Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Blacks forced to fight in Civil War

Those who think African-Americans fought for the Confederacy in the Civil War because they wanted to are so wrong. Why would a black man want to fight a war to keep him in slavery? They were made to be there. They were slaves put out there to do all the dirty work that soldiers did not want to do. What do you think would happen to them if they had refused to fight in a war they didn’t believe in? Was the Confederate soldier fighting for everyone to be free?
I can’t see why so many people are so proud of the fact they wanted to keep people slaves for the rest of their lives. They had no rights and had no life. Slavery was wrong. Blacks were killed, raped, burned alive, homes burned down, children raped and taken from their family to work in your fields. They didn’t even want slaves to know how to read, and if they were seen reading they were killed or beaten. There were masters raping our women and having babies and selling their own children.
Yes, when the slaves were free some stayed because they knew no other life. Some were old and stayed because they were born slaves and had nowhere to go. Some had no names, no education. That was the only life they knew. But thank God for the ones that did. Even after many, many years when we were free, we still were treated like we were not human. Our men and women and children were killed just because of the color of their skin, and to this day we are mistreated because of the color of our skin. So keep on being proud of your Confederate flag, and we will still see no good in it. We have fought for every right we have as a race and will keep fighting.

Lena Rogers

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Most wavers of That Flag are just having fun, but it’s time for it to go


Jim Welch, a Kingsport resident, works in advancing biosafety and biosecurity. E-mail him at

That Flag. To read some responses about That Flag, one would think Creation and/or the existence of America itself depended upon some local high school being able or not being able to use it.
I weighed in years ago about That Flag. I’m proud of my Southern heritage even though mine is mixed. I had relatives from the same state fight on opposite sides. I like to think the Confederate ones weren’t fighting over slavery and the Union ones were. Being a history guy, I can even make a pretty good argument either way. Being a human being, I would more than likely choose the facts that support my beliefs and ignore the others.
I harbor neither ill feelings nor great devotion toward That Flag, but as I wrote in another column several years ago, That Flag was stolen. It was stolen by people who used it to express their hates and prejudices. We let them have it. We let them wave it without a whisper of objection. We didn’t fight them over it, and we certainly failed to publicly scold them. They flew it when they wore their white robes, and they flew it when they wished they had white robes to wear. As a result, many people associate one with the other, and perception is 90 percent of reality.
I think a Rebel is a good thing. That said, I must ask if That Flag is what is so very important about being a Rebel. The Sons of Liberty, America’s original Rebels, had a flag that had nine vertical stripes, alternating red and white ones. The stripes represented the nine colonies that attended the Stamp Act Congress in 1765. Later versions would hold the nine stripes for different reasons, but it’s a cool looking flag.
And what could be cooler than the “Don’t Tread On Me” rattlesnake flag or the Texas independence flag that had a cannon and a lone star on a white background with the taunting words “Come And Take It”?
If we’re Hades-bent on Rebels being the War Between the States kind, then why not fly either the Stars and Bars or the Bonnie Blue? Both are indicative of the same movement without the overtones associated with That Flag. Many — and I dare even say most — of those who sing the “Southern heritage” song in their arguments probably wouldn’t know either the Stars and Bars or the Bonnie Blue if either were flying in front of their face.
What’s more, That Flag was widely regarded as a “battle flag” in that it was troop-carried and very often square in shape. The star-studded St. Andrews cross was often relegated to corners of state flags or unit flags. That said, its use in rallying athletic teams becomes somewhat demeaning to those who fought for it. With the exception of national teams, we don’t go running across fields snapping the flag of the United States because a football team is coming on the field or a volleyball team is coming on the court. The American flag gets its deserved reverence, so those who wish to protect the heritage of That Flag should consider doing likewise if they love it as they say they do.
The real problem is that the use or non-use of That Flag strikes as an argument of political correctness or as another example of the overreaching power of the government. That situation continues to give That Flag new life — especially among those who despise either. They reach for any straw to fly it that much higher and that much more often. The more others lecture them about what they see as the evil the flag represents, the more inclined they are to fly it.
I now look at That Flag in the same way I see those horns people are blowing at the World Cup games. Each is irritating in its own way, but most people are just having a good time. Eventually, the students at the school who fly That Flag will grow tired of it and realize that the time has come to give That Flag the proper burial it deserves.


A new Publix supermarket opened in Morristown, TN. It has an automatic water mister to keep the produce fresh. Just before it goes on, you hear the distant sound of thunder and the smell of fresh rain.

When you pass the milk cases, you hear cows mooing and you experience the scent of fresh cut hay.

In the meat department there is the aroma of charcoal grilled steaks and brats.

In the liquor department, the fresh, clean, crisp smell of tapped Miller Lite.

When you approach the egg case, you hear hens cluck and cackle and the air is filled with the pleasing aroma of bacon and eggs frying.

The bread department features the tantalizing smell of fresh baked bread & cookies.

I don't buy toilet paper there anymore!
Financial Educators
Dee Lee

We can continue to reap profits from the Blacks without the effort of physical slavery. Look at the current methods of containment that they use on themselves: IGNORANCE, GREED, and SELFISHNESS.

Their IGNORANCE is the primary weapon of containment. A great man once said, 'The best way to hide something from Black people is to put it in a book..' We now live in the Information Age. They have gained the opportunity to read any book on any subject through the efforts of their fight for freedom, yet they refuse to read. There are numerous books readily available at Borders, Barnes &Noble, and , not to mention their own Black Bookstores that provide solid blueprints to reach economic equality (which should have been their fight all along), but few read consistently, if at all.

GREED is another powerful weapon of containment. Blacks, since the abolition of slavery, have had large amounts of money at their disposal. Last year they spent 10 billion dollars during Christmas, out of their 450 billion dollars in total yearly income (2.22%).

Any of us can use them as our target market, for any business venture we care to dream up, no matter how outlandish, they will buy into it.. Being primarily a consumer people, they function totally by greed. They continually want more, with little thought for saving or investing.

They would rather buy some new sneaker than invest in starting a business. Some even neglect their children to have the latest Tommy or FUBU, and they still think that having a Mercedes, and a big house gives them 'Status' or that they have achieved their Dream.

They are fools! The vast majority of their people are still in poverty because their greed holds them back from collectively making better communities.

With the help of BET, and the rest of their black media that often broadcasts destructive images into their own homes, we will continue to see huge profits like those of Tommy and Nike. (Tommy Hilfiger has even jeered them, saying he doesn't want their money, and look at how the fools spend more with him than ever before!). They'll continue to show off to each other while we build solid communities with the profits from our businesses that we market to them.

SELFISHNESS, ingrained in their minds through slavery, is one of the major ways we can continue to contain them. One of their own, Dubois said that there was an innate division in their culture. A 'Talented Tenth' he called it. He was correct in his deduction that there are segments of their culture that has achieved some 'form' of success.

However, that segment missed the fullness of his work. They didn't read that the 'Talented Tenth' was then responsible to aid The Non-Talented Ninety Percent in achieving a better life. Instead, that segment has created another class, a Buppie class that looks down on their people or aids them in a condescending manner. They will never achieve what we have. Their selfishness does not allow them to be able to work together on any project or endeavor of substance. When they do get together, their selfishness lets their egos get in the way of their goal Their so-called help organizations seem to only want to promote their name without making any real change in their community.

They are content to sit in conferences and conventions in our hotels, and talk about what they will do, while they award plaques to the best speakers, not to the best doers. Is there no end to their selfishness? They steadfastly refuse to see that T ogether E ach A chieves M ore (TEAM)..

They do not understand that they are no better than each other because of what they own, as a matter of fact, most of those Buppies are but one or two pay checks away from poverty. All of which is under the control of our pens in our offices and our rooms.

Yes, we will continue to contain them as long as they refuse to read, continue to buy anything they want, and keep thinking they are 'helping' their communities by paying dues to organizations which do little other than hold lavish conventions in our hotels. By the way, don't worry about any of them reading this letter, remember, 'THEY DON'T READ!!!!

(Prove them wrong. Please pass this on! After Reading )

Friday, June 18, 2010

Truth behind rebel flag isn’t pretty

The rebel flag was created in a time that denigrated many; it symbolized the acceptance of slavery. My personal experience with the rebel flag as a former D-B student and parent to both a past and present D-B student is negative. Some that attend ball games and those who ride past the front of D-B waving the rebel flag are not displaying pride in their “heritage” or school. They are insulting black students with harmful words (as well as any friends that are with them) and actions. Two years ago, on a D-B, South game day, I witnessed a South student drive slowly in front of D-B waving the rebel flag from his vehicle. When the South student saw a black D-B student ride by, he threw trash at his vehicle. Heritage? Yes, one of continued hatred and ignorance.
The rebel flag is a symbol of a past I would never want to take pride in. I would hope parents, teachers and authority figures would be more open to teaching their children and opening their eyes to the value of all life, no matter the color of one’s skin, economic status, or worldly possessions.
Amy McAtee

Friday, June 11, 2010

Flag inspires mixed emotions

I have been following the letters pertaining to the use of the Confederate flag at South High School with interest. As a 63-year-old white male growing up in the South, I came to have conflicting opinions about displaying the flag. While it serves as reminder of the heroism and sacrifice of both Union and Confederate soldiers at Bull Run, Chancellorsville, Chickamauga, Gettysburg and other Civil War battles, it also brings to mind some despicable actions: the 1958 Clinton High School bombing, the 1963 Birmingham church bombing that killed four young girls, George Wallace blocking the schoolhouse door in Tuscaloosa in 1963, Lester Maddox and his axe handles at the Pickrick Restaurant in 1964, the 1968 assassination of Martin Luther King and decades of discrimination.
As a citizen, you have the absolute First Amendment right to display the Confederate flag if you so desire. However, I am not so sure that the mixed reactions to the flag make it a fit symbol to be displayed at a high school event.
James Lee

Thursday, June 10, 2010

This one is for you my Brother: Happy Brother's Day!


Be the kind of man that when your feet hit the floor each morning the devil says "Oh Crap, he's up!" Brother, life is too short to wake up with regrets. So love the people who treat you right. Love the ones who don't just because you can. Believe everything happens for a reason. If you get a second chance, grab it with both hands. If it changes your life, let it. Kiss slowly. Forgive quickly. God never said life would be easy. He just promised it would be worth it. Today is Brother's day, send this to all your brothers, fathers, sons. If you get back 7, you are loved. Happy Brothers Day! I LOVE YA BROTHA'!!! To the cool men that have touched my life. Here's to you!! A real Brother walks with you when the rest of the world walks on.
Send this to all your Brothers because the fake ones won't.
Rebel flag doesn’t inspire everyone

What is it with school officials at South allowing the display of the Confederate flag and mascot for so long? When some of us were more complacent than we should have been, there were lots of incidents involving the display of what some now are claiming is their Southern heritage. Just the other day, I had the glorious opportunity to travel behind an old pickup truck with an over-sized Confederate flag flown from the back and smaller flags on bumper as well. Needless to say I was thrilled when I had to turn the opposite way of that display of Southern “pride.” Would there be a person of German descent waving a flag bearing a swastika? Both are failed ideas from eras past. They certainly cannot think of themselves as patriotic Americans waving a flag of the government that lost in one of our most vile and deadly wars. The federal government does not allow the Confederate flag to fly on federal buildings, and the same should apply to schools.
No one denies anyone the right to personally fly the flag of your choice in your home or on your property. I don’t have a problem with the Confederate flags I’ve seen in official places — carefully placed as part of Civil War memorials, for instance. I’ve even seen them flying in some states at city halls and statehouses and on the lawns where there’s a plaque about the Civil War. I can live with that. That acknowledges history while not expressing explicit state support of the Confederacy. The Confederate flag is not a symbol of Southern heritage. A flag should be a symbol that everyone looks upon with the same stirring feelings of shared beliefs and shared commitment. Clearly, not all the students can look upon the Confederate flag with the same shared feelings.
Linda C. Bly

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Celebrate the South’s heritage

Whether or not the Confederate flag is racist is perception. Everything in the world is based on perception: right and wrong, truth and deception, good and evil. If you take the flag offensively, maybe you’re just self-conscious about your heritage. Heritage is to be embraced and, more importantly, understood. There were approximately 50,000 African-Americans who served willingly as Confederate soldiers during the Civil War. Almost four million blacks stayed on plantations by their free will. They supported the Confederate Army by providing them with food and supplies.
The Confederate flag stands for anyone in favor of the Southern states. America can’t go around catering to every single person’s opinion. So let’s just stick to the South’s heritage. Let the Stars and Bars fly high with rebel pride.
Heather Johnson

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Flag a positive and negative symbol

I think it’s important to note the rebel flag elicits strong negative and positive emotions. The folks on the positive side are often Caucasian from the South and see the flag as a symbol of their right to assert themselves in the name of their heritage. It is a regional symbol of pride for many people. The flag represents a memorial to the many people that died fighting honorably in the South for their country. Unfortunately, folks on the negative side are often in shock when they see it because it elicits an intense, strong, paralyzing sense of dread and instantaneous fear. I don’t think oftentimes those on the side of promoting the rebel flag as a symbol of our Southern heritage understand what the rebel flag represents to a significant number of people of all races in the rest of the country. It’s a symbol of terror for some people that has been passed down for generations just as much as any other symbol of terror like a satanic symbol or skull and cross bones. Obviously some symbols are going to represent different things to different people. So the question becomes if for one set of people it represents a heritage that they love and adore and to another set of people it is a terrorist symbol, whose rights are going to be denied? No one’s rights are going to be denied (hopefully) in this country because of free speech. But let’s ask ourselves, what would Jesus do?

Tracy White Kingsport
Don’t use flag for frivolous purposes

As a native Virginian, a student of the Civil War, a descendant of three Confederate great-great-grandfathers, a rebel re-enactor for 10 years, and someone whose last request is to be buried in a grey wool uniform, I have been troubled by the battle flag being used at football games and flaunted in the beds of pickup trucks. Compared to the bloody horrors of a Civil War battlefield, a football game is an insignificant and frivolous event. Using the same flag that flew over our gallant, brave, and heroic ancestors as they were being killed by the thousands to urge on a football team only trivializes that flag. Our flag certainly should never be used by those who would substitute it for their clenched fist in the faces of our African-American brethren. Both actions denigrate our colors.
All Confederate flags should be treated with reverence and flown only in historical settings: Civil War battlefields and re-enactments, Sons of Confederate Veterans programs and meetings, on graves, in museums and individual homes, etc. We should do this not because we are forced to do so, but because I believe our ancestors, who loved that flag and who suffered and died while following it, would want us to treat it with the utmost honor, dignity, and respect. If we don’t treat and think about our flag in this manner, how can we expect others to do so? Robert Vanover Kingsport

Everyone is a rebel from time to time

In view of the recent comments about the rebel flag, people will complain about anything because they are never satisfied. (I know a few who are like that.) I don’t see anything wrong about the flag. It is the name of teams at school. The rebel flag represents rebellion, mostly from young people. Whether it be from teachers or parents, or even people we work with, we all rebel against something from time to time. Parents that are strict will tell their teenage children not to drink. But nine out of 10 kids will do it anyway. This is a form of rebellion just to spite their strict parents. Teachers will tell people not to talk or throw things in class. They will do it anyway just to spite the teachers. When people go against other people’s wishes, it is rebellion just like the school; they are called rebels, so the rebel flag represents the teachers and the student body. Eddie Holdway Big Stone Gap, Va.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Flag backers should not be insensitive

Every year there is a discussion in this paper regarding use of the song “Dixie” or public displaying of the Confederate flag. If this behavior causes people to feel unhappy and insulted, then there is a problem. The main cause of the Civil War was to preserve the Union. There were many reasons people entered that war. The existence of slavery was one of the biggest. It is embarrassing that people assert symbols that are known to hurt others unnecessarily. The United States was preserved and has become a great nation. All 50 states play a role in the function of government responsibilities. This is a great country with many serious problems. It is important to put our intelligence into solving those problems and stop entertaining ourselves with insensitive incidences and behaviors related to holding human beings in slavery because of the color of their skin whether it was the cause or a side effect of a horrible war. The Civil War has been over for almost 150 years. My great-grandfather was in the Union Army. We don’t feel the urge to fly a flag or sing a particular song if to do so would hurt others’ feelings. We do feel the urge to make ourselves informed about what is happening in the world and do what we can to help.
Sue Ella Kobak
Pennington Gap, Va.

Flag will fly for next 100 years

I defend the right to fly the Confederate flag at Sullivan South High School and anywhere throughout the South.
Tennessee fought for the South in the Civil War, and this is still Southern land. They have no right to take down any rebel flag below the Mason-Dixon Line. This flag has flown over the South for over 100 years and will fly for the next 100. I have a rebel flag flying at my house.
Johnny D. Bowen
Nickelsville, Va.

Ban rebel flag? Then ban U.S. flag too

It is incredible that at a time when we have elected an African-American to the presidency, we are still mired in this issue over symbolism and racism at Sullivan South. If someone actually complained about the rebel flag, perhaps it was white supremacy and not so much the flag itself. Are we still the same people who came from England and uprooted a whole society just to serve our own selfish need? If we are, ban the flag. If not, then counsel the students or whoever caused the complaint and be done with it. Address the real issue. We have already taken the Pledge of Allegiance, God, and everything else from schools. Take all the symbolism too. Why not? I believe that all of us would agree (unless we are KKK or neo-Nazi) that slavery was wrong. When the first settlers came to America, America already had residents. The First Nations, the Native Americans, were basically taken over by these intruders.
I am a proud American; much of my family has served or is actively serving in the armed forces. If we are going to ban flying that flag, we might as well ban our own American flag. The Confederate flag was a symbol of white supremacy. The American flag is a symbol of superiority. I refuse to put such a weight on something that is but a symbol of people’s ideals. South should not ban its athletic symbol if it does not ban the American flag too.
Tracy Boggs
Pound, Va.