By BARBARA HOWARD
I believe it is patently wrong to remove all the Confederate statues, memorials and flags across this country. Like it or not, this is the history of the United States and to me, this is the greatest country in the world.
One must ask oneself, if you remove all the outward signs of slavery or Jim Crow, how do you tell your children and grandchildren about the times of real outwardly demonstrated racism when all the symbols have been destroyed?
How do you tell them that “we have overcome?” Overcome over what?
I am a black woman, 75 years old, an “African American,” a devout Christian, a registered Republican, and a former Democrat.
Born and raised, for the most part, in segregated Alabama and Georgia, I have lived in several states – North, South, East and West. I have also traveled to many different countries and was made a Trade and Travel Goodwill Ambassador to Kenya.
In the little country town in which I was born, my paternal grandmother was a well-respected businesswoman, who owned the only black funeral home for hundreds of miles. White folk respected her as well as Blacks.
It was the place where my mother was arrested for not saying “Yes ma’am” to a younger white salesclerk. But the sheriff’s wife made him release her. Years later, my stepmother became the first Black City Councilmember and then the first Black Mayor.
The same people who may have hated us one day, came to love us the next. And so it is with this country. We may have different beliefs in different respects, but we are basically the same. While I am Black, my DNA includes Anglo, Cherokee and Creek Indian. Some of my best friends have been white and Hispanic.
As a devout believer, I adhere to the dogma of Jesus Christ’s teachings – to “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” I’ve also been taught that if you believe in a supreme being we call God, you must believe in a devil or demon named Satan.
As a political consultant, I see almost everything through political lens. And the push to remove all remnants of the Confederacy is a recent move by the radical Left – Democrats who use the fears of African Americans to remain in power.
The most powerful weapon used by the Left is the weapon of “Identity Politics” – classifying others as racists; thereby identifying people as enemies of Black folk, keeping the base of the Democratic Party – 95% of the Black community – angry at Republicans or The Right, now The Alt-Right.
But the reality is that White folk are not our enemy; Republicans are not our enemies. While slavery was over 200 years ago, we cannot define slave-owners as our enemy now. While the Civil War was fought over slavery and the right to own slaves, people came together to form a “more perfect union” afterwards.
And don’t get it twisted, the Civil Rights Movement was nothing like the Black Lives Matter Movement, even though there is an effort to compare the two. It is unfortunate that young people, or Millennials, have virtually little or no sense of our history – American history or Black history.
They have accepted the revisionist history promoted by the Alt-Left. Their beliefs are based on lies and half-truths. They are fighting for the same people we fought against, under the guise that Liberals are the ones who fought for them during slavery and Civil Rights.
Make no mistake, the same people who want to use young Black folk and Millennials to remove these Confederate statues and flags are the same people who fought to keep us enslaved. Beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing.
They are the same people who fought to remove Christian symbols from all government property – the Nativity Scene from public land, prayer from schools and school activities, the cross from veteran properties and the name of God from money, buildings, the Pledge of Allegiance, the oaths of office, and even from the platform of the Democratic Party.
Vice President Pence and others have advocated not taking down statues, but erecting others. I agree. As the Florida State Chair of the Congress of Racial Equality, I believe we should erect statues of those who fought against slavery and racism, like Nat Turner, Sojourner Truth, Frederick Douglass, Martin Luther King and others.
If you want to remove the statues because of what they represent, then the first thing you need to do is quit the Democratic Party, since that’s the party to which all those “racists” belonged. You can’t have it both ways.