From: HK Edgerton <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, Dec 15, 2011
Subject: The Insulting of Ancestors of Black Confederate Soldiers and those who defend his name continues from ETSU History Department / Open Letter
An Open Letter to Sons of Confederate Veterans Tennessee Division 3,
Commander Mike Beck
& Provost Bert C. Bach, East Tennessee State University
Dear Commander Beck & Provost Bach,
When one becomes a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, whether that membership is Honorary, Associate, or Full member, they are imposed with a duty, that is titled the Charge of the Confederate Veterans: "To you Sons of Confederate Veterans, it is your duty, your charge to defend the Confederate Soldiers’ good name, to strive to equal (emulate) his courage, his conformity to a standard of right (his virtues).
And Sirs, on a day when a young Black student, one T.K. Owens, stood in ETSU Professor Slap’s History Class and related a story about his great, great, great grandfather being honored in a ceremony by the Sons of Confederate Veterans for his service as a Confederate soldier, would face insult as he was interrupted by Professor Slap and told to sit down, and that he was reciting a lie, there was no such a thing as a Black Confederate soldier, and that the Sons had only presented his family with a Flag and ceremony to shore up their faltering image. T.K. would reach out to then the Honorable Tennessee SCV Commander Jim Maddox, who would turn to me to perform the Charge at ETSU. I would don the uniform of the Southern soldier, and carry his glorious banner all the way to the office of the Provost and eventually with that office’s help secure an apology from an honorable History Department Chair that I would deliver to T.K. and the Sons.
I don’t write this letter to continue the saga of T.K., but to relate a tale presented to me by the daughter of the Lt. Commander of the Sons who found herself a student in an ETSU history class conducted by a Professor Carter who would begin the class by posing the question; "had the students seen a ridiculous looking Black man marching around their campus in a ridiculous looking uniform carrying the Confederate flag"? I would have hoped that this professor would have been as honorable as young Will Mcnult was when he and his student organization at Furman University or like those at Winchester College had done in Virginia; contact the Sons and invite me in to tell them about the forty plus Black men who rode with the Honorable General Nathan Bedford Forrest, or the many who made the implements of war for General Lee’s army, or those who stayed at home and helped protect those home places while the men were away, or those who picked up arms and fought side by side in an integrated army unlike those they faced and with equal pay.
Or just perhaps ETSU has joined the ranks of those Southern schools that were established to inculcate into the thinking process of our babies and nation a lie that hides and distorts truth with only a tactic of name calling and the hurling of indignities to hide behind a veil that would expose their lack of the subject matter. Or just perhaps like far too many have become so comfortable with the pretty cars, nice salaries, and big houses that the honor of those dry bones of the men and women who wore that uniform depicted as Carter as ridiculous, and who side by side in lieu of their social station in the body politic to defend their homeland that had been illegally invaded as brothers and sisters has no monetary value, and like Christ not worth the consequences to defend from public ridicule.
And Commander Beck & Provost Bach, in conclusion, while I am utterly disappointed at the continuous ridicule heaped upon not only the Black Confederate soldier by members of the staff at the History Department at ETSU, and now upon my person for expressing my 1st Amendment Right against what I perceive to be the greatest wrong ever perpetrated against an honorable people and the region of this country known fondly as the Southland of America, I shall return again and again to ETSU relaying to its students, staff, alumni, and visitors who stop and pose for pictures, my autograph, and most importantly the tale I have to tell about men like Jone Greer and Polk Arnold who just last week would be honored for his service to the Great State of Tennessee as Confederate soldiers who just happened to be Black. And most importantly I will tell about the dis-honor that brings me there. God bless you.
Southern Heritage 411