Preserving our heritage while embracing our brothers and sisters

To the editor:

“God forgive them for they know not what they do.” A sad day when our president defends the white supremacists, KKK, neo-nazists. In the late 1940s and 1950s, I can remember the “activities” of the KKK in our area. The members, you today would be surprised, astounded, and appalled. The president has created an atmosphere of tolerance and support for white supremacists. My America will not condone this blessing to the underbelly of our country. The silent majority must speak out on a very complex issue that haunts our very existence, preservation of our democracy.

Clouding the issues, the neo-nazists, KKK and white supremacists have co-opted our precious Confederate flag, our southern heritage. We should take this very direct challenge to protect our southern legacy by supporting the preservation of the symbols/statues representing the Civil War. Simultaneously, we must speak out about the distortion surrounding this issue.

We are not racists, bigots just because we happened to be born in the South. We long for harmony with our minority brothers, sisters: blacks, American Indian, Mexican, oriental … all Americans. Challenge: our communities, churches, civic organizations must be willing to honestly discuss this issue.

In the 1990s, on a job assignment in Washington state, having breakfast at Denny’s, a breathtaking view of the mountains in the distance, over the hill came an 18-wheeler with the Confederate flag spread over the front: Chills ran down my back, in my heart feeling that our flag was being abused by white supremacists. How did our country/leaders of the south allow these racists to disrespect our heritage by using this precious symbol, the Confederate flag?

The issue before us is how do we preserve this heritage while embracing our minority brothers, sisters. I am a fourth-generation citizen of Escambia County, Ala. My ancestors fought and died in the Civil War. My Mother taught us ten kids that “Nobody is better than you; you’re no better than anyone else”: We are all equal in the sight of God.

Gay Drew