For many Americans, the CONFEDERATE BATTLE FLAG is an unmistakable symbol of slavery and oppression!!!
Meet NEW YORK native KAREN COOPER, a BLACK WOMAN who now lives in VIRGINIA, and for whom the flag embodies something else entirely.
WASHINGTON POST reports KAREN COOPER said;
“I actually think that it represents freedom. It represents a people who stood up to tyranny.”
KAREN COOPER is a member of The VIRGINIA FLAGGERS, an activist group that rejects the idea that the Confederate flag is a symbol of racism and hate.
The group was formed in response to a decision to remove Confederate flags from public view in several locations, including a Confederate memorial chapel on the grounds of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond and city light poles in Lexington.
Like the rest of the Flaggers’ 40 or so members, Cooper feels pride and reverence each time she displays the flag in public.
If the flag was a racist symbol, Cooper argues, she wouldn’t be an accepted member of a group composed primarily of white Southerners.
K. COOPER said;
“I’m not advocating slavery or think that, you know, it was right. It wasn’t, and none of my friends think it was. It was just something that happened. It didn’t just happen in the South, it happened worldwide. She added, slavery is 'a choice.' I say that because of what Patrick Henry said: ‘Give me liberty or give me death.’ To me, if we had went back to that kind of slavery, no I couldn’t do it. Give me death.”A 2014 Winthrop University poll found that 61 percent of black South Carolina residents said the flag should no longer fly on the state house grounds, The Post’s Aaron Blake reported last week. And yet, 27 percent of black South Carolinians said it should stay — suggesting that the flag’s meaning remains a source of some debate.
UNIVERSITY Of SOUTH CAROLINA: BEAUFORT (USCB) student BYRON THOMAS says he understands why people hate the Confederate flag, but he doesn’t feel like the symbol is racially offensive to him, even after alleged Charleston shooter Dylann Roof was photographed posing with the flag.
BYRON THOMAS said;
“Dylann decided to use his Confederate flag for racism. My Confederate flag that I own I do not use for racism. I’m entitled to my beliefs and how I choose to use a symbol,” he wrote last week in an opinion piece for The Post. My Confederate flag isn’t racist; after all, I am black. I’m also an American who strongly believes in the constitutional right to free speech.”
Thomas said he hung the flag in his dorm room at the USCB to honor an ancestor who was a cook for a South Carolina regiment during the Civil War. When the university protested, Thomas fought back and eventually won.
BIRMINGHAM, AL, native Marine COURTNEY DANIELS argues that the Confederate flag and its “gorgeous colors” were hijacked by “a few cowards in bedsheets,” obscuring its rich history.
Last week, COURTNEY DANIELS wrote in the BIRMINGHAM NEWS;
“I revere it as a son of the South in a way that would confuse those on the outside looking in, who by the way are not entitled to commentary on which flag waves in our humid Southern breeze.”
Daniels noted that he didn’t always support the flag. He grew up believing that the flag was a symbol a racism until he started researching Civil War history and eventually concluded that he had “foolishly labeled every white person sporting the flag as a racist.” It is not the South, but northern cities like Philadelphia and New York, he argues, in which black Americans are defined by their skin tone.
C. DANIELS continued;
“In the South, we mingle. We play. We do like Willie Mays and ‘say hey’ no matter the color of the person sitting on the porch. I walk into my local grocery with my daughter and like the tick of the clock, I know I can count on an endearing ‘Hey baby doll, you need some help?’ from the attendant whose skin heavily contrasts mine.”
In Asheville, N.C., last week, hours after “Black Lives Matter” graffiti appeared on a monument commemorating SOUTH CAROLINA State CIVIL WAR Governor ZEBULON VANCE - a BLACK MAN stood nearby with a Confederate flag, defending it to anybody who would listen.
That man was former ASHEVILLE, NC, Chapter NAACP President H. K. EDGERTON, who is described as “one of few African-American members of the SONS Of CONFEDERATE VETERANS who is known for his love of the Confederate flag and protesting in favor of it.”
H.K. EDGERTON said;
“Black folks earned a place of honor and dignity with this flag; black folks and white folks in southland America are family. This is our flag. This was my message when I walked to Texas; that was my message when I walked to the White House. And it’s my message still.”