THE CONFEDERATE FLAG - THE REAL ISSUE
I have watched the controversy over the flying of the Confederate Flag over our State Capitol with increasing concern. Perhaps this is not my battle to fight, for I was born and raised 800 miles north of SC. When I chose to relocate here, I also chose to adopt the people, culture, and heritage of this state as my own.
I've often heard it said that "Southerners hate the race but love the individual; Northerners love the race but hate the individual". Having spent the first 40-odd years of my life in the North, I can only add "Amen" to the latter part of that statement. In truth, racism, discrimination, and division are much more serious problems in the North than in the South. I therefore find it abhorrent that once again the carpetbaggers are bent on destroying everything that makes the South unique and wonderful.
I read in the news today that one person from North Carolina who attended the flag protest vowed to remain hungry and thirsty until he crossed the South Carolina border. This was his way to avoid supporting the economy of our state. Indeed, I would ask, what business is it of his anyway? He is not a resident of this state, our flag does not fly over his Capitol - so what is his stake in all of this? This is not a burning cross. This is not a lynch mob at the door. This is not being forced to the back of the bus or to a segregated drinking fountain. This is a piece of South Carolina heritage and the issue for blacks exists only because the NAACP has convinced them that it's an issue! What has the NAACP become? A group whose lifeblood is drawn from the misery it creates in the black community. People love to feel sorry for themselves - it gives them justification for not trying!
I will tell you what I have learned in my nearly one-half century on this earth about the cause of continued racial strife. I grew up during the civil rights era. Progress was made with lightening speed during that time (it's all relative if you consider the history of this nation). Blacks worked hard, as did all minorities, to become integrated into mainstream society. Education was stressed as a way out of poverty, and in my career as a scientist I have worked with those who personified the best the black community had to offer. Somewhere along the way, the black community took a wrong turn and decided to implement its own "separate but equal" policy.
It's easy to make excuses. It's easy to take the path of least resistance. While I applaud the work that men like Martin Luther King and Jack Kennedy did, men who chose paths less traveled and made positive inroads toward the integration of blacks into mainstream America, I have nothing but disdain for their successors. Instead of building upon the hard work and blood of those who insisted on equal rights for all, the new black leadership has played the oppression/repression card until it's worn a hole through the very fiber of that same black community.
Who is pushing the blacks to raise their sights above the horizon and set an upwardly mobile path? What the black community has been saddled with are the Al Sharptons and Jesse Jacksons and the NAACP and all the others whose livelihood and position hinges on creating problems to "solve". Instead of looking inward and focusing on real - drugs, crime, poverty, illegitimacy and ignorance - they point a finger at the Confederate Flag and cry "Foul!" (I would remind you that they also point the same accusatory finger at white Northerners - people whose ancestors marched off to war, fought and died for what they believed was the freedom of these same blacks' ancestors. Do I dislike blacks? No - it is black leadership's penchant for fostering schism and then benefiting from its creation that is repugnant to me.) Where is the hue and cry over the fact that 57% of the crime in this nation is perpetrated by that same 12% minority - and that 98% of the crime against blacks is committed by blacks? Those are the issues that the black community needs to deal with, for those are the true problems they face. The only time I've heard those numbers addressed was during an attempt to relate those statistics to oppression by whites!
The flying of the Confederate Flag is an issue created and fueled by those who are looking for a scapegoat. It is easier to blame than it is to take responsibility. It is about to become a rallying cry for states' rights. The business of flying the Confederate Flag over the Capitol is our business - not the business of outsiders, not the business of the president, not the business of presidential debate participants - and certainly not the business of the NAACP which should be working on more serious issues in the black community!