Blacks Object To Lee Honor
I read with interest your article in today’s Tampa Tribune, and noted once again that the NAACP has played the race card when Southerners of all races attempt to honor a great American hero, Robert E. Lee. The comment by Curtis Stokes (NAACP president) that "That’s a slap in the face to every African-American, Hispanic, and every minority in the county," is absurd, since it is a historical fact that tens of thousands of blacks, Hispanics, American Indians and even a few Chinese served in the Confederate armed forces during the War. I personally have attended a memorial service in nearby Tarpon Springs for a black Confederate veteran who was said to be proud of his service in the Confederate Army, and I personally know minorities who are members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans organization.
It is also unfortunate that James A. Hammond (also an NAACP member) who was there at the Commission meeting to be honored himself would stoop to making racially bigoted derogatory remarks about an American hero who has been idolized for the last 140+ years by other American heroes of the calibre of Dwight D. Eisenhower, Woodrow Wilson, Ulysses S. Grant, and Theodore Roosevelt. Racial bigotry is very unbecoming to an individual who was deemed by the Hillsborough County Commission to be worthy of a special Proclamation. One would have expected more from an individual of that stature.
This sort of "knee jerk" reaction by the local NAACP members is typical of the sort of bigotry and intolerance that the NAACP has come to represent. If the NAACP could snap its fingers, and make every single vestige of the Confederate States of America suddenly disappear–the flags, the names, the memorials–it would serve no purpose whatsoever in alleviating the problems faced by modern-day black Americans. The problems faced by black Americans today are sociological, not historical. Those problems are due to crime, unemployment, poverty, family disintegration, etc.–not the Confederate flag and certainly not Robert E. Lee.
The NAACP, which at one time was a courageous and relevant civil rights organization, is now an out-dated relic of the civil rights era looking for "windmills to tilt" now that Americans of color have full and equal civil rights. The NAACP continues to have highly paid executives, but the coffers are running empty because the NAACP now has to manufacture racial tensions where there are none in an effort to attempt to cover its expenses. This brouhaha over the honoring of Robert E. Lee by the Hillsborough County Commission and the ongoing complaints about the displays of the Confederate flag are just two examples of the NAACP’s modern-day worthlessness.
SCV Commander Dean Leferink is correct: If we are going to call Robert E. Lee a traitor, then we as Americans need to completely rethink our own secession from the British Crown and our nation’s foundational belief in "consent of the governed."
D. A. Anthony