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The Standing Stone Festival / An Open Report
At the invitation of the Sons of Confederate Veterans Champ Ferguson Camp #2014 and the City of Monterey, Tennessee, I would attend the Annual Standing Stone Day Festival on Saturday October 11, 2008. I hope that Commander Ken Tyler of the Sons and the officials of Monterey are not disappointed that I missed the train that I was to board and speak to approximately 575 people did not happened due in part that the train departed some 15 minutes early from the Cookeville Depot as we watched helplessly from a red light as it pulled out of the station. Had I not been deterred for some 20 minutes as I signed and autographed the infamous Dixie Outfitters shirts that I carry for a group of young children that had gathered under a tent where the Ladies of the Tennessee Order of Confederate Rose would so graciously allow me to share with them and the Sons.
All would not be loss. I would be whisked back to Monterey moments before the train arrived. I would give the Conductor a serious tongue lashing for not waiting a mere 30 seconds for us before leaving the Cookeville Station and then join in with the Confederates as a Color Bearer for the Battle that would take place at the Monterey Depot. After a Confederate victory, I would take the stage and deliver the following speech as well as I can recount it because I unfortunately dropped the one that I had prepared on the floor of my car after accusing someone of removing it from the book that I thought I had placed it in:
After having visited a church down South, a Northern preacher stands in his pulpit and recalls what he had witnessed. I tell youíse those folks down South are loosing their minds. Not only do they allow their Niggahs to talk back to them. They are taking them to church and teaching them from the bible. I tell you it is dangerous.
On the same proceeding Monday morning, as Ben Johnson worked alongside his slaves in the cotton fields of his Alabama plantation, he noticed that there was something solemn about the demeanor of young slave Jedadiah, a favorite of his who was always full of cheer and laughter . Concerned he asked of the young slave, was there something troubling him? The young slave would reply. Master Ben, I donít mean no disrespect, but us darkies been wondering if we gonna ever have one of those messiahs like that Moses and be free. I wants to be free one day sir. Ben would put down his digging tool and ask the young slave to come and sit a spell with him. As they sat under the shade tree, Ben would tell the young slave that freedom is not free. Look at your people. Yes they are working hard, but you remember yesterday when Sam Williams come round here with that wagon load of new britches and shoes for everybody. Most free folk canít afford that every year . If you get sick Jed, the same doctor that me and the Missus and them younglings of mine come treat you. That house that you and your mammy stay in is better than most free white folk live in for miles around here, and certainly better than the free black folks that you wave at when you go to town on Saturday night. Jed if I set you free tonight , you wouldnít be equal to the poorest white man for a hundred miles, and I donít mean because of the color of your skin. If you donít have some property, a house to live in, money to buy seed for your crop or to pay somebody to help you till your soil, the ability to read, write and count to keep the thieves and arguably those who claim to be Christian from robbing you, a trade to work; then you ainít free, or equal. You see old Ben over there in the Blacksmith shop. He has been free for over ten years now, but he wonít leave here. I cut out three hundred acres for him and give him a passle of money and three slaves of his own. He says that his mammy named him after me and that we are family, and we are. Jed, you keeping working hard, stay respectful , and learn a trade around here and when you are ready , I will do my part to help you with the things that will truly make you free.
Up until the very days before Lincoln would set about the events that would lead to the War between the States, all over the South and especially in the Commonwealth of Virginia, Christian White men were working very hard on the very things that Ben Johnson had espoused to his young servant Jedadiah that the Africans would need to be set free.
Right down the road at the historical re-enactment of the Battle of Chickamauga two weeks ago, I would tell those babies who had been reported as standing in so called awe of Abe Lincoln and virtually ignoring the Honorable General Robert E. Lee who had shared the same tent with him, how the people of South Carolina had threatened nullification because of the illicit tariff increases that almost bankrupted the South and why they were so against Lincoln because he had campaigned in support of the Morrill Act that would reflect the same. I told those babies how Lincoln had signed and supported the Corwin Amendment that in part said that if the South would agree to the tax increases laid out in it; that no Amendment shall be made which will authorize or give to Congress the power to abolish or to interfere will the economic institution of Southern Slavery. The South said no. I would tell those babies how Lincoln had endorsed a total war policy upon the innocent men, women and children as his men looted, raped, burned and murdered in a manner that would have been seen as despicable to barbarians. I told those babies how the much acclaimed Emancipation Proclamation had been reported in a letter to Secretary of Treasury, Salmon P. Chase on September 3, 1863 by Lincoln had no constitutional or legal justification except as a war measure.
Then came the great war. After the battle of First Manassas or first Bull Run depending on where one hails from. The similarities of the Stars and Bars warranted that a new Flag be found. After much debate the design became modeled after the Christian Cross of St. Andrew. The Southern men remembered the origins of this Christian Flag: The year was 69 AD in a place called Pretoria, Greece, then a part of communist Russia. 89 years old, Andrew, the first Apostle of Jesus Christ, stood around preaching about his Lord and Master Jesus Christ. Andrew would be approached by a Persecutor who would retort :Ē boy , we ainít going to have you around here preaching about no Jesus Christ and if you continue to do so, Iím going to nail you to a cross just like he was nailed. Andrew would reply. I am not worthy to be placed on that cross like my Master like the Latin T. If you have to put me up there, then just string me up there in the form of an X. Andrew knew that the X was a honorable symbol and the Greek depiction of Chi . The Persecutor obliged Andrew, and for three days on Andrew preached; our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name he said. Until finally those who had gathered around begged that he be released. He was taken down and died. Many years later his bones would be discovered and Constantine would send them back to Andrewís home in Scotland where Andrew would be hailed as a martyr and soon after the birth of his flag. The Christian Cross of Saint Andrew bearing the position that he was placed on the cross at the time of his death. Thus the men of the south adopted a version of Andrewís flag as their own as has many a nation to symbolize a Christian people and their Christian cause.
Then there was the N.A.A.C.P.. Early 90ís, doors about to close because of financial problems, in bad need of some cause that would garner support for their now depleted coffers. What are we going to do cried the Blacks? We are the oldest Civil Rights organization in the nation and an icon in the Black community. The White men who inevitably ran and set on the Board of Directors retorted; we have plenty of money. We will help you, if you will help us. We are tired of sending our children down South to places like Ole Miss, having them have to listen to that band playing Dixie, and we are tired of sending our corporate workers to the South, having to look at that flag. We as White men canít attack that flag, but all you have to do is say slavery and the Black folks will. Like a slithering snake, Julian Bond and those White folks who run the organization would go behind closed doors and come back with: The 1991 N.A.A.C.P. Confederate Flag Resolution, Resolution Abhorring the Confederate Battle Flag;
Whereas, the tyrannical evil symbolized in the Confederate Battle flag is an abhorrence to all Americans and decent people of this country, and indeed, the world and is an odious blight upon the universe; and,
Whereas, African- Americans, had no voice, no consultation, no concurrence, no commonality, not in fact nor philosophy, in the vile conception of the Confederate flag or state Flags containing the ugly symbol of idiotic White supremacy, racism and denigration; and,
Whereas, we adamantly reject the notion that African-Americans should accept this flag for any stretch of imagination or approve its presence on the State Flags;
Now Therefore Be It Resolved, that the National Office of the NAACP and all units commit their legal resources to the removal of the Confederate Flag from all public properties.
At the 100 year celebration of Asheville School, I would ask the Honorable Andrew Young about this hog wash, and he would tell me and a packed house. Doctor King had been asked by one of his lower lieutenants , Jesse Jackson and even Rev. Abernathy, to attack the Flag. Doctor Kingís reply he said, was to leave it alone. Letís do something about the things we can do something about. Our babies standing on the corners with their pants hanging down, dealing dope, canít vote , with no hope, social vertical mobility for women in the work place, affordable housing, education and good jobs. Doctor King knew that far too many Southerners , Red, Yellow, Black and White had earned a place of honor and dignity under the Christian Cross of St. Andrew , only to have the unholy attempts to place it asunder during the period of so called Reconstruction , with the very same Northern modus operandi in place in his day . He also knew that if his dream that one day that the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners sitting at the table of brotherhood could not and would not be achieved if you attacked the symbol of the South. The so called leaders of the N.A.A.C.P. refrained from heeding Doctor Kingís warning and banked on making the Southern Blacks traitors of their homeland and continue to dupe them as the public school system has done since its inception into the South in 1865 with the Northern Federal sponsored school teachers and their plan to divide Southern Whites and Blacks.
How can I, a loyal Southern Black , turn my back on General Stonewall Jackson? A man and his wife in their hometown of Lexington, Virginia, leading citizens, when it was illegal to teach the African slave to read and write; open up a school in their very own church for my ancestors, teaching them to do so? How can I, a loyal southern Black, turn my back on General Nathan Bedford Forrest ? A man albeit a slave trader who was asked on many, many occasion by some poor African slave whose wife, husband, or child had been bought and sent to some far off place; ask of General Forrest to please bring them back. Not once did he refuse. His only reply was to saddle up my horse, and hundreds of times he would ride off and even not needing the slave, with his own money, purchase and bring the slave back to his family. How can I, a loyal Southern Black, turn my back on General Robert E. Lee who would free all the African slaves that he inherited from his wifeís parents, and not one would leave his care. How can I turn my back on the legacy of all the loyal African slaves who on plantations across the South made the implements of war, provided the food stuffs for the beleaguered Southern army, stayed at home and protected the home places while the men were away? How can I, a loyal Southern Black, turn my back on the Black men (Arnold Polk- Bedford County, Tennessee), (Ben Davis Ė Shelby County, Tennessee), (Thornton Forrest Ė Fayette County, Tennessee),(Jones Greer Ė Monroe County, Tennessee ), (Frank Russell Ė Williamson County, Tennessee), (Cal Sharpe Ė Hickman County, Tennessee), (Nim Wilkes Ė Maury County, Tennessee) and a host of others who had rode with General Forrest as a so called Black Politician down the road in Memphis had done as continues to lead the public desecration of Forrest Park and the memory of a man who lauded the memory of his Black Confederates. How could I look my dear friend and Brother, the Honorable Nelson Winbush in the eye, whose very own Grandfather Napoleon Nelson also rode with Forrest a man who is oft times referred to as the first civil rights leader of Black people in the great State of Tennessee?
There is something wrong when a young man right up the road in Knoxville, speaking of young Tommy Defoe, gets expelled over 13 times for wearing the Southern Cross and when he proves to a trial jury that the parameters of the landmark Supreme Court Case, Tinker vs. the D., Iowa School District warrant a verdict in his favor because no disturbance or likelihood of one occurring can be proven by those he sued ends in a hung jury as the instruction of the Judge to try the case based on law and personal bias is ignored by one juror.
There is something wrong when right down the road in Memphis when a young man from Mississippi (Paul McClaren) is wrongfully fired from his place of employment for having on his car a legally State issued license plate from the great State of Mississippi and a plate that bears the Christian Cross that was prominently displayed when the walls that separated East and West Berlin came tumbling down, when succession was discussed in the provinces of Canada , the same State Flag that flew in a much seen photograph with President Bush and the Pope, the same flag that many a Vietnam American war Veteran was glad to see flying when he came out of the jungle in Nam, the same flag that Brave Heart like so many who have fought the injustices of tyranny have, like the honorable men and women of the South, so loved because their ancestors made a stand right here in Dixieland because their home had been invaded.
I would ask those gathered to visit my website, www.southernheritage411.com. Please give a donation to help support the cause that I now fight so very hard for and to visit my table where they would find the historic shirts from the Dixie Outfitters Black History series; ones that had young Tommy and so many other young Whites had in their wardrobe, it would have made it easier and easier for the Southern Legal Resource Center to defend them when they enter these hostile judicial confines. After much adieu, I would journey home. May God bless Commander Ken Tyler and his father for their kind hospitality.