Date: Sat, Mar 5, 2011
Subject: An Open Letter To Ms. Lunelle / After Hours at the Black Barbershop / Road to the White House
Dear Ms. Lunelle,
The Black Barber Shop that I like to refer to as the University of the Community, and usually has as its Dean the proprietor of the shop. There is generally on certain days a gathering of midddle and upper middle class Black folks after hours, sitting around having conversation about the events of the day.
On this evening when I announced to them that I was seriously contemplating a run for the White House, they knew that I did not jest, and I quickly became the topic of conversation.
HK, one would begin. You do something that not one Southern Politician would have the decency to do, and thats defend all that honor you talk about that is engulfed in that Battle Flag that you carry. John McCain, he went on to say, stood right on the steps of the Capitol in South Carolina, where it all began, and talked down on his own southern ancestors, and the Confederate Cause. Where were the Southern Politicians? Yeah HK, they would all chime in. Mitt Romney sat sharing a glass of the finest champagne with Lindsay Graham after having said of your flag, I wouldn't fly that thing. And went on to drag millions of dollars out of South Carolina in his run for the White House. The state where it all began. Again, yeah, HK! Had it been that old man that beat that Yankee in the Senate with his cane, quipped in the Wino who was present and sober, you know the one I'm talking about HK; he would have beat Romney out of the South.
Yeah HK, you around here wearing that shirt with Nathan Bedford Forrest and them Black Confederate soldiers on it. Yeah he got it on now, again quipped in the wino. Why didn't you send it down to Haley Barbour in Mississippi as one for their license plates. I know why you didn't. Haley Barbour said that he and the Southern Legislatures weren't going to give up their fat cat careers to vote in favor of one of their ancestors that you always defend as being an honorable man. We see just where your Southern politicians are. Wait a minute y'all, quipped in the proprietor who had gone to the cabinet under the mirrors over the work stations and pulled out a book that I had put together about Southern Heritage. HK had some help. Y'all know he going to defend HK, ya'll that his friend went on the wino. Read what you got, they all would shout! He would begin to read:
Rep. John F. Harris, former slave
Republican member, Mississippi House of Representatives
Representing Washington County Vote Bill
To appropriate $10,000 to complete the Confederate Monument
on the Grounds of the State Capitol.
The Clarion Ledger, February 23, 1890
"Mr. Speaker! I have arisen here in my place to offer a few words on the bill. I have come from a sick bed, and was forced to struggle up here leaning on the arm of a friend. I stand here in considerable pain. Perhaps it was not prudent for me to come.
But Sir, I could not rest quietly in my room, sick though I am, and allow this discussion to pass without contributing to it a few remarks of my own.
I was sorry to hear the speech of the young gentleman from Marshall County. I am sorry that any son of a soldier should go on record as opposed to the erection of a monument in honor of the brave dead.
And, sir, I am convinced that had he seen what I saw at Seven Pines and in the seven days fighting around Richmond, the battle fields covered with the mangle forms of those who fought for their country and their country's honor, he would not have made that speech. When the news came that the South was to be invaded those men went forth to fight for what they believed, and made no requests for monuments to commemorate their brave deeds and holy sacrifices. But they died, and their virtues should be remembered.
Sir, I went with them. I, too, wore the gray, the same color that my master wore. We stayed four long years, and if that sad war had gone on till now I would have been there yet. I know what it all meant, and I understand the meaning of my words, when I say that I would have been with my countrymen still had the war continued this good day.
I want to honor those brave men who died for their convictions.
When my mother died I was a boy. Who, sir, then acted the part of a mother to the orphaned slave boy but my "old Missus? -Were she she living now, or could she speak to me from those high realms where are gathered the sainted dead, she would tell me to vote for this bill.
And sir, I shall vote for it. I want it known to all the world that my vote is given in favor of the bill to erect a monument in honor of the brave Confederate dead."
In this spirit, can y'all expect any less of HK, asked the proprietor? Yeah, but he can't make President defending that flag someone said. I then reminded them that a young man set himself on fire in the Middle East, and the walls came tumbling down. And then almost simultaneously they all stood and saluted me echoing the words; Contemplate HK.