The Confederate Flag represents the same thing. We just see it differently.
Last year as I was driving to the Atlanta Zoo to join my daughter’s first grade field trip, I saw this man.
My heart immediately dropped to my feet and I was gripped with fear. It took me a few seconds, to gather myself and for my mind to accept that I was okay.
My initial gripping fear took me back to my days growing up in Kentucky in the 70s and the ever present threat this flag represented. I remember the conversations, filled with fear, that my family had about the cross that was burned in my aunt and uncle’s yard.
I don’t have memories of this flag representing southern heritage. It was always used as a tool to put fear in me by people in my town and to exhibit power over me because I was not white.
All of these emotions were running through my mind and making my heart race as I drove closer to this man. No matter how logical my thoughts were my soul and spirit only felt the fear of my memories of the KKK and the instructions I received from my parents on the awareness I had to have in situations where people wanted to harm me for no other reason than I was black.
I took this photo because I was honestly shocked to see him running with it and tried to settle my emotions with a chuckle until….
As my car passed him, he flipped me off. Yes. He gave me the bird, the middle finger. I was shocked.
With the debate today about this flag, I ask you one question. Do you think he gave me the universal symbol for F*ck you because of his southern pride and heritage or because of the fact that I’m Black?
As I drove past him, I was fully convinced of the latter.