Thursday, May 27, 2010

African-Americans should speak out

There is no place for the rebel flag on any public school property in Kingsport. The African-American community should be outraged over this issue. This flag represents an example of bigotry, racism and hate that needs to be eradicated once and for all. There are the good old boys and rednecks that will never let go of their past, and like it or not they are in all levels of our government. Kingsport has a very small population of African-Americans, but they need to stand together on this issue and let their voices be heard.
Kingsport is my hometown, but I would never come back there to live. I visit often because my family is there. When I am there, I feel and see the racism. It cannot be denied. It is not alright to fly that flag on a public, taxpayer-supported building.
Margaret Murray
Winslow Township, N.J.

Forget the panel, keep the flag

Re. Rosemary Gray’s letter, no discussion panel is needed for the South High flag issue. Keep the flag — end of discussion. Ole Miss University gave in to all the politically correct garbage, and it should not happen here. Enough is enough. As for G.E. Rogers’ letter, Southern folks do not need him to tell us we lost the war and that we are obese. If fat Southerners waving the Stars and Bars offends him, maybe his profession could take him back to one of those other states.
We in the South surely do not wish to offend anyone, although sometimes the way we are criticized may urge us to keep fighting the war we lost.
Steve Falin

Let South students decide about flag

We know that society changes, yet in the South (secession being the primary cause of the Civil War, not slavery) there will always be noise in the background when it comes to the rebel flag or Confederate battle flag. History is unclear that it ever officially represented the CSA as a nation. It is often incorrectly referred to as the Stars and Bars.
The individual who finds display of the flag as part of a school-sponsored activity at Sullivan South High School offensive is within his or her rights. But the flag that matters in public schools is the U.S. flag that won the Civil War, to which Tennessee teaches the students to pledge allegiance. The noise is unfounded because there is no CSA anymore. The students’ display of the flag is a rallying cry because the football coach says they are going into battle. SSHS, since 1981, has never officially adopted the rebel flag’s use. But school officials have condoned it. Some would say looking the other way is the same thing.
I think the appointed committee should look at this as a teachable moment and let the juniors and seniors decide every two years if they want to change the mascot and flag. That way all students get to vote before they graduate. Replacing the rebel flag with the school flag or the Bonnie Blue flag, which would somewhat match the school colors, would be appeasement. I say keep the rebel flag. In fact, put one on each student’s desk to instill a pride for learning and watch those home team test scores light up the scoreboard.
Earl Johnson
Eidson, Tenn.