In an op-ed posted Friday by CNS news, the America country music legend paid tribute first to the people of Charleston, S.C., and his admiration for the victims of the June 17 mass murder that killed nine people at a Bible study class.
When I saw the pictures of the people who had been murdered, I made the statement, “I know these people,” which I didn’t mean literally, but figuratively. They were the kind of Christian people I have been around all my life – worked with and sat in the pews of churches with – salt of the earth folks, who not only professed to know the Lord Jesus Christ, but lived their faith every day of their lives.
These are the kind of people you want to have praying for you, the kind who know how to put their arms around a hurting person and comfort and console. They are the kind of people who raised their families to turn to Almighty God in times of trouble and heartbreak, proven by the forgiving words spoken by family members in court to the monster who had wantonly murdered their loved ones.
And that’s what makes his defense of the Confederate flag that has become so reviled over the past 10 days so stirring.
I have received many requests to do interviews on this subject and had a lot of tweets asking me to comment, but I declined, wanting to take the time to explain my feelings in detail, without having to answer other people’s loaded questions or express myself in a 140-character limit on Twitter ….
I was born in 1936, a mere 71 years after the Civil War ended, when the South was looked upon by what seemed to be a majority of the Northern States as an inbred, backward, uneducated, slow-talking and slower-thinking people, with low morals and a propensity for incest …
As you might suppose, people in the South bitterly resented this attitude of superiority, and in some quarters the words “damn” and “Yankee” became one word. And a somewhat fierce type of Southern pride came into being.
The Confederate battle flag was a sign of defiance, a sign of pride, a declaration of a geographical area that you were proud to be from.
That’s all it is to me and all it has ever been to me…
I feel that this controversy desperately needs to be settled without federal interference and input from race baiters like Al Sharpton. It’s up to the individual states as to what they allow to be a part of their public image. What the majority of the people of any given state want should, in my opinion, be their policy …
I know there will be those who will take these words of mine, try to twist them or call them insincere and try to make what I’ve said here some kind of anti-black racial statement, but I tell everybody who reads this article, I came up in the days of cruel racial prejudice and Jim Crow laws, when the courts were tilted against any black man, when the segregated educational system was inferior and when opportunities for blacks to advance were almost nonexistent.
I lived through the useless cruelty of those days and did not get my feelings out of some sensitivity class or social studies course, but made my own decisions out of experience and disgust ….
It’s time to do away with labels: Caucasian-American, African-American, Asian-American, Native American and so forth.
How about just a simple “AMERICAN”?
Read more: bizpacreview.com