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Presidential Debate / South Carolina State University

As I watched this morning the national media reporting of the Presidential debates that took place last evening on the Historic Black University of South Carolina State, I could not help to feel somewhat dejected about their lack of mentioning my presence there as I stood on that campus adorned in the uniform of the Southern Soldier brandishing his glorious Battle Flag, as Al Sharpton who stood less than 30 feet across from me looked on as I was engaging in hundreds, if not thousands of conversations with the babies and members of that University and surrounding community that had come to hear these Presidential debates. There is no doubt in my mind that while they chose this morning to ignore that presence, I and my mission shall be the topic of many a conversation this day.

While the media subject of conversation this morning seems to focus on what the candidates feelings are on the wars being waged in the Middle East ; I can tell you all that the none of those wars are more significant than the Cold War that exists within the borders of this country between the regions called North and South , and the genuine hatred that continues to be bred within these confounds because a man we want to call our brother , as the victor of the greatest conflict that ever faced this nation chose not to heal the wounds that led to our separation, but to develop a plan that would pit a people who had come together to fight him , against each other. That plan would see it's fruition take place with the establishment of the public school system, and the so called Freedman's Bureau , as our children began to have inculcated in their thinking process that they who are Black should hate this terrible man from the South, because after all it was he acting alone who had incarcerated the African people, whipped and worked him merciless all day with no compensation for the misery he caused , and that the young White babies of the South should only remember their ancestors with shame for their part not only in the aforementioned, but also for being outright traitors for their action of succession, and that the only reason for that separation was to maintain the economic institution of slavery, and furthermore that I should be ashamed of coming to a Presidential debate on a Historic Black University , dressed in that uniform, carrying that flag. Remarkably I heard this rhetoric first on this campus, on this night , expressed by a young white boy dressed in a ROTC uniform who also declared that he was born and raised in South Carolina. However, this young man, along with many others I would have to address on these charges knew nothing of the Morrill Act, Abomination Acts, the Union League, the Homestead Act, Reconstruction, or of any of the Black Confederates, civilian or military who had earned a place of honor and dignity alongside that man in the South that he not only called Master, but friend and family. The more I listened to these conversations, the more I thought, boy and this is supposed to be an environment of higher education . However after taking jeers from several passerby's who had not the courage or decency to engage me in civility as they shouted out many expletives that are too bad to mention here, I would be confronted by a young Black man and student of this University, by the name of Beazly Joe McMillan , who presented me with pictures and written information of his Confederate family, and who spoke with pride about his great grandfathers service in the Confederate Army and his loyalty to his Southern family. Thank God for my sanity would find relief as I would hear these kinds of accountings from many more children and adults before this night would end.

When one carries the Christian Cross as much as I do, you become use to hearing or seeing good and bad behavior. However none of the bad behavior stands out more to me than the actions of one of Obama's campaign workers who stood across from me soliciting signatures of support for Obama, and had even asked of me that support along with a reasoning for be being there as I was. A crowd of at least two hundred or more supporters of Obama's, drums beating , placards waving, chanting Obama's name as they approached in my direction heading to the center where the debates were being televised ; one middle aged Black lady would separate herself from the crowd with at least six young Black children, and ask of me as had many others, if I would pose for a picture ? I had already noticed that on each of these occasions, the campaign worker would come over and whisper something to many of these people ; only this time she would tell the lady loudly not to take a picture with me because Mr.. Obama had expressed his personal disdain for the Confederate Flag and did not want anyone carrying his signs or materials seen taking a picture with anyone like me carrying that flag and dressed in that uniform. I told her that she had no right to do what she was doing; her reply was; if you don't like it, then you sue me. I don't know if I have any course of legal redress about her actions , but I know that if Mr.. Obama has workers expressing his policy, then he needs to confirm what they say, and tell the Southern people that this is how he feels, and along with Hillary, Rudi, McCain, and John Edwards , don't expect to carry the Southern vote.

I would be remiss in my duties if I didn't thank all the South Carolina State Troopers and the Security personnel that not only expressed concern for my safety, but went out of their way to insure me that they were at my disposal if I should incur any problems as I expressed my American 1st Amendment Rights on this very important evening. I also want to express a great deal of gratitude to Mr.. Milton McKissick the General manager of the Campus Radio WSSB and his reporter Ms Rosalind Dendy and her son for the warm reception and tremendous acts of kindness shown towards me during our interview. I am also gratified by the overall respect shown to me even from those who were in disagreement of my charge .