August 8, 2004
Wisdom of the week

On the folly of certain black organizations’ persisting war against Southern symbols, here are excerpts from the remarks of a black editorial writer, "Racial politics is an impediment to progress," in Mississippi’s Hattiesburg American (7/18/04) newspaper:

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and other civil rights groups have made the removal of the Confederate flag their mission and have engaged in a misguided, one-note mantra aimed at its eradication — and everything Southern along the way.

Now the skirmish is taking up positions on the athletic field, where the contentious discourse does not belong. When Mississippi would not remove the Rebel emblem from the state banner, civil rights activists browbeat an all-too-willing National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) into establishing a convoluted rule that precludes Magnolia colleges from being venues for athletic events. The NCAA is making the entire state feel the loss of revenue at the ticket office. If you ask me, this is extortion in reverse.

To these anti-Rebel flag zealots, it is victory at all costs — never mind what economic damage is caused to the state along the way. Three years ago, the NCAA denied Delta State University in Cleveland the opportunity to host the Division II Swimming and Diving Championships because the Rebel flag was still waving over Magnolia.

It did not matter that DSU has one of the finest aquatic facilities in the country. And now Mississippi State University has lost out as the site for the 2004 Guardians Classic basketball tournament. In its narrow thinking, the NCAA decreed that no state could be a host site of a "predetermined tournament" where the Confederate emblem is on the state flag. That leaves Mississippi and Georgia out in the heat. . . .

The snub is estimated to cost the Starkville business community about $200,000 from the two-day event that is scheduled for November. And some of those impacted interests are black owned. So who is being harmed here? At a time when more minorities could be attracted to participate in sports other than football, basketball and baseball, racial politics and not the Confederate battle flag is the impediment to progress.

The anti-Rebel flag crowd has done more to keep the banner in the public view than legendary filmmaker D.W. Griffith ever did with "Birth of a Nation." And who loses? The very same people the liberal, politically correct crowd say they want to help the most.