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An Open Report / March 23, 2008

Early Easter Sunday morning, March 23rd, 2008 a day before the birthday of my dear mother, I would listen to an interview conducted by the reporters of Fox news to a one Bishop Eddie Long of Atlanta. They talked about many things; being honest about race, about the forty thousand people who would on that day fill the Georgia dome in the city that with the blessings of Abraham Lincoln , William T. Sherman would burn; to hear his sermon, and it being the chance of them coming together to be a better nation. Yet I could not help but to wonder if the good Bishop who proclaimed that he was to give a Christian message to politicians, and a variety of people from all walks of life would remember that it was Confederates like the Honorable Rev. R.L. Dabney from Prince Edward County Virginia , or for that matter, the Honorable General Thomas Stonewall Jackson who in Lexington, Virginia would bring the Black man in America to the moment of Christianity. I think not. After all it was the very same journalist who would continue to tout a message on race given by a man , a mulatto, from Lincolnís Illinois whose father is African and mother, a Northern white woman whose mother though afraid of Black men would raise him. Furthermore, a man who would sit and listen to the ramblings of a man whose rhetoric would make the ranting of any bigot I ever heard minuscule in comparison. For me Fox News like so many in this nation, while their intentions might be honorable as they seek solutions to what they feel are issues of race divide have become bamboozled by historic distorted rhetoric taught in the public school system, and lack the fortitude to face the real reasons and facts that divided and placed asunder the love that existed between a people of the region of the country called the South; one called master and the other called slave.

I would adorn the uniform of the Southern soldier, while brandishing his glorious flag and station myself at the top of the road that leads to the church that would deny my dear mother a Christian service at the time of her burial as she was honored by her Southern family as the only Black woman to ever be given a Confederate State Funeral. My mom full well understood that the White man of the south was prepared to do right by the Black man after the great war, even though he had meager resources left after Sherman and Lincolnís total war policy of burning, killing of animals and looting that left them destitute. She taught us that two wrongs donít make a right, and that the use of the Black man against the White man during so called Reconstruction was the underlying cause of all the hate that we faced. She taught her children to embrace their Southern heritage, and talked of the day of not only vindication for the South, but also for a man who was called slave who had earned a place of honor alongside a man he called master, family and friend. The irony of the day is that I would be given a grand salute by the driver of the church van that carried many to this church on this Easter day!