This land is your land…

I respect your right to worship whatever god or gods your heart desires. I respect your race, your gender, your cultural heritage, and your sexual preference. Honestly. I do, deep down in my heart of hearts. Life is too damn short to spend it surrounded by negativity…

But see, respect is a two-way street.

As I respect you and yours, I expect to be treated in kind.

This is my twice-great grandfather, Lafayette Franklin Freeman, and yes, he served the Confederate States of America. I am not, nor will I ever be ashamed of that fact. He is my ancestor and as such commands my respect.

lafayette

Today, the so-called Confederate Flag is being removed from the South Carolina State Capital Building. I support this. It had no business being flown over a government building. That was in poor taste, in my humble opinion.

The battle flag and other symbols of the Confederacy do have a place in this country, however. On memorials, in private parks, and residences, cemeteries, at reenactments, in museums, and the like. I have no problem with it being on apparel and I sure as hell don’t have an issue with it sitting atop a bright orange 1969 Dodge Charger named General Lee.

If you have a problem with it, that’s your right. You don’t have to go to any of those places mentioned above. If the Dukes of Hazzard are on TV, by all means, do what I do and change the channel.

It’s a free country (or so they say) and unfortunately, that’s a double edged sword you need to come to terms with.

Forrest-StatueIt has come to my attention that they are looking to tear down a monument in honour of Nathan Bedford Forrest down in Memphis. They want to move his grave and that of his wife somewhere else too. See, there’s no tolerance for a man like Nathan Bedford Forrest. Why, the General was  a slave trader before the War,a brilliant commander of cavalry during, and after, he was the first Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.

Before you get all riled up, maybe you should read this first:

Ladies and Gentlemen I accept the flowers as a memento of reconciliation between the white and colored races of the southern states. I accept it more particularly as it comes from a colored lady, for if there is any one on God’s earth who loves the ladies I believe it is myself.

I came here with the jeers of some white people, who think that I am doing wrong. I believe I can exert some influence, and do much to assist the people in strengthening fraternal relations, and shall do all in my power to elevate every man to depress none. I want to elevate you to take positions in law offices, in stores, on farms, and wherever you are capable of going.

I have not said anything about politics today. I don’t propose to say anything about politics. You have a right to elect whom you please; vote for the man you think best, and I think, when that is done, you and I are freemen. Do as you consider right and honest in electing men for office.

I did not come here to make you a long speech, although invited to do so by you. I am not much of a speaker, and my business prevented me from preparing myself. I came to meet you as friends, and welcome you to the white people. I want you to come nearer to us. When I can serve you I will do so. We have but one flag, one country; let us stand together. We may differ in color, but not in sentiment Many things have been said about me which are wrong, and which white and black persons here, who stood by me through the war, can contradict.

Go to work, be industrious, live honestly and act truly, and when you are oppressed I’ll come to your relief. I thank you, ladies and gentlemen, for this opportunity you have afforded me to be with you, and to assure you that I am with you in heart and in hand.

What sort of man would say words like these? None other than Nathan Bedford Forrest himself.

Don’t be so quick to judge, nor to tear down our history.

This land was made for you and me…

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