Denying same rights to others is un-American

Today the term "come together" has a much different meaning to some in the black community than it did when I was growing up. It use to mean that no matter what the differences were between all Americans that we focused on the things we all had in common and concentrated on improving them for the benefit of all, especially this country.

Now, according to those few, "come together" means that if you don`t agree with everything I believe, then they cannot possibly improve on the things we all agree on, for the best interest of all Americans.

While I and many others might not agree with whom you choose to vote for or whom you have as your heroes or even which sports programs you root for, it is understood by reasonable people that you have a right to do so in America.

On the other hand, no one has to agree with my Southern history, heritage, culture or any symbols of it. Just as you are, I’m entitled to it without interference from anyone in a free country. This is called respect and if you want respect for those things which you honor and cherish then you have to afford that same respect for the things all others hold dear whether you personally agree with them or not.

Today some in Selma and Memphis are having a come apart over monuments and parks for Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest. All while no one is complaining about about those places named in honor of your Civil Rights heroes. Not because they agree with them but, because they respect your right to do so no matter what they personally might think of them.

To claim there is no room for everyone to have a place where they can put monuments and statues in memory and honor of their heroes is the same thing the segregationist did to blacks prior to them gaining their civil rights. Now you practice the same thing against others that make you the new segregationist and no better than the old segregationist.

To deny the same rights you claim for yourselves to others is the most un-American act there is. In order for there to ever be any "coming together," you must first learn to respect the rights of others, like it or not.

Billy E. Price