An Open Letter To President Elect Obama
Dear Mr. President Elect,
Having just returned from the beautiful City of Georgetown, Delaware after participating in the Historical Return Day celebration event in which I had the opportunity to lead the Sons of Confederate Veterans right up to the viewing stand of which the Vice President Elect, the Honorable Joe Biden, would be seated along with a host of other dignitaries and receiving a most admirable reception from them all as our Colors were posted as I recited several verses from a poem written by the Honorable Dr. Michael Bradley, State Commander of the Tennessee Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, about our colors. I would return to the Southland of America and have these very same Colors banned from participating in a Veterans Day Parade by an organization (Knoxville Chapter, American Legion Post #2) that was chartered by Congress in 1919; the very same Congress that recognizes our colors as a venerated symbol.
The Knoxville Journal, Knoxville’s oldest newspaper established in 1839, would carry an article in which it would quote the gentleman most responsible for this act of content discrimination, as saying that the Southern Cross that he refers to as “The Rebel Flag is an honorable flag that a lot of men died for because they believed in the cause. But unfortunately, that flag has been hi–jacked by a lot of hate groups, and a lot of people”; notwithstanding the fact that in the very place and city that you are to give your inaugural address, the largest gathering of a group deemed a hate group in 1925 stood hoisting not the Christian Cross of St. Andrew, but the Stars and Stripes. Mr. Everett went on to say that the Sons of the Confederacy, (notwithstanding that everyone of these men and women are patriotic American citizens) weren’t told that they couldn’t march in the Veterans Day Parade, they were told that they could not wave the Confederate “Rebel flags” (notwithstanding that our Honorable flag is so reverently referred to as either the Southern Cross, the Christian Cross of St. Andrew or, in the case in point, the Battle Flag). Notwithstanding that any veteran or soldier worth his weight in gold would know that one’s colors are the most protected and most sacred symbol on and off the field of battle. To have the Sons march without their colors would have been an act of total disgrace.
You have been quoted so very often as a student, an admirer of Lincoln. I too have studied this man, and as a loyal Southern Black, I don’t have that admiration. Here in the Southland of America, we lived with outhouses, malaria, and dirt roads; never seeing Lincoln’s promise of a Marshall Plan and no semblance of one until America entered another war in 1941 and needed her Southern family’s help. As a member of the loyal Southern African family who not only earned a place of honor and dignity in the cotton, bean, sugar and beet fields as they built the economies of the entire civilized world while working alongside a man that they not only called master, but family and friend, but also one who went off to war with him, stayed at home and protected his family, made all the implements of war for his beleaguered army and further earning a place of honor and dignity by his side only to have that place pushed asunder by the continuing and deliberate distorted education of our nation as the Cold War Between the States continues to wage.
You Sir could go a long way towards fulfilling Lincoln’s promise of reconcilment by not only inviting a contingent of the Sons of Confederate Veterans Color Honor Guard to your Inauguration ceremony, but by also creating an Ambassador to the South whose stead would be to end the rift that has existed for far too long between brothers and sisters of our land.
Southern Heritage 411