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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Blogger's Response To Meeting Between NAACP and SCV

On Sunday, January 10th of this year, members of the Catawba County, North Carolina branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People met with representatives of the North Carolina Division Sons of Confederate Veterans. 

The meeting and thoughts about it were reported in the Hickory Daily Record News online page under the title: NAACP hosts Sons of Confederate Veterans at Sunday meeting.  

The meeting came about as a result of last year's controversy over the display of the Confederate battle flag in Hickory's annual Veterans Reunion Parade.

The Soldiers Reunion celebration in Newton is believed to be the longest-running patriotic celebration in the United States not based on a holiday. The tradition began on July 4, 1889, when Confederate Veterans from North Carolina answered a statewide call for recognition of their wartime efforts and to receive their pensions. This gathering led to an annual patriotic reunion of veterans of all America's wars. One of the last parade that included a Confederate Veteran took place in 1938. Since that time the Sons of Confederate Veterans have represented the former Confederate soldiers in the parade bearing replicas of the battle flag those old veterans carried into battle.

Amid the vast anti-Confederate heritage reactionary attacks on the display of Confederate symbols in the wake of the Charleston shootings in June of last year by a lone white supremacist, the display of the flag by the Sons of Confederate Veterans in the patriotic parade came under scrutiny.

In truth the display came under attack off and on for a couple years before June of last year, but the Establishment's use of fear and intimidation against Confederate heritage defenders following that shooting gave new life to the dying anti-Confederate flag movement in America. The attempts now to remove the display of the flag in the Hickory Soldiers Reunion Parade are but one of dozens of attempts since the Charleston shooting by the politically correct establishment and its lackeys to label and condemn the living symbol of Southern identity for Confederate descendants.

This blogger had many things to say in regards to the words exchanged as reported in the article. However, it would appear the the comments section, for whatever reason, would not allow my responses. 

So, I will offer my thoughts and responses to the article here at Southern Fried Common Sense.  

My responses are offered in red throughout the reprinting of the article in full.  

NAACP hosts Sons of Confederate Veterans at Sunday meeting 

NEWTON – The Catawba County NAACP met with the Sons of Confederate Veterans late Sunday afternoon to discuss the Confederate flag and its use in the Soldiers Reunion Parade in Newton.

Jerry McCombs, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People chapter president, invited the group, which carries the Confederate flag in the parade, to discuss the flag’s meaning.
The idea was to come to a consensus of what the flag represented, McCombs said.
“Preferably, we’ll all be on the same page,” he said before the meeting.

Translation: the Catawba County NAACP attempted to dictate how they alone view that flag and feel it should not be flown in a historic parade founded largely by the United Confederate Veterans.

McCombs also invited the Newton Merchant’s Association, a parade sponsor, by way of a letter to former chair Wayne Dellinger in December.
McCombs said he received no response, but did not try to contact them in any other way. No representative from the NMA attended the meeting.

In short the NMA washed their hands of the situation and decided to sit back and see which side would ultimately prevail.

For more than an hour, the two sides argued vehemently, yet mostly amiably. They did so inside the nave of St. Paul United Methodist Church before an audience of 30 to 40 people, including SCV and NAACP members.
In opening statements, McCombs and Pastor Vincent Ross of Maiden Chapel Baptist Church argued the flag represented a symbol of suppression and mistreatment of African-Americans.
Both McCombs and Ross said they do not argue to have it banned everywhere and that people have a right to display it on private property. But because the parade represents the entire community, including African-Americans within that community, the flag has no place there.

Mr. McCombs and Pastor Ross tells their own wrong-thinking, pro-racist point of view and presents it as the sole perception of that flag by an entire black Southern community. The arrogance of this is of course lost on these gentlemen. Yet it serves as the entire basis of their narrow point of view that the flag does not belong in a veteran's parade. 
I would also add that while the NAACP gives lip-service to the idea that people have the right to display the flag on their private property, I have yet to encounter a news story where the NAACP or any of its allies stand for homeowners targeted by their neighbors and homeowner associations for the display of said flag. Till I do so, I call BS on their claim of respecting the rights of property owners.

“What we would like to happen is you would be sensitive to the perception of the African-American community when it comes to public events or things that represent all people,” Ross said.
“There should be respect for that.”

What about those black Americans who - unlike the NAACP - disagree with sharing the same point of view of that flag as members of white supremacist groups? There is ample evidence that a number of black Southerners and Americans are not offended by the display of that flag - even those who themselves display that flag.
Also what about the respect shown to those Southerners of all races in the current generation who have come to honor the principles of the term: Heritage Not Hate? What about acknowledgment of the efforts over the last three decades on the part of Southern heritage groups to educate and eliminate the ability of hate groups to use that flag wrongly as a tool of intimidation?

There should certainly be respect for THAT! 

After the meeting, Ross recognized the impasse between the two sides as a lack of understanding.
Of course, not as a lack of willingness on the part of the NAACP to even try and look past their own prejudices? 

“I don’t think that they understand the disrespect that the flag (represents),” Ross said. “I think they have good intentions. I don’t think their intention is motivated by racism. But the impact the flag has on our community, it still exists and it will always exist and nothing will change that.”

Nor will it ever really end so long as there are anti-Confederate heritage reactionaries like those in the NAACP who continue to promote and accept the pro-white supremacist misuse of that flag while at the same time failing to acknowledge - even ridiculing and labeling - the more forward-thinking views of modern Confederate heritage defenders. 
Also don't presume that we do not understand how some view that flag. Believe me we do. We are also fighting the moral fight against the ignorance that makes such misguided fear possible, unlike the forces of political correctness who choose to endorse racist thinking by blindly accepting it. 

Mark Nixon and Bill Starnes of the SCV argued the flag does not represent those things.
In the rightful hands of those who truly honor the modern-day living symbolism that flag represents, both Mr. Nixon and Mr. Starnes would be correct. 

Starnes said he came to the meeting because he was hopeful at the idea of starting a dialogue. He said the perception of the flag McCombs and Ross hold is a “false perception based on false history.”
Ever since resolving in 1988 to condemn the misuse of the flag by racist groups and engaging in a righteous war against cultural and racial bigotry, the SCV and other Confederate heritage defenders have reached across the isle to the Opposition in efforts to find common ground and combat our common enemies: namely those who wrongly misuse that flag as a tool of hatred and fear. To date all efforts have not only been rejected - save for those on the terms of "politically correct" idealism that ultimately diminish Confederate heritage - but they have been mocked by the PC Establishment and their lapdogs, good well-meaning people labeled racists and their reputations destroyed all because they fail to be shamed, or to accept the denigration of their ancestry. 

Starnes denies that Confederate soldiers fought to perpetuate slavery.
The Confederate soldier fought solely for his own home, family and honor - same as any other American soldier since the founding of American identity. 

To him, the flag represents courage, valor and honor, he said.
“A devotion to duty, a devotion to home,” he continued. “Not about slavery at all. To me, that flag represents our right to self-government.”
Starnes said he understood how McCombs and Ross view the flag, but that he does not see it as a reason for its exclusion from the parade. 

Nor do I.
“To me, that would be giving in to a false history,” he said. “That would be like saying, ‘I know I’m right, but I want to give in to the lies and the misconceptions.’”

It would be just that sir, and worse. It would be another message to white supremacists and other haters that they can continue to misappropriate a symbol they have no right to without opposition. That will never be acceptable to this blogger, and certainly not acceptable to any true defender of that flag and the Confederate heritage we honor. 

Not surprisingly, the sides did not agree on a common definition for the flag, but said the meeting was still useful.
Indeed it was just that. It shows just how little effort the Opposition is willing to make to truly fight racism as opposed to blindly accepting their own misconceptions and misguided fears. 

“I thought it was helpful to be able to have an honest dialogue, to talk,” Ross said.
For that reason, he was glad he came.
Ross understands that the flag means something different than hate to the SCV.
“But that doesn’t change the perspective that we have of it,” he said.

No I suppose it won't sir. A closed mind is a narrow one. Perspectives can only change if one's heart is open enough to change. I will keep you and those like you in my prayers and hope that someday, if you choose to show good conscience, that reason and common sense will prevail in your hearts. 

Looking ahead, Ross still has hope for a future agreement.
Only if said agreement is fair and acknowledges the efforts of Confederate heritage defenders who have fought so long against ignorance and misconception.

“Hopefully we will get them to understand how serious we are about it,” Ross said. “And hopefully they will someday understand the offense that it is.”

And hopefully we will get the NAACP and its allies to understand how serious WE are about it and how asking us to surrender a living symbol of the South to racists is deeply offensive and disrespectful to us.

McCombs said this meeting was a single step in what he views as a process.

If you truly wish to prove yourselves honorable and worthy of being taken at your word, how about petitioning to have your organization's 1991 resolution abhorring the Confederate battle flag scrapped and removed - preferably with an apology for the vast number of Southern-born people of all races and religions that your organization offended with the terminology used. How about also apologizing for condemning and accusing innocent people as racists and trying to destroy their reputations, if not their very lives? How about apologizing for the toxic rhetoric that has resulted in the latest round of violence over this issue over the summer  and resulted in several murders, including the murder of a black Southern man from Mississippi killed for simply honoring his Southern identity as a free-thinking individual? 
Y'all will forgive me if I say that your "process" let alone progress has a long way to go.

He said the Catawba County NAACP chapter will announce upcoming plans Jan. 18, which is Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

One day before the birthday of Confederate General R.E. Lee. The two purely American banners I fly outside my home will both wave proudly in honor of those two great Southern men. 

At the end, Pastor Willetta Ar-Rahmaan of St. Paul offered a prayer.
“Let us pray,” she said. “Lord God, we just say thank you that we were able to have a conversation that may have never been able to have 50 years ago.”

And Lord, may the ignorance and prejudices of the few and the elitists in this country be struck down by your will and the march of time. 50 years from now, may we look back on this time of political correctness and marvel that thinking people ever choose to blindly follow it over common sense and reason.
May the day come that no Southern born child regardless of the color of their skin need fear the sight of the beautiful blue cross of St. Andrew and white stars lined with white on a red field. The day when the living symbol of the Southland can no longer be credibly carried by prejudiced minds. Give us, your servants and the defenders of the right, the strength to endure the tyranny of political correctness. Give us the victory in your Son Jesus blessed and holy name - AMEN!

To quote actor Tom Hanks as the lead character from the film Forrest Gump: "That's all I have to say about that." 

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