written by Marsha L Randolph I was on vacation when the ‘issue’ of the Confederate flag began. Yes, I had heard about the shooting in the church, I did not then nor do I now believe it had anything to do with a flag. The flag has been around longer than that building so I listened to the opinions of many who spoke pro- and con- for the removal of the flag. I have come to the conclusion that people are complaining about a symbol when they should be focused on their behavior. It is not the confederate flag it is the slave mentality that plagues the Black community.
If the Confederate flag reminds people of slavery then so should those black entertainers who are rewarded well for their on camera behavior. (Forget for a moment that white people do it to.) Gyrating your body in song and dance; taking off your clothes to reveal sexy curves before you are intimate with another man (or woman- help us Lord!); shooting and killing each other as the script dictates; disrespecting your brothers and sisters verbally with the use of the “N” word and the “B” word; all in the name of entertainment. (Ha-Ha-Ha it’s not funny.) Everybody makes money thus justifying the behavior; were the slaves not rewarded after entertaining the masters’ guest? The Confederate flag does not make you sing about having sex in a car.
If the Confederate flag reminds people of slavery then so should the large number of African-Americans who are dependent on the government to maintain their quality of life. Slaves were dependent on the master to feed, clothe and shelter them. Most lived in less than ideal shacks, clothed in rags and fed what no one else wanted. Slaves were not allowed to be educated, yes, there were a few exception.
Today, there are a lot of reasons why African-Americans cannot learn as explained by the White experts and accepted by the Black professionals. It is interesting that many of the reasons go back to when Black people were slaves, except, history is full of Black men and women who despite the “White-man” lived exceptional lives. These individuals include: George Washington Carver, Benjamin Banekker, Fredrick Douglas, Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, Madam C. J Walker and the list goes on. Today we have such successful individuals as: Mia Love, Condoleeza Rice, Oprah Winfrey, Dr. Benjamin Carson, Dr. Mae Jemison (the first Black female to travel in space), and Kenneth Frazier (CEO of Merck & Co.) The Confederate flag never stopped anyone from achieving their goals.
One of the most disturbing problems within the African-American community is the proliferation of unwed mothers. If the Confederate flag reminds people of slavery then the number of young black men with ‘baby momma’s means the south won! Many do not see it as such yet young Black boys are going from house to house (plantation to plantation) producing babies that will grow up to be good for nothing but servitude (house Negroes) unless there is a change of the way people think.
The next generation of burger flippers, house keepers, day care workers, home health aids and other low income paying jobs, the equivalent of field workers, are produced when men do not have a vision for their future. Black people are protesting a raise in minimum wage and white people are happy to give it to them as long as they keep flipping the burgers. It is not the flag that waves to and fro in the wind that is the problem it is the mindset of the people who are looking up instead of within.
The Confederate flag may come down but until African-Americans change the way they think nothing will change. I am not a historian, I have read a lot yet I do not remember everything I read thus what I write is a composite of what I know and believe. My strength is not found in the history books but in the Bible and there were slaves discussed there. In the Old Covenant the people who came out of Egypt had to change the way they thought in order to go into the Promised land, those who could not do it died in the wilderness. There are a lot of Black people dying because they keep focusing on the past.
Not White people, the Confederate flag, nor the government (Republican or Democrat) are the problems that plague the African-American community. The problem is they have allowed man to define who they are and what they can and cannot do. On Sunday morning many will declare “I can do all things through Christ” and on Monday morning they will confess that they cannot do because the White man will not let them. Harriet Tubman knew slave owners did not want her helping people become free; Rosa Parks knew she was not suppose to sit on the front seat of the bus; Barack Obama knew there were a lot of people who did not want him to be President. When the flag comes down what will be the next excuse?
Those men and women who achieved greatness despite the real racism of the time did it by working hard, accepting responsibility for their actions, and a strong faith in God; despite the Confederate flag waving in the wind.