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The White House and the President
Last weekend at the Historical Re-enactment of the Battle of Morristown, a young student asked me, what would I have said to the President if he had agreed to see me ? I don't think that the real answer would come to me until I received a telephone call yesterday from a highly respected gentleman from Carter County Tennessee who had attended the Memorial Service of my dear friend Commander Jim Maddox . He would indicate to me that his son who is in the United States Army, had been summoned to the Military Police Station , and upon arriving was questioned by two gentlemen dress in civilian clothing, about the racist organization that he was a member of as indicated by the certificate on his living room wall signed by the Honorable Ron Wilson , Commander of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. The young mans living quarters are military housing, and Mr.. Wilson is now the past Commander of the Sons and the certificate in question just happened to be his membership certificate indicating that he was indeed enjoined in the Sons of Confederate Veterans. I asked the gentleman to refer this matter to the Southern Legal Resource Center, but he was afraid that it would probably cause his son more suffering from his superiors if he were to do so. I might add that he is correct in this summation. However, some place, some time, and someone in the military must have the courage to make a stand.
If this President had the courage to face me, I would tell him, Mr.. President no true Southerner would have ever defamed the memory and name of the Honorable General Robert E. Lee , as was done when the Confederate Seal and the plaque that General Lee signed commemorating the service that the men of Texas made in defense of the Southland of America was removed in the dark of the night by members of your very own staff while you were Governor of the Republic of Texas. Mr.. President I would tell him, the United States Congress declared that the Confederate Flag is and should be observed as a venerated symbol. However, as the Commanding Chief of the Arm Forces, there are those under your command who would see it and act upon it differently as they subject young men and women from the region of the South who choose to honor and be proud of their ancestral symbol with the utmost indignities. More than often these proud patriotic soldiers are told that they are racist and must remove any vestiges of this symbol. I would remind him that the United States soldiers who were not allowed to carry the Star and Stripes in the Korean War because it was a United Nations conflict, carried the Southern Cross. I would remind him that the Honorable President Ronald Regan did not seem to mind it's presence at the Berlin Wall when it came tumbling down. I would remind the President that during the Viet Nam War, many an American soldier, Red, Yellow, Black and White were more than gratified to see it flying when they existed the boondocks of that country. I would tell the President that the regional and racial divide could be ended in this country if he had the courage to step over to his Education Secretaries office and demand that a reasonable facsimile of the truth be told to our children about the events and causes that led an honorable people to legally separate itself from the accord that bound them together as a nation. I would tell the President that this nation should make amends to the people of the South who had their families fortunes stolen and plundered by the carpetbaggers and subjugated by corrupt military rule should be compensated. Lastly I would tell the President that just maybe if he used his influences with Hollywood to tell the stories of the many Africans who earned a place of honor and dignity in service to the building of this nation under not only the Star and Stripes , but also under the banner of the Southern Cross alongside that man he not only called Master, but family and friend, in lieu of the economic institution of slavery , then just maybe our country would be on the way to healing itself from the perpetual animosities that continue to plague the regions of our country known as the South and the North.