On Tuesday morning, February 23, 2016, in continuing the commemoration of Black History Month, I would don the uniform of the Southern soldier.
And as I made my way to the entrances of Clyde A. Erwin High and Erwin Middle School for my planned posting of his Colors;a young Black woman would pull her car alongside me and began shouting.... "you need to get that flag from around these schools. Our children don't need to see that this morning". Mam it is Black History Month, and a snowballs got a better chance surviving the fires of Hell than for me to honor your request to leave here. Please have a good day!
Not long after I had posted the Colors, and began waving, returning the Rebel Yell, posing for a picture; a young White man dressed in what appeared to be a Chef's uniform crossed the busy road, gave me an open palm salute while all the time shouting out his Confederate ancestors military unit. And further adding that he was reporting for duty.
He went on to tell me that his ancestor was among the elite few who had survived the Union POW Camp Douglas. A miracle in itself. He would express how proud he was of not only my presence, but that it was so refreshing to talk to someone who knew what they were talking about. We would embrace as he was about to leave to the delight and shouts of those passing by.
Barely had he gone before a car exiting the High School would pull alongside me, and a nice White lady would hand me a breakfast biscuit, and tell me that her son wanted to share his breakfast with me. I told her that I loved her son, and to give him a big hug for me. She said that she loved him too, and would give him another hug because on this day, he and I had made her very proud.
And then there he was with Mike Scrugg's Un- Civil War Book in hand. My friend from yesterday. Mr. Edgerton, I want to thank you.for this. I believe that the Klan of the 21st century should read this and maybe their hate filled rhetoric would change.
I told him that as I saw it, those who profess to be Klan come from a group of people who cannot forget or forgive unknowing or unwitting Black folks that were used by Carpetbaggers and Southern Scalawags as the weapon of choice during the period of so called reconstruction to wreak further terror upon the Southern people as they robbed the State treasures, and terrorized all the people.
The so called Freed Men's Bureau was turned into a politburo for the Radical Republican Party as they used unknowing Black folks to bring to power in both local, State and National Governments some of the most non-reputable criminals of the times, to include the likes of War criminal U.S. Grant who not only burned forty plus cities in the great State of Mississippi, but commanded and orchestrated Lincoln's Total War Policy.
Black folks going over to the Freed Men's Bureau with brown paper bags to get their vote; thinking it was some more of the Governments hand outs they were now being promised. To include those of Field Article 15.". forty acres and a mule". The taking of decent White folks property and giving it to Black folks, along with broken down Union Army mules. Thaddeus Stevens , the great hater of the South in Charge. Taking away the vote from any White Confederate soldier and their loyal Blacks who were with them. Then giving it to Black man who had no idea what they doing with the vote.
So the hate began. However, it is all the most to remember that all those reconstruction committees were headed up by White men who control the votes.
And with the election of 1876 came the real dealing and compromising. The Southern blockades were lifted, and Southern White men told that they better go take back their governments from the niggers because they were a joke, and had no idea what they were doing. So now all the love, respect and sense of loyalty and duty performed by the Southern African washed away in one swoop. The hate began.
Southern Africans vowed to never vote for a Republican again, and passed that message down to their families.Even many refused to vote at all. Even as a two time Candidate for Mayor, I would be told by some of my best of friends and family members that they would never vote for a Republican.
I can only say to the Klan; I can feel your pain, but the African was a victim, and all the honor that he earned is what I call upon everyday as a loyal Southerner like so many then and now as they reach for social vertical mobility. We would embrace, and he would remark that it is more to this than what meets the eye. God sent you and your brother to us Mr. Edgerton and I for one am grateful. I would hear this very same statement again before I would furl my Flag on this day. I am humbled. God bless you!
Honorary Member Forrest's Orphan's Camp # 1744 Sons of Confederate Veterans