No answer from Mr. Washington of “The State” to my recent letter, so I’m trying again and expanding my search for answers to the editor of that paper and the local NAACP. I won’t be surprised if they ignore me. However, the arguments contained in my letter are food for thought for flag defenders.
Example – back in the 2000 presidential election when demonstrators from both political parties were converging on Florida over the “hanging chad” controversy, I was running a sports website. One of my regular readers with whom I corresponded on a regular basis was a Master on a cargo ship out of Wilmington N.C. I would have to describe him as one of the most colorful “rednecks” I’ve ever encountered in this lifetime. He told me that he was thinking of going to Florida to demonstrate but that the GOP wasn’t paying for transportation and lodging costs so he decided not to go. I asked him if such things were commonplace and he replied that they were. How accurate a source for such things he was is a question, I suppose, But the conversation made me wonder about the NAACP anti-flag demonstration held in South Carolina earlier that year, which claimed to have 50000 in attendance. The question was, and still is, how many of those demonstrators had their transportation arranged by the NAACP and how many had their lodging and food paid for? It didn’t occur to me until after I had the conversation with the colorful ship’s master, but it is one of the things that we should all keep in the back of our minds for future reference.
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I see that Mr. Washington of "The State" does not want to answer my recent query, and is probably, as I predicted, hiding under his desk. I will therefore, repeat my queries as well as ask others to answer these rather pertinent questions.
1. – 10 years after a rather large anti-flag demonstration, the State runs another story on it, giddily citing the "50000" attendance figure. How many of those alleged 50000 were from out of state? How many had their travel expenses paid in full or in part by the NAACP or the Urban League, both of which have large war chests, and how many came in from out of town on busses provided by those organizations or similar organizations? Oh yeah, and why is it that in all the stories the State and other media outlets ran, that no one asked this question? As I said in my earlier letter to Mr. Washington, people who come to a demonstration under their own power are "volunteers." Those who have their expenses paid or who are bussed in at a cost to someone else are "mercenaries!"
2 – Where is it written that the NAACP or Urban League or similar organizations get to define the meaning of the Confederate flag? Where is it written that those South Carolinians, whose ancestors fought in that war, must have their feelings, their interests, their desires, overruled? As taxpaying citizens of that state I would think they would have as much right to celebrate their own history and to have that history included in the history of the state as anyone else has?
Newsflash – just because you operate under the banner of "civil rights" does not mean that the rest of us have to fall down on our knees and accept everything you say. 40 years ago, a lot of us white folks went to bat for you in the belief that you should not be excluded from participating in the American dream because your skin was darker than ours. We felt that you should be included. We did not, however, intend for you to rule over us. In short, we did not look to trade white supremacy for black supremacy. We live here too, our feelings count as much as yours. Stop acting as if you are running the table. You’re not, and some of us aren’t afraid to say so.
3 – The above story claims, once again, that the flag was raised as a defiant gesture against civil rights legislation back in the 1960s. I have challenged you and others to provide some proof of this claim. You refuse to even try – because you know that there is no such proof. The George Wallaces of that era were not shy about speaking their minds. They stood in the doorways with ax-handles and defied anyone to try and get through. Had they raised a flag, Confederate or otherwise, to defy civil rights legislation, they would have most certainly said so. These were not the type of men who sent covert or back room signals. They spoke their minds and they spoke loudly! I can attest to these things because I was 12 years old when the flag was raised over your statehouse. I don’t have to read about these things in history books. I can actually remember them!
Sons of Confederate Veterans, Associate, Camps 3000 & 1506