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Robert E. Lee & Jefferson Davis on Flying the Confederate Flag

Greetings Friends!

After someone shared these facts with me privately on Facebook, I did a bit of research and was astonished to uncover this truth, which I never knew. It adds a tremendous amount of irony in the aftermath of the Charlottesville, Va riots, where racist, white nationalists protested the removal of symbols of the Confederacy:

It's so ironic that some folks are fighting to keep the Confederate flag flying on government property, when two huge, iconic figures from the Confederacy clearly did not want the flag flown after the war. Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis, respectively, said:

"I think it wisest not to keep open the sores of war, but to follow the example of those nations who endeavored to obliterate the marks of civil strife, and to commit to oblivion the feelings it engendered." – Letter to the Gettysburg Identification Committee, 1865

"My pride is that that flag shall not set between contending brothers; and that, when it shall no longer be the common flag of the country, it shall be folded up and laid away like a vesture no longer used." – The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government, 1881

So, a general in the Confederate military, and the PRESIDENT of the Confederacy, did NOT think it was a good idea to fly the flag anymore after the war, yet some folks are kicking, screaming, protesting (which is their right as long as it's peaceful), and resorting to violence to keep it flying. What exacerbates this is that anyone can fly whatever flag they want on their private property. Removal efforts concern government property. It's still in museums (as it should be, it IS a part of American history) but folks are going nuts over a flag that both of these men felt should be retired. Hmm. Ain't that something?

Until next musing,

Talitha K. McEachin

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Posted by on August 14, 2017 in In The News, Politics, Society, Uncategorized

 

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Small Town Georgia Travels, Racism & Politics

Small Town Georgia Travels, Racism & Politics
Friends,
I always check-in on social media whenever I travel within Georgia, or out of state for work, to help me log my travel hours accurately. When I do, a few people always message me if it’s a small town in southern Georgia, or most recently, up in the North Georgia mountains. They ask about the reception from southern whites in small towns because I am a black woman & they’ve heard of ugly racism in these places. I make these trips EVERY month for work & I can honestly tell you that I’ve never experienced any racism on a single trip. I’ve found the whites (and blacks, Hispanics, Asians) in these towns to be VERY friendly, helpful & inquisitive sometimes about the “big city” (Atlanta, Lord knows what they’d think of NY or LA lol). Some have never taken a flight in a commercial airplane. Many are farmers, or at least gardeners & you can buy whatever’s in season right from their land/trees. There are some of the best, home cooked, fresh food in restaurants run by some of these same farms. I connected with them because my Mom grew up on a farm in a small southern town in Alabama, where she and her 17 siblings worked extremely hard growing up, sometimes missing school to work on the farm. Meals were mostly what was raised, caught, made or grown on their land. Most of the people I’ve met don’t know who they’ll vote for this time around & have problems with both. I’ll actually be working with a local writer in Macon on a political newsletter for people in these areas. People wanted to know what I was writing. I’ve found that they care more about issues directly affecting them locally – the bigger stuff they tend to feel either apathetic about or powerless against. The former being mostly a result of the latter.
The only discussion of race (which was indirect) was with a few farmers who lamented changes in immigration laws in recent years, because the stricter changes ran off hard-working Hispanics who were here illegally, causing the farmers to lose lots of money in crops. The Hispanics who left were replaced by former convicted felons who needed work. The farmers get a tax incentive to hire them & the former convicts get much needed (and required) work. Most were black but a good number of them were white too. They complained about how the former convicts, no matter their race, worked less, harvested far less pounds of crops, took frequent cell phone & cigarette breaks and were generally lazy. They wanted their illegal immigrant workers back because they got way more work done in less time & were far more reliable. They also needed far less supervision. I got the distinct feeling that they’d vote for whichever political party had the best plans for managing illegal immigrants, allowing them to stay & work. I’ve sort of built relationships with some of these black & white small town southerners. Now, I’m in no way saying racism doesn’t exist in any of these places, I’m just saying that I haven’t experienced one drop of it & I’m not going to lie to make anyone feel good about a stereotype they hold. Sometimes racism is the persistence with which a stereotype is held, even in the face of evidence to the contrary, and on some level we all do (or have done) this.
Until next time or travels,
TM
 
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Posted by on August 5, 2016 in Politics, Society, Uncategorized

 

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Clarence Thomas: “Northern Liberal Elites Are More Racist Than Southerners”

Friends,

Clarence ThomasRecently, conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas issued a statement stating that based on his experiences in both the North & South that “Northern Liberal Elites Are More Racist”. Many of you have asked my opinion so here goes:

One the one hand, many on the right are touting this as proof that racism is not so bad in the South & is exaggerated by the left. One the other hand many on the left are saying that this is further proof that Clarence Thomas is a sellout & that he is once again trying to assuage & appease white Conservatives. Well, the mistake Thomas makes (and this is not to take away from his experiences in both the North & South) is that his anecdotal evidence doesn’t mean that his experiences are the rule. Neither does mine or any of us. At best, he can say that this was his experience & concluding opinion based on that but that others may have had (or had/have) a different experience growing up in the South & North. See the difference? I could name at least 60-70 people who are the same age as Thomas whom I know personally, who would & have said differently.

It must also be taken into account that Thomas grew up in a somewhat isolated, predominantly black community near Savannah, Ga founded by freed slaves. Most of the people he grew up with were black, so his experience would be different from a black person who grew up in Montgomery, Atlanta or Birmingham during that time. It’s intellectually dishonest (and irresponsible) on his part & ours to ignore that. People are using his anecdotes as proof that liberal whites “are” more “racist”, a word that gets tossed around so frequently that it has all but lost it’s potency. Now, on the other hand, my friends on the left, to call Thomas a sellout or “Uncle Tom” (a misnomer really) or accuse him of lying to lessen the experiences of racism in the South or exaggerate those in the North is unfair as well. You’re the same people who came to Obama’s defense after he issued a statement in the aftermath of the Zimmerman verdict (and I agreed with you) that those attacking Obama’s experiences/anecdotes of racism/discrimination growing up were wrong to accuse him of lying. They weren’t there, they don’t know what he experienced & generally speaking, you simply cannot tell a person what their experiences was. Well, that same thing must be applied to Clarence Thomas! You can’t tell him what he did or did not experience growing up in the South or living in the North. He has no obligation to say that the South was more racist than the North just because he has black skin, especially if that was not his reality. His experience is his own & you can’t dictate it or take it away from him because it doesn’t follow a historical narrative. Please get that.
There’s an old saying in the South from that time, that “In the South they (whites) don’t care how close you get as long as you don’t get too high, in the North they (whites) don’t care how high you get as long as you don’t get too close” – Is one group of whites more racist than another? Well, it depends on who you ask but I say during that time you had some racism from both, most likely in equal amounts but not equivalent.That’s all I have to say to all about this. Until next time…

 
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Posted by on February 13, 2014 in In The News, Politics

 

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