on whites to do right.
Let the flag fly and let us unite and help bring an end to the many other problems in the black community.
© 2006 Issues & Views