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An Open Report NASCAR / An Open Apology / Theft

On Friday March 15, 2007 Grayson Jennings (Fire Eater # 1) would travel from Richmond, Virginia to the offices of the Southern Legal Resource Center to pick me up and head to Hampton, Georgia where we would began yet another battle in the fight for Southern vindication. This time our battle would be with NASCAR who had bathed themselves in shame with their ugly attempt to discredit the Confederate Battle Flag, and the people of the South who are directly responsible for the fortune and fame made by their organization.

Before I began the report on NASCAR, I must reflect on one of the most honorable ladies of the South that I have ever met. I'm speaking of MS. Coleman, the wife of Elijah Coleman whose home that Grayson and myself would spend the weekend. Ms Coleman, a school teacher at Lindley Middle School right outside of Atlanta had a couple of years back attempted to honor the Black Confederate soldier during so called Black History Month. She prepared a board display that depicted a host of those soldiers and the honorable contributions they made in defense of their homeland, the Southland of America; only to have the display ripped down by her fellow Black school teachers, and whose actions were supported by the Black Principal. Their reasoning was that they found the reference of the soldiers as Negroes to be highly offensive, and that they didn't think that this kind of history should be taught to the children. They further thought that an African dance groups rendition was more appropriate as a Black History moment. Never mind the part that the Africans had in the enslavement of their brothers.

As a man who was born February 18, 1948 , a Negro and Colored, as read on my birth certificate to the proud parents of the Reverend Roland R. and Annabelle Edgerton , and one who has listened many times to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King and many other supposedly great civil rights leaders speak in glowing terms of the Negro ; and furthermore one who sat in the class of Ms. Cannon, my 4th grade school teacher who would explain to us about a phylum; she would say that a phylum was a group (as of people) apparently of common origin. For example: Mongoloid was a member of a racial stock comprising chiefly the peoples of Northern and eastern Asia, Caucasoid, of or relating to the White race, and Negroid, a member of the Black race; as a child of 12 years old as now, I could not understand why in that year I could not refer to myself any longer as Colored and Negro, I had to be an Afro-American, and then all of a sudden, that too was not correct, I had to be an African American. All of this madness to me was a total contradiction of one of my favorite school teachers, and I found it to be both a hypocrisy, and nonsensical , and now a way for those who live in the valley of hate to spread their biased opinions. What those teachers did to Ms Coleman who wanted only to honor a man who had been erased from history along with his noble stand for his homeland is both tragic , shameful, and a testimony to their very own prejudice, bigotry, unchristian, and unknowledgeable behavior. Ms. Coleman for that I am ashamed and deeply apologetic.

Grayson( Fire Eater # 1 ) would hand me a donation of $100 sent by one of my brothers and his wife from Virginia , as we began our journey. He would further indicate that the beautiful flag that he now lay before me was to be given to the patrons at the race track. I was quiet taken back at the idea he would just give such a beautiful flag away. He explained to me his reasoning and that if folks gave a donation, that would be fine,and one in which I could use for my much depleted funds as I closed out my very own campaigns. Upon arriving, MR... Elijah Coleman would present Grayson with another donation of a $100 sent to him for this endeavor with NASCAR, Grayson would promptly hand it over to me indicating that he did not need it, and that I was the one who should have the donation. I must say that at first I had some reservations about just what Grayson had in mind to do at the NASCAR venue on Saturday morning. I never knew that I would be in for one of the most rewarding civil rights efforts that I had not only witnessed, but would be a part of thanks to Grayson.

On Saturday morning Grayson and I would began not only handing out his beautiful flag to the many people gathering at the NASCAR track, but also a Confederate history lesson , and so surprising to me knowledge of what NASCAR and folks like Dale Earhart Jr. had done in their efforts to rid the NASCAR scene of our Southern Banner was vastly unknown to them. Grayson and I spent almost as much time educating the masses as we did handing out the flag. I must again say that what Grayson had masterminded as a drawing card to attract so many people and educate them was becoming more and more to me a great strategy; plus for my efforts, at the end of the day the paltry sum of $110 gathered for this beautiful flag felt like $110 million dollars.

On Sunday morning, we would began in much the same manner with only one exception; unbeknownst to me this would be the day of the Yankee. I would endure their insults and jeers until I began to tire, and slowly I began to loose my Christian ethic. It got worse for my character when on one occasion a Black State Trooper who was stationed where I was crossing the street to resupply my knap sack with flags asked me was I selling the flags, I replied no I wasn't, but I was accepting donations if people offered, and that I had a flag for him if he wanted one. He indicated that he did not, and I replied if he was sure, I could fix him up because his ancestors if he was Southern probably carried the flag. The next time I crossed the street after running out of flags, he and another Trooper who had been very nice to me on another occasion were standing together; the white trooper shouted to me as I crossed some distance to me to halt. He then came over and told me in no uncertain terms that he was tired of crossing the street because their primary duty was to keep the traffic flowing, and not be concerned for my safety of crossing the street, and furthermore that I had to stay on one side or the other. I knew then that with this I could not go back and forth to feel my sack with flags. I found this to be preposterous since most of the time I crossed the street without their help, and there were other people crossing all the time. It did not take a rocket scientist to know that the Black trooper had forged this behavior from the White Officer, and solicited him to do his unholy bidding. From this point the day went straight down hill for me; I had some seriously bad conversation with Mr... Coleman that I regret, and that my mom would have chided me for. IT got even worse when I took all the funds that I had collected and put them in Grayson's truck alongside my cell phone, and he let a damsel who claimed to be in distress because her cell phone had gone dead and needed to charge her phone for a minute or two so she could contact someone in the vast crowd. Grayson opened his truck, turned his back, she stole my phone and the donations I had been given with the exception of a hundred dollar bill given to me by my new found friend Henry who had also driven all the way from Florida to help us in our efforts, and twenty seven one dollar bills that I had exchanged for some bigger bills because I had planned on giving Grayson all the donations; I simply had tired of all the conversation of me being paid for my efforts in this fight. I didn't have the heart to tell Grayson that the young lady had taken the money along with the phone. With all the reconsidering of my decision to hang up my flag, and the wonderful two days of battling , I now began to feel very much so that I am making the right decision to move on.