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An Open Report / Summertown, Tennessee History Tour
On Saturday morning May 14, 2011 in the beautiful community of Summertown, Tennessee at the Twisting Sticks Trading Post on Highway 20, in Lawrence County at the invitation of the Rawdon-Spears Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, as a part of the Sesquicentennial event of the War Between the States, I would be asked to speak primarily about men like Nim Wilkes, a Black Confederate soldier who right up the road from Summertown in Columbia, had mustered in with the Honorable General Nathan Bedford Forrest and had remained with the General during the whole of the campaign.
However, on Friday, May 13, 2011, The Daily Herald newspaper would carry on its front page an article whose intent was to defame my character and reputation by printing an article laced with lies and distortions based on an interview with the Southern Poverty Law Center's Mark Potok in the year 2007. I would tell Mr. Potok that I left the NAACP in honor, and that the only dis-honor came from the side of the NAACP, and further that if I had the baggage that his organization carries, I would be very careful who I would libel. And, if the supposed journalist, John Thomas, had any media ethics, he would have at least contacted me before printing this sleaze article announcing my coming to the good people of this community.
I know and recognize fear when I see it. There are many like John Thomas who fear the truth that I bring. Their only tactic is name calling and distortions of the truth. The Southern White man who fought under the banner of the Christian Cross of St. Andrew has been stripped of his honor for far too long, and that of those who stood by his side, freed or indentured.
And at the end of the day, I can only thank the many who came out in the cold and drizzle of rain on the Saturday morning of the 14th, and made the visit at Stop #1 to hear the son of former slaves, while sitting at the Table of Brotherhood on the porch of the beautiful Twisting Sticks Trading Post with the sons of former slave owners, talking about the place of honor and dignity earned by a man called slave beside a man that he not only called Master, but family and friend, before, during and after their homeland had been invaded by a man who would work feverishly to destroy the bond of love forged between them in lieu of the economic institution of slavery. And who now in the 21st century runs in fear that all that he has forced asunder with the aid of his poverty pimps has come back to haunt him. It is a formidable task to make Southerners traitors to their homeland.