Letter — Where is the love

Published 6:37 pm Wednesday, April 27, 2022

To the Editor:

In response to the communications posted on April 22, regarding the Confederate Flag and it not being a symbol or standing for “hate.” I’d like to offer a few bits of insight. I was born in Farmville, in 1968, a month before the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and four years after Prince Edward County opened the doors to public education, after being closed for five years. In the previous articles, the words “hate” and “fear” were both mentioned extensively but, also the word “history.” An interesting word, history. When you break the word down, it sounds much like, “HIS STORY.” In other words, whoever is in power, gets to frame how history is taught. The HIS STORY books in Prince Edward County, during my years in school, often referred to battles won or the genocide inflicted against the Native Americans, in the name of manifest destiny, as “victories.” However, when the Native Americans won a rare battle while protecting and defending their land and property, it was labeled a “massacre.” Those same HIS STORY books grazed across the 250 years (1619-1865) of slavery, where black women, children and men were raped, castrated, slaughtered, whipped, sold, bartered, oppressed and forced to smile through it all. Note: treated worse than the animals mentioned in one of the previous articles. This is not to minimize the four years those horrendous atrocities occurred against those recognized as American citizens in the southern states during the Civil War. But, back to HIS STORY. The fact that cotton reigned supreme around the world, to supply uniforms for the soldiers and provide the masters and mistresses with the latest fashionable costumes and ensembles, the money raked in by the southern states for this product along with the free labor the slaves provided was irreplaceable. The states’ rights argument is likened to the bridge I’m trying to sell. So, to fly confederate flags and erect the monuments in homage to those who fought and gave their lives to keep blacks enslaved and to enforce white supremacy, I ask, Where is the love? Keep in mind, while flying these flags and erecting these statues, southern states also enforced legal segregation, Jim Crow laws, peonage and other traitorous acts against blacks. Modern technology (television, cell phones and body cams) affords us all the opportunity to see the footage and many examples of hate inflicted on many Americans at the hands of those holding the confederate flags. Especially, those storming our nation’s capital on Jan. 6 and those spewing hatred in Charlottesville and those bombing the churches in Birmingham, and those riding the horses and trampling peaceful protesters in Selma or even those assaulting marchers with water hoses and dogs, and even those placing chains on the doors to keep my mother and her classmates from getting a proper education from 1959 to 1964. I’ll ask again, where is the love? Until factual “HIS STORY” is taught and “All Men Who Are Created Equal” are treated as equals, that question will never be answered.

Jerry T. Jackson

Richmond